Who are the strangers among us? The focus of this collection of short stories is the balance between mental health and mental illness, and the intense feelings of alienation that go along with this.
19 fantasy and science fiction authors have contributed stories to this amazing collection, exploring mental health and alienation through a great mix of worlds and characters.
I don’t generally read short stories, but the premise of this collection drew me in. My biggest complaint about short stories (and this is all down to me, nothing to do with the writing or writers, if anything it shows their skill) is that they always leave me wanting more. Especially well written sci-fi or fantasy short stories like the ones that fill this collection.
I want to know more about the Dog, the one unaugmented human on his spaceship whose job it is to keep the ship safe while everyone else is unconscious during their jumps. I want to know more about the 70 year old rebel fighter. I want to know more about the society where the Culling takes place.
All the stories in this collection are excellent and I really enjoyed all the different angles that the authors approached the premise from. From schizophrenia to autism, to anxiety and depressive disorders, there is a wide range of mental health issues represented. In most short story collections I find there are a couple of “fillers” – stories that aren’t great but are included to pad out the volume. There is no “filler” in this collection. The stories are wonderfully insightful, understanding and sympathetic. It is a great collection about a difficult topic.
4 out of 5 talking toasters.
Seriously, how are talking toasters not a thing yet?
With thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy for an honest review.