REVIEW: Beneath Strange Stars edited by David G. Clark, Callum Colback, Joe Butler, and Alex Hareland

Review of David G. Clark, Callum Colback, Joe Butler, and Alex Hareland, eds., Beneath Strange Stars, (TL;DR Press, 2020) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This gorgeously thick volume of short stories and poems is a charity anthology supporting the Association for Science Education, the United Kingdom’s professional association for teachers of science and science technicians and “the largest subject association in the UK” (p. 11), with proceeds going to benefit the ASE’s wider educational mission. Hannah Russell, the ASE’s chief executive officer, provides a brief introduction to the volume that stresses the importance of novel ways to engage the wider community with science of all kinds — such ways including, naturally, science fiction and speculative fiction more generally.

I expected more science fiction and less fantasy, and the quality of the stories varied. But even so, as a whole, the stories and poems in this collection made good on what was promised: They both entertain and instruct. And across the board, the poems were the high points. I do not usually have a very high tolerance for poetry, but I really enjoyed so many of the poems in this anthology.

As usual, we’ll review each of the stories in turn, and link the reviews back here when they are published.