New Suns, Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl | Short Fiction Sunday


Genre : Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

Publisher : Solaris

Length : 279 pages

Format : eARC

Rating : 4 stars

Publication Date : March 12th 2019

Publisher’s description

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange. Between this book’s covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings. These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and futures, authors freed of stereotypes and clichés, ready to dazzle you with their daring genius.

Book Review

New Suns is an anthology of speculative edited by Nisi Shawl featuring stories written by people of color. It opens up with this quote from Octavia E. Butler : “There’s nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns,” and it suits the anthology very well. I was already familiar with some of the authors like Tobias S. Buckell, Rebecca Roanhorse, E. Lily Yu, Indrapramit Das and Silvia Moreno Garcia but I was happy to see a lot of unfamiliar names on the list since I always love discovering new authors – or should I say “new suns”? 😉

The anthology doesn’t have a particular theme so the seventeen works offer a wide range of stories and genres. Because of how different the stories are from one another, I’m sure every reader will find something to love in New Suns. However, it also means that some stories probably won’t be as enjoyable as the others (except if you have the exact same reading preferences as Nisi Shawl, the editor).

Here are some of my favorites stories in the anthology.

My Picks

Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell – 5/5

Set in a future where intergalactic tourism is the main source of income for humans, the story follows the repercussion of the death of a stoned alien caused by a taxi accident on intergalactic siplomatic relationships.

I really love Buckell’s short stories and this one was another hit for me. It was funny and perfectly-paced. It’s the kind of story that I wish I had written. Brilliant.

The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang – 4,5/5

It follows two translators working on opposite sides during a negotiation between two nations. Both narrators decide to completely change what their rulers are saying in order to prevent a war.

I really loved the writing and the atmosphere of the story. It was my first encounter with Kang’s work but I definitely want to read more of their works!

The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu – 5/5

I have a fondness for djinn stories and The Fine Print is everything I want in one. It’s about wishes granted and the catch hidden in contracts. It’s also about family and human desires.

The writing is excellent, the story is emotional and engaging. I loved it and I need to read more stories by Onwualu!

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire by E. Lily Yu – 4,5/5

This story is E. Lily Yu’s reinterpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes. I don’t have a lot to say about it except that it is quite bloody but also hilarious!

Overall Thoughts

If you want to discover new speculative fiction authors of color, it’s a good place to start. Even if not all the stories worked for me, I enjoyed most of them and some stories are so good that I would recommend New Suns just for them.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher Rebellion in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.

13 thoughts on “New Suns, Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl | Short Fiction Sunday

  1. A four-star rating for an anthology is indeed very promising, considering that there might always be stories we can’t connect with in the mix. And indeed these anthologies help us get to know new authors we might not encounter in our… travels, which is always a plus. Noted for my future acquisitions, and thanks for sharing! 🙂


    1. Haha, I understand, I’m always buying them and I often forget to read them… 😄 I usually prefer reading themed anthologies because they have a bit more cohesion? However, sometimes I enjoy them even if they don’t have particular theme – which is the case of both anthologies I have reviewed lately! It really depends on the editors and their reading preferences.

      Liked by 1 person

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