As a cis woman who is in a happily monogamous het relationship, I am probably the least qualified person to review this collection of stories. But, oh, it has a story about Turing in it, and as a logician who sometimes flirts with computer science and AI, I feel eminently qualified to read about Turing, and for that story alone I bought the book.
As a “best of” collection, it draws upon stories published the previous year, so all of these first came out — in various venues — in 2016. Many are thus things I would not have otherwise come across, which is one of the advantages that collected volumes have — they provide a different type of exposure for the stories and the authors that wrote them. And this particular volume is a physically lovely one — beautiful cover art by Dmitry Vorsin, attractive typesetting, and a suppleness to the pages which reminds me, as if I needed a reminder, of why I love print books so much more than electronic ones.
Each story is prefaced by a short quote from the story, bound to spark the reader’s interest. The tales included are the following:
- “The Tale of the Costume Maker” by Steve Carr
- “Das Steingeschöpf” by G. V. Anderson
- “Where’s the Rest of Me?” by Matthew Cheney
- “The Gentleman of Chaos” by A. Merc Rustad
- “Frost” by ‘Nathan Burgoine
- “Bull of Heaven” by Gabriel Murray
- “The Sound a Raven Makes” by Mathew Scaletta
- “Angel, Monster, Man” by Sam J. Miller
- “Most Holy Ghost” by Martin Pousson
- “Ratcatcher” by Amy Griswold
- “The Drowning Line” by Haralambi Markov
- “My Heart’s Own Desire” by Robert Levy
- “Turing Test” by Eric Schaller
- “Of All Possible Worlds” by Eneasz Brodski
- “Carnivores” by Rich Larson
- It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by A. C. Wise
- “The Death of Paul Bunyon” by Charles Payseur
Each of the stories will be reviewed individually, and linked back to this post when the review is posted.
Overall, the collection is powerful, beautiful, and sad. Every single story is steeped in emotion, and lovingly crafted.