Transcendent: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction (Paperback)
(This book cannot be returned.)
This collection of speculative fiction is full of trans stories, whether they be stories centering around trans characters, symbolism, or simply the concept of transformation. And man, is it refreshing. This collection is a breath of fresh air, unique above all else, and strays from the more common trappings of speculative fiction to instead linger in the realm of whimsical possibility. Some favorites of mine from the collection: one in which a trans man, now grown up, reunites with his time-traveling mother who abandoned him for a new future, one in which an Amish boy grapples with his uncontrollable transformation into a grey mare, and one in which the nonbinary crew of a spaceship fuels the ship through inflicting pain on themselves. This collection is beautifully weird, and absolutely worth reading.— Ellis M.
There are fantastical stories with actual transgender characters, some for whom that is central and others for whom that isn't. And there are stories without transgender characters, but with metaphors and symbolism in their place, genuine expressions of self through such speculative fiction tropes as shapeshifting and programming. Transgender individuals see themselves in transformative characters, those outsiders, before seeing themselves as human protagonists. Those feelings are still valid. But though the stories involve transformation and outsiders, sometimes the change is one of self-realization. This anthology will be a welcome read for those who are ready to transcend gender through the lens of science fiction, fantasy, and other works of imaginative fiction.