Book Reviews

Renewal: Queer Sci Fi's Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest Anthology at Mischief Corner Books

Genre Mixed Orientations / Science Fiction / Fiction
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 13-September-2017

Book Blurb (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Book Review

Flash Fiction (tales of extreme shortness) is difficult to write – after all, how do you get a whole story told in 300 or fewer words? Especially in the genres included (science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and horror) where a whole world needs to be built/explained as well. But let me tell you, flash fiction is equally as difficult to review. Normally when I talk about anthologies, I add at least a comment about every story in it, but with 110 tales included in this fantastic work, that just isn’t practical. So instead I am going to focus on the overall impression this book left with me, and what you might find if you decide to buy and read it yourself.

The first thing I’d like to say is that with the breadth of topics and themes covered, everyone interested in any of the four genres should be able to find something of interest in this collection. It is divided into groups of stories per genre, so it’s easy to find the type of tale you’re looking for – and to at least sneak a look at one or more of the sections you might not usually look at. Horror is not something I enjoy reading, but I found quite a few fascinating looks at future and paranormal worlds that made me want to read more of what the author had written. As J. Scott Coatsworth says in his foreword, every reader will probably find their own favorites.

The second thing that is remarkable, is the wide representation of different sexual orientations and gender identities. I really enjoyed reading about characters who look at life very differently than I do! Reading these stories is a great way of sampling what they might feel and experience, and it was a very enriching experience for me.
Finally, this is a great collection to dip in and out of. Because each piece is so short, you can read one or more at the same time, then come back to them later. A few made me think, a lot made me smile, and most of them were tremendously entertaining. And I discovered more than one author I’d never heard about before – and will now be on the lookout for.

If you like variety, buy this book. Whether you’re looking to be entertained, informed, or scared out of your wits, you will find something to your liking in this anthology. And if you want to find out what all kinds of authors are coming up with in the speculative world of the science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and horror genres – give this one a go. ‘Renewal’ is a wonderful collection of very creative ideas, imaginative characters, and spellbinding stories.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Mischief Corner Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Anthology/ 110 flash fiction, 35124 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-September-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback
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