A review of Existence is Elsewhen

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Existence is Elsewhen was published by Elsewhen Press in March 2016.

Information about Existence is Elsewhen:

Twenty stories from twenty great writers
The title, Existence is Elsewhen, paraphrases the last sentence of André Breton's 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism, perfectly summing up the intent behind this anthology of stories from a wonderful collection of authors. Different worlds... different times. It's what Elsewhen Press has been about since we launched our first title in 2011.

In Existence is Elsewhen we present twenty science fiction stories for you to enjoy. We are delighted that headlining this anthology is the fantastic John Gribbin, with a worrying vision of medical research in the near future. Future global healthcare is the theme of J. A. Christy's story; while the ultimate in spare part surgery is where Dave Weaver takes us. Edwin Hayward's search for a renewable protein source turns out to be digital; and Tanya Reimer's story with characters we think we know, gives us pause for thought about another food we take for granted. Evolution is examined too, with Andy McKell's chilling tale of what states could become if genetics are used to drive policy. Similarly, Robin Moran's story explores the societal impact of an undesirable evolutionary trend; while Douglas Thompson provides a truly surreal warning of an impending disaster that will reverse evolution, with dire consequences.

On a lighter note, we have satire from Steve Harrison discovering who really owns the Earth (and why); and Ira Nayman, who uses the surreal alternative realities of his Transdimensional Authority series as the setting for a detective story mash-up of Agatha Christie and Dashiel Hammett. Pursuing the crime-solving theme, Peter Wolfe explores life, and death, on a space station; while Stefan Jackson follows a police investigation into some bizarre cold-blooded murders in a cyberpunk future. Going into the past, albeit an 1831 set in the alternate Britain of his Royal Sorceress series, Christopher Nuttall reports on an investigation into a girl with strange powers.

Strange powers in the present-day is the theme for Tej Turner, who tells a poignant tale of how extra-sensory perception makes it easier for a husband to bear his dying wife's last few days. Difficult decisions are the theme of Chloe Skye’s heart-rending story exploring personal sacrifice. Relationships aren't always so close, as Susan Oke's tale demonstrates, when sibling rivalry is taken to the limit. Relationships are the backdrop to Peter R. Ellis's story where a spectacular mid-winter event on a newly-colonised distant planet involves a Madonna and Child. Coming right back to Earth and in what feels like an almost imminent future, Siobhan McVeigh tells a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of using technology to deflect the blame for their actions. Building on the remarkable setting of Pera from her LiGa series, and developing Pera's legendary Book of Shadow, Sanem Ozdural spins the creation myth of the first light tree in a lyrical and poetic song. Also exploring language, the master of fantastika and absurdism, Rhys Hughes, extrapolates the way in which language changes over time, with an entertaining result.


Existence is Elsewhen is a speculative fiction anthology that wonderfully showcases what the small independent publisher Elsewhen Press has to offer for speculative fiction readers. It will please many readers, because it's something special and mesmerising.

Existence is Elsewhen was a pleasant surprise for me. I enjoyed all of the stories, because it's filled with original stories that highlight the imagination and writing skills of various authors. It was nice that the stories ranged from entertaining stories to thought-provoking stories, because I like to read both kind of stories. I found it intriguing that there was plenty of diversity among the stories, because their contents ranged from colonising new planets to reverse evolution.

If there are readers out there who are not familiar with Elsewhen Press and their books, here's a bit of information about Elsewhen Press:

Elsewhen Press has published many interesting, exciting, entertaining and thought-provoking books. Their books range all the way from fantasy to science fiction and cover quite a lot of ground between different sub-genres of speculative fiction. They've also published a science fiction novel that is partly a graphic novel.

Existence is Elsewhen is in equal parts a homage to the publisher's various authors and an exciting glimpse into what modern speculative fiction has to offer for readers. It's an interesting anthology to those who want to read something out of the ordinary and want to be thrilled by stories that push and stretch the limits of normality and strangeness in various ways.

Existence is Elsewhen is filled with stories that showcase the talents of many gifted authors, some of whom may be unknown to many readers. Some of the authors have already established themselves as published authors, but others are at the beginning of their careers. Each of the authors has a distinct writing style and his/her own way of enhancing the atmosphere by means of skillful storytelling.

This anthology contains the following stories:

- Christy, J. A. - Inside and Out™ V.5 - From Here to ETERNITY
- Ellis, Peter R. - In the bleak Long Winter
- Gribbin, John - Something to Beef about
- Harrison, Steve - Earthsale
- Hayward, Edwin - Ambrosia
- Hughes, Rhys - Jekking the Oofers
- Jackson, Stefan - Luceria
- McKell, Andy - Homo Sapiens Inferior
- McVeigh, Siobhan - Face the Music
- Moran, Robin - Degeneration
- Nayman, Ira - The Writer Did It!
- Nuttall, Christopher - The Girl in Black
- Oke, Susan - Hide and Hunt
- Ozdural, Sanem - The Song of the Sky
- Reimer, Tanya - Forbidden fruit
- Skye, Chloe - Precipitation
- Thompson, Douglas - Bird Brains
- Turner, Tej - The Last Days
- Weaver, Dave - The Copy
- Wolfe, Peter - Murder in M-23

These stories are mostly science fiction, but you can also find fantasy and a bit of horror in this anthology. All of them are excellent, because they're stories about what goes on in our world and what may happen on distant planets and space stations. They reveal interesting things about our lives, feelings and deeds.

What makes these stories especially interesting is the fact that they're all original and inventive stories with a touch of poignant pathos. They differ a lot from each other in terms of happenings, protagonists, atmosphere and endings.

One of the strengths of this anthology is that the stories have the ability to surprise you. Because brutalities, imaginative storytelling, satirical elements, humorous scenes, twisted atmosphere and originality meet each other in a compelling way in these stories, you don't know what to expect from them.

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

Christy, J. A. - Inside and Out™ V.5 - From Here to ETERNITY:

- In this story, J. A. Christy writes about a vast healthcare system that has been founded by Angus Faraday whose wife is about to have a baby. Angus is going to launch the latest version of the healthcare system.
- An excellent and chilling vision of a new global healthcare system that has changed - and will keep on changing - people's lives.

Ellis, Peter R. - In the bleak Long Winter:

- A story about Abigail who is one of the colonists who have come to colonise and terrafrom a distant planet called Disciple. She has lost her declared partner. She and the other colonists await a spectacular event.
- A well written story with a bittersweet undertone.

Gribbin, John - Something to Beef about:

- An interesting story about a researcher called David Jenkins and a new variation of BSE (mad cow disease) that seems to be tailored by somebody.
- The author's vision of a new variation of BSE is intriguingly brilliant, because he connects BSE to environmental issues.
- I liked this story very much, because it's something different.

Harrison, Steve - Earthsale:

- A brilliant and inventive satire about Earth and who really owns it.
- This is a hilarious story about Earth, its history, its current condition and who owns it. I think that many readers will laughing out loud when they read it.
- I think that readers will enjoy this story and its ending very much.

Hayward, Edwin - Ambrosia:

- An interesting story about meat substitute that has nothing to do with animals.
- This is a well written account of manufacturing meat by digital means.
- It would be nice to read more stories by this author.

Hughes, Rhys - Jekking the Oofers:

- In this story, Rhys Hughes explores how language develops and changes over time. He writes about Science Fiction English and how it differs from normal English.
- This is one of the author's funniest and most entertaining stories (I'm sure that you'll be chuckling a lot when you read this story).
- The ending is excellent.

Jackson, Stefan - Luceria:

- A fascinating and cleverly written story that is set in a cyberpunk future where things are different. It's a story about the mysterious Luceria, her beauty and her powers.
- This is one of the most intriguing science fiction stories I've ever read, because the author writes an artificial construct that drives people mad.

McKell, Andy - Homo Sapiens Inferior:

- A chilling vision of future where people are divided into two classes because of their genes: HSI and HSS (Homo sapiens inferior and Homo sapiens superior).
- A well written and cautionary tale about the possible future of mankind.
- I think that everybody who reads this story will be impressed by its atmosphere.

McVeigh, Siobhan - Face the Music:

- An excellent story about what may happen when you use technology to deflect your actions. In this story, Sir Alistair Handy finds out that leaving your Sembler in charge of things can lead to unexpected things.
- A cautionary and well written story with a memorable ending.

Moran, Robin - Degeneration:

- A fascinating story about devolution in the form of people turning into animals.
- This story has interesting references to The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells.

Nayman, Ira - The Writer Did It!:

- A hilarious murder mystery set in the author's brilliantly comic and surreal Transdimensional Authority universe.
- This wonderful story has a captivating Agatha Christie-like atmosphere.
- If this story gives you an ache for more comic splendour, please read the author's Transdimensional Authority novels, because they're amazing and extremely funny.

Nuttall, Christopher - The Girl in Black:

- This story is set in the alternate Britain of the author's Royal Sorceress series. It takes place before the end of The Great Game (Book 2 of the Royal Sorceress series).
- In this story, Lady Gwen and Solomon Davidson of Royal Sorcerers Corps investigate rumours concerning a young girl who is believed to have magical powers and works miracles.
- If you enjoy this story, please take a look at the author's Royal Sorceress series, because it's good fantasy entertainment. It's an entertaining and well written fantasy series.

Oke, Susan - Hide and Hunt:

- A thrilling story about sibling rivalry and what it can do to siblings.
- It was interesting for me to read about the happenings, because the author wrote well about them and built a good atmosphere.
- A well written story with an intriguingly brutal undertone that will touch many readers.

Ozdural, Sanem - The Song of the Sky:

- A mythic story set in the author's LiGaTM series.
- This is a beautifully told story about how the light tree and the light birds came to be as they are now.
- This story demonstrates the author's writing skills and imagination in a captivating way. If you find yourself fascinated by this story, you should take a look at the author's LiGaTM novels.

Reimer, Tanya - Forbidden Fruit:

- An intriguingly different kind of a story about Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit, apple.
- An excellent story with good atmosphere. This story is not what you might expect it to be, because it's a surprisingly original story.
- I think that this story is a good example of Tanya Reimer's writing skills and desire to write captivating stories.

Skye, Chloe - Precipitation:

- A story about Ryan who has to do something difficult and terrible to save herself.
- An excellent and gripping story with a heart-breaking ending.
- It would be nice to read more stories by this author.

Thompson, Douglas - Bird Brains:

- A brilliant story about a particle physicist turned drunk who has noticed time-reversal that will lead to reverse evolution. He thinks that an event will happen soon and it will change things forever for mandkind.
- This is a memorable and well written story that has a fascinatingly twisted and wickedly humorous edge to it.
- The use of an alcoholic protagonist adds a fantastic touch of strangeness to the story.
- This is one of Douglas Thompson's most original and intriguing stories.

Turner, Tej - The Last Days:

- A story about a man whose wife, Alica, is dying of cancer. He finds an interesting way of communicating with Alica.
- It was interesting to read about how the man and his wife communicated with each other. I was impressed by the author's way of writing about the happenings.
- An excellent story that will appeal to many readers.

Weaver, Dave - The Copy:

- A story about Anna who is been given only a short time to live. She's a Copy and her only purpose is to make the Host family's daughter healthy.
- This is one of the best stories about spare part technology I've ever read, because the author writes about the happenings from the Copy's point of view.
- You won't easily forget this story, because it sticks to your mind and you'll be thinking about it for a long time.

Wolfe, Peter - Murder in M-23:

- A story about Marcus Raines who is a disgraced naval officer and alcoholic. He finds himself in trouble on a space station.
- An interesting glimpse into what kind of things can happen on a space station and what people are capable of doing.
- Because this was a good story and I enjoyed it, I'd like to read more stories by Peter Wolfe.

Here are a few more words about some of the stories:

J. A. Christy's 'Inside and Out™ V.5 - From Here to ETERNITY' is a powerful story about a vast healthcare system and how it affects mankind. It's a magnificent vision of the possible future of mankind, because the author has a compelling way of writing about the dangers of what may happen when people are being controlled too much.

John Gribbin's 'Something to Beef about' is one of the best science fiction stories I've read this year. It stands out as a fine example of modern and original speculative fiction that is related to real issues that have happened to people. The author's approach to BSE feels fresh, because he examines things from a new and fresh perspective (to be honest, I don't recall reading about BSE in this kind of science fiction stories).

Stefan Jackson's 'Luceria' is an excellent cyber-punk story. I found it refreshing that the author wrote about an artificial construct that has the power to drive people mad, because it's difficult to find this kind of stories. I've read a few similar kind of stories, but they haven't captivated me as much as this story.

Christopher Nuttalls' 'The Girl in Black' gives readers an interesting glimpse into the world of the Royal Sorceress alternate history series. This story demonstrates how people feel about Layd Gwen and her abilities, because they think that she is not fit for the job due to her age and lack of experience.

Sanem Ozdural's 'The Song of the Sky' impressed me, because the author is capable of writing stories that have a pleasantly mythic and strange atmosphere. Although this short story is strongly connected to the LiGaTM series, it can be read as a standalone story.

Douglas Thompson's 'Bird Brains' is an intriguingly told story about an impending evolutionary disaster. The author writes well about a particle physicist who is aware of the fact that a forthcoming event will change things forever and evolution will be reversed. This is probably the strongest story in this anthology, because it's a fascinating blend of good prose, captivating storytelling and originality.

Tej Turner's 'The Last Days' showcases the author's imagination and writing skills in an excellent way. He writes well about how the man and his dying wife communicate with each other, because his vision of extra-sensory perception feels fresh. This story has plenty of emotional depth.

In my opinion, Dave Weaver's 'The Copy' should be on everybody's reading list, because it's a good and touching story about a person who is a product of a spare part system and has no future, because she is only given a week to live. I can guarantee that you won't easily forget this story.

The purpose of these stories is to showcase what kind of fiction Elsewhen Press has to offer for readers and it perfectly succeeds in it. If any of these stories make you curious about Elsewhen Press and their books, please take a look at their books as soon as possible, because they're worth reading. There's plenty to discover and enjoy in them.

I think it's worth mentioning that you don't have to be an experienced speculative reader to enjoy this anthology. These stories will please both experienced readers and newcomers to speculative fiction.

Existence is Elsewhen is a perfect anthology for readers who want to experience something different. Some of the sights and wonders explored in these stories are seldom found in modern speculative fiction, and thus make for an intriguing reading experience.

My final words are:

Existence is Elsewhen is an excellent and wonderfully imaginative speculative fiction anthology!