[Re]Awakenings: An Anthology of New Speculative Fiction was published by Elsewhen Press in 2011. Elsewhen Press is a small publisher independent publisher specialising in speculative fiction.

Here's a description of [Re]Awakenings: An Anthology of New Speculative Fiction:

[Re]Awakenings are the starting points for life-changing experiences; a new plane of existence, an alternate reality or cyber-reality. This genre-spanning anthology of new speculative fiction explores that theme with a spectrum of tales, from science fiction to fantasy to paranormal; in styles from clinically serious to joyfully silly. As you read through them all, and you must read all of them, you will discover along the way that stereo-typical distinctions between the genres within speculative fiction are often arbitrary and unhelpful. You will be taken on an emotional journey through a galaxy of sparkling fiction; you will laugh, you will cry; you will consider timeless truths and contemplate eternal questions.

All of life is within these pages, from birth to death (and in some cases beyond). In all of these stories, most of them specifically written for this anthology, the short story format has been used to great effect. If you haven't already heard of some of these authors, you soon will as they are undoubtedly destined to become future stars in the speculative fiction firmament.

Remember, you read them here first!


[Re]Awakenings: An Anthology of New Speculative Fiction is a fascinating and versatile anthology of fantasy, horror and science fiction stories. The common theme for these stories is awakening, but each author approaches this subject in a different way.

Here's a bit of information about the stories and my thoughts about them:

Podcast by Alison Buck

  • A story about a woman who has been kidnapped by aliens and has to live inside a pod.
  • The ending of this story is excellent, because it reveals what's going on.

Worth It by Alexander Skye

  • An interesting story about a man who takes an insurance to secure his family's needs if he happens to die.
  • A well written story.

The Merry Maiden Wails by Robin Moran

  • A good horror story about a small village and a statue of Merry Maiden.
  • I think that everybody who enjoys reading horror stories will like this story.

If You Go into the Woods Today... by Peter Wolfe

  • An excellent dark fairy tale for adults about a woodcutter who gets lost in the woods.
  • I recently read an ARC version of Laird Barron's The Croning and was impressed by the use of an old fairy-tale as the basis for the story. This story is a bit similar to that dark fairy tale.

Afterlife by P. R. Pope

  • A story about a woman who dies and has to decide where she wants to go in the afterlife.
  • An interesting and totally different kind of a vision about afterlife.

Dreamers by Alison Buck

  • An excellent fantasy story about a young girl who can talk to people who have been badly injured.
  • This is a touching and beautifully written story.

Courtesy Bodies by P. R. Pope

  • A brilliant story about a couple who have been in a car accident and get to spend a holiday in new bodies.
  • The ending is simply brilliant.

Dreaming Mars by Alexander Skye

  • A story about Anna who returns home after being several years in space.
  • The author writes fluently about Anna's feelings.

Mirror Mirror by Alison Buck

  • A story about a person who is captured by aliens and has to endure tests.
  • The ending is excellent.

The Adventures of Kit Brennan: Kidnapped! by Neil Faarid

  • A humorous and slightly satirical story about Kit Brennan, who's a space pilot.
  • When I finished reading this story, I thought that it would be nice to read more about Kit Brennan's adventures.

BlueWinter by Alexander Skye

  • An interesting story about virtual reality.
  • The author writes fluently about the happenings.

Intervention by Alison Buck

  • A story about Mac and Gibbs who run away from Stalkers.
  • This story takes an interesting turn near the end when everything is revealed to the reader.

On the Game by P. R. Pope

  • Tim has become a gigolo and he thinks about his new life and duties.
  • I liked the way the author wrote about the happenings and Tim's situation.

Exploring the Heavens by Alexander Skye

  • A short, but extremely well written story about meeting a new alien race.
  • The author writes about aliens and religious things in an interesting way.

The Dragon and the Rose by Gingerlily

  • A humourous, sarcastic and a bit different kind of a fairy tale, which will appeal to several readers.
  • I enjoyed this story very much.

I was very pleased with these stories, because they were good and well written stories. To be honest, I was impressed by how excellent these stories were. These stories had unexpected turns and twists, the prose was good and the authors had used lots of imagination to create unforgettable happenings, so I liked all of these stories.

I think it's great that P. R. Pope has chosen several different kind of stories to this anthology, because each story is unique and offers lots of enjoyment to its reader. Some of these stories are thought-provoking (for example, Worth It is a thought-provoking story), but others are simply entertaining (The Adventures of Kit Brennan: Kidnapped! is a good example of an entertaining story).

Each author has his/her own writing style and when you read all the stories, you'll notice how many different styles there are in this anthology. I hope that these authors continue to write more speculative fiction, because they have lots of potential (I'd like to read more stories from them, because they're talented authors).

It's nice that the stories range from fairy tales to fantasy and from horror to science fiction, because there's something for everybody in this anthology. These stories contain almost everything from wonders to heartbreak. The wide range of emotions experienced by the characters will delight several readers.

I was very impressed by Peter Wolfe's If You Go into the Woods Today... I've always loved dark fairy tales and dark fantasy stories, so this fantastically written fairy tale made a huge impression on me. It would be nice to read more stories like this one. (Although this story doesn't contain any teddy bears and the happenings are dark, the strange atmosphere reminded me of the lyrics of a well known song "The Teddy Bears' Picnic": If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise...")

[Re]Awakenings: An Anthology of New Speculative Fiction is an entertaining anthology, which is full of good stories. It can be recommended to readers of speculative fiction. If you enjoy reading well written and fascinating stories, this anthology won't disappoint you.

Highly recommended!

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