Review of Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, eds., Robots Vs. Fairies, (Gallery / Saga Press, 2018) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by Susan T.
Robots vs. Fairies is exactly what it says on the tin: an anthology of stories that alternate between stories from Team Robot and Team Fairy – sometimes both fairies and robots appear in the same story, but the stories always centre whichever option the author thinks is most awesome. There’s quite a variety of approaches – the stories draw on Shakespeare, the history of the Old West, Norwegian folklore, shady tech practises, and American health insurance, amongst other things – but for the most part, the stories tend towards the bleaker end of the spectrum, as you might expect from authors exploring humanity through two of the most popular examples of inhumanity. The endings are consistently bittersweet at best, which means that the stories that are mostly positive can feel a little out of place, although there is enough fridge horror in them to satisfy anyone.
The anthology contains:
- “Build Me a Wonderland” by Seanan McGuire
- “Quality Time” by Ken Liu
- “Murmured Under the Moon” by Tim Pratt
- “The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto” by Annalee Newitz
- “Bread and Milk and Salt” by Sarah Gailey
- “Ironheart” by Jonathan Mayberry
- “Just Another Love Song” by Kat Howard
- “Sound and Fury” by Mary Robinette Kowal
- “The Bookcase Expedition” by Jeffrey Ford
- “Work Shadow/Shadow Work” by Madeline Ashby
- “Second to the Left, and Straight On” by Jim C. Hines
- “The Buried Giant” by Lavie Tidhar
- “Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans for the First Time” by John Scalzi
- “Ostentation of Peacocks” by Delilah S. Dawson (writing as Lila Bowen)
- “All the Time We’ve Left to Spend” by Alyssa Wong
- “Adriftica” by Maria Dahvana Headley
- “To a Cloven Pine” by Max Gladstone
- “A Fall Counts Anywhere” by Catherynne M. Valente
(Reviews will be linked to as they go live, and caution warnings will be on each individual story!)
On the whole, it’s a very good collection! If you’re in the mood to see how authors explore the intersection of magic and science, it’s not a bad place to start.