Because Sometimes YOU ALL Are the Weird Ones

Author(s): Anthology
Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc.
Published: August 2016
Genre(s): sci-fi, fantasy, i.e.speculative fiction
Recommended for: people who don't quite fit in and would like to hear about others on the "outside"
Synopsis (via www.goodreads.com):  

There's a delicate balance between mental health and mental illness…


We are your fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and lovers. We staff your stores, cross your streets, and study in your schools, invisible among you. We are your outcasts and underdogs, and often, your unsung heroes.

Nineteen science fiction and fantasy authors tackle the division between mental health and mental illness; how the interplay between our minds' quirks and the diverse societies and cultures we live in can set us apart, or must be concealed, or become unlikely strengths.

AUTHORS: Kelley Armstrong, Suzanne Church, A.M. Dellamonica, Gemma Files, James Alan Gardner, Bev Geddes, Erika Holt, Tyler Keevil, Rich Larson, Derwin Mak, Mahtab Narsimhan, Sherry Peters, Ursula Pflug, Robert Runté, Lorina Stephens, Amanda Sun, Hayden Trenholm, Edward Willett, A.C. Wise

I have so much to say about this that a wee blurb on goodreads.com isn't going to cut it!

I've recently decided to try my hand at writing, and am quite passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, and/ or "otherness" (i.e. not fitting in with "normal" society). This anthology offers a wide variety of authors, genres, viewpoints, and experiences that will appeal to anyone that has had any amount of mental health challenges, or perhaps to friends and family of someone who is hard to connect with.

This anthology is such a bright spot for connection, information, and revelation. I was a tad puzzled when one reviewer said they struggled to find a connection between all the stories; I feel the title says it all, but that might just be me? But I consider myself an orange in an apple tree, and am pretty sure that reviewer is an apple.

Others pointed out that they didn't like ALL of the stories. And I would agree, but I think that's because I identified with certain stories more than others, and assume those readers felt the same, but perhaps liked ones that didn't connect with me! It does say something that I looked EVERY author up on Goodreads and am following them ALL as well as wanting to read other works of theirs.

I do have to admit that I probably haven't read many short stories since school, so I'm not an expert by any means! I just wanted to share some of my faves with you guys.

The following are my Top 3 Short Stories in this anthology: 

3) The Weeds and the Wildness, by Tyler Keevil

"The wildest, fiercest plants make the most effective allies..."

This is an awesome sci-fi/ fantasy story in which an older man rails against having the normal Edward Scissorhands-type perfect manicured lawn, and instead nurtures a fantastic out of control garden in his front yard. But when the white vans start showing up to make everyone's yard the same, our protagonist takes things into his own hands...
10/10 for thrilling writing style and metaphor. Will for sure read more by this author!

2) Living in Oz, by Bev Geddes
"Lots of other people would hear you, if you'd let them. " 
He paused and I knew what would come next. "They would see you, too."

I highlighted the HECK out of this one. Bev Geddes is my inspiration for being able to put into words how it feels to be... lost, in a word. I'm collecting ways writers have described ANYTHING under the mental illness umbrella, and she is going to be my top go-to author.

1) Marion's War, by Hayden Trenholm
"You think I'm surviving?"
 "As well as any of us can in a world ruled by entropy. 
Madness is the only viable strategy. Once you find your balance."

I could not put this one down! There are so many layers to the plot and characters that you almost want to go back and immediately read it all over again!! Hayden Trenholm is a MASTER short story teller, and I'm in awe at how adept he is at including so much character depth, emotion, and plot in such a short span of time. This is one of my all-time favourite stories ever. In the whole universe. 

But don't take MY word for it!!

The group that published this anthology (Laksa Media Groups Inc.) gives parts of the proceeds to charities near and dear to their hearts. Pick this one up, you won't regret it!

Thanks so much for reading!! I know it's been a while since I posted, but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, you know?!

As I'm an anthology "noob" do you have any recommendations for me? I know Laksa Media has another anthology coming out this September (hello timing!) so I'll definitely be checking that out!

Also, please check out my other blog, as I am procrastinating on actually writing anything of importance by posting here: www.spinningjennywrites.blogspot.ca

~ Spinning Jenny

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