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Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers.

The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice
Paperback, 1st, 447 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Topside Press
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Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very strong collection of stories. A few recurrent themes (commodification of the body, for instance) crop up, I assume independently, although some of the authors may know each other, not sure. I did notice that more than one characters shops at No Frills in Toronto. Is this some trans-Canadian joke, or is it a code for being broke? I'd never heard of this chain.

Anyway, out of 25 stories there were maybe two I thought were weak and a couple more that I gave up on because they were l
Oh my God this is an amazing anthology with a huge variety of incredibly inventive, hilarious, and moving science fiction and fantasy stories by trans authors. I was totally blown away by how great the stories were. There were honestly only a few that I didn't love. It's just an astoundingly good collection. Full review here! ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers is, in a word, brilliant. You want other words? Okay, how about fantastic, original, engaging, wondrous, amusing, exciting, arousing, and intellectually stimulating. Fair enough, that last one was two words, but it needed to be said.

Multi-author anthologies are always a hit-or-miss proposition, even when built around a theme, but Cat Fitzpatrick & Casey Plett have done an astounding job here. Sure, there were a few storie
B.P. Gregory
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What are we reading?: Meanwhile, Elsewhere, Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers, edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett.

Give me the short version: Tired of the same old from your science fiction? Looking for the next read that’ll remind you how it feels to be alive?

Back in the good old university days one of the authors published in Meanwhile, Elsewhere used to boggle my mind and pith my nightmares with her tales, so I was lucky enough to nab an advance copy in exchange for a
Danika at The Lesbrary
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
As always in an anthology, some of these were bigger hits than others, but overall I really enjoyed these. Tons of sapphic stories, too! Some of the first stories were so fascinating, I could easily write essays about them.

The stories vary a lot. There are more sci fi stories than fantasy, and more trans women than nonbinary or trans men main characters. The plots vary from someone quietly ruminating in space about microaggressions to intense cyberpunk... cyber post-punk? In fact, quite a few o
I have to admit that Meanwhile Elsewhere and I got off to a rough start. I was very excited about reading this book as it's been on my to-read list since it came out. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high. One of the stories really let me down, but I am glad I didn't give up on it, because some of the stories are excellent.

The first story is erotica, which is not my bag, but the second story- Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang- made me put the book down and ask if I wanted to read a collection e
Bogi Takács
Finished, but I'm not going to review it now, because I'm considering the stories in it for Transcendent 3!

Source of the book: Print ARC from publisher
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-cis-authors
This is one of those I-loved-it-so-much-where-do-I-even-start!?! kind of reviews.

First off, it took me almost 4 months to read this anthology of short stories because I did not want the book to end. I savored each and every story. I love speculation fiction, I'm super picky about sci-fi, and I don't have much success with fantasy. But I cannot think of a single story in this book that didn't delight. All of them were fantastic and fierce.

Calvin Gimpelevich's "Rent, Don't Sell" (about body switch
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this collection of science fiction short stories centering trans experiences--which is not to say I loved every individual story (failed out of a few pretty quick), but I loved that there were so many different perspectives and styles included that no one person could possibly approve of them all.

Some thoughts on my favorites:

"Angels Are Here To Help You" by Jeanne Thornton, about a mediocre programmer in a technocapitalist dystopia who embezzles from her celebrity cat to fund
Jun 22, 2020 added it
Really interesting anthology.

I will say that it starts out with two stories by trans women which include graphic sexual and physical violence against trans men. The violence is justified, glorified & gleeful - portrayed as wholesome as deserved. Trans women who prey on trans men is a dynamic anyone who's spent time in the trans community has most likely observed but knows is forbidden to talk about. Disturbing to see it celebrated & treated as normal.

The second story also includes a trans woman
Kat Rogue
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trans-lit
This collection is phenomenal. Most of the stories hit the perfect tone right off the bat, and some have snuck back into my psyche months after I dismissed them too quickly. Quite a few have completely redesigned the way I read science fiction as a whole. It's that good. It's SO haunting. The authors bring varied scifi takes through common trans tropes, so it's familiar for trans readers, yet elevated in unexpected ways. This is the first time these takes have been compiled together, and I hope ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There’s no trans monolith in these pages, or anywhere on this planet. Not all of the characters in this book are heroes, and not all of them are feel good stories, which makes this collection the most human trans book I’ve read in some time. Ultimately, this collection of 25 stories leaves me hungry for more from each of these authors. There’s a whole universe of genre fiction to populate, so they’d better get on it. If you need a book to get you through a fall and winter of dreams, fireplaces, ...more
Hal Schrieve
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Evocative, prescient, snarky, moving. The authors in this book range in focus and also in genre--from the dreamlike speculative to hard sci-fi to satirical projections of current trends--but are united in providing interesting and fresh stories about gender and life under capitalism. My favorite stories are:

-Trish Salah's story "It Can Grow" about a brain-eating amoeba that can only take over the world if she finds a way to have an orgasm, and the trans man who believes it is his mission to rele
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE is an utterly wonderful collection of fresh, vibrant, and wildly imaginative stories written by trans writers unapologetically focusing on trans characters. Usually I breeze through a book in a day or two, but I’ve been savoring this one so I can appreciate all of the very different stories. As always with anthologies, there were a few stories I didn’t love, but overall I was amazed by the depth and range of the collection and really pleased at the inclusion of so many trans ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I lived with this book, carried it with me like a precious tome, whipping it out to evangelically read passages to various companions who shared my time while I dove in the worlds of these exciting new writers.

Not every story was a page-turner, but in every story, the words laid out beckoned to me in strange new ways.

Perhaps the most shocking chapter was science fiction only in its premise: one author has imagined a future where being trans is treated as routine by the surrounding characters i
Ev Laird
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok tbh I skipped a few stories to make my way through this bad girl.... I promise I'll go back and read them one day when I have a copy of my own and I'm not holding one hostage from a friend. I will! I mean probably.

Some thoughts: I love that this exists big time! The afterword made me FEEL. There are some stories in here that I've been thinking about since reading them at some point over the last year. But, there are some stories that I flat out forget.

I found it quite challenging to slug thr
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's a wonderful anthology. I love sci-fi, I love the work by trans authors. Sci-Fi is a special genre that tells myths at the same time of projecting futures. ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
being trans and loving sci-fi/fantasy i really wanted to like this book! but in the end i only genuinely liked 8/25 of the stories, and felt a little let down. that said, i think a lot of it comes down to personal taste and i'd still definitely consider recommending this, especially for cis sci-fi readers who need or want to broaden their horizons. this book has a kind of sci-fi that i've rarely seen represented anywhere else and i'd give anything for it to be more commonplace across all SF lite ...more
David Rodolfo
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
LOL, reading this book took me an entire year. Sci-fi and fantasy are really tough genres in any medium. You can’t pull off a story easily, and being transgender doesn’t guarantee a great story. I’ll give this book a pass because it exists and because it offers an important perspective, a fresh set of voices that both genres need. However, telling a good story should be the main goal here.

I liked 6 out of 25 stories here. I truly loved them. So either this book wasn’t for me, regardless of how
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just like The Collection, Meanwhile, Elsewhere is very hit or miss. Some of the stories are fantastic, some are underwhelming, some are just weird. I still really enjoyed so many of the stories, and I think fans of short stories, sci fi/fantasy, or trans lit will find lots for them.

Some of my favourites:

Bridget Liang - Delicate Bodies: not for the squeamish, but worth it for the zombified diy bottom surgery scene alone
Calvin Gimpelevich - Rent, Don't Sell: his story in The Collection was one of
Alanna Why
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meanwhile, Elsewhere is a fresh collection of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories from contemporary trans writers. Even though I am not a huge fan of these genres, I loved how the writers in this collection played with and subverted conventions of the genre's stereotypical plots, characters and themes. Like any anthology, it is a mixed bag, but the overall quality of this collection is very high. There were only a handful of stories that I couldn't get into and even the stories I didn't enj ...more
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
There were definitely some stories within this anthology that were better than others but overall I really enjoyed the book. It was slow to get through because I think it took a bit to let each story sink in so it's something I would suggest you read one story at a time, maybe even a right before bed kind of read. I do love that it gave a lot of perspective into the lives of these trans characters. Not every story was completely centered around the topic of gender (which I think is more realisti ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
In a way I was surprised at how good this was, given that there were so many stories/authors writing about a relatively narrow topic. The sci-fi/fantasy angle offered a lot of possibilities for thinking about trans bodies. The stories imagined futures in which people could swap their body with an entirely new one, where people can get chips implanted in their brains that might change their gender identity (i.e., to "match" their body), zombies can tear off their own unwanted body parts, or a spe ...more
This book is amazing--for trans people by trans people. Truly amazing to really see one's self in literature, in a way that I rarely do. Many stories touched on ways we--society--could be, both in the positive and negative. Amazing and validate to see one's own insecurities represented with deep understanding and empathy.

Favorite Stories:
Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura -- Aisling Fae
After the Big One -- Cooper Lee Bombardier
No Comment -- Ayşe Devrim
Matchmaker -- Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi
as a collection of short stories, i found this to be a mixed bag. some of the stories were more graphic than i would have preferred, just not my taste which is fine, but it was a bit frustrating that there were no summaries available so you just had to just start reading each one or try to guess from the titles which ones sounded interesting. think my favorite was "Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura." declining to give the whole book a star rating because to be fair, i did not fully read each ...more
King Ma
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bioware harvesting, body snatching, alien doppelgängers, zombified gender affirming surgeries, the immaculate conception via uterine transplant. A bookseller at the Philadelphia Trans Health conference sold me this collection of stories and I highly recommend it. The blurb on the back of the book says the book changed the way I dreamed. Same. Every story is memorable and there isn’t one I didn’t like.
Favourite stories:
‘Satan, are you there? It’s me, Laura’ by Aislibg Fae
‘No Comment’ by Ayşe Devrim
‘Using a treadmill, you can run until exhaustion without moving’ by Sadie Avery
‘Cybervania’ by Sybil Lamb
‘Under the rainbow’ by Janey Lovebomb
‘Heat death of western human arrogance’ by M Télle
‘Matchmaker’ by Dane Figueroa Edidi **
‘Schwaberow, Ohio’ by Brendan Williams-Childs
‘The gift’ by Ryka Aoki
‘Angels are here to help you’ by Jeanne Thornton **
Artur Nowrot
A fresh, wild anthology, full of great premises and interesting language. It's full of personality and speaks about trans experiences openly and unashamedly.

Personal highlights include:
Rent, Don't Sell by Calvin Gimpelevich
Notes from a Hunter Boy by Beckett K. Bauer
Under the Rainbow by Janey Lovebomb
Thieves and Lovers by Emma Adams
Schwaberow, Ohio by Brendan Williams-Childs
Gamers by Imogen Binnie
Imago by Tristan Alice Nieto
Angels Are Here to Help You by Jeanne Thornton
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely amazing book that everyone should read. It has honestly "changed the way I dream" (as the back cover says) and I am a different person now. As it is a collection of stories, there were some I LOVED and some I couldn't finish, but overall it is a beautiful book of stories by, for, and about trans people. ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall I found the stories innovative and quite different, but I hadn’t anticipated the level of gore and violence in this anthology. Might just be a different retelling or viewing of the genres, as they felt more dystopian / cyberpunk / horror for the most part. Some of the short stories were also harder to get into than others, but then some blew me away. It’s probably just me!
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