Home > Recommendations > _Diverse Energies_, edited by Buckell and Monti

_Diverse Energies_, edited by Buckell and Monti

Remember last year when I was all about being a real boy? Well, I’m a real slow boy, as I’m just now reviewing the book they sent me, Diverse Energies. It’s an anthology of original SF stories with protagonists who are diverse, non-white, POC–whatever your favorite term is.

Here’s my short review: this isn’t one of my Hugo reviews. Yet. I strongly suspect that when the time comes, this will be. I know there are several stories in here that I’ll be putting on my ballot, and the only reason I might not vote for the whole anthology is that I won’t have read enough anthologies this year to be making a fair comparison. So, yes: thumbs up. If an original hardback anthology is something you may be interested in, I’d like to suggest this one.

The stories contained within are from Ellen Oh, Daniel Wilson, K. Tempest Bradford, Ken Liu, Greg Van Eekhout, Rahul Kanakia, Malinda Lo, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cindy Pon, Rajan Khanna, and Ursula LeGuin. Unfortunately, the bok starts off with Ellen Oh’s “The Last Day”, which might have been more effective in the middle of the book, as it deals with the oppression of a nation by its leaders instead of the oppression of individual peoples. That, however, is about the only misstep in the book.

Ken Liu’s “Pattern Recognition” is already on my preliminary Hugo ballot–a sad but thought-provoking story that reminds of me Ted Chiang. Rajan Khanna’s “What Arms to Hold Us” actually had me crying at the core revelation. “Blue Skies”, by Cindy Pon, was also very effective. Greg Van Eekhout’s “Gods of the Dimming Light” was apparently a teaser for his novel NorseCODE, which I am now looking very much forward to.

As usual, however, Paolo Bacigalupi’s contribution was extremely notable. The images of the two different cities, one grown over where the first was built, was almost hallucinogenic for me. This is another item I expect to be voting on for the Hugo.

Overall, the book is well worth your time and money. It’s available already–I took that long to review it–and you should give it a look.

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