The next three stories in the Subversion anthology are all about germination; growth and change from within. Each reveals a different sort of transformation of a different type of group, but all these stories follow one person taking one step in the right direction. They show us that leaders must first revolutionize themselves before they can expect to lead a revolution.
Jean Johnson’s The Hero Industry possesses more whimsy than most of the other stories in the Subversion anthology, but it’s still a good fit. In it, our heroine makes the most of a bad situation for all involved by bluffing and press-releasing her way to the top of an emerging field. All of her success – for herself and her unlikely clients – would be impossible if she was unwilling to negotiate with chaos.
In Flicka, by Cat Rambo, life in the backwoods gets complicated when the arrival of strange neighbors inevitably spurs identity crises among the locals. One young man, exceptional in his own quiet way, wants to bridge the divide between the ‘aliens’ and their reluctant hosts, but trust takes time to build, and hatred undermines all hospitality. To make things right in his world, the gentle man must start with himself and build from there.
Seed, by Shanna Germain, is a many-layered story. Uniquely among the other Subversion stories, it first leads the reader to accept the unacceptable even before the characters must. It examines the delicate relationship between two vastly different cultures, but doesn’t shy from the double-standards within those cultures which make that cross-cultural relationship so attractive. Sometimes rules must be broken for people to embrace each other’s differences, and oftentimes those two acts amount to the same thing.
There are only a few stories left in the Subversion anthology for me to review. Buy it here, and beat me to the finish.