Multiverses: An Anthology of Alternate Realities

Titan. Apr. 2023. 320p. ed. by Preston Grassmann. ISBN 9781803362328. pap. $16.95. SF
This short-fiction and poetry anthology centers on the concept of the multiverse, from parallel universes to alternate histories to fractured realities, in a celebration of the science-fiction genre’s myriad possibilities. Highlights include Chana Porter’s “Cracks,” which uses alternate selves to explore FOMO and identity. Ken Liu’s “A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” invents a fascinating alternate continuity for the 20th century that can’t escape familiar atrocities. Alix E. Harrow’s Hugo-winning “A Witch’s Guide to Escape” realizes the power of fiction as a way to transcend personal troubles. Additional tales are equally expansive. Surgeons take remote work to a new level operating on a patient from a parallel universe. A minor player in history meets a professor who uses the deaths of famous figures to jump through time. A skin-care boutique employee looks for alternatives after a curse targets her workplace. The strength of the stories varies, but they are all creative exercises in “what if” that embrace the possibilities of the multiverse.
VERDICT The collection’s wide range of international authors means it has something to offer everyone. Recommended for libraries with strong SFF collections and readers who enjoy short fiction.
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