I love the idea of this anthology. At 54, I am not ready to give up saving the world and I am delighted to see stories about folks in the upper age ranges at the center of save the world stories. As is always true with anthologies, not every story was for me. There are some real gems in here. It’s wonderfully inclusive. I wish I could recommend it.
There’s one story that throws in a brief and unnecessary Harry Potter reference, which means I cannot recommend the whole anthology. I understand that Harry Potter is a cultural touchstone for a lot of people. It makes me sad that the author has made being a transphobe and a homophobe her whole personality. It was a choice to include the reference and it was a choice by the editors to leave it in. Given the harm that the famous and wealthy British author is doing in the world, I am making a choice to not support her, her work, or encourage her continuing influence.
I don’t want one woman who is using her enormous wealth and platform to make the world a more miserable place, to harm the authors who didn’t reference her work. So here are some notable authors and stories from the anthology that I encourage you to support:
Ursula Vernon and Jim C. Hines are predictably good and entertaining. Vernon’s “The Jackelope Wives” is powerfully and quietly bittersweet. In Hines’ “Launch Day Milkshake.” a rich man gets metaphorically spanked while two older women and some cats save the world.
Sarah Hans “A Legacy of Ghosts” will be relatable for anyone who has dealt with a toxic mother’s legacy. I would like to note that the love interest in this story is a transwoman.
Mothers and grandmothers are featured heavily. Jaymie Wagner’s “Adya and the Messengers” protagonist is a mother and grandmother without giving birth. In LaShawn M. Wanak’s portal fantasy, “By the Works of her Hands,” a single mother uses her knowledge and skills as a social worker to help a war torn fantasy world, while the son she raised to be good and kind becomes a different kind of hero. Maurice Broaddus’ “Big Momma Saves the World” is a bittersweet romp with recipes that are the key to the future.
I wish Kathryn Ivey had taken out that Harry Potter reference, because there’s so much to love about this anthology.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Outland Entertainment and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.