So as a quick disclaimer, I was always going to buy this book. I was always going to make it part of the library of both digital and dead-tree format books that I have. I personally know one of the people featured in it and Jim Hines as an editor was a huge selling point. I have met him in person and while they say never meet your heroes, I was not disappointed in the slightest by meeting him. He also gives super awesome hugs. I had also heard great things about Mary Anne Mohanraj who co-edited it with Jim.
I was always going to buy this book. I knew I would read it and I had a feeling I would love it. I knew from the premise that it would probably emotionally compromise me and I was not wrong there. My tears are good tears, because this collection, while it points out where SF/F has failed or where we can do better as a genre with regards to representation for POC and people with disabilities and alternative sexualities, it’s ultimately hopeful.
It starts conversations that we need to have. Points out viewpoints that maybe we hadn’t stopped to consider before. The essays and poems presented here are some of the finest writing I have seen and what each piece contributes is priceless. The knowledge, the wisdom, the heart behind each piece is invaluable.
I can’t pick a favorite piece. I’ve re-read this book twice now and I love all of them. I will be purchasing it in every single format that it is released in because I want to support the people in it, because I want to support what they are after in producing such a work, and because I lend books freely to people and I need to have it accessible in whatever formats someone might need it in. It is a wonderful collection that is both brilliant and necessary.
So if you have means, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed at all. And if you don’t have the ability to grab it or the library doesn’t have it yet, drop me a line and I am happy to lend it to you or send it to you.