Review: Speculative Los Angeles (ARC)

The first in a new city-based series from Akashic Books, Speculative Los Angeles is a triumph. Going into this, I clearly had no concept of the breadth of genre that the term “speculative fiction” encompassed. The stories in this collection range from magical realism, to Sci-Fi, to noir, to pure horror. These are not happy stories by any stretch of the imagination, but rather they will reach inside you, grab hold of your heart, your lungs, your stomach, and tear you apart. The first few were some of the hardest to read, for me. I sobbed almost the entire way through Alex Espinoza’s “Detainment”, and “Peak TV” by Ben H. Winters scared me so much I almost tossed the entire book in my freezer. The collection ends with “Sailing that Beautiful Sea” by Kathleen Kaufman, which was hauntingly beautiful and bittersweet. As for the tales in between, they were gray and desolate, exquisitely constructed stories of alternate realities, AI, and climate disasters. I’m a huge fan of the Akashic Noir series and I cannot wait to see what Akashic comes up with next.

Out February 2, 2021. Thank you to Akashic Books and LibraryThing for the Advance Uncorrected Proof in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

~ by Rachel on January 23, 2021.

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