Keystone Chronicles, edited by Juliana Rew

keystone-chronicles-edited-by-juliana-rew cover imageGenre: Mixed Genre Anthology
Publisher: Third Flatiron Publishing
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: threehalfstars
Book Review by David L. Felts

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Keystone Chronicles is the 17th volume in Juliana Rew’s Third Flatiron themed anthology series. This books theme is “keystone”, referring to “the heart or core of something, the crux, or central principle” and contains 19 stories that venture all over the speculative fiction landscape, from fantasy to science fiction set in outer space.

The lead-off story is “Our Problem Child: Langerfeld the Moon,” by Marilyn K. Martin, who presents a tale dealing with salvation and loss and nostalgia as scientists struggle to save a moon heavily damaged in a war with aliens.

Echoes of cyberpunk rear up in “Coding Haven”, by Brandon Crilly, where a computer programmer is key to saving the planet via virtual reality, but might not be able to save herself.

“Every Planet Has One”, by John Marr is a fun tale of a doom-sayers prediction coming true.

Three stories seem united around a common theme, that one being the idea that human evolution might be the result of an external and intentional interference. Maureen Bowden offers up a fun story of goods and the Fates in “Splinters.” Gustavo Bondoni’s take a fantastic tack in his fairy tale, “Racial Memory”, while Bear Kosik’s “See You on Hel” relays the tale of an overworked scientist who discovers extraterrestrials have been helping humanity for thousands of years.

“How Far Away the Stars” is a fun twist on the old knight versus dragon mythology.

I’ve touched on only a few of the stories presented here. Although not all the stories will strike every reader’s fancy, there’s something here for everyone. It’s nice to see Juliana still giving writers, both neophyte and experienced, and opportunity to play with the short form.

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