A unique anthology of all-new stories that challenges authors to throw down the gauntlet in an epic genre battle and demands an answer to the age-old question: Who is more awesome—robots or fairies?Rampaging robots! Tricksy fairies! Facing off for the first time in an epic genre death match!People love pitting two awesome things against each other. Robots vs. Fairies is an anthology that pitches genre against genre, science fiction against fantasy, through an epic battle of two icons. On one side, robots continue to be the classic sci-fi phenomenon in literature and media, from Asimov to WALL-E, from Philip K. Dick to Terminator. On the other, fairies are the beloved icons and unquestionable rulers of fantastic fiction, from Tinkerbell to Tam Lin, from True Blood to Once Upon a Time. Both have proven to be infinitely fun, flexible, and challenging. But when you pit them against each other, which side will triumph as the greatest genre symbol of all time?There can only be one…or can there?
Robots vs. Fairies Review
- January 1, 1970MelanieARC provided by Saga Press in exchange for an honest review. “We knew this day would come. We tried to warn the others. It was obvious either the sharp rate of our technological advancement would lead to the robot singularity claiming lordship over all, or that the fairies would finally grow tired of our reckless destruction of the natural world and take it back from us.” First off, this anthology has the best introduction I’ve ever read in maybe any book ever! It is actual perfection in every ARC provided by Saga Press in exchange for an honest review. “We knew this day would come. We tried to warn the others. It was obvious either the sharp rate of our technological advancement would lead to the robot singularity claiming lordship over all, or that the fairies would finally grow tired of our reckless destruction of the natural world and take it back from us.” First off, this anthology has the best introduction I’ve ever read in maybe any book ever! It is actual perfection in every single way. Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed this! But it is a bit of a mixed bag, I do suppose! Some of these were so amazing, where others are ones that I will probably not remember or carry with me. But I do also believe there is something here for everyone to love, whether you are #TeamFairies or #TeamRobots! And even though most of you know that I am very much #TeamFairies, my personal favorite in the whole collection is a robot story! All the Time We've Left to Spend by Alyssa Wong is a masterpiece. This story is beautiful, haunting, and oh so heart-wrenching. I will carry it with me forever. I loved every single aspect of it. I think this story alone makes this anthology completely worth buying and worth reading this entire collection. One of my favorite short stories of all time. I'm going to break down each short story with my thoughts, opinions, and individual star rating! “We were always on your side. Unfortunately, half of the authors in this anthology chose poorly, but the other half always knew you would emerge triumphant.” Also: 🦋 = TEAM FAIRIES🤖 = TEAM ROBOTS➽ 🦋 BUILD ME A WONDERLAND by Seanan McGuire - ★★★★★This story guys, this freakin’ story! Okay, we get to travel through an enchanted garden, a mermaid grotto, a pixie glen, and more during this amazing short story that is set in a magical theme park that makes you question everything. This was such a strong start to this collection, and proved that I’m Team Fairies forever. You guys all probably know that I love Seanan McGuire, but you probably don’t know that I also love Kobolds! From spending such a big chunk of my life leveling up humans in WoW, to being unnaturally excited for the new Hearthstone expansion, to falling even more in love with Kings of the Wyld because they were an amazing part of the story; I love Kobolds. And this story is perfection. ➽ 🤖 QUALITY TIME by Ken Liu - ★★★This is story about a man who majored in folk lore, but is joining a very prestigious and innovative company in their robotics department. This company wants to break the mold and find solutions for what other companies deem impossible. Then comes the Vegnor; a rat-like robot that is marketed to every busy homeowner to take care of their pests and other small things. This is beautifully written, and really opens up a good discussion on how far we will eventually let technology advance and go. And more importantly: more technology isn’t always the best solution. ➽ 🦋 MURMURED UNDER THE MOON by Tim Pratt - ★★★★★Oh my word, this was glorious queer book-loving fairy perfection! Emily has been working at a fairy library for two years, where she met her girlfriend who is part book. The fae princess that is in charge of the library is being manipulated by a mortal man, and it is up to Emily and a few fae folk to break the spell. This story also dabbles into the different fae courts, their weakness to iron, their glamour, and other things that warmed my heart and made the story shine with Tim Pratt’s obvious love for fairies. ➽ 🤖 THE BLUE FAIRY’S MANIFESTO by Annalee Newitz - ★★This is a really smart story that weaves together robots and politics into a Pinocchio retelling! This tale centers in on a toy-shop, where many different kinds of robots are made. From anarchists, to pacifists, to socialists, we have a full range of different thinking mechanical beings, but it just didn’t work for me for some reason. Yet, it was so different that I’m happy it was a part of this collection. ➽ 🦋 BREAD AND MILK AND SALT by Sarah Gailey - ★★★This was so very beautifully written, and very eerie, haunting, and just downright spooky. The first half of this story immersed me more than most things I’ve ever read. I couldn’t stop reading this tale. From giving the fae gifts of bread and milk and salt, to being bonded by blood, to becoming what you never expected, this story was so captivating. But for some reason the ending wasn’t satisfying enough for me. But her writing was enthralling, powerful, and evocative, I instantly went and bought River of Teeth.➽ 🤖 IRONHEART by Jonathan Maberry - ★★★This was a very sad story. Like, I cried while reading most of this one. But it wasn’t only sad, it was eerie, and haunting, and pretty powerful. We watch a young man who is forced to live a much different life than he was expecting. He lives on a farm with his loving grandparents, who can barely afford to make ends meet. And their farm is mostly run by robots that are out of date and dying. There is also a beautiful discussion on the military and how veterans are treated once they are home and have taken off their uniform. The author also brings up the healthcare crisis that we are all currently facing here in America. This was an expertly woven story, and I don’t think I’ll forget it anytime soon. ➽ 🦋 JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG by Kat Howard - ★★A banshee girl who sings of death meets a gancanagh boy who sings of love, while all the while other fae folk are coming up missing. I didn’t really enjoy this one, just because I thought it was rather predictable! But I did enjoy that there was a side character who was an agoraphobiac.➽ 🤖 SOUND AND FURY by Mary Robinette Kowal - ★★★Okay, at this point I am starting to feel like all the robot stories have important and relevant issues just woven into their tales. This is a science fiction story where a crew is taking a giant robot to a planet for reasons unknown. The short story quickly turns into a story about colonization and stripping cultures from Native people. It was pretty expertly done, and I’m so impressed that these short tales are making me feel so much. ➽ 🦋 THE BOOKCASE EXPEDITION by Jeffrey Ford - ★Yikes, okay, I know this is going to sound harsh, but I just didn’t care about this story at all. A man is able to see tiny, small, fae folk around his home. He watches them explore the bookshelves, all while name dropping tons of different books and authors, and then he watches them fight both demons and spiders and anything else! This story was just not my cup of tea at all, unfortunately. ➽ 🤖 WORK SHADOW/SHADOW WORK by Madeline Ashby - ★★★★I really, really enjoyed this. And this story really centers on the believing in something is very powerful. Naming something and loving something and putting your faith in something is more powerful than words. And this is a story about a robot assistant taking care of a semi-famous human, who many consider a witch, but who believes in fairies and elves and other magical creatures. I loved how this story incorporated both fairies and robots, and was just such a whimsical and beautiful tale about the power of believing in something with your whole heart.➽ 🦋 SECOND TO THE LEFT, AND STRAIGHT ON by Jim C. Hines - ★★★★This is, like, an alternate retelling of Peter Pan, but it’s set after the events of Peter Pan, and Tinker Bell is very much not dead. In fact, she and her “Found Girls” are a cult like group that steal little girls that are very much loved. You know, sort of the opposite of what Peter and the Lost Boys did. And we follow someone who is on a mission to save the most recent missing girl, and also to get closure for something personal. I feel like this may be a three star story, but the twist at the end was so damn good that I feel like it really deserved an extra star. Also, this was a really clever tale and I did really enjoy it.➽ 🤖 THE BURIED GIANT by Lavie Tidhar - ★★★I’m very torn on a three or four star rating for this one, just because I was so engaged while reading this. I couldn’t put it down. I also love how this not only celebrated robots and fairies, but it also had the unique aspect of a human wanting to be robotic. This is also a story about stories, where our main character is learning about a famous tale that has been passed down over time from both an Elder in his community and from his Grandmother. And the story is about what seems like one of the last human boys on Earth, living in a world that is now overrun by Robots, some of which who are hunting humans. This tale also hinted at a fuller length story about a two minor side characters and I am so here for it. I really enjoyed this one and I’m so happy to be introduced to this author from this anthology! ➽ 🤖 THREE ROBOTS EXPERIENCE OBJECTS LEFT BEHIND FROM THE ERA OF HUMANS FOR THE FIRST TIME by John Scalzi - ★It pains me to give something by Jon Scalzi one star, but this just felt and read so lazy. Basically, three robots are discovering and discussing human items (balls, sandwiches, cats, and xbox) and wondering how humans used them. That’s it. This story tries way too hard to be funny, and then ends trying to pack an emotional punch about global warming and the climate crisis we are choosing to ignore right now. But it felt so bad when you’re trying to do this in six pages, and five of those are wasted on bad jokes. ➽ 🦋 OSTENTATION OF PEACOCKS by Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen - ★★Okay, this was a hard one for me, too. This is a western fairy story, and I just don’t think the combination really mixed well for me personally. Like, Billy the Kid makes an appearance in here! And then I felt a little hopeful, because I thought we were going to have a nonbinary character, but I don’t think that was the case, but it gave me the hope for it, then the letdown. But yeah, this is basically a story about a magical shapeshifter, who is trying to protect another shapeshifter (in possum form), who is being hunted by fairy men that disguise themselves as country humans. It was just… too far out there for me, I’m sorry. Also, please let me know if you were picking up on the gender fluid aspect, too! ➽ 🤖 ALL THE TIME WE’VE LEFT TO SPEND by Alyssa Wong - ★★★★★Oh my word, this was utter and pure perfection. I will never forget this story, ever. This story is centered around an alternate future where we have realistic cyborg celebrity robots, who have many memories stored, working in pleasure hotels, where you can spend time with them for money. Our main protagonist, Ruriko, is obsessed with spending time with a kpop group that passed away ten years ago, while trying to learn all the information she can about their memories. This story is beautiful. This story is haunting. This story is oh so heart-wrenching. I loved this. I loved this so very much. Easily my favorite in the entire collection. ➽ 🦋 ADRIFTICA by Maria Dahvana Headley - ★★This is a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, but retold in a modern contemporary setting. Titania and Oberon are dealing with their custody battle, but with a rock and roll twist to it. I know this sounds really cool, and the uniqueness is completely why I’m giving this two stars, but the writing style was very much not for me. Though, this was very clever, and I’m sure many others will enjoy it much more than I did.➽ 🤖 TO A CLOVEN PINE by Max Gladstone - ★★Okay, this was just a really confusing tale for me. So much of it just went completely over my head, and you guys will completely love it when you get to the ending, but I was left really underwhelmed because of the confusion I felt starting out. This short story starts out with four beings that are fleeing their ship in space, while being chased by “the Witch”. Then, one of the members starts acting very strange and goes missing. And then the ending really brings the story together with a big revelation, but maybe this story was just too epic and too condensed for me to really enjoy it.➽ 🦋 A FALL COUNTS ANYWHERE by Catherynne M. Valente - ★★★★You all, this is a WWF fairy vs robot match! Like, Catherynne M. Valente took the meaning of this book really literally, but she is team fairies (who isn’t) and really wrote a fantastic and unique story that I really enjoyed. This is also narrated partially by a fairy announcer and a robot announcer. Yet, this was my problem with the story, and the reason I ultimately didn’t give this five stars: I hated that the robot announcer spoke all in caps. I completely understand this was a good way to be able to differentiate between the two voices, but it just felt so bad to read. I really didn’t like. But this story was so very great, I loved the twist, and it proves how fairies truly are the most clever characters in all of literature.I gave Robots vs. Fairies three stars overall, because out of a possible 90 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 18 stories) this collection accumulated 54 stars (60%). Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Buddy read with Elise & Destiny! ❤more
- January 1, 1970Elise (TheBookishActress)Conclusion? Fairies are better.Let me explain. Not to offend our possible future robot overlords, but robots lack the gorgeous imagery or the delightful villainy of fairies. Come on, what's a story without some morally grey leads who delight in their evil nature? But it's not just about the fairies; it's about how my robot vs. fairy preferences reflect the type of stories I enjoy. I prefer my fantasy grounded in truth, grounded in the cores of humanity. I prefer Seanan McGuire's vision of fairie Conclusion? Fairies are better.Let me explain. Not to offend our possible future robot overlords, but robots lack the gorgeous imagery or the delightful villainy of fairies. Come on, what's a story without some morally grey leads who delight in their evil nature? But it's not just about the fairies; it's about how my robot vs. fairy preferences reflect the type of stories I enjoy. I prefer my fantasy grounded in truth, grounded in the cores of humanity. I prefer Seanan McGuire's vision of fairies as humans who don't try to hide their moral blanks (Build Me Wonderland) and Alyssa Wong's vision of robots as reflections of our inner selves (All the Time We've Left to Spend). And while this was an enjoyable read with a few - two especially - fantastic stories, I unfortunately don't know if this anthology quite delivered the depth I wanted.My advice? Skip this one and just give McGuire and Wong's stories a try.Anthology reviews are my absolute favorite to write, and this one will be no exception. Here's the system this time: ♔ stories are about fairies, while ♚ stories are about robots. 🇸🇱 will be used for queer content - which this anthology really, really fucking needed - 🌃 to denote authors known to me previously, and 🍀 for my favorites. ♔ Build Me Wonderland by Seanan McGuire - ★★★★★ 🌃🍀Aesthetic! McGuire's most recent foray into short fiction is as amazing as expected. Her writing is stellar, her concepts are intriguing, her descriptions are gorgeous, and her worlds are compelling. Most importantly, she's fantastic at a certain sense of joy and hope for the future that I'm hard-pressed to find in other fairy or robot authors. author's note: interesting♚ Quality Time by Ken Liu - ★★★☆☆I appreciated the effort put into this exploration of unintended technological consequences and ethical consumption, but this story itself honestly felt rather pat to me. I saw the ending coming miles away. author's note: hilarious, clever, and very short♔ Murmured Under the Moon by Tim Pratt - ★★★☆☆ 🇸🇱I honest to god have no idea what was happening here. I loved the thematic ideas of having books be relevant to defense, and the idea of having a literal book girlfriend is clever. But it felt as if Pratt stopped after his initial clever idea and failed to perfect it. Also, definitely not as much moral blackness as I like from fairy stories. author's note: stellar meta about fairy-vs-robot fiction♚ The Blue Fairy's Manifesto by Annalee Newitz - ★★★☆☆This novella is a clever and interesting exploration of extremism vs. choice, but I honestly thought it wasn’t anything particularly new. Maybe robots just aren’t as much for me? author's note: explains the already-obvious connotations of her story, could’ve done more♔ Bread and Milk and Salt by Sarah Gailey - ★★★★☆This one is messed up. Following the conflict between robots and fairies explicitly, rather than simply focusing on one, it manages to bring the reader deep into the mind of a fairy trapped alone. It's strangely psychological and a read I definitely enjoyed. author's note: super interesting read♚ Ironheart by Jonathan Maberry - ★★★☆☆This is a story about the renewability of robots. I cannot really tell whether it's pro or anti robot, but I think the duality is frankly the only strength of Ironheart. While I loved the themes brought up about veterans' lives, I have to admit I found most of this sort of boring. author's note: made me doubt whether I even read the story correctly♔ Just Another Love Song by Kat Howard - ★★★★☆This is a story about agency. And not to be a parody of myself, but if you know me, you know that is my absolute favorite theme to explore and discuss. As an added bonus, I loved the morally black lead character of this story.author's note: too short♚ Sound and Fury by Mary Robinette Kowal - ★★☆☆☆Listen, not to anger our future robot overlords, but robots are sort of boring. Especually when they're going on diplomatic missions to ...somewhere? and drop so many pointless titles in the first minute that the reader feels like DNFing. author's note: why was it here♔ The Bookcase Expedition by Jeffrey Ford - ★★☆☆☆Yikes. I honestly just didn't get why this story was here. It felt boring, mostly.author's note: I guess I understand why this was written now?♚ Work Shadow/Shadow Work by Madeline Ashby - ★★★★☆Now THIS is a good robot story. And, sadly, the first one I've rated a full four stars. This one follows a mystical grandmother and her robot assistant, using their friendship to contrast viewpoints. author's note: but why♔ Second to the Left by Jim C. Hines - ★★★★☆This is a Peter Pan retelling using Tinker Bell is a villain, but at its core, it's an exploration of humanity through the fairy lens. I loved this so, so much. The main character had a super strong voice and the themes brought up were everything I love from fairy fiction. Well, besides the imagery. More imagery, please! author's note: brilliant, got highlighted all the way through♚ The Buried Giant by Lavie Tidhar - ★★★★☆Another good robot story! I'm not sure I totally understand this one, but the reverse Pinocchio is interesting and the themes around civilization's continued growth is amazing. ♚ Three Robots by John Scalzi - ★★★★☆This was hilarious. I’ve never read a Scalzi before, but if this is any indication, he’s a guy I’d love to meet. ♔ Ostentation of Peacocks by Lila Bowen - ★★★☆☆This was a pretty decent fairy story! The world building is imginiative and the writing is good. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t quite invested enough.♚ All the Time We've Left to Spend by Alyssa Wong - ★★★★★ 🍀🇸🇱🌃WE GET IT, ALYSSA, YOU'RE FUCKING TALENTED. (guys, if you haven't read her work before, please give it a try. This and Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers are two of the best works I've ever read.)♔ Adriftica by Maria Dahvana Headley - ★★★☆☆ 🌃 Lovely writing, but this story itself was sort of boring, with an obvious plot reveal and not much more intrigue. Enjoyed the retelling concept - wont say what as it’s a spoiler, but more can be done with fairies. ♚ To a Cloven Pine by Max Gladstone - ★★★★☆ 🌃 This confused the shit out of me but somehow I loved it. A Tempest retelling with robots and starring Caliban. ♔ A Fall Counts Anywhere by Catherynne M. Valente - ★★★☆☆ 🌃Some great ideas and imagery here, but a plot that totally bored me. ALL IN ALL: Despite reading one a night with Melanieand Destiny, I just never really got into this one. Aside from Alyssa Wong and Seanan McGuire’s contributions, none of this struck me. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtubemore
- January 1, 1970destiny ☠ howling librariesWhen I first picked up Robots vs. Fairies, I almost expected the stories to be about literal wars between the two, so I was very surprised to find that it was actually a collection of alternating stories from authors who had chosen "team robot" or "team fairy". It was such a fun and unique idea, but I found that most of the stories were kinda "meh" for me.→ Build Me a Wonderland by Seanan McGuire - ★★★★★ ←The collection opened on such a strong note, as this was tied with one later story for my f When I first picked up Robots vs. Fairies, I almost expected the stories to be about literal wars between the two, so I was very surprised to find that it was actually a collection of alternating stories from authors who had chosen "team robot" or "team fairy". It was such a fun and unique idea, but I found that most of the stories were kinda "meh" for me.→ Build Me a Wonderland by Seanan McGuire - ★★★★★ ←The collection opened on such a strong note, as this was tied with one later story for my favorite. It tells the story of a group of theme park engineers who create little robotic critters for the park, but it has a really delightful twist and the prose is beautiful. It was my first taste of Seanan's writing, and I loved it so much that I bought two full books by her within a week of reading this story.→ Quality Time by Ken Liu - ★★☆☆☆ ←Unfortunately, after the majesty of Seanan's story, this one was a bigger letdown than I expected. It was about a young man who went to work for a new company, designing "helper" robots, but he took things too far and created a massive disaster. The characters were so unlikable, and the plot itself was honestly pretty boring.→ Murmured Under the Moon by Tim Pratt - ★★★★★ ←I actually originally had this one written down as a 4-star read, but while writing this review, I fangirled a little too hard not to move it up to 5. It's a story about a human librarian who takes care of a fairy library, and is forced to go on a rescue mission when the fairy princess is taken hostage by a wicked man - who also steals away the narrator's girlfriend. Did I mention that her girlfriend is literally a living book? It's so fun, and unique, and magical, and fantastical, and sweet.→ The Blue Fairy's Manifesto by Annalee Newitz - ★★★☆☆ ←I really wanted to love this story, in which a robot is taught that there's more to life than just the factory he's been living and working in. Unfortunately, I just couldn't really get into it enough to justify a higher rating; the writing itself was moreso worthy of 2 stars for me, but I did really enjoy the political commentary thrown in.→ Bread and Milk and Salt by Sarah Gailey - ★★★★★ ←This story is so full of fae lore, and is so twisted and dark. This is exactly what I want from fairy tales: I want dark, creepy, glamour-utilizing tricksters and conniving little shape-shifters. In this story, a fairy becomes obsessed with a boy, and follows him into adulthood, but when he hurts her beyond words, she finds a way to strike back. I absolutely adored the ending - it was so cunning and sick, and I found myself cringing a few times during it, but in the best way.→ Ironheart by Jonathan Maberry - ★★★★☆ ←I was honestly stunned by how sad and heavy this entry was. It follows a veteran suffering from war injuries and PTSD, who's had a robotic heart transplant due to the incidents on the battlefield. He lives with his grandparents, who run a farm with the assistance of robots, all of which are steadily breaking down due to a lack of funds to repair them. It's honestly less about robots and more about how poorly we here in the USA treat our veterans, and how useless and unhappy disabled vets can feel. There was a line where the MC mentioned that he gave his life on the battlefield when he should have been at home, taking care of his own family, and it broke my heart into all the little pieces.→ Just Another Love Song by Kat Howard - ★★☆☆☆ ←This story actually had some neat aspects to it - mainly, the fact that I'd never seen a banshee in a fairy story before, and I was obsessed with banshees as a kid, so that was cool - but a lot of it was just really predictable and formulaic, and I couldn't get particularly attached to any of it. I did enjoy the ending, though.→ Sound and Fury by Mary Robinette Kowal - ★★★☆☆ ←A space crew is taking a giant robot to this new planet, supposedly to have a meeting with these higher-up types, but in true colonialist fashion, there's a little more to the story than the crew members have been informed of. This story was a little bizarre, honestly, but a pretty fun ride! It didn't "stick" with me, though - I actually had to look at my notes to refresh myself a little by the time I wrote this review.→ The Bookcase Expedition by Jeffrey Ford - ★☆☆☆☆ ←This one was literally the point of view of a man watching little bitty fairies go on an adventure on his bookcase in his office. I was so bored, and I kept expecting there to be a point to the story, but there really wasn't one. I'm sorry, but I genuinely don't understand why this story was even included.→ Work Shadow/Shadow Work by Madeline Ashby - ★★★★★ ←This story was honestly so precious and meaningful to me. It was about a robotic assistant to an elderly woman who believed in and practiced magic, but was becoming senile and unable to take care of herself fully. She berated her assistant frequently in the beginning by calling him soul-less (because he didn't have a name), but we get to watch him slowly grasp more of her personality, as she comes to respect him as a friend. My own grandmother was a practicing witch in her younger years, and was senile in the later years of her life, and this story reminded me so much of her in some ways and really found a special place in my heart.→ Second to the Left, and Straight On by Jim C. Hines - ★★★★★ ←If you've ever talked to me about Peter Pan, you already know I don't care for it at all, so when I realized this would be a retelling, I didn't expect to enjoy it, but it is so twisted and haunting and beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. I enjoyed it so much. It's about a private investigator who is seeking out little girls that have been abducted by Tinker Bell. The little gang of girls is called the "Found Girls", and there are just so many lovely little comparisons and parallels to the original tale, but it still feels really fresh and new.→ The Buried Giant by Lavie Tidhar - ★★☆☆☆ ←This was another retelling in the form of Pinocchio, but the roles were reversed, with a human boy wanting to become a robot. I honestly just didn't jive with the writing style - it was pretty, but a little hard for me to follow at times - and the story was so disjointed. The ending was really open, too, which made it even tougher for me to get into. That said, I feel like I might like this author if I read something a little longer by them!→ Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans for the First Time by John Scalzi - ★★☆☆☆ ←First, can we please stop giving short stories such long titles? It really screws with the flow of my notes. Second, this story... I wanted to love it. It's literally about three robots sitting around trying to figure out what human objects are - objects like a ball, and an Xbox, and a cat. It had so much potential to be hilarious and cute, but instead, most of the jokes felt really lazy and uninspired.→ Ostentation of Peacocks by Lila Bowen - ★★☆☆☆ ←This is - are you ready for this? - a fairy story in the form of a western. I don't read westerns often, and I'm not a big fan of the genre in any media format, so I am solidly convinced that I am just not the target audience for this story. I appreciated the imagery that was painted by the writing - and would absolutely read more from this author - and there were some little things here and there that were really fun (like the main character's mention of her favorite aesthetic being "all of the prettiest parts of men AND women"), but mostly, I just strongly believe that fairies and westerns shouldn't intermingle.→ All the Time We've Left to Spend by Alyssa Wong - ★★★★★ ←First of all, where have I been my entire life that I've never read anything by Alyssa Wong? This story was tied with Seanan McGuire's for my #1 favorite of the collection. Melanie had warned me in advance that she thought I would love it, so I went into it feeling optimistic to begin with, and holy hell, it was incredible. It displays a society in which robots have been used to mimic the bodies and personalities of celebrities in pleasure hostels, and follows a young woman who frequents a hostel to spend time with the deceased members of a decade-old Japanese pop icon group. The twist is given away very quickly, but it somehow adds to the haunting feel of the story as you watch everything unfold. I would have loved more time to spend in this story, and will be adding more of Alyssa's work to my TBR ASAP.→ Adriftica by Maria Dahvana Headley - ★☆☆☆☆ ←This rating honestly feels so dirty and unfair to me, because this story was doomed from the start. I don't care for Shakespeare at all (go ahead, get your shock and disgust out of the way), and this is a retelling of a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream; on top of that, it followed that beautiful Alyssa Wong story, so it didn't stand a snowball's chance.→ To a Cloven Pine by Max Gladstone - ★☆☆☆☆ ←I honestly spend the bulk of this story confused and bored, which just brought annoyance along with it, and that's not a great trio of feelings. It starts off with a group of people running from a Witch, when one of the characters disappears and things get pretty sketchy. I understood the big reveal at the end, I just didn't think it was a very good twist.→ A Fall Counts Anywhere by Catherynne M. Valente - ★★★★☆ ←The idea behind this story is absolutely precious: to round out the end of the collection, Catherynne decided to take the title, Robots vs. Fairies, literally, and gave us a fight night reminiscent of WWF/WWE ("Are you ready to rrruuummmmblleeeee?!"). The writing voices change as it shifts between a robot commentator and a fairy, and while it's fun and a little camp-y, I did think it was overdone (hence knocking a star off of my rating). That said, the twist ending is so fun and brilliant, and I loved every moment of the finale.→ FINAL THOUGHTS ←All in all, this anthology was very hit-and-miss to me. As you can see, there were very few "amazing" stories, with quite a lot of "meh" and even "bad" ones for me. The fact that the really great ones were so few and far between made it incredibly difficult to motivate myself to keep going in this anthology, but(!) the 5-star reads were honestly worth purchasing the entire collection just for those. So, do I recommend every story in this book? No. Do I recommend getting your hands on the Seanan McGuire and Alyssa Wong stories at all costs ? You betcha.Averaged out, I gave this collection 3 stars.Thank you to Saga Press for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!more
- January 1, 1970RileyThis sounds weird and I'm 100% into it
- January 1, 1970AleksandraI don't fully understand what this is going to be but I need it asap.
- January 1, 1970Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳3/5Date Reviewed: 23 December 2017This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here.I have never read anthology before, so this is the first time I attempted to read and review one. All I can say it is completely different from what I normally read, but it is always nice to be out of your boundaries every once in a while. I wouldn’t say anthologies are my thing, but I wouldn’t be opposed to them either.When Robots vs. Fai 3/5Date Reviewed: 23 December 2017This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here.I have never read anthology before, so this is the first time I attempted to read and review one. All I can say it is completely different from what I normally read, but it is always nice to be out of your boundaries every once in a while. I wouldn’t say anthologies are my thing, but I wouldn’t be opposed to them either.When Robots vs. Fairies started flying all over my newsfeed on GoodReads, something peaked my interest. I wasn’t sure if it was the unique pairing of robots and fairies, or how epic the cover looked. I knew I just wanted to give it a try. In order to review the book, I have decided that the best way to review was to average out the scores from the stories within:Build Me a Wonderland: 3/5Quality Time: 3.5/5Murmured Under the Moon: 3.5/5The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto: 4/5Bread and Milk and Salt: 4/5Ironheart: 4/5Just Another Love Song: 3/5Sound and Fury: 2/5The Bookcase Expedition: 2/5Work Shadow/Shadow Work: 4/5Second to the Left and Straight On: 3.5/5The Buried Giant: 2.5/5Three Robots Experience Objects: 3.5/5Ostentation of Peacocks: 2/5All the Time We’ve Left to Spend: 3/5Adriftica: 3/5To a Cloven Pine: 2/5A Fall Counts Anywhere: 4/5Average: 3.14Rating: 3 StarsSome of the stories we’re really good like A Fall Counts Anywhere, and Ironheart. There were some stories that could be improved more. Overall, I had an overall good experience reading this anthology. I would hope everyone else who reads it also have a good time in the battle between Robots vs Fairies. Me? I’m on Team Fairies. Sorry, but they’re just better than Robots.more
- January 1, 1970CoolcurryReview pending until January.
- January 1, 1970USOMI have been loving this anthology spree I've been on. If you haven't seen it over the holidays, I've been reviewing anthologies about Asian SFF, caregivers, powerful women, and this stunning anthology to end my spree. If you love robots, OR fairies, you need this anthology. I rarely keep anthologies around to re-read, but this is making a permanent home on my shelf. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.more
- January 1, 1970AnnThis is a wonderful collection of stories by various authors that is themed around science vs. magic. Many of the stories combine the two. Many are short and to the point. 18 authors take a stand for their opinion if robots are the better story line or fairies with that wonderful touch of magic should stand out. I've always been a fairy fan but I'll let you decide who writes the more convincing theory. This will fill a gap in your fantasy shelf.more
- January 1, 1970Glennisreview to come
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