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Review: Xenocultivars Anthology


Genre: Speculative Fiction

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Intersex, Lesbian, Non-Binary, Poly, Trans FTM, Trans MTF

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

This collection of speculative short fiction is about all kinds of queer growth, from emerging and developing to flourishing and cultivating. Whether they’re tender sprouts just beginning to discover themselves or deeply-rooted leaders fiercely defending those they love, the people in these stories have this in common: you can’t tell them what to do. They grow as they please.

The Review

I have always loved anthologies. They are like charcuterie boards for the brain: you get a nice variety of small bites that give you the opportunity to try new authors without the time or emotional commitment of a longer novel. 

Xenocultivars is a particularly excellent compilation, expertly edited and curated by Isabela Oliveira and Jed Sabin. Each of the stories contains the common element of plants that are used to symbolize the growth expressed in the story.

The tales range from the slightly spooky to the profound. The stories included in this anthology, while short, are powerful and meaningful. 

Xenocultivars was a lovely compilation of speculative short fiction that celebrates the many facets of queer growth and expression, both personally and culturally. It’s an excellent introduction to several new authors whose work I’m interested in finding outside of this anthology. 

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.

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