Wendy reviews Flight by 110 various authors. Published by Mischief Corner Books, September 21, 2016, 214 pages.
Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Smoke, by Zev de Valera
He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake.
Was that a shaker he’d felt, or the onset of a hangover?
He clutched a silken pillow and waited.
Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass
and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise.
Shit. This is the real thing.
With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed.
How many years had it been since the last one?
The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling. A model unit when he’d purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain.
Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work.
What to wear?
He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation.
A resounding thud.
He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling.
Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft.
He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke.
Up and away to meet his new master.
We were given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was given the opportunity to read this book and to be honest I was just a bit intimidated by the idea of reading 110 different authors in one book, but since it was something I had never read anything quite like this before I was also excited to try.
This is an amazing collection of 110 authors put together into their own categories as they are best represented by genre. I’ve been wracking my brain as to how I was going to review 110 authors, but of course that just can’t happen. Instead, I will review those parts as they are listed in the Table of Contents. That’s the only way I can fairly represent every person writing in this book.
Science Fiction Part 1~
The stories that are in this section of the book definitely have the flavor of space, science and an amazing amount of imagination. I was blown away by the thought that something so Sci Fi could also feel so much like poetry and still only be 300 words. This is absolutely an amazing discovery for me. I gave this category a 10/10 Pots of Gold
Fantasy Part 1~
Amazing fantastical stories of flight that left me wanting more. The first story in this chapter is Stronger Than Flight by Tray Ellis and I was surprised that this author could make me feel so much so quickly. This is just the first example I’ve given of the many in this book that I would say capture my first thoughts when reading these stories. So much feeling put into so few words.
I was very impressed with these very well written horror stories all with the theme of flight. It takes me completely out of my comfort zone to read horror and I didn’t even know that I could be frightened with such short stories. Turns out I can.
This is a favorite trope of mine and I especially love any paranormal that involves flight. These short stories are especially vivid. Some are heartrendingly beautiful. I hope the authors consider writing more about these characters and their stories.
Fantasy Part 2~
Again, this second act in the Science Fiction Trope has an amazing amount of imagination. Some of these stories don’t have happy endings yet they are still beautiful and I find myself creating many different scenarios that could happen during the before and the after of these shorts. This was a brilliant way to end this book, with the same flight of imaginative magic that it began with.
I was surprised to find how easy this book was to read. The stories are short yes, but so well written that before you know it you’ve read a dozen or more. It was a book that was out of my comfort zone to read, but I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’ve expanded myself a little bit and took the chance on these stories. They are amazing and I hope that the authors will get the chance to tell us more about some of these characters and their stories because I would love to read more about many of them. I said earlier that I was amazed at the amount of feeling that was put into these 300 word short stories. Just think about how much thought must go into the creating of that! They all had to have not only the theme of flight, but they were also all LGBT. I really am in awe of these authors. they did a marvelous job and I enjoyed this book very much.
Where to buy:
Apple: Coming soon
Barnes & Noble: Coming soon
In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”.
This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.
Bran Lindy Ayres
Capri S. Bard
Michael J. Bode
Hank T. Cannon
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Skylar M. Cates
Claire Davis and Al Stewart
Zev de Valera
Christina Mary Francis
Jambrea Jo Jones
Michael M. Jones
Mario K. Lipinski
Meraki P. Lyhne
Lloyd A. Meeker
Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Rory Ni Coiliean
Brent D. Seth
T. Allen Walton
Eric Alan Westfall