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Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History

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In 1514 Hungary, peasants who rose up against the nobility rise again – from the grave. In 1633 Al-Shouf, a mother keeps demons at bay with the combined power of grief and music. In 1775 Paris, as social tensions come to a boil, a courtesan tries to save the woman she loves. In 1838 Georgia, a pregnant woman's desperate escape from slavery comes with a terrible price. In 1900 Ilocos Norte, a forest spirit helps a young girl defend her land from American occupiers.

These gripping stories have been passed down through the generations, hidden between the lines of journal entries and love letters. Now 27 of today's finest authors – including Tananarive Due, Sofia Samatar, Ken Liu, Victor LaValle, Nnedi Okorafor, and Sabrina Vourvoulias – reveal the people whose lives have been pushed to the margins of history.

363 pages, Paperback

First published January 30, 2014

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About the author

Rose Fox

7 books23 followers
I'm co-editor of Long Hidden (Crossed Genres, May 2014) and contributor to the anthologies Milk and Honey, Alleys & Doorways, and Dark Furies. I edit book reviews for Publishers Weekly and manuscripts for unpublished authors.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 88 reviews
Profile Image for Mir.
4,780 reviews4,984 followers
July 21, 2021
Wow. The opening story by Sofia Samatar is great -- the best I've yet read from her. And my friends may remember how much I liked her Selkie Stories Are for Losers. 5 stars for "Ogres" even though I would have loved it to go on longer and have something more happen.
(My only disappointment is that the ogres discussed are, as far as I can tell, made up by the author rather than actual folklore, so I can't research them.)

I didn't like Thoraiya Dyer's "The Oud" as much, but that may be a combination of coming right after Samatar (not where I would want my story to appear in an anthology, I tell you!) and me not knowing anything about oud music. I wish there had been more explanation of the demons, too.

"Free Jim's Mine" was creepy! Why did he let them stay?! Tannarive Due is someone I keep coming across in collections and meaning to read a longer work by, although no particular book leaps out at me.

S. Lynne appears to be a debut author. "Ffydd" is nicely understated. Possibly a little too understated, but it was short so that's ok.

"Across the Seam" felt like it was trying too hard. I'm always a bit dubious about attempts to recast Baba Yaga. Not that she's a purely evil figure, no, she's complicated, but too strong to be seized and remade easily. I'm not convinced she'd care about transgender miners in the US of A. I had previously skipped Sunny Moraine due to friends' lukewarm reviews; I'll probably try one other story by this author. [Edit: I did read Moraine's story in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014 and liked that better.]

Scott's "Numbers" didn't work for me. I'm seldom interested in gangsters in any context, and the first person narration didn't ring authentic for me in any way.

"Each Part Without Mercy" was very imaginative and imagistic. I have to admit I know very little about 18th-century Madras other than that it had a lot of cultural diversity and political upheaval. I'll check out more by Jayanth.

I coincidentally heard of Claire Humphrey at the same time I was reading her for the first time via a recommendation from Waypoint Kangaroo author Curtis Chen. "Witch of Tarup" was a solid story with realistic relationship and community dynamics and I liked it, although I'm not sure I'd be interested in reading something longer in the same vein.

L.S. Johnson envisions an interesting type of magic in "Marigolds" whereby women paint symbols they don't understand at the direction of their madame, and this effects some sort of real-world change and political upheaval. It was fairly well done, but somehow all brothel stories seem basically the same. Is that the reality, or is there some brothel Ur-text authors are drawing on?

Robert William Iveniuk, that was very sneaky the way you were writing all historically about the suffering of the Chinese who laid the railroads, and about racism and the experience of exile, and class differences, and then suddenly went all "Predator" with the story. Surprising but enjoyable.

"Collected Likenesses" by Jamey Hatley was so fucking unfair. But so is life. That's not the point of the story, though; the point is that you need to work forward instead of back, away from bitterness, and that trying for some indirect revenge after the fact against people who aren't the ones who wronged you is both morally wrong and likely to blow up in your face.

The Scar in Michael Janairo's "Angela and the Scar" is a scar on a jungle in the Philippines where the military has deforested in order to find insurgents. But the kapfre is not having his trees messed with, no sir, and little Angela knows how to manage him. She is getting her mother back.
I found the character of the mother somewhat opaque -- it seemed like she was ok with leaving her child behind alone, and this isn't really addressed or elaborated -- and would like to know more about the kapfre, but this was a good story and ended on a positive note.

Unlike "The Colts." Because it isn't enough to take part in a completely failed resistance out of absolute desperation and poverty and be horribly tortured to death, you have to have a lonely and pathetic undeath, too. Downer.

Ditto "Nine". Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you try or how little you were at fault, someone wants to hurt you or take something from you and they aren't stopping till they do, and there's not much you can do about it.

"Heart and the Feather" is historically solid, but I'm not a fan of fiction, especially fantasy fiction, involving real historical figures. I think using individuals who have been objectified already as scarcely human freaks (sufferers of the medical condition that causes abnormal hair growth) is especially touchy. Ditto ↓

Nghi Vo's "Neither Witch nor Fairy" which really peeved me with its appropriation of Bridget Cleary. A real woman who was horribly murdered by her loved ones should not be tossed into a short story about changelings, especially since this seems to be a very late-20th century take on "changeling" in which it is used as a metaphor for feeling different and like one doesn't belong. Historically there is little evidence of this; mostly people killed as changelings were physically or mentally unable to work or care for themselves and were killed by families who due to subsistence conditions couldn't support them. Saying they weren't really the child was a way of coping with the guilt and pain of this decision. Also, Cleary was very atypical of changeling cases and practically no one at the time thought she was really a changeling. However, I did like Vo's depiction of the fairies.

"A Score of Roses" by Troy Wiggins was intriguing but I don't feel like I got it. Staying home and being a mother is hard even if you're a supernatural creature? Yes, I'm sure. I Sometimes marriage just doesn't work out and love fades? Again, obviously.

It is sad how [insert whatever minority group] keep thinking that fighting on behalf of their country will make the rest of the population accept them as fellow citizens. The triumph of optimism over historical evidence, I guess. "A Deeper Echo" is about a Native American veteran returning to Canada from WWI and finding his children have been forcibly taken away to school.

Ken Liu's "Knotting Grass" was well written but somehow left me cold despite the suffering of the characters. Maybe because the suffering was on too vast a scale, or maybe because all narratives of women in brothels seem to read the same.

"Jooni" is well done very small and very interior story about one woman's experience.

"There will be a Vacant Chair" or actually many vacant chairs because this is war and a buttload of people die, girl, not just your weird brother with his weird ideas about souls that look a lot like some sort of possession to me and I was quite confused at how Pinsker seemed to think taking your brother's body and forcing him to do what you think is right is a positive thing.

"It's War" was an interesting in medias res scene that left me wanting to spend more time with the character of Arro-yo. I've consistently liked Nnedi Okorafor's short stories, even though her novels don't seem to work for me.

"Find me Unafraid" was a nice, if somewhat too magical, change of pace to a happier outcome. (Not a criticism of any of these stories; I was a history major and know history is mostly not happy endings, which is why I like fantasy better than realistic fiction.) I'm not a fan of this particular romance trope, but Brown pulled it off well.

[Irrelevant note: I find it cute that the editor included the accent mark in Shanaé Brown's name at the expense of having it in a different font tone. This book was Kickstarted and no dollars were wasted on a typesetter, or whatever those are called in the digital age. Some of the pages look like they were printed using the last gasp of the toner.]

Nicolette Barischoff's "Wedding in Hungry Days" was an effective ghost story and an effective psychological study. I will look to see what else's she's written.

Lisa Bolekaja's "Medu" is a weird-west story that feels like it should be part of a larger project, although I don't know if it is.

Victor LaValle's "Lone Women" is set in the hard-scrabble context of Montana land claims. As if breaking cold ground on your own wasn't hard enough, there are also monsters. The monsters are possibly not the ones you think are monsters.
(I haven't been commenting on the plated that pair with each story, but I have to say that although I like the Eric Orchard drawing here it doesn't seem quite the right feel for this story.)

"Dance of the White Demons" Sabrina Vourvoulias is interesting and has nice imagery. Of course, I think most of us know who won the battle between European invaders and the natives of Central America, so there's not much surprise here.

Now at the end, I'm going back to the beginning and rereading Somatar.
No, we are wide awake.
Profile Image for Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship.
1,095 reviews1,132 followers
September 3, 2016
I was excited to read this collection: while my reading in general is quite diverse, my fantasy reading isn’t so much (there are far fewer options), so this book seemed like a great chance to discover new authors. Also, I love historical fantasy. But as it turned out, while most stories in the collection are well-written in a technical sense, I didn’t enjoy them. After taking more than a month to struggle through the first 13 (out of 27), I skipped ahead to read 3 more by well-known authors or that got especially high marks from reviewers. That will be all for me.

The first thing potential readers should know about this anthology is that “Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History” doesn’t simply mean, as I'd hoped, that it’s a collection of stories with settings rarely featured in English-language fiction. In fact, 10 of the stories are set in the U.S., and two more in Canada. Instead, it features characters marginalized within their own societies – whether they’re escaped slaves, orphans raised as servants in brothels, or transgender immigrants – and the stories are all about marginalization and oppression. As such, they’re unrelentingly grim, with a remarkably similar tone throughout. Almost all feature the death of a major character – be they only 8 pages long – not infrequently the protagonist. Most involve war or rebellion, from the perspective of a character who’s powerless.

In other words, this collection embodies what many who only read white men wrongly assume diverse fiction (particularly by authors of color) is like: grim, tragic, message-driven works about oppression that seem more like taking your medicine than enjoyable reading. Very few novels are actually like that (a novel has the space to develop many ideas and experiences), but the compressed format of a short story – especially with many talented but inexperienced authors writing on a single theme – lends itself to one-note works.

The inexperience of the authors is worth addressing, because after awhile I noticed that the stories by established authors (Sofia Samatar, Tananarive Due) were more memorable and interesting than the others. Of the 27, only 6 had published novels at the time of their inclusion in this collection (7 if you count one whose novels were co-written). Yes, short fiction is a way for new authors to break in, but the unusual preponderance of less experienced writers may explain why so many of the stories feel so similar, despite being technically proficient: the authors hadn’t yet established their voices and stuck closely to the prompt instead.

However, it is worth noting that with few exceptions, the stories are quite well-written, and their breadth in terms of location and character diversity is certainly encouraging. There are such great ideas here that I'm sorry not to have enjoyed it. It is overall a promising group of authors, and some of my negative reaction is likely based on publishing decisions beyond their control. Multi-author anthologies tend to be rocky reading generally, since one can never settle in to a particular style or group of characters. And the formatting, with large pages covered in text and very narrow margins, tends to make the stories feel dense even when they aren’t. I wouldn’t rule out any authors based on this anthology, and I hope they will go on to publish novels with equally diverse settings and characters, but also with some room for lightness and fun. As for this collection, I'm glad many have loved it, but it's not one I'll recommend to friends – especially those I’m trying to expose to more diverse works.
Profile Image for Nathan Bransford.
Author 7 books171 followers
March 4, 2014
Long Hidden is a collection that demands to be read, featuring a host of wildly memorable characters that burst onto the page to tell their own history. This is speculative fiction at its finest.
Profile Image for Zanna.
676 reviews929 followers
December 5, 2017
Here are 27 different ways of resistance :D

5 stars for Each Part Without Mercy by Meg Jayanth

Because I like magic dreams, feminist killjoys, and rebellious girls.

(The "zh" in the protagonist's name should probably be pronounced / ɻ /. Good luck with that.)

5 stars for Knotting Grass, Holding Ring by Ken Liu

Because it is about a super smart super awesome unsung hero sex worker

5 stars for A Wedding in Hungry Days by Nicolette Barischoff

Because I never imagined such healing was possible

lots of the other stories were at least 4 star awesome too.
Profile Image for Mauri.
882 reviews19 followers
December 25, 2014
If I could exclude the few stories that made me think WTF!?, I would give this 5 stars. I loved the concept - stories from places, times, and people not usually written about, marginalized or forgotten. However, I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies, as I always read with an eye for my preferred narrative styles and with almost 30 writers, there's no guaranteeing I'll like more than half of what I find. So I always start anthologies looking for the tipping point, when buying the book, spending the time on it becomes "worth it".

For this book, that point came shortly after my confused status update at the 1/3 mark. Soon after, I started enjoying the stories more consistently - there were still 'meh' stories and 'AUGH' stories, but more often than not, I was quickly pulled in and left intrigued, with a pile of possible Google search terms. My biggest problem turned out to be the 'speculative' part of 'speculative' fiction. See, I got interested in this book because of 1) that beautiful cover art and 2) the knowledge that the focus would be on marginalized groups - women, LGBT, the differently abled, people of color. The history bit? Flew right over my head.

Which is unfortunate, because I LOVE historical fiction. I cut my reading teeth on it. That part of this anthology was ace and hit all of my history/geography buttons - I'm not sure I'd ever read a story set in Wales, Philippines, Manitoba, Nigeria, or Guatemala before.

The mix of magic and history, however? Left me a little muddled. I did best with the stories where I felt familiar with the speculation involved, and in fact really enjoyed the heck out of them, but there were others that I felt like I was missing half the story, like my education was lacking. Plus, Google was often useless in those cases.


Really enjoyed:
Each Part Without Mercy - a girl of mixed race in 1700s Madras discovers that she has an unusual gift.
The Witch of Tarup - Dagny needs a witch to save her family's mill.
Diyu - A Bhuddist priest gets tangled in Lilo and Stitch meets Cowboys Miners and Aliens.
A Deeper Echo - A Native WWI veteran searches Winnipeg for his stolen children.
Knotting Grass, Holding Ring - Two young women, a concubine and her servant, have to figure out how to survive when their city falls to an invading army.
There Will Be On Vacant Chair - A Hungarian Jewish family faces the realities of the Civil War
Find Me Unafraid - A African-American woman gets help from an unexpected quarter when her family is threatened by the Klan.
A Wedding in Hungry Days - A dead girl is married off to a living boy who makes items of paper for the deceased.
Lone Women - A woman and her secret need to find a way to survive horse-thieves and winter on their homestead in Montana.

Found disturbing, but intriguing:
The Oud
Collected Likenesses
The Heart and the Feather

Found disturbing, full stop:
Marigolds - I could kind of see what might have been the point here, but I was too busy gagging.
The Colts - Huh?

Nnedi Okorafor was one of the recognizable names on the list, but her story (It's War) was disappointing to me. It was just another one of the several stories in the collection that I read and thought, "Okay, well, that happened."

The art - LOVED the cover art. Like I said above, it really is what first caught my eye on Tumblr. The interior art? Ranged from "Oh hey, kind of like that" to "meh" to "uhhhhh".
Profile Image for Ali.
135 reviews21 followers
April 28, 2015
"We grew up reading stories about people who weren’t much like us. Speculative fiction promised to take us to places where anything was possible, but the spaceship captains and valiant questers were always white, always straight, always cisgender, and almost always men. We tried to force ourselves into those boxes, but we never fit. When we looked for faces and thoughts like our own, we found orcs and deviants and villains. And we began to wonder why some people’s stories were told over and over, while ours were almost never even alluded to. ... We drew 27 stories that spoke to the true heart of what Long Hidden is: a book of counter-narratives. It is an act of literary resistance. In whispers, shouts, and moans, these stories combine into a collective outcry that is both joyous and mournful, a forgotten praise-song that puts flesh on the bones of our hidden dreams."

This quote from the introduction almost made me cry with delight, as it echoes so many of my own feelings about speculative fiction.

As tends to be the case with anthologies, I found that the stories in this ranged from excellent to average. That said, there were very few stories in here that weren't at least interesting - and many of them were absolutely enthralling. Some memorable ones which really stand out to me are "Marigolds" (LS Johnson), "Each Part Without Mercy" (Meg Jayanth), "A Wedding in Hungry Days" (Nicolette Barischoff) and "Knotting Grass, Holding Ring" (Ken Liu).

For a book focused on the margins of history, however, it had what felt like surprisingly few African stories, with many stories set in North America. This may simply have been an issue of availability, but it would have been nice to see a better balance in that respect.

Even though not all the stories were exactly my thing, I'm really glad that this exists, and really glad I read it. It's a beautiful "act of literary resistance" in a world that really has enough cishet white guys saving the world. More of this sort of thing, please.
Profile Image for Daphne.
241 reviews21 followers
June 23, 2014
This is BRILLIANT! Amazing, refreshing stories with diverse protagonists. It took me so long to finish because most stories were like reading a whole book that I had to take time to think about before continuing. So hard to pick favorites, the editors have done a great job. If you like historical fiction and fantasy, you will love this!
Profile Image for Andrea Blythe.
Author 11 books73 followers
October 28, 2014
I received this book as a reward for supporting the kickstarter project that made it possible. "Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center," the editors wrote in the project description. "People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins."

Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History provides alternative narratives, presenting the stories of people that the history books usually ignore. A wide ranging variety of voices populate this excellent collection of stories, offered alongside an individual black and white illustrations, also in a variety of styles. The stories are anchored in time and place, with the date and setting noted at the top of each one, this connection with real-world history makes these stories of the fantastic more believable. There was not a single one in this collection that I didn't like and, for me, the stories ranged from good to utterly fantastic. Below are a few of my personal favorites.

In "Free Jim's Mine" by Tananarive Due escaped slave Lottie and her Cherokee husband are running for freedom. Along the way they seek out her Uncle Jim for help in their escape, but they find out that Uncle Jim's help has a price.

As I'm a sucker for great Baba Yaga story, I had to fall in love with "Across the Seam" by Sunny Moraine. The gritty setting of a coal mining town on the verge of a strike suits the story well. (Moraine has a great blog post about how the story ties in her own family history.)

"Angela and the Scar" by Michael Janairo was a bloody and yet delightful story about a girl and her kapfre (a cigar smoking trickster fairy that lives in the trees) aiding in the fight against the white strangers in the Philippines.

"Perhaps the best tales are only half-told," writes Benjamin Parzybok in "The Colts," a story of the undead that was surprisingly human, haunting, and unexpected.

"Nine" by Kima Jones tells the story of three women and their young boy, who live and work in a lodge and tavern that serves people of color outside of town. This story socked me in the gut in the best of ways.

"It's War" by Nnedi Okorafor is a tale of a girl who can fly, set in 1929 Nigeria. Such a lovely story with so many feels.

"Medu" by Lisa Bolekaja is a magical hair story, about a young girl and her dad as cattle herders in the Wild West. I love seeing alternative visions of the west, in which the focus is on more that the great white cowboy. So damn cool!

Nicolette Barischoff's "A Wedding in Hungry Days", which is the sweet story of a young, lonely ghost who weds a young, lonely boy. So good, it made me cry. The story is paired with this gorgeous illustration by Eric Orchard.

Profile Image for Melanie.
317 reviews
July 3, 2014
Overall a diverse cast of characters and stories that were interesting and sometimes intense. I enjoyed the diversity.

1. 2⭐️ a little too off the beaten track, it made little sense to me.

2. 3⭐️ a sad story, which I read directly after another sad story. I don't think I was ready emotionally.

3. 4⭐️ a fascinating tale, is this from Indian folklore?

4. 4⭐️ a different perspective of 'war' and how it affects the family when the 'damaged' soldiers come home.

5. 4⭐️ a fascinating look at the mentally ill and how it is that they may 'see' the world and how that shapes their reaction to it.

6. 4⭐️ an interesting side of folklore and gangsta lifestyle

7. 3.5⭐️ the tales that are out there near the boarders are enticing, dark and a little bit different.

8. 4⭐️ beautiful, just beautifully simple

9. 3⭐️ well that is an alternate perspective of feminity

10. 5⭐️ Best. One. Yet. Did not see that coming!

11. 2⭐️ Karma is a bitch. Odd. But a bitch.

12. 3⭐️ a lovely somewhat confusing story.

13. 3⭐️ well that was odd and a little bit gross.

14. 3.5⭐️ consequences, some very drastic consequences.

15. 4⭐️ wow such imagery, feeling. A well thought out/written story.

16. 3.5⭐️ sometimes you forget how easy we have 'life'. I don't think I got this one, but it was a pretty story.

17. 3.5⭐️ transgender adolescent with fairies...makes a surprisingly lovely story, especially on cold windy days.

18. 4.5⭐️ I really liked this story and would like to read more!

19. 4.5⭐️ a beautiful, cruel story that makes me want to believe in karma.

20. 2⭐️ you can't like them all.

21 3.5⭐️ sweet, loving story.

22. 2⭐️ meh

23. 2.5⭐️ it still surprises me how cruel men can be when a little irrational fear creeps in. I found the writing a little stilted in this, the metaphors a little bit more then just 'odd'. Difficult subject matter though.

24. 2.5⭐️ mmmm that was odd.

25. 4⭐️ what an interesting story, I could easily read more.

26. 4⭐️ a great yarn, especially just before you go to sleep ;)

27. 3.5⭐️ a beautiful story told well.

Profile Image for Meg.
116 reviews
June 9, 2014
I’m actually only partway through this anthology so far, but I’m having a fascinating time while reading. The voices are as diverse as the editors proclaimed, the vocabulary rich, and the assorted magic systems and other fantastical elements so far have a lot of emphasis placed on dreaming. I can’t tell yet whether that last element’s due to editorial bias, something that non-Western stories have in common, the product of small sample size, or simply what happens when the author/main character exists in a tradition where their voices and actions are belittled in a prejudiced or oppressive society. It’s certainly giving me a lot to think about! My one quibble with the anthology so far is physical–the margins on each page are nearly nonexistent, meaning one opens the book to a wall of text with little white space for either ocular rest or helpful marginalia. I don’t write in my books much, but I can see where one might be prompted to with a collection like this, and would be forced to resort to post-its instead.
Profile Image for David Fuller.
Author 12 books9 followers
May 26, 2014
I'm biased, obviously, because I have a story in this anthology. BUT: regarding everyone else's stories in Long Hidden, I have to say they are all fantastic and many of them are gut-wrenching, beautiful, and elegant. Some make you feel you have stepped into the world of a fully-fleshed out novel, though they're only short stories; others just give you a glimpse of a historical moment that nevertheless provoke you to think about events in a new way. I felt I'd gotten an education in untold or ignored history while at the same time spending time with gutsy, courageous characters who refuse to be forgotten. Others have put this more eloquently than I have, but I would like to add that if the stories in Long Hidden don't provoke readers to say "WE WANT MORE STORIES LIKE THIS, PLEASE!" I'll eat my hat.
Profile Image for Victoria.
78 reviews18 followers
February 28, 2014
More accurately a 3.5 - some stories are of better quality than others, naturally, and some niggles with the formatting that I hope are fixed at publication time. Full review in RT Bookreviews Magazine.
Profile Image for Sunil.
914 reviews117 followers
September 6, 2014
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History shines a light on marginalized figures throughout history. Each story opens with a time and place, and reading this anthology is almost like taking a trip in the TARDIS, bouncing back and forth throughout history and around the world, witnessing lifestyles and cultures you may be unfamiliar with. While the majority of stories occur in the late 19th century or early 20th century, they do go as far back as the 1500s.

While I enjoyed and appreciated the experience of being transported through time and space—and make no mistake, each story is incredibly evocative of its period and location—the stories themselves did not appeal to me. I liked a little over a third of the stories; the others either did have things I liked but left me unsatisfied or never captured me at all. Many felt more like straight historical fiction, with a very light speculative element. Some didn't seem to go anywhere. And the overall tone of the anthology is quite serious, with very little humor. I'm willing to chalk up my dissatisfaction to personal taste, but I did like several stories.

The opener, Sofia Samatar's "Ogres of East Africa," is the only story that plays with form, told as a series of definitions of types of ogres with the real story, appropriately enough, hidden in the margins of the cataloguer's interactions with his informant. Meg Jayanth's "Each Part without Mercy" tells the story of a young Indian girl who discovers she has the power to manipulate the dream world. I liked the light tone of Claire Humphrey's "The Witch of Tarup," about a Danish woman looking for the local witch to help her ailing husband. Michael Janairo's "Angela and the Scar," about an adorable Filipina girl and a kapfre, is one of the more charming stories in the book; I found that I liked most of the stories with child or teenager protagonists. Christina Lynch's "The Heart and the Feather" may be the most fully satisfying story in the collection for me, a werewolf story based on a real-life Austrian family with Ambras Syndrome. Nicolette Barischoff's "A Wedding in Hungry Days" is about a Chinese ghost girl whose parents simply want her to be married.

Although I wish I'd found the stories overall more engaging, I'm glad an anthology like this exists, showing the wide spectrum of tales that can—and should—be told in speculative fiction.
Profile Image for Melinda.
524 reviews
October 6, 2014
Excellent Anthology! I loved The Ogres of East Africa by Sofia Samatar, Collected Likenesses by Jamey Hatley, Nine by Kima Jones, A Deeper Echo by David Jon Fuller, Jooni by Kemba Banton and Find Me Unafraid by Shanae Brown. The stories that I liked were awesome because they dug deep into issues of history, resistance, and the repercussions of actions of the past on our futures.

These collection consists of stories of historical trauma using speculative fiction tools to fight back or to highlight the confusion and conflict of the experiences of oppression. I appreciated the exploration of historical memory and the impact of the past on future generations. I truly valued the stories that addressed people's emotional struggle to move past traumas and acknowledge that the trauma is part of them but it is not all that they are.

There were also a few stories that I absolutely disliked because I thought that they were sexist and I don't connect with sexism in books. I think that it was even harder for me to connect with the sexist stories because I wasn't expecting them. I bought this book at WisCon which is a feminist speculative fiction convention.

I also want to acknowledge that some of the stories seem to force the speculative fiction elements into them which sometimes took me out of the story. Also I would have loved for most of the stories in the collection to be longer. More time to go even deeper and give more character background to support the stories more. It would have been great if it could have been two volumes. I do understand the limitations of funding longer writing projects, so I'm definitely not as critical of the length as some of my reading group members.

Overall the collection is beautiful and I highly recommend reading it!
Profile Image for Catherine.
Author 61 books124 followers
February 25, 2015
Interesting anthology featuring fantastical histories of events and people you don't read about in mainstream history. As with any anthology like this, some stories are more successful than others and there are stories that are amazing next to stories that seem like they're missing a few paragraphs of exposition or which have the fantasy elements shoehorned in. But that doesn't mean they're not all worthwhile reads; I was inspired to look up or rethink my knowledge of a number of historical events and that right there makes this anthology a success. My favorite stories included Sofia Samatar's "Ogres of East Africa," "Lone Women" by Victor LaValle, "Dance of the White Demons" by Sabrina Vourvoulias and "A Wedding in Hungry Days" by Nicolette Barischoff, but there were others with very interesting themes and characters, and I hope those authors continue to develop those ideas in other stories.

Addendum: book design is a thing which I value so I'm hoping that all the print copies don't look like the one I bought. For some reason, there were almost no margins in my copy, which makes the book harder to read for longer stretches and takes away from what was clearly a labor of love.
Profile Image for Matt.
197 reviews35 followers
September 10, 2014
I must confess that I did not read every story, as my copy was a loaner and I lollygagged too much before having to give it back, but of the 14 the stories I did read, 10 of them were very, very good. My favorites were by Rion Amilcar Scott, Kima Jones, Sofia Samatar, and Benjamin Parzybok. I will be obtaining my own copy soon enough to finish the anthology. Very good stuff.
Profile Image for Sunny.
245 reviews35 followers
October 21, 2014
This was an excellent anthology. Just about every story was thrumming with creative energy. I am going to buy this immediately.

Aw man I wrote this long review and then goodreads ate it. Ugh.

Just. I. Love. This. Book.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
195 reviews
June 13, 2014
An amazing collection of short stories from fantastic and often unrepresented viewpoints. Highly recommended
Profile Image for 'Nathan Burgoine.
Author 55 books405 followers
May 12, 2019
I really liked this as a whole, and am a wee bit embarrassed how long it took me to finally get to it. You can read through my updates for minor reviews of many of the stories, and I'll eventually (he says, planning 366 reviews of short stories in 2019) be blogging about stories in turn under this tag.
683 reviews9 followers
February 3, 2015

One thing I'm loving about what's happening in the world of sff anthology editing these days is the growing number of projects devoted in one way or another to supporting the concept of diversity. Because, as editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older note in the Introduction to their anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History,

"We grew up reading stories about people who weren’t much like us. Speculative fiction promised to take us to places where anything was possible, but the spaceship captains and valiant questers were always white, always straight, always cisgender, and almost always men. We tried to force ourselves into those boxes, but we never fit. When we looked for faces and thoughts like our own, we found orcs and deviants and villains. And we began to wonder why some people’s stories were told over and over, while ours were almost never even alluded to."

The brief for this anthology was simple: to publish stories of speculative history, set between 1400 and the early 1900s, stories that are grounded in real events, that focus on marginalised people, and that have a speculative element. The stories in this anthology for the most part do this very well. They speak in the voices of the ones who did not have the power to tell their history, who were subsumed and made to disappear into the dominant narrative of the powerful, the colonisers, the privileged.

Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world. (http://longhidden.com/)

The stories collected in Long Hidden are examples of resistance to this dominant master narrative of history. And there is much good reading here.
Profile Image for Sarah Schanze.
Author 1 book12 followers
April 11, 2015
A nice anthology, though I was expecting more fantasy stuff for some reason. Maybe because of the cover? Not sure. Instead the stories were based on real places, though they all had fantasy or sci-fi elements. As much as I enjoyed it, after reading several in a row they kind of felt the same to me. Even when the culture changed (though there were a lot of turn-of-the-century stories), the tone of the stories were always the same. They were always serious, someone died in almost every single one. I guess I was just expecting more variety in tone and style than simply culture. And even if the protagonists of the stories were POC and other marginalized groups, most of the stories were still Western-culture focused. Lots taking place in the US.

I was hoping for more varied stories, but it's still a great anthology, and part of my feelings might just be me (I'm realizing I'm not big on anthologies, haha).
Profile Image for Cerece Murphy.
Author 14 books351 followers
November 14, 2014
This is just an excellent Anthology. While I was finishing my own story, I found that reading anthologies allowed me to still get the satisfaction of a story, while not having to commit the time to an entire book. Each story in this anthology is a unique world unto itself with characters you haven't seen before in places and circumstances that are rarely explored. And it's such a beautifully written journey - from a man who comes back from war as a living ghost to a fight to claim an innocent love within the turmoil of the budding French Revolution. Each tale is a journey worth taking.
Profile Image for l.
1,666 reviews
February 27, 2016
Favourites: Ogres of East Africa (Samatar), Ffyddd (S Lynn), Each Part Without Mercy (Meg Jayanth), Neither Witch nor Fairy (Nghi Vo)

Also appreciated: The Oud (Thoraiya Dyer), Across the Seam (Sunny Moraine), The Witch of Tarup (Claire Humphrey), Marigolds (LS Johnson), Lone Women (Victor LaValle)

Disliked: A Deeper Echo (David Jon Fuller), A Score of Roses (Troy L Wiggins), Nine (Kia Jones), Collected Likenesses (James Hatley), Numbers (Rion Amilcar Scott), Knotting Grass, Holding Ring (Ken Liu)

this is neither nor there, but there's a surprising dearth of cats in this collection.
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