Following on from 2012’s (Re) Awakenings: An Anthology of New Speculative Fiction, Elsewhen Press presents its latest offering, Existence is Elsewhen, a sharp collection of twenty short stories from the world of science fiction.
Taking its title from the last lines of André Breton’s 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism, this anthology draws from an eclectic range of ideas to produce an end result that is both extremely well written, and rich with a wide variety of material. The themes range from stories about futuristic global healthcare, evolution, genetics and language, to more traditional fare in the form of sibling rivalry, coping with challenging decisions, and solving crime.
The length of the stories vary; some are as short as five pages whereas others, such as Christy’s Inside and Out™ V.S – From Here to ETERNITY manages three whole parts. Tone-wise, there’s plenty to choose from. Earthscale and The Writer Did It are genuinely amusing pieces which nicely punctuate the darker stories, while Thompson’s Bird Brain is a provocative tale whose ideas will manifest themselves long after you’ve finished reading.
One of the perks about engaging with short story collections is that often times they serve as a bridge for readers to discover new writers. Each story is prefaced with an informative author bio, and if you like what you see then a quick search online brings up a whole treasure trove of related material (much of which has yet to make it mainstream) for you to enjoy. In particular, writer Sanem Ozdural’s The Song of the Sky takes the opportunity to expand on her LiGa series, whilst Christopher Nutall’s The Girl in Black uses the setting of his Royal Sorceress series to portray an investigation into a girl with abnormal powers.
Overall, Existence is Elsewhen is a smartly presented collection, with a wide variety of sci-fi sub-genres that anyone who enjoys short fiction, or fancies themselves as one day writing it, would be well advised to familiarise themselves with.
EXISTENCE IS ELSEWHEN / AUTHORS: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: ELSEWHEN PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW