The next three stories in the Subversion anthology are all tales of nurturing resistance against intractable, destructive ideas about human worth. Each in their own way, they describe our equally incorrigible drive toward freedom at the individual level and at the scale of civilization.
Pushaway by Melissa S. Green is my favorite kind of story. It’s about a girl, leaving. Leaving home and leaving her past behind, including her name. It’s about having the best revenge, too: A life well lived. Self-determination, growth, and the pursuit of happiness subvert oppression, absolutely.
In Daniel José Older’s story, Phantom Overload, institutional racism persists even in the afterlife, with dire consequences for the living and the dead. Tricked into choosing between security and justice, our half-dead-half-alive hero wisely engages in a little trickery of his own. Turn-about is fair play, in this story, and comeuppance is coming to those who mistake domination for a virtue.
Cold Against the Bone by Kelly Jennings takes us to a planet far away in the future, where one of Earth’s ugliest legacies lingers. After the corrupt labor system on Julian destroys his family, Jeno makes it his life’s work and his heart’s delight to tear down the system from within. Slavery by another name leads to revolution all the same…
There’s more, but you shouldn’t wait for me to get around to commenting on every story in this collection of fine fiction. Buy it here.