Book review and Giveaway – Innovation (various) Queer Sci Fi 7th Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Innovation

Genre: LGBTQIA Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy

Queer Sci Fi’s sixth annual flash fiction anthology is here – “Innovation” – and there’s a giveaway too!

IN-NO-VA-TION (Noun)

1) A new idea, method, or device.

2) The introduction of something new.

3) The application of better solutions to meet unarticulated needs.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Innovation features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Other Worlds Ink | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Giveaway

Queer Sci Fi is giving away your choice of a $20 Amazon gift card OR a print copy of four of the other five flash fiction books in the series – Flight, Renewal, Impact, and Migration (US only unless you are willing to pay the shipping outside the US) with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47138/?


Excerpts

Innovation meme

“The fields are overgrown, have been for years with all the Bios underground. The wind kisses the grass in serpentine patterns long forgotten, patterns the Bios couldn’t imagine anymore. My mechanical hand stores the seed envelope in the mechanical pocket in my androgynous torso. In these suits, there is no gender. Gender is, always has been, in the mind. And I am finally, unequivocally, female.” —Seed, by Val Muller

“No one in the village knew what the Change would bring. They never saw it happen. They only knew what they had been promised: the Change would bestow three gifts.” —A New Way, by Rory Ni Coileain

“The girl kissed her, hard. Then backed away, grinning, teasing, drawing her to the end of the hallway and a flight of stairs leading downward. She took two steps and gazed back up at Lilian, one hand outstretched. Her brilliant red lipstick wasn’t even smudged. Her skin glowed in the harsh white torchlight.” —The Thing With the Bats, by Mary Francis

“Interspecies sex is outlawed on the Freespec Interplanetary Space Station. Politicians call it a safety measure. But I’ve been in the Medical Corps for half my lifecycle, and I call it criminally negligent prudery. Leaders would rather let innocents die needlessly—punctured by sperm darts and dissolved in sacks of voltaic pleasure mucus—than give them the knowledge to express their feelings safely.” — Are My Underwater Sperm Darts Normal? by Brenna Harvey

“The bell’s brassy gong echoes through the flat; the walls blush crimson. See, see! He’s at my door. The live feed shows him sniff his armpit; cup his breath. He wants to impress, but I’m impressed already. His lips softly part; he brushes them with stubby fingers, as he waits. Ugly fingers. Ugly hands. Scrawny neck. Milky eyes. But those lips, see, they’re perfect, just perfect. Plump n’ pale, a slither of my future.” —Just Perfect, by Redfern Jon Barrett

“Lekke looked down over the valley, First People’s home for as long as any tales or dreams could tell. Now only Spirit Dreamer Manoot, neither he nor she but both, and Lekke, elder healer, were left. Lifetimes of Long-legs’ raids had driven First People to their deaths—or, some few, to the Way. If there truly was a Way.” —Going Back by Sacchi Green

“Savinna limped into her lover’s workshop, her hip still sore from tangling with the marabbecca which had knocked her into its well before she managed to kill it. Such was the life of a monster hunter. Not at all surprised to see Larissa hunched over her bench, hard at work tinkering with something, Savinna ghosted her hand over Larissa’s back.” —Those Who Hunt Monsters by Jana Denardo

“The baby cried as Freya lowered the bartering bucket into the wishing well. Many had come to the tree-shrouded clearing to make exchanges—a bushel of azure apples for a sword, a woven blanket for a day of rain. The well had been the final creation of a thousand-year-old inventor. But dead wizards often don’t anticipate how their gifts birth consequences.” —The Bartering Bucket by Diane Callahan


Author Bios

120 authors contributed stories for this volume:

  • Adrik Kemp
  • Alex Silver
  • Alex Stargazer
  • Allan Dyen-Shapiro
  • Andi Deacon
  • Andrea Speed
  • Andrew Vaillencourt
  • Ava Kelly
  • Barbara Johnson-Haddad
  • Barbara Krasnoff
  • Beáta Fülöp
  • Benoit Lafortune
  • Blaine D. Arden
  • Bob Milne
  • Brenna Harvey
  • Brooke K. Bell
  • L. McCartney
  • Cassidy Frazee
  • Chet Gottfried
  • Chloe Spencer
  • Chris Bannor
  • Christine Wright
  • Christopher Koehler
  • Clare London
  • J. Clarke
  • M. Rasch
  • David Gerrold
  • Devon Widmer
  • Diane Callahan
  • L. Harrison
  • Romeis
  • D.E. Bell
  • M. Hamill
  • Edie Montreux
  • Elaine Burnes
  • Eloreen Moon
  • Emilia Agrafojo
  • Emma Johnson-Rivard
  • Eric Warren
  • Evelyn Benvie
  • Gareth Worthington
  • Ginger Streusel
  • Howard V. Hendrix
  • Needham
  • Zachary Pike
  • S. Garner
  • Jade Black
  • James Alan Gardner
  • Jamie Lackey
  • Jana Denardo
  • Jasie Gale
  • Jeff Jacobson
  • Jennie L. Morris
  • Jet Lupin
  • Jon Miller
  • Jonathan Fesmire
  • Joshua Ian
  • Julian Maxwell
  • Kitts
  • L. Townsend
  • S. Marsden
  • KA Masters
  • Katelyn Cameron
  • Kellie Doherty
  • Kevin Andrew Murphy
  • Kevin Klehr
  • Kim Fielding
  • Kitt Harris
  • Koji A. Dae
  • S. Reinholt
  • V. Lloyd
  • LC Treeheart
  • Lee Jordan
  • Lee Soeburn
  • Lou Sylvre
  • X. Kelly
  • Maria Zoccola
  • Mary E. Lowd
  • Mary Francis
  • Mary Kuna
  • Matt Doyle
  • Mere Rain
  • Milo Owen
  • Minerva Cerridwen
  • Naomi Tajedler
  • Nathan Alling Long
  • Nathaniel Taff
  • Nicole Dennis
  • Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • Noah K. Sturdevant
  • Patricia Scott
  • Paul Uebler
  • E. Carr
  • L. Merrill
  • Raine Norman
  • Ray Lidstone
  • RE Andeen
  • Redfern Jon Barrett
  • Rory Eggleston
  • Rory Ni Coileain
  • Rosalie Wessel
  • S S Long
  • Sara Testarossa
  • Sean Ian O’Meidhir
  • Shannon Brady
  • Shannon Yseult
  • Skip J. Hanford
  • Stephen B. Pearl
  • Stephen J. Wolf
  • Steve Carr
  • Stone Franks
  • Stuart Conover
  • Susan James
  • Sydney Blackburn
  • T. Thomas
  • W. Cox
  • Tom Jolly
  • Val Muller
  • Warren Rochelle
  • William Tate

LOGO - Other Worlds InkMy Review
This is the seventh Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, based around the theme of “Innovation.” The remit is to write a story no more than 300 words, and the best of the entries are compiled into an anthology featuring 120 authors. 
The standard is incredibly high, the judges being experienced LGBTQIA sci fi/fantasy authors. With any anthology, you expect to find at least one that didn’t hit the spot, and yes, there were some stories I liked more than others. The beauty of 300 word stories is they don’t take long to read, so if one isn’t to your taste, you can just move on pretty quickly. 
There are also themes within themes, encompassing many issues the LGBTQIA community face on a daily basis; rejection by family and society, the need to fit in, dealing with homophobia and bigotry, but there is also joy, romance, sheer sexy fun and normalisation of gay relationships and characters of differing genders and sexualities. It challenges the cis-het norm and is wonderful whilst doing it.
Innovation is also an addictive read. I challenge you to put this book down after you’ve begun reading it. I devoured it in two afternoon, and can say, hand on heart, I will read it again. I was so impressed by the ingenuity of each author, who all brought their unique take on the theme. It would be too hard to choose just one, so I’ve chosen a few that stood out. The book is divided into sections: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal and Horror, the bulk of the stories being sci-fi and fantasy.
2.0 Andrea Speed (296 words)I loved the twist ending in what seemed a simple story. A real delight.
Antlers KA Masters (291 words)Another twist ending in a story I thought was going to be about rejection because of their sexuality. This was a lovely shifter tale that took me by surprise.
Eating Out Kitt Harris (299 words)A sexy story with impact (literally!) about a sultry vampire who uses Tindr (lol) to find her next meal, and gets more than she bargained for. A jalapeño slap of spice in the Paranormal section.
Cuttles and Chthonic Curry Ginger Streusel (300 words)A sweet slice of life with a tentacled chef and their non-binary other half, Roux, who can’t cook for toffee. A funny, endearing story with characters I’d love to see more of.
Cat’s Meow by Nicole DennisAlex’s “breakthrough” has unforeseen consequences when his device for understanding how other species talk to humans is experimented on with their cat. The moral of this story is, you really don’t need to know what your cat is thinking. Hilarious!
Brain Spa Nathan Alling Long (299 words)Truly horrific, especially the ending. A transgender man thinks he has found the answer to healing from years of transitioning, abuse and family rejection. This really punches the reader in the guts. Amazing how 300 hundred word story can make chills run down your spine.
An Original Use Of Magic C. L. McCartney (296 words)I thought this was really clever. Two students trying to complete a final project in Magizoology by turning stone dragons to life. This could have been a disaster, but the ending will give you all the feels. 
Speak Brook K. Bell (291 words)Non-binary Wren has invented a device to speak to ghosts, and they use it to communicate with a being who has haunted them for a long time. I wasn’t expecting the lovely moment of mutual understanding before the ghost finally takes their leave, but it was beautiful. 
These were just a few of the wonderful stories on offer. If you love sci-fi and love diverse characters, I highly recommend this book. 




Published by Lady J's Pawsome Readers

As well as reviewing books, I'm a writer of romantic suspense, MM fiction and LGBTQIA sci-fi. One of the original founders of WROTE Podcast, a medium for showcasing queer storytelling in all forms.

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