I am consistently so happy with the anthologies that I am sent and Transcendent 2 is no exception. Everything from its mission to its execution is wonderful. Transcendent 2 takes diversity to the next level by combining diverse characters with a variety of different settings.
As with the first volume of Transcendent, Lethe Press has worked with a wonderful editor to select the best work of genderqueer stories of the fantastical, stranger, horrific, and weird published the prior year. Featuring stories by Merc Rustad, Jeanne Thornton, Brit Mandelo, and others, this anthology offers time-honored tropes of the genre–from genetic manipulation to zombies, portal fantasy to haunts–but told from a perspective that breaks the rigidity of gender and sexuality.
Let me just start by saying, this is an amazing anthology. The purpose is wonderful and so well thought out. I loved the ways that these authors incorporated the diversity into speculative fiction. Oftentimes I see characters who may be diverse, but it doesn’t effect their lives at all. But these characters are impacted by their struggles and thoughts. They live full lives of color, challenges, and hope – all without being reduced to their diversity or have it forgotten.
There is a refreshing amount of pronouns, care, and depth within these pages. There were some that absolutely stunned be like Charlie Jane Anders, Gwen Benaway, A. Merc Rustad, Holly Heisey, Roanna Sylver, and Brit Mandelo. The stories are touching in so many ways. There’s something for everyone – there’s science fiction, magical portals, veils, and zombies. It truly highlights the joys and power of speculative fiction to imagine a world of possibility.
Make sure you check out my friend, Sinead’s review of this same anthology!
Find Transcendent 2 on Goodreads.