A themed anthology of 18 new stories from a group of fantastic authors, each of whom chooses a side—Team Robots or Team Fairies. Ultimately, it’s a throw down between the science fiction and fantasy genres, using the symbols of robots and fairies, respectively. The introduction greets our robot overlords (unless those tricksy fairies are the ultimate victor) and debuts this collection of stories as evidence of their greatness. Robots vs. Fairies is a magical mashup!
I am not the sort of the fan who picks sides in the science fiction versus fantasy debate. I’ve many read stories in both genres that are challenging and exciting, with excellent characters in each. The anthology honors both genres, and lets the reader make her own choice (you know, if you’re into that sort of thing). In addition to the collection of stories, each author writes a short commentary at the end of her submission declaring her allegiance and reasons, and many of these are highly insightful or entertaining on their own.
My favorites stories of the collection fall into two categories:
- The ones that deserve 5 stars, and…
- Those who broke the rules by using both robots and fairies in their narratives
My top 5-star picks include:
- Bread and Milk and Salt by Sarah Gailey, in which a terrifying fairy meets his match
- Ironheart by Jonathan Maberry, where a veteran with an ironheart is a burden on his family
- Second to the Left, and Straight On by Jim C. Hines, in which Peter Pan is lost and Tinkerbell is not dead
- The Buried Giant by Lavie Tidhar, where the village elders tell a story about a young human boy raised by robots
My top genre-bending picks include:
- Build Me a Wonderland by Seanan McGuire, in which fairies and unicorns and mermaids hide amid theme park animatronic technology
- Quality Time by Ken Liu, where a mythology and folklore major joins a silicon-valley robotics company
- The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto by Annalee Newitz, a Pinocchio retelling from a robot perspective
- Work Shadow/Shadow Work by Madeline Ashby, in which a robot assistant learns about his elderly patient who is a witch
I love fairies because they are not us. I have feared fairies and their kind ever since I was afraid of the dark, which is as long as I can remember. They’re terrifying and lovely and have a power I could never understand. Fairies are my Id.
I love robots because they are us. We humans create them to be what we can not be, which is to say, anything we want them to be. They are logical and useful and deadly, but someday, they will outgrow us. And, like all parents say of their children, I hope they will make a better world than we ever could.
Thanks to NetGalley and Saga Press for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!