Genre : Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher : Solaris
Length : 279 pages
Format : eARC
Rating : 4 stars
Publication Date : March 12th 2019
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.
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.
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!
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.