[Edit: Originally posted on April 11, 2016]
I wish there was more.
I cling dearly to every work of trans created literature I own. Which now includes two anthologies, one of poetry and now this one of fiction.
I loved all the stories, they felt real and intense and were beautifully crafted, every one. Some of them were realism, they took place in the real world, dealing with the struggles and the lives of trans women of color in the world. Jasmine Kabale Moore’s The Girl and the Apple was like that, but there were others that dip into genre fiction, like the two stories I’ve reviewed more in depth below.
Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse by Gillian Ybabez, about a trans woman who ventures out of her home for the first time after the start of a Zombie apocalypse. She has a run in with a zombie who used to be a cop, and a store owner who tried to salvage what he could from his store after it was raided after everything started. And Lisa’s transness? Vital to the story. Her choices throughout the story reflect the fact that she is a trans woman of color, and it wouldn’t be the same story without it. I don’t think I’d be interested in reading the story without it. But I would read a whole novel about Lisa. I’ve never been the biggest fan of zombie stories, but if there’s any way to get me into a genre it’s to give me something with a trans character.
There was another story that I felt like I wanted to read a whole novel of and that was Space Hunters by Lulu Trujillo. It kind of reminded me of the television show Firefly, but like, a million times better. The four person crew of the ship The Arbiter are looking for their next job. Penny’s impatient but the captain, Gretchen, has something lined up. It was short and fun and even with the shortness of the piece we were given a bigger universe behind the story. There was history. A single line about a war between humans and an alien species that had occurred “only a century before”. That tells us so much about the history of the universe these characters live in. We don’t get told about the war, it’s not important to this particular story, but like all history, it’s still there. It let’s us know that there’s more to this world than just an isolated story, we just don’t need the details. To me, it says, “Look at this universe, things could happen here again.” When I write science fiction, this is always the part I struggle with the most, so when I see it in other peoples work I try to stop and look to see how they’re doing it.
Update 5/19/22: Sadly, this specific collection is no longer available for purchase, but you may still be able to get an updated (and expanded) edition through Amazon.
More information about the anthology can be found at their blog @twocfictionanthology
Related Reviews: Falling in Love with Hominids
No snaps this time, because it’s an e book, which I haven’t figured out how to get good relatively clean snaps of.
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