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We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology
by Fabio Fernandes (Editor), Djibril al-Ayad (Editor)
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Super anthology viewing colonialism from from the pov of the colonized. Excellent selection of stories, all of which will make you think and rethink your perspectives. ( )
This is an excellent anthology, one worth reading. Its stories explore the aftereffects of colonialism (in its broadest sense) from a variety of perspectives and concerns, and they generally do so quite effectively. Some of the stories here are very good, some are ok, a few didn't resonate with me at all, but almost universally these stories take on some aspect of the theme from a unique perspective. The anthology sustains unity of theme throughout without being too uniform (or too heavy-handed, for the most part). (I should note the preface and afterword are also quite worth reading.) The end result is to create a whole that, to use a cliché, is more than the sum of its parts. Which is to say that this collections's excellence rests not so much on the quality of the stories in it but rather on what the collection achieves in its totality.
Which is not to put down the stories themselves! "A Heap of Broken Images" by Sunny Moraine was especially worth reading; it is profound and thought-provoking. "Them Ships" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and "Remembering Turinam" by N.A. Ratnayake are also in the thought-provoking category. "A Bridge of Words" by Dinesh Rao is quite a good story, and one of the most traditionally science-fictional story of the lot. "Dark Continents" by Lavie Tidhar is the least traditional of the stories, jumping between times and timelines, but it has in it some interesting what-ifs. I did not, as I said, like every story here, but some of that might be a matter of taste, and certainly I think the best stories more than make up for the weakest.
But whatever the artistic merits of this anthology, I think its social value is much greater. The effects of colonialism are not only worth discussing, they need to be discussed. That We See a Different Frontier explores this topic, and is so effective in doing so, is to be commended. I certainly found my thinking challenged and stretched by reading it, and sometimes, I was even uncomfortable. But I think that just demonstrates how effective this anthology truly is.
...We See a Different Frontier is a fascinating piece of reading. It tackles a theme that is so hugely complex that there are countless of ways to approach it and the stories the editors reflect that. The diversity in these stories is stunning. The anthology offers no easy answers but makes the reader aware of issues that are rarely raised in science fiction. In her afterword Ekaterina Sedia mentions that the collection left her 'a bit whiplashed' and that is not far from how I experienced it. These stories are challenging and thought-provoking, qualities that good speculative fiction in my opinion needs to possess, but at the same time they manage to cover ground most readers of the genre will be unfamiliar with. This anthology is one of the best themed anthologies I've had the pleasure of reading. It deserves a larger audience than it is likely to get.
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This anthology of speculative fiction stories on the themes of colonialism and cultural imperialism focuses on the viewpoints of the colonized. Sixteen authors share their experiences of being the silent voices in history and on the wrong side of the final frontier; their fantasies of a reality in which straight, cis, able-bodied, rich, anglophone, white males don't tell us how they won every war; and their revenge against the alien oppressor settling their "new world."
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)808.838762Literature By Topic Rhetoric and anthologies Anthologies & Collections Fiction Genre fiction Adventure fiction Science and Fantasy Fiction Science Fiction
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