This anthology speaks to the fragility of our Caribbean home, but reminds the reader that although home may be vulnerable, it is also beautifully resilient. The voice of our literature declares that in spite of disasters, this people and this place shall not be wholly destroyed.
Do not be misled by the 'speculative' in the title. Although there may be robots and fantastical creatures, these common symbols are tools to frame the familiar from fresh perspectives. Here you will find the recent past and ongoing present of government and society with curfews, crime and corruption; the universal themes of family with parents and children, growth and death, love and hate; the struggle to thrive when power is capricious and revenge too bittersweet. Here too is the passage of everything – old ways, places, peoples, and ourselves – leaving nothing behind but memories, histories, stories.
Edited by Karen Lord, with stories by Tammi-Browne Bannister, Summer Edward, Portia Subran, Brandon O'Brien, Kevin Jared Hosein, Richard B. Lynch, Elizabeth J. Jones, Damion Wilson, Brian Franklin, Ararimeh Aiyejina and H.K. Williams.
If you haven't yet had the pleasure of venturing into Caribbean speculative fiction, stop everything and start now. With such strong roots in other truths, this anthology of selkies, far future science fiction, folklore and more will add some new authors to your watchlist. Edited by Karen Lord, a leading voice in the genre, these selections resonate. – Tenea D. Johnson
"None of these writers is likely to be familiar to American audiences, but all are worth getting to know. Readers who love the writing of Nalo Hopkinson, Tobias S. Buckell, and Lord herself will savor this volume."– Publishers Weekly
"This collection of stories is damn good proof of things that the Caribbean has known and polished the truth of for a while: we are always thinking about time, about our place in pasts that feel larger than us, futures that we struggle to keep up with, and presents where the strangest of things are always threatening to make ordinary lives hell."– Paper Based
Do not be misled by the 'speculative' in the title. Although there may be rockets and robots and fantastical creatures, these tales are not copies of worn-out tropes. The common symbols of speculative fiction are merely tools to frame the familiar. These are stories of survival – survival of the individual, the family, the community, the nation, the region, and the world or worlds that we inhabit. Survival is more than mere living. We need to relate: to connect, to identify, to tell our stories, to draw lines from past to present and from each to each, and thence as far forward as we can to the unborn generations.
Here you will find the recent past and ongoing present of government and society with curfews, crime and corruption. Here are the universal themes of family with parents and children, growth and death, love and hate. Here is the struggle to survive and thrive when power is capricious and revenge too bittersweet; and here too is the passage of everything … old ways, places, peoples, and ourselves … leaving nothing behind but memories, histories, stories. This anthology also speaks to the fragility of home, something that is not always understood by those who inhabit countries with more resources and choices. Unmitigated dystopia in fiction may be enjoyed by those who live securely, but this region suffers under crises of economy and climate and a history shadowed with genocide. I am wary and weary of literature that depicts the utter extinction, physical or cultural, of a people who still fight to survive. Fortunately, this anthology reminds the reader that although home may be vulnerable, it is also beautifully resilient.
The voice of our literature declares that in spite of disasters, this people and this place shall not be wholly destroyed. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this anthology. These new stories have shown me that our horizons continue to be wider than our borders, and that our literature does not only entertain – it transforms. Read for delight, then read for depth, and you will not be disappointed.