Disclaimer: as y’all know, I’m one of the 24 authors. So let me tell you a little about the other 23 stories, because damn this is a good book.
First of all, many science fiction subgenres are represented here. There’s steampunk (and wild west steampunk), battles, space ships, hard sci-fi (Main Character against their environment mostly), soft sci-fi (learning to learn, learning to trust, etc.), space dragons, LOTS of robots, and terraforming, just to name a few.
There’s a story based on Oliver Twist in here, people. Middle-grades sci-fi Oliver Twist.
Lest you think it’s all light fun and games, know that while these stories are written for middle-grade readers and up, the collection tackles some universal topics. There are stories that will make you think about long-term effects of racism or ableism. There are stories that will make you think about loneliness, about death of a family member, about working together in the depth of tragedy.
And there’s also a story of a mechanical monkey stealing a valise, so it’s also not a book I’d call gloomy or too heavy.
In fact, one of the things I love about this book is that pretty much every story ends on an up note. There are plenty of things to think about, yes, but our heroes and heroines succeed. (Well maybe not Pluto.) (It’s not a spoiler when the planet was demoted in 2006!)
As always I am honored to be included around such wonderful stories, but believe you me I’d be reading this thing even if I wasn’t published in it. The Young Explorers Adventure Guides are so good a friend’s non-sci-fi kid devours them every year. I took a copy into work and it disappeared off the swap shelf immediately. This is a good book.