Rich Horton Reviews Whether Change by Scott Gable & C. Dombrowski, eds.

Whether Change, Scott Gable & C. Dombrowski, eds. (Broken Eye Books 978-1-940372-62-4, $19.99, 180pp, tp) August 2021.

Whether Change is a new anthology subtitled ‘‘The Revolution will be Weird’’ – hence, stories about (leftist) radical change; but with a weird component. I thought the best pieces had the weirder ideas – in particular stories from Nick Mamatas and S.B. Divya. Mamatas’s ‘‘The Nth International’’ shows a billionaire (rather obviously modeled on a contemporary eccentric) being tortured and interrogated by a group of communist revolutionaries led by an AI. They want his spaceship to meet the communist aliens from Proxima Centauri… suffice it to say Mamatas has lots of fun, both torturing his billionaire and making gentle fun of communist infighting. Divya’s ‘‘Float Day’’ springs from a pretty pointed metaphor: one day everyone wakes up able to float, only weighed down by their possessions – so that the poorer people float higher. The story, though, turns on three school girls, close friends, who fit three separate rungs on this (nearly literal!) ladder, and whose friendship is thus imperiled. This dynamic carries the action effectively.

Rich Horton works for a major aerospace company in St. Louis MO. He has published over a dozen anthologies, including the yearly series The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy from Prime Books, and he is the Reprint Editor for Lightspeed Magazine. He contributes articles and reviews on SF and SF history to numerous publications.

This review and more like it in the September 2021 issue of Locus.

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