Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays

Maia Chance et al. Grey Sun (Ingram, dist.), $9.99 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-0-9908157-6-1
Eight short stories by four authors glisten with holiday wonder, each one decorated in hues of legend, myth, SF, and quirky, joyful fun. Both Janine A. Southard’s fantastical “Wild Hunt” and Chance’s folklore-heavy heist in “Odysseus Flax & the Krampus” are notable for their whimsical, tongue-in-cheek humor and playful twists on legend. Raven Oak’s “Ol’ St. Nick” takes the Christmas season in a darker direction, adding space-adventure elements and spicing it with a twisty, complicated mystery. The two standout stories come from G. Clemans: “Escape from Old Yorktown” blends snarky teenagers working for a futuristic living-history museum with secretive politics and galaxy-wide conspiracies, and “Bevel & Turn” dives into familial lore and obsession, crafting a tale of mystery and time travel that’s flecked with the psychology of loss and loneliness. The anthology offers a little something for a wide variety of tastes, opening the door to the reader’s imagination with a wink and a reminder that the season isn’t just about toys and family dinners. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/09/2015
Release date: 11/17/2015
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