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Speculative Los Angeles: 02/26/21
Speculative Los Angeles edited by Denise Hamilton is a collection of fourteen short stories of speculative fiction set in Los Angeles county. As the Los Angeles locales are key to the tone of each story, the book includes a map pinpointing the setting of each one. There's a diverse selection of authors which in turn translates well to representation on the page.
The stories also each sit on the road narrative spectrum, making picking a single spot for the book as a whole tricky. I ended up averaging each of the three pieces that make up the final placement: traveler, destination, and route.
The table of contents with their road narrative spectrum placement is below.
I have also taken the map included in the book to show where each of these stories (with its spectrum placement) takes place.
Taking all the stories together, thematically the book is about about marginalized people — some down on their luck, others out of place, another being the last human alive, others hiding from the government, and so forth. Collectively their destination is the wildlands — either looking for an environment not thrashed by climate change, or the illegal tournament grounds of the old dumps, or the tar pits of La Brea, or the Angeles National Forest as a safe haven. Their routes are through the maze — danger and blind alleys in many forms, many of which are rendered in physical form by the city itself.
I received an ARC through the Early Readers Program at Library Thing.