cover image A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology

A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology

Ed. by Dhonielle Clayton. Crown, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-984896-20-9

This fourth We Need Diverse Books anthology, edited by WNDB COO Clayton (The Belles), offers 15 speculative fiction short stories that are inclusive across gender identity, sexuality, race, ability, and religion. Tara Sim begins with a bang in the titular story, an enchanting offering wherein crystals help power the world and magic can be coaxed from cadavers. Kwame Mbalia conjures a poignant space odyssey in “Liberia,” starring botanist Kweku Aboah and other teens of color. Mark Oshiro’s “Unmoor” places memory-erasing runeworkers-for-hire in a queer, racially diverse narrative set in the Bay Area, and in “The Coldest Spot in the Universe,” Samira Ahmed chronicles two intertwined narratives nearly a millennium apart in a eulogy of Earth and an anthropological exploration of its downfall. Installments centering authors’ established properties will be of most interest to readers already familiar with them, but overall, this anthology resonates in its thorough enrichment of the canon, from fairy tale reconstructions to space operas. Ages 14–up. [em](Dec.) [/em]