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Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders

(Laksa Anthology Series)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Journey with twenty-one speculative fiction authors through the fractured borders of human migration to examine assumptions and catch a glimpse of the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of those who choose--or are forced--to leave home and familiar places. Who straddle borders within our worlds--and within us.

Migration. A transformation of time, place, and being . . .

We are c
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published September 8th 2018 by Laksa Media Groups Inc.
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to read this book and toyed with the idea of waiting until it was published to grab a copy. Luckily, I decided to take the plunge on NetGalley and was overjoyed to be given a copy! 'Shades Within Us' is a timely speculative fiction anthology and feaures such big names as Seanan McGuire, S. L. Kuang and Tyler Keevil. Each of the twenty-one stories cover different themes, most of which are significantly deeper than your usual speculative fiction or science fiction. These are stori ...more
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This a beautiful and necessary compilation of short stories all telling a different tale of immigration. It's a book everyone can learn from and enjoy. The range of authors ensures that it never feels repetitive despite the subject matter being the same.

I would highly recommend this collection, it's simply stunning (as is the cover)

My favourites were Defender of Mogadun by Alex Shvartsman & Shades of Void by Alvaro Zinos-Amar
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!

I really liked the different migration stories. I loved hearing from different authors and their point of views in migration and how they interpreted in their stories.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some truly amazing stories in this anthology. It was wonderful to see so many different perspectives, so many different kinds of people from stories set in the past, present and future in countries all over the world, the one thing connecting them all being that they're tales of migration, facing the struggles, prejudices and barriers that come hand in hand with moving their lives across the boarders.

I don't think there were any stories that I particularly disliked, but there were de
Ceillie Simkiss
Read my full review here! ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
As you can tell from the subtitle, Shades Within Us is a speculative fiction short story anthology about migration, immigration, and refugees. The collection mixes authors I’m already familiar with (Karin Lowachee, Seanan McGuire, S.L. Huang, Rich Larson) with plenty of authors who are new to me.

I’m going to start positive by going over some of my favorite stories of the collection. Karin Lowachee’s story, “Invasio,” is absolutely stunning, showing off her fantastic prose. During an alien invasi
W.L. Bolm
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a very timely and important book, but I believe the stories within it will stand the test of time. The anthology is about the borders that constrain us and that are thrust upon up by outside forces, and how people navigate these borders. Some of the stories are fantastic in nature, others are genre stories that are one stepped removed from the world we currently live in, but regardless, they illuminate the lived experiences of people struggling with acceptance, survival, and belonging. ...more
Derek Newman-Stille
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Borders are complex spaces of change and uncertainty where identities are made and also complicated. Lucas Law and Susan Forest’s Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders examines this complex space of border crossing, that ultimate liminality that invites questions about categories. The stories in this collection invite us to interrogate the ways that we divide up our world including, but not limited to geography. These tales ask how borders try to limit us and what it means ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
[As a warning: The story “Superfreak” by Tonya Liburd contains a scene of attempted rape.]

Shades Within Us is an anthology of short stories that celebrates all kinds diversity — from ethnic, to mental, to gender, etc. There are 21 excellently written stories. None of them stand out above the others, but they all shine bright nonetheless.

The stories range from sci-fi to fantasy to magical realism and everything in between. We read about a girl and her mother trying to get to the other side of a
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the most stylish and thought-provoking anthology of speculative fiction I have read in many years. Each story takes a different slant on a question of migration, displacement, refugee camps, or the inner manifestations of those circumstances. As with any collection of diverse authors, the individual stories run the gamut from lean, crisp writing to leisured and beautiful sentences, from straightforward tales of love and loss to complex variations on the theme. Nothing rushed or simplisti ...more
Tasha Leigh
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
To start with i wasnt sure what to expect from this novel, but the premise of it intrigued me endlessly. It turns out that i actually quite enjoyed it adn found the various writing styles to be a refreshing as there were no two stories the same. So, the uniting them of all the amazing short stories in this collection is that of borders and migration. While I found the premise interesting, I expected a collection of 'alien approached border and was refused' along with tales of boat people and ill ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew this topic would be a winner for me, and it was.
Some really brilliant gems from some authors familiar to me, and some brand new to me.
Like all anthologies, there were ups and downs but overall this was a brilliant collection.
Nancy Mijangos
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Great book. It is a very poignant read for the times.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fascinating look at our culture and society. The stories in this book open up discussion on migration, the issues that divide us whether they are social mores, skin color, attitudes and many more. Some of the stories are sad, some happy, some introspective, some frightening as the authors take a look at migration--physical, mental, emotional, moral and more. The most important thing about this anthology is that it makes the reader think! It presents the stories and characters in a ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting collection of stories that touches on the ideas of identity and belonging that is very prevalent. This is such a good that I would recommend to everyone as I think they are very important.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book!

This was such a special and fascinating collection of stories! Each story wowed me in different ways and each spoke uniquely on its own. This is a collection of speculative fiction short stories about migrations and borders, and the reasons people seek other places. Each story shows the reader how migrations or the crossing of borders can be more than just physically moving from one’s home, these changes can
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful anthology in more ways than one: on a surface level, its cover is beautifully designed; deeper down, its core collective impulse and ethic is also beautiful. The introduction by Eric Choi and Gillian Clinton makes clear the stakes: the world is not as it should be, does not treat the people who move within it as they should be treated, and the resilience of displaced peoples is not necessarily armor against climate change and technological advances untempered by humane polici ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Shades Within Us is an anthology of stories around the themes of migrations and borders. Loosely following the other 2 anthologies in the 'social causes' series, this one includes 21 pieces of speculative fiction from both well known and new-to-me authors. As far as I can see from the publisher info, all the stories are original to this book.

I've always had a particular fondness for collections/anthologies because short fiction is spare and tec
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Disclaimer- I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
As always, for a more in-depth version of this review (or for my opinions on other books or tropes), feel free to check out my blog.

I don't really know how to review this book, I don't read many anthologies and I had quite varied opinions of the different works. I think for the sake of brevity I'll keep my comments general.

By far my standout favourites were SL Huang's story Devouring Tongues, From the Shoals of Broke
Ben Truong
Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders is an anthology of twenty-one short stories, which was collected and edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law. Twenty-one short stories are penned by a mix of authors well known in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions. Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders is an anthology of twenty-one short stories of speculative fiction through the lens of fr
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'll be honest, I requested this book because I love Seanan McGuire, particularly her short fiction, but once I'd read her story in here, I carried through and read the others, and found most of them to be pretty good. It's a weird time to be reviewing a collection about migration, if you're based in the US, of course; this collection does nothing to allay anyone's fears about where we might be heading either sho
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
A series of short stories focusing on people migrating to new lands, sometimes legally, sometimes illegally, and the struggle to connect.

This collection's third in a series, the first deal with mental illness, the second with caregivers, and this, now with migration. While the topic was potentially as or more interesting than some of the others, I think overall it's among the weakest, the theme just didn't leave quite as much room for enough different takes to keep from feeling one-note (or perh
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rare to have an anthology where the story quality is so consistently high. Of course, given this is a story about refugees and immigration, that means half the time the stories make me want to fling myself off of a bridge. It's a highly relevant theme to explore right now though, especially through the lense of spec fic because, after all, it's not like issues of refugee and immigration are ever going to go away, as long as humanity continues to exist. ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I bought this mostly to support some friends that were involved with it. As such, I'm glad I got it. As for quality, it was typical of most anthologies - some stories connected, some didn't and there was at least one that was a complete dud, for me.

(Note: It took me 5 months to read this because I only read it at bedtime and frequently would be sleepy after 2 or 3 pages. :-))
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Only read "Remember the Green" by Seanan McGuire - I'm not a big short story reader, but I make an exception for my favorite author. The story itself was okay, if a tad depressing. Not quite as gripping as her usual stories. ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Nice to read something that is not my usual genre, but the writing appealed to me very unevenly. Some of the stories were quite a bit better than others.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
some of these were outstanding, and others i skimmed. an unbalanced collection, but the gems are truly worth your time.
A really interesting and timely short story anthology. Review to come.
Avery Delany
Oct 29, 2018 marked it as to-read
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Lois Young
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders" is the latest anthology (Book 4) in the "Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction." This volume in the series focuses on the concept of migration and identity. Even though this is a work of speculative fiction, the stories within it are very topical. The book contains stories by authors you have heard of, and by authors you have not heard of, but each story is worth the read.

Each story varies from protagonist to protagonist and th
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Susan Forest grew up in a family of mountaineers and skiers, and she loves adventure. She also loves the big ideas found in SF/F, and finds fast-paced adventure stories a great place to explore how individuals grapple with complex moral decisions. Bursts of Fire, first book in her Addicted to Heaven series (winner of Canada's Aurora Award for Best YA Novel in 2019), confronts issues of addiction i ...more

Other books in the series

Laksa Anthology Series (5 books)
  • Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts
  • The Sum Of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound
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