I love a good anthology. I can read it all in one setting or set it aside for a bit if a book I’ve been waiting for is finally available. Anthologies are perfect for when you want something to read, but you’re just not in the mood for a lengthy read – that’s also the reason I’ve been enjoying quite a few novellas too.
With that in mind, I’m currently in the middle of the fabulous anthology, Robots vs. Fairies, which features some pretty fantastic authors. Not only does it contain a few authors I’ve already enjoyed – Jim C. Hines and Seanan McGuire – but it also has many authors I’ve been wanting to try – Ken Liu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tim Pratt, Lavie Tidhar, and more!
Since we are talking about short stories, I’m not going to review it like I would a novel from a series – I would end up giving away too much – so you’re giving you my thoughts on a couple stories at a time. I’m loving the context of the Robots vs. Fairies and what I’ve read so far has left me with expectations of having a lot of fun with the stories to come.
Build Me a Wonderland by Seanan McGuire
A story of survival. It’s not a story of refugees running, but of a group who simply want to be left alone to live. They’re strong in their skills, and are willing to face challenges head on; but they know they have limits.
When the expert begins poking around, they do what they can while hiding in plain sight. However, when the truth about the expert is revealed, they deal with it. To be perfectly honest, I want more. What happens next? The experts reality offers new things but creates challenges as well. I want to know, and see, more in this world.
Quality Time by Ken Liu
“Technology is beautiful, but it is the nature of technology to create more problems to be solved.”
Ken Liu really brings this to light. Just because technology can make our life easier, there is still a domino effect that will take place.
It was interesting to see how the protagonist goes from not being an engineer to thinking she could engineer away all problems. The way her emotions and expectations changed; and how easy it was for her to move on and not look back once her goal was accomplished. That’s very robotic IMO – they are told what to do but rarely are asked to analyze what happened after they completed their task.
People love pitting two awesome things against each other. Robots vs. Fairies is an anthology that pitches genre against genre, science fiction against fantasy, through an epic battle of two icons.
On one side, robots continue to be the classic sci-fi phenomenon in literature and media, from Asimov to WALL-E, from Philip K. Dick to Terminator. On the other, fairies are the beloved icons and unquestionable rulers of fantastic fiction, from Tinkerbell to Tam Lin, from True Blood to Once Upon a Time. Both have proven to be infinitely fun, flexible, and challenging. But when you pit them against each other, which side will triumph as the greatest genre symbol of all time?
There can only be one…or can there?