Having forgotten about this review after the upheaval of last year’s end, I belatedly bring you this review, after a badly needed editing session.
This latest anthology (and my first foray into the YEAG series) is packed with 24 multifarious stories. In a universe where anything can happen, the scope will really appeal to children who no doubt already love their science fiction with so much good stuff about in plenty of mediums.
Getting children reading is always rewarding both for themselves and in the wider view a more literate society. Having heroes their own age, who they can relate to and imagine themselves in such situations will definitely fuel their passion for books and adventure.
The Dreaming Robot Press page states that, Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here. Add in people with handicaps as well and this is a truly inclusive mix. I did find the book heavily weighted to female protagonists which makes sense as there is an under representation of both female authors and female protagonists in the genre. The boy in me would have perhaps wished for a bit more balance but there is enough choice for me out there already and it was refreshing to read about female characters and their escapades for a change.
The variation is pleasing and has plenty of depth with the different styles of writing and setting, there is something to suit all tastes and also a lot of scope here to feed a child’s imagination and to encourage them to write and read more. The stories also have a social aspect, exploring what it is like to be seen as different, coping with illness as well as displaying determination, loyalty, and all that good stuff too.
The first story The Robot Did It The Robot Did it, written by Nebula award winner Nancy Kress starts the anthology off with a tale of friendship and responsibility when the life of all is threatened. The final offering rounding everything off is Jess Harpley’s The First Dawn of Earth, a tale of startling change for the protagonist and the sense of a weight of history and decision. In between the reader is invited to journey below the waves, marvel at volcanic derring-do and explore long forgotten colonies.
Perhaps it is just me but the title holds special appeal as it reminds me of The hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and linking books together is a great way to set a younger reader’s book wish list well on its way to the length that will finally make its completion attainable, just like it is for the rest of us.
After wrestling with the temptation all review, I’m just going to go ahead and say it….its fun to stay at YEAG!
I don’t normally add trailers, mainly being unaware of their existence but I found this one and it reminded me vaguely of the theme tune from Star Trek: Voyager and by extension Kes, who was always far more interesting than all that 7 of 9 nonsense.