Spoiler Warning: I tried to avoid spoilers, but if you want to be really careful you might want to skip some of the story descriptions.
Trigger Warning: I didn’t really go into detail about those elements which are likely to be triggers, but there are some stories in the anthology which have potential triggers. Of the ones I read, I think “Trickier With Each Translation” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam describes sexual assault in some detail (though it does not progress beyond that), and “Nothing is Pixels Here,” by K.M. Szpara, while a fantastic story (which I discuss more below), could be triggering for someone with dysphoria.
A Note on Language: I use the word “queer” throughout this post, partly because that is the word used in the anthology. However, I wanted to warn for that because I recognize that for some people it is still a slur. (I’ve categorized the post as lgbtqia+, however, since that is the most widely recognized term).
Image description: Cover of Queers Destroy Science Fiction!. Image from Lightspeed Magazine. In the foreground is a head, split down the middle, one side feminine, the other masculine. Set just behind that, in the upper left and lower right of the image, are two couples, two women and two men respectively. In the background is a spacescape.
Spoilers: Spoilers for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente. Major spoilers at the end of the review have a warning and several line breaks before them.
Image Description: Cover of “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making. A red cover with an oval image of a little girl and a wyvern with it’s wings chained. The little girl is holding an over-sized key.
Image Description: A book cover with a date palm on a green background. A green dragon flies in the background. Across the bottom, the words “climbing the Date Palm” in black. Below that, the name “Shira Glassman”. Image from Prizm Books.
Spoiler Warning: Akata Witch (only in one specific section, which is noted beforehand)
Trigger Warning: Discussion of ableist tropes in fiction
Recently, I read Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch. It’s a young adult fantasy novel, set in Nigeria, which came out back in 2011 from Penguin Books. If you enjoy narratives about characters discovering their magic, or are interested in learning about magic in a culture that isn’t often seen represented in the US, I highly recommend this book. It’s a lot of fun, and the characters are vibrant and interesting.
I’d also like to point out that the cover art actually fits the book.
The main character, Sunny, is 12. She’s American-born, but moved to Nigeria with her parents and brothers. Sunny, like most of the people she knows, is Igbo, but often feels out of place because she is (a) from America, and (b) an albino. Nnedi Okorafor herself is also American-born, and her parents were Nigerian immigrants. During the book, Sunny makes new friends and meets new enemies as she discovers the world of Leopard People, African sorcerers.