Review Blog

Oct 24 2016

Year's best young adult speculative fiction 2015 ed. by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein

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Kaleidoscope, 2016. ISBN 9781922101501
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Short stories. Diversity. What an amazing collection! The editors have gathered together what they consider the best short stories for young adults in 2015 and they have certainly succeeded in their goal. The stories are diverse with teen characters and cover themes such as genetic engineering, end of the world, horror, space travel and dystopias and are written by many well-known and less well known (to me) authors.
This is an excellent collection to dip into and most readers will find something that appeals to them. One that stood out for me was Bucket list found in the locker of Maddie Price, Age 14, written two weeks before the great uplifting of all mankind by Erica L. Satifka. This was quite heart rending for the reader, finding out what Maddie considered to be most important in the short time that she had before being taken into the Sing. Readers will be left wondering why people were taken into the Sing and will continue to speculate about this long after finishing the story. Another story that was quite frightening was The birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma. This tale of abuse is told in a matter of fact voice by a teenaged girl and the story will bring shudders to its readers.
Sean Williams in Noah No-one and the infinity machine explores the idea of replication of people as his young protagonist, Noah, tries out the machine that could turn a person into data, finding on the journey a way to stop the bullying who had been giving him a hard time at school. In For sale: Fantasy Coffin (Ababuo need not apply) by Chesya Burke, a little girl is chosen to protect the people of Ghana and would love to have a coffin, but knows that she will never be buried in Ghana soil. These four are just a small representation of the quality of the tales all of which were thought provoking and left me thinking long after I had read them.
The Summation: YA in 2015 at the beginning of the collection, gives a really good outline of the works that were important in 2015, and could prove to be most enlightening for readers who want to pursue excellent reading in speculative fiction. At the end of the book, there is a short biography of each of the authors, with lists of their works which readers may wish to look for and read.
Pat Pledger

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