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Trace the Stars, edited by Joe Monson & Jaleta Clegg #BookReview

A consultant discovers how to communicate effectively with ancient, alien beings who have an entirely different perspective on the universe. A human becomes a hero for his actions, even though they were after his death. Hard choices must be made to save loved ones. When trying to prevent imminent death, insanity becomes an asset. These are only a few of the amazing stories waiting within these pages! 

Journey into the last frontier with these seventeen tales of wonder and science, including award-winning stories by some of the top writers in science fiction and brand new tales by promising up-and-comers. 

Hemelein Publications, in cooperation with LTUE Press, is proud to present this exciting collection of space opera and hard science fiction tales. We created this anthology to honor Marion K. “Doc” Smith, the original faculty mentor behind the creation of Life, the Universe, & Everything, the annual science fiction and fantasy academic symposium held in Provo, Utah. Proceeds from this volume, and those that follow in the coming years, go to support LTUE’s mission of educating and helping new writers, artists, editors, and other creatives in learning the skills they need to become successful in the speculative fiction field. 

Trace the Stars collects stories from Nancy Fulda, Sandra Tayler, Kevin J. Anderson, Brad R. Torgersen, M. K. Hutchins, Eric James Stone, Daniel Friend, Emily Martha Sorensen, David Farland, John M. Olsen, James Wymore, Eric G. Swedin, Jaleta Clegg, Paul Genesse, Wulf Moon, Beth Buck, and Julia H. West. Start your journey today!

Book cover for Trace the Stars

Title: Trace the Stars | Edited by: Joe Monson & Jaleta Clegg | Pub. Date: 2019-Feb-14 | Pages: 298 | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy from one of the editors for review consideration

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Trace the Stars Review

Trace the Stars is one of the most solid anthologies I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Although there were definitely stories I enjoyed more than others, together they form a compilation that is nothing less than a sheer delight to my sci-fi loving heart.

I appreciated that while this was a male-dominated anthology, it wasn’t the sausage-fest that so many anthologies tend to be. Of 17 stories, 7 were written by females. The book begins and ends with works from female authors. Also, there was the inclusion of a few stories that stepped outside of the Caucasian normalcy so often found in science fiction.

Glass Beads by Emily Martha Sorenson featured an Indigenous American in a leading role and acknowledges even as it tries to subvert the trope of the easily duped “Indian” on its head as the character is determined to not make the mistake so many of its ancestors did.

Neo Nihan by Paul Genesse shows us a reality centered on a Japanese colony on a distant planet that has been attacked by Earthlings (that also happens to be Japanese) and has us firmly rooting for the one woman who has the capability to save the colony.

Finally, Sea of Chaos by Julie H. West shows us re-imagined space navigation performed by one of the Puluwat people, using celestial navigation. The how of this took a moment for my brain to accept, but I ended up really appreciating it.

These, maybe in part because of their differences, were some of my favorite stories. However, I also loved Angles of Incidence by Nancy Fulda and The Ghost Conductor of the Interstellar Express by Brad R. Torgersen. Fulda gave us a translation problem solved by a brilliant but grumpy character who really prefers to work with dead things but will save the day if it’s really necessary. Torgersen’s work just embodied everything about science fiction that I loved. The technicalities of how to survive, the drama of the comet-catching, and, of course, the unknown.

Overall, Trace the Stars is an exceptional anthology. Definitely a must-have for your shelves if you’re a sci-fi fan.


You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through Better World Books.

Published inAnthologies & Collections
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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