Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Five second review: This excellent collection of weird feminist grimdark stories tackles challenging themes in wonderfully imaginative ways.
This collection of 16 stories, three of which are new, explore themes of what it means to be human whilst trying to survive disease, disaster, war and genocide, and oppressive governments. The stories are dark and gritty, set in worlds with strange diseases, weird biotech and bioengineering, and societies that subvert expectations.
Hurley doesn’t write conventionally pretty, dainty women. Her women are battle-scarred and haunted, strong and rough. They’re grizzled swamp-dwelling sorceresses. They’re disabled plague survivors making an Iditarod-like serum run on an alien planet. They’re hostage negotiators talking down desperate rogue soldiers. They’re a terrifying conquering army.
If you’ve been looking for a place to start with Hurley’s work, this is a great entry point. This collection showcases her edgy, incisive, visceral approach to sci-fi.