Journey with twenty-one speculative fiction authors through the fractured borders of human migration to examine assumptions and catch a glimpse of the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of those who choose—or are forced—to leave home and familiar places. Who straddle borders within our worlds—and within us.
Migration. A transformation of time, place, and being . . .
WHO ARE THE SHADES WITHIN US?
We are called drifters, nomads. We are expatriates, evacuees, and pilgrims. We are colonists, aliens, explorers; strangers, visitors--intruders, conquerors--exiles, asylum seekers, and . . . outsiders.
An American father shields his son from Irish discrimination. A Chinese foreign student wrestles to safeguard her family at the expense of her soul. A college graduate is displaced by technology. A Nigerian high school student chooses between revenge and redemption. A bureaucrat parses the mystery of Taiwanese time travellers. A defeated alien struggles to assimilate into human culture. A Czechoslovakian actress confronts the German WWII invasion. A child crosses an invisible border wall. And many more.
Stories that transcend borders, generations, and cultures. Each is a glimpse into our human need in face of change: to hold fast to home, to tradition, to family; and yet to reach out, to strive for a better life.
Featuring Original Stories by Vanessa Cardui, Elsie Chapman, Kate Heartfield, S.L. Huang, Tyler Keevil, Matthew Kressel, Rich Larson, Tonya Liburd, Karin Lowachee, Seanan McGuire, Brent Nichols, Julie NovÁkovÁ, Heather Osborne, Sarah Raughley, Alex Shvartsman, Amanda Sun, Jeremy Szal, Hayden Trenholm, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Christie Yant & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
With An Introduction by Eric Choi & Gillian Clinton
Edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law
Selected by Locus 2018 Recommended Reading List (Original Anthologies category). Recommended by Booklist, Library Journal, School Library, Foreword Reviews, and Speculating Canada.
The anthologies in this series (Strangers Among Us, The Sum of Us, Where the Stars Rise, Shade Within Us) have been recommended by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Locus, Foreword Reviews, and Quill & Quire.
About the authors
Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, and Along the Indigo, the middle grade novel All the Ways Home, and the coeditor of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Hungry Hearts. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her family. You can visit her online at ElsieChapman.com.
Rich Larson was born in West Africa, has studied in Rhode Island and worked in Spain, and now writes from Ottawa, Canada. His award-winning short fiction has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, French, and Italian, and appears in numerous Year's Best anthologies.
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games and other geeky things, all of which have largely inspired her writing. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. As an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism. She has written and edited articles in political, cultural, and academic publications. She continues to use her voice for good. You can find her online at SarahRaughley.com.
Amanda Sun was born in Deep River, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. The Paper Gods series, which includes Ink, Rain, and Storm, was inspired by her time living in Osaka and traveling throughout Japan. She is an avid video gamer and cosplayer. Visit her on the web at www.amandasunbooks.com and on twitter @Amanda_Sun.
Hayden Trenholm is a native of Nova Scotia who has lived in various areas of Canada. He is best known in Alberta for his playwriting. A Circle of Birds is his first published novel.
- Long-listed, Locus Award (Best Anthology)
- Short-listed, Foreword INDIES Award (Best Anthology)
- Commended, Locus Recommended 2018 Reading List (Original Anthologies)
Excerpt: Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders (edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law; by (author) Seanan McGuire, S.L. Huang, Vanessa Cardui, Elsie Chapman, Kate Heartfield, Tyler Keevil, Matthew Kressel, Rich Larson, Tonya Liburd, Karin Lowachee, Brent Nichols, Julie Nováková, Heather Osborne, Sarah Raughley, Alex Shvartsman, Amanda Sun, Jeremy Szal, Hayden Trenholm, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Christie Yant & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro; introduction by Gillian Clinton & Eric Choi)
Porque el Girasol Se Llama El Girasol (Rich Larson)
Girasol watches as her mother shakes the entanglers out onto the hotel bed. They are small and spiny. They remind her of the purple sea urchins she was hunting in the netgame she can’t play anymore, because they had to take the chips out of their phones and crush them with a metal rolling pin before they left Las Cruces.
She is not sure she will be able to swallow one. It makes her nervous.
Her mother plucks the first entangler off the bedspread and peers at it. Her mouth is all tight, how it was when they checked in and the clerk passed her the little plastic bag.
“Peanut butter or grape jelly?” she asks, because she took a fistful of condiment packets from the breakfast room.
Her mother peels the packet open and rolls the entangler inside, globbing it in pale purple. Girasol takes it in her hand, getting her fingers sticky, and stares down at it. Ten points, she thinks. She puts it in her mouth.
She gags it back up. It pokes in her throat and she thinks she can feel it squirming a little, like it is alive. Her eyes start to water.
“Squeeze your thumb in your fist when you do it,” her mother says. “Squeeze hard.”
It takes three tries, and when it finally stays down Girasol is gasping and trying not to sob. Her throat is scraped raw. Her mother rubs between her shoulder blades, then takes the second entangler and swallows it. Her face twitches just once. Then she goes back to rubbing Girasol’s back.
“My brave girl,” she coos. “Brave girl, sunflower. Do you feel it?”
“I don’t know. Yes.”
For a few moments, Girasol feels only nausea. Then the entangler starts to prickle in her gut. Warmer, warmer.
“You should feel it.”
“I do. I feel it.”
“It should feel like a little magnet inside your belly.”
“I feel it.”
Her mother’s voice is stretched out like it might snap. “Okay.”
They test the entanglers outside, on the cracked and bubbled tarmac of the parking lot. Emptiness on all sides. Their motel is last in a ragged row of gas stations and stopovers, after which there is only the highway churning away to horizon. In the far far distance, they can see the Wall: a slouching beast of concrete and quickcrete latticed with swaying scaffold. Workers climb up and down it like ants; drones swarm overtop of it like flies.
Girasol has never seen the Wall in real life before. It makes her feel giddy. Her teacher only showed them photos of the Wall in class, and had them draw a picture of it on their smeary-screened school tablets.
While Girasol drew, the teacher stopped over her to ask, in a cheery voice, what her parents thought of the Wall. She gave the answer her mother told her always to give: their country was so good that bad people always wanted to come in and wreck it, because they were jealous, and the Wall was good because it kept them out. Then the teacher asked Fatima, and then Maria, but nobody else.
Girasol is still staring off at the Wall when her mother’s charcoal coloured scarf drops over her eyes. She feels her mother’s strong fingers knot it behind her head.
Excerpted from Shades Within Us, copyright © 2018
“Addresses issues surrounding migration and borders at a very poignant moment in history . . . Despite being speculative, many of these stories read like they were ripped from present-day headlines . . . This collection do a great job of asking readers not only to reflect on their own lives but also to consider the lives of others.” —Booklist
“An engaging collection of poignant travel through time and space. Highly recommended for its breadth of stories that look at having to leave home-or discover it.” —Library Journal
“An intriguing addition to short story collections.” —School Library Journal
“Political and daring, this collection adds to the future imagined by Philip K. Dick, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, and Aldous Huxley.” —Foreword Reviews
Other titles by Susan Forest
Other titles by Lucas K. Law
Other titles by Vanessa Cardui
Other titles by Elsie Chapman
Other titles by Kate Heartfield
Other titles by Tyler Keevil
Other titles by Rich Larson
Other titles by Karin Lowachee
Other titles by Brent Nichols
Other titles by Heather Osborne
Other titles by Sarah Raughley
Other titles by Alex Shvartsman
Other titles by Amanda Sun
Seasons Between Us
Tales of Identities and Memories
Seasons Between Us (Large Print)
Tales of Identities and Memories
Where the Stars Rise
Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Sum of Us
Tales of the Bonded and Bound
Heir to the Sky
Strangers Among Us
Tales of Underdogs and Outcasts