THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT should appeal to readers whether or not they are familiar with Elliott’s existing writing

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For The Skiffy and Fanty Show, Jonah Sutton-Morse delivers a thorough and thoughtful review of THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT.

There’s a charge often leveled against books that feature women that they must be “political” or that centering relationships between women either attacks men or somehow interferes with the story. In the essays in this book and elsewhere, Elliott addresses the notion of stories that are more or less “political” (spoilers — “The Status Quo Does Not Need Worldbuilding“), but the stories in this collection show again and again that exploring relationships we do not often see in fantasy and science fiction enhances rather than weakens the narrative.  In “The Queen’s Garden,” two sisters, their network of relatives and servants, and the men who come to their father’s court all together weave a story of heroism, treachery and love both romantic and familial — and more successfully than any smaller narrative could have. And “To Be a Man” shows a frank and charming appreciation for men among a household of women.

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The Very Best of Kate Elliott is a collection of stories and essays that should appeal to readers whether or not they are familiar with Elliott’s existing writing. The thoughtful introduction and essays provide a framework for understanding why stories about women viewed through the female gaze are so essential to broadening and reclaiming the science fiction/fantasy tradition.  The twelve stories filled with diverse characters, the wisdom of age, and the exuberance of youth put that framework into practice.  The gorgeous cover art by Julie Dillon is the final cherry on top.

Read the rest of Sutton-Morse’s insightful thoughts at The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

For more on THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Julie Dillon.

Design by Elizabeth Story.