Conceived in an effort to more judiciously represent ethnic and cultural diversity in YA fiction, this provocative collection, edited by SF author Buckell and literary agent Monti explores dystopian themes through multiple lenses. Instead of the usual white faces, the stories feature protagonists from a broader spectrum, all doing their best to survive in hostile or frightening settings. While there’s not a single misfire in this anthology, particular works stand out. Ellen Oh’s “The Last Day” takes place in a world torn apart by a decades-long war, while K. Tempest Bradford’s “The Uncertainty Principle” sees time travel constantly altering one girl’s surroundings. Malinda Lo’s “The Good Girl” is a prickly love story set against the desire for a better life, and Cindy Pon’s “Blue Skies” is almost painful in its longing for escape. Not only do these stories feature racially diverse casts, set all over the world or in space, some have gay and lesbian protagonists, giving readers plenty with which to identify. Happy endings are infrequent, but readers will eagerly immerse themselves in each vividly constructed world.
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