Consolation Songs: Optimistic Speculative Fiction For A Time of Pandemic
“For a while, we just slept and ate and told stories..."
A radio broadcast unites a scattered people; lockdown throws human and fey reluctantly together; a miner floats alone in the asteroid belt; a living ship rides out a storm.
In difficult times, stories sustain us. These twelve tales of selkies, hockey players, retired systems engineers, monsters, copyeditors and ch...more
Very high quality, with only a couple of stories that didn't land for me, and the Adrian Tchaikovsky made me cry in much the same way as the last shot of Grave of the Fireflies does. I really needed this. ...more
And the other authors in ...more
Absolutely joyous, story of making it through a horrific storm, prototypical optimistic SF.
Girls who Read Austen, by Tansy Rayner Roberts:
I love everything Tansy Rayner Roberts writes, and this school story (of a saga of horrible roommates) is no different— it's funny and ends delightfully upbeat.
Upside the Head, by Marissa Lingen:
The story itself is only slightly optimistic, but the PREMISE (of an ability to regrow the amygdala after head trauma) is so exci ...more
My personal favorite was “This Is New Gehesran Calling,” but I enjoyed most of the others immensely too. ...more
I was particularly moved to tears (happy ones!) or laughter, or both, by the stories by Stephanie Burgis, Iona Datt Sharma, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Llinos Cathryn Thomas, and Rebecca Fraimow.
Particular standouts were Iona Datt Sharma's St-Anselm-By-The-Riverside (they're always great, and I love getting an older protagonist, esp with a sweet beginning-romance and a nifty take on both alternate universes and climate change); Katie Rathfelder's Seaview on Mars which was super charming and a great piece that said as much through implication and inference as it did explicitly; there is ...more
Storm Story, by Llinos Cathryn Thomas: an uplifting story about people on a ship, voyaging to a new land that they hope to one day see, with magic lighting the ship and stories to carry the voyagers through the storms.
Seaview on Mars, by Katie Rathfelder: a wonderful story about an older couple moving into a retirement home, on Ma ...more
Quote: For a while, we just slept or ate or told stories when it wasn't too loud. The only way to know time was passing was by how hungry we got.
First-person tale with a nameless narrator, who seems very young. Dark times, with a hint of a light at the end of the erm… storm on a water-logged world.
Girls Who Read Austen by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Quote: All Scylla wanted from a college roommate was someone who wasn't too messy or too tidy. Maybe, if she was really ...more
Standouts: This Is New Gehesran Calling (Rebecca Fraimow) was so comforting and fun and bittersweet - it was definitely my favorite of the stories in this book.
Four (Freya Marske), St Anselm-by-the-Riverside (Iona Datt Sharma) and Of a Female Stranger (Jeannelle M. Ferreira) all left me desperate for more. I really do hope at least one is expanded into a longer work - and preferably all t ...more
The stories have differing degrees and even definitions of optimism. A couple are making the best of a bad lot or a silver lining in storm cloud that is still destructive, but most are p ...more
Nearly every story is focused on a heroine or heroines, some are queer, most have some ...more
"Love, Your Flatmate" by Stephanie Burgis was fun and I was amused by "Girls Who Read Austen" by Tansy Rayner Roberts which is really a vignette rather than a story but, well, I just like Austen. ...more