Keystone Chronicles – Juliana Rew, Editor (2016 Third Flatiron Publishing, Colorado)
Third Flatiron Publishing recently released another highly entertaining anthology, Keystone Chronicles, and once again, I’m delighted with the creative theme. For this volume, writers were encouraged to place a keystone object or concept at the heart of their stories and run with it – and they certainly did. Standouts for me include Marilyn K. Martin’s walloping opener “Our Problem Child: Langerfeld, the Moon” (also available as a podcast here), Brandon Crilly’s dark and brilliant take on a VR world in “Coding Human,” Maureen Bowen’s delightful mythology of the Three Fates (“Splinters”), the gut-kicking development of Edward Palumbo’s “Desol8,” and Bascomb James’ “TANSTAFFL,” in which there are serious repercussions for tapping into resources of unknown origin. As always, the humorous flash fiction pieces that are included with every anthology are a treat; I especially got a good chuckle out of Larry Lefkowitz’ “Rejection” (the scourge of writers everywhere), and Damian Sheridan’s “Remembrance of Saint Urho” was laugh-out-loud fun. The diversity of style and voice and the solid talent of all of the writers involved makes for a fantastic read. Throw this one on your e-reader for the holidays, you’ll be happy you did.