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Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy tales…

Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy tales of challenging the norm

by Jessica Reisman (Contributor), Bart R. Leib (Editor)

Other authors: Camille Alexa (Contributor), R. J. Astruc (Contributor), Natania Barron (Contributor), Jennifer Brozek (Foreword), Shanna Germain (Contributor)13 more, Melissa S. Green (Contributor), Kay T. Holt (Contributor), Brittany Jackson (Cover Design), Kelly Jennings (Contributor), Jean Johnson (Contributor), Barbara Krasnoff (Contributor), Deirdre M. Murphy (Contributor), Timothy T. Murphy (Contributor), Daniel José Older (Contributor), Cat Rambo (Contributor), Caleb Jordan Schulz (Contributor), Wendy N. Wagner (Contributor), C. A. Young (Contributor)

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3811298,882 (4.03)2
  1. 00
    Broken Slate by Kelly Jennings (MinaKelly)
    MinaKelly: Her short story in Subversion is set in the same world as Broken Slate.

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This is a group of new science fiction and fantasy tales about challenging the status quo. It doesn't have to be political; the status quo can be social, religious or even personal.

In an interplanetary confederation that uses slavery (it's called "contract labor"), a young boy, son of the slave owner, becomes friends with a female slave of the same age. After learning exactly what contract labor is all about, he starts to plan the revolution that will bring down the system, once and for all.

A Jewish woman's grandmother was a pro-union activist in the Great Depression era. The woman's average teenage daughter suddenly decides to drop out of college and become a political activist. That wouldn't be so awful, except that the daughter suddenly starts speaking in Russian-accented Yiddish (just like grandma), a language to which she has had no exposure. Maybe the grandmother is not yet ready to "cross over."

A pair of brothers in the foster care system each have their own android Guardian. On a car trip, they stop at a seedy-looking house for some very illegal upgrades to the Guardians, without the Guardians catching on.

The only way to keep a powerful dragon from destroying a trio of kingdoms is to send heirs to those kingdoms to the dragon, as sacrifices. But one of the three takes the words Know Your Enemy more seriously than do the others.

As in most anthologies, some stories are better than others, but, overall, this group of stories is well worth the time. There is a good variety of times and places, and the writing is really good. ( )
  plappen | Apr 29, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure where it was going or if I'd like it. Turns out that the collection of short stories varies widely. I'm not sure I would recommend buying it, but I think there's probably short story in here for everyone. ( )
  laurion | Nov 6, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is definitely an anthology theme to get behind: the authors collected here cover a wide range of sub-genres, and the editor has done a great job of avoiding stories with too similar 'shapes' - an unfortunate flaw in many themed anthologies.

A Thousand Wings of Luck by Jessica Reisman starts the collection with beautifully detailed world building, that could have sustained a novel, and a genuine feeling of uncertainty about the decisions the main character would make, and the effect they would have.

Seed by Shanna Germain does a similarly meticulous job of world building, managing the difficult task of packing in a alien society's world view, and the critique there of into a short wordcount, with lots of interesting angles on gender, sex, and food to consider.

Received Without Content by Timothy T. Murphy and Parent Hack by Kay T. Holt are both near-future tales of teenage rebellion - both excellent, but otherwise so different in flavour and shape.

Scrapheap Angel by RJ Astruc & Deirdre M. Murphy and The Hero Industry by Jean Johnson might be said to form a similar pair around adult job roles - how much changes, when so much stays the same.

Phantom Overload by Daniel José Older and The Red Dybbuk by Barbara Krasnoff both mix a strong sense of location and identity with the paranormal end of the genre mix. Again - two strong stories with some surface similarities, but utterly different reading experiences.

To Sleep With Pachamama by Caleb Jordan Schulz takes us to a post-earth end-of-the-line to finish out the anthology - a very fitting grace note of hope and possibility.

Not every story spoke to me, and the overall collection is maybe less subversive than the title might suggest, but there are a lot of very strong stories here - certainly more to recommend than to not. ( )
  AlexDraven | Feb 19, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My initial expectations:
Given the current turmoil in the world economy and the anger against bankers and big business in general I was expecting a book of stories born out of the frustration and rage that has shown itself in the “Occupy Wall Street” protest and all its associated actions and demonstrations across the Western world. Despite the impression given by the picture on the front cover the stories in “Subversion” do not fit into that slot.

“Subversion” is a collection of relatively mild stories, some better than others (as one would expect in a collection), but nothing that is Earth shattering, revolutionary or likely to provoke the gathering of a rabble to demand change.

The foreword states all the stories are united in their dealing with subversion of one sort or another.

The stories:
A Thousand Wings of Luck by Jessica Reisman
Good world building – The world in this story would do well as part of a novel, but the story in this short piece is too weak for the world built to tell it. The “religion” in the tale could be built upon as part of a bigger work.

And All Its Truths by Camille Alexa
This is a tale of life in a colony where the humans have been pushed into subservience by the machines that were put in place to protect them. It is a story of hope and survival. One could interpret it as a story about the Guantanamo detention centre.

Pushaway by Melissa S. Green
This is a tale about religious oppression, suppression of women in the name of religion, and child abuse in isolated communities. The central government, although aware of the mistreatment, does not take action to enforce child protection measures and human writes until many people are permanently damaged by the lifestyle and feudal control of the religious leaders.

Phantom Overload by Daniel José Older
This is an amusing little tale of tyranny in the afterlife. While it was a good story I was upset by repeated basic grammatical errors (e.g. “There’s two…”; “There’s hundreds…”) and some poor editing that didn’t catch sentences like, “In moments like these that I have to work very hard not to use it.”

Cold Against the Bone by Kelly Jennings
A tale of slavery and injustice. A bit too disjointed and convolute to be an enjoyable read.

The Red Dybbuk by Barbara Krasnoff
I found this story had nothing in it to grab my interest.

Pushing Paper in Hartleigh by Natania Barron
Pushing Paper is a lovely tale of frustration with bureaucracy.

Parent Hack by Parent Hack by Kay T. Holt
This is a fun story of future foster parenting.

The Hero Industry by Jean Johnson
Armchair theory story on kidnapping.

Flicka by Cat Rambo
Interesting tale of prejudice in small town USA with differences highlighted between right-wing theist community and the more open minded atheists.

Seed by Shanna Germain
Brothel taking business from foreigners and being persecuted by men of their own kind as a result. Well told story about prejudice and xenophobia.

Scrapheap Angel by R.J. Astruc & Deirdre Murphy
This is an amusing tale about the dehumanising effect of call centres.

The Dragon’s Bargain by C. A. Young
An interesting tale but some loose editing let some problems through.

A Tiny Grayness in the Dark by Wendy N. Wagner
A tale of the underworld; beautifully told.

Received Without Content by Timothy T. Murphy
Interesting tale about striking back against the privileged elite.

To Sleep With Pachamama by Caleb Jordan Schulz
Eco warriors of the future. Good story of struggle against the system.

While the collection contains some interesting pieces it is not a book I will be going back to time and again. ( )
  pgmcc | Jan 19, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a high quality collection of SF & F stories. They are roughly the same length, and of consistent quality. Although there is a common thread of "subversion" there is a variety of genres from hard SF to underworld Fantasy.

I highly recommend this book. Even if there's one story you don't like then if you like SF & F you'll probably like the rest. ( )
  paulmorriss | Jan 19, 2012 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Reisman, JessicaContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leib, Bart R.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexa, CamilleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Astruc, R. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barron, NataniaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brozek, JenniferForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Germain, ShannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, Melissa S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holt, Kay T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, BrittanyCover Designsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jennings, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krasnoff, BarbaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murphy, Deirdre M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murphy, Timothy T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Older, Daniel JoséContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rambo, CatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schulz, Caleb JordanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wagner, Wendy N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, C. A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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