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Many authors to seek out from this reading. Fantastic stories but if I had to choose some favourites they would be Max Gladstone's 'TO A CLOVEN PINE', followed by 'BREAD AND MILK' AND SALT by Sarah Gailey and Scalzi's 'THREE ROBOTS EXPERIENCE OBJECTS LEFT BEHIND FROM THE ERA OF HUMANS FOR THE FIRST TIME'.
There are two answers to the question, "What is this book about?" The first answer is short and simple - just read the title and you can easily surmise that this anthology pits robots against fairies. The second answer is a bit less succinct - it contains a bevy of diverse tales of humor, suspense, love, loss, and questions of identity filtered through the lenses of these two types of very inhuman entities. And, of course, it occasionally contains fisticuffs between the eponymous factions of robots and fairies.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading each short story in this book, but I must admit that one edged out the rest in my mind. "All the Time We've Left to Spend" by Alyssa Wong is heart rending. I just...it's horrible and beautiful and so, so very human. If you read nothing else from this anthology (though you should read it all), try to figure out a way to read her story. Another stand out story (though for very different reasons) is Catherynne M. Valente's "A Fall Counts Anywhere" which takes her trademark lush mastery of language and infuses it with the zaniest wrestling antics that you can find outside a vintage Ultimate Warrior tirade.
Toss in the gorgeous cover artwork, and this turns into a fun and wonderful collection that is well worth picking up. If nothing else, doing so will help to appease our robot/fae overlords, and that is never a bad thing.
This charmingly conceived anthology is not only an epic showdown between the two eponymous entities, it is also a showcase of some of the best voices in SciFi and Fantasy respectively. There's a playful spirit that permeates this anthology, even though many of the stories are quite dark, which feels like a fitting tribute to both robots and fairies; the introduction, written by the editors, is penned as a letter to our future robot OR fairy overlords, and each of the authors weighs in on if they're "team robot" or "team fairy." While this meta approach could have easily come off as twee, it doesn't in the hands of editors as skillful as Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien, who pull off their quirky project with aplomb. The difficulty of an anthology that has something for everyone is of course that it's going to have some stories that are very much NOT for someone, and that's certainly the case here. The stories vary widely, and I found them ranging from spectacular to why-was-this-even-included? But I think that's inevitable in an anthology of this scope. They definitely save the best for last, and Catherynne M. Valente's end piece, which takes the prompt literally and envisions a WWE style match between robots and fairies, is one of the cleverest, most hilarious, and yet also chillingly poignant stories I've read in a long time (and it has a final twist that makes you just want to kiss your fingers in delight.) I'd buy the book for that story alone.
Packed with superstar authors such as Seanan McGuire, Alyssa Wong, Ken Liu, and Jonathan Maberry. For team fairie, Seanan McGuire's entry was the standout. Beautiful and poignant. Also, because I love Disneyland, an easy sell. For Team Robot, it was a tossup for me between Maberry or Wong's entry. Both were outstanding. Usually when I buy anthologies, I hope for at least 2 good shorts. This one had mostly winners, something that made me feel like I hit the reader jackpot! Edited by the super talented Navah Wolfe.