Recognize Fascism by Crystal M. Huff (editor)

Recognize Fascism by Crystal M. Huff (editor)
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Across many worlds and many timelines, these stories depict the moments when people see the fascism in front of them for what it is, accept it as real, and make the choice to fight it. Who are the canaries in the coal mine? When can the long-hidden voice no longer be ignored? Anti-fascist rebellion can take many forms. A transgender woman living on an artificial satellite learns to reject oppression via poetry. A machine ethicist finds a way to dance with her gods in a surveillance state. An unlikely golem hears a new call to action. A jailed musician rediscovers the music of rebellion.

Will you recognize fascism and join the rebellion?

With stories by Sam J. Miller, Jaymee Goh, Brandon O’Brien, Octavia Cade, Jennifer Shelby, and many more…

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In “The Scale of Defiance,” everyone’s bodies grew larger when they were happy and smaller when they felt fear or other negative emotions. I liked Leena immediately and couldn’t wait to find out why she was so tiny when the audience first met her. She was a sensible person who seemed to understand the danger she was in due to living in a dangerously homophobic society. Seeing how she coped with the stress of being queer in those circumstances only made me more curious to see what would happen to her next.

This might be a good time to note that this anthology included many different types of fascism, from governments that could definitely exist in our world to ones that required magic or scientific advancements we don’t yet possess to work. I loved seeing so many different takes on this topic.

Keep the previous paragraph in mind as you read this one. It was impossible for me to pick favorites in this anthology, but “What Eyes Can See” was definitely a unique one. Gail, the main character in it, was annoyed by the fact that she was getting a new solar panel installed on her roof she’d neither ordered nor wanted. That’s about the last thing I’d expect to read about in the context of a fascist government, so I was eager to read more. While I can’t go into more detail about this unwelcome change in her life without giving away the ending, I can say it was well written and gave me plenty of food for thought.

The title of “That Time I Got Demon Doxxed While Smuggling Contraband to the Red States” reveals much of what readers should know about its plot ahead of time. It was set in the somewhat near future and was about a smuggler who ended up with more than they bargained for right as they were about to smuggle more goods to the blue states in what used to be the United States. The narrator explained some of the unique things about their world, but many others were left for us to slowly piece together on our own. It was a great deal of fun for me to figure out what they meant when they used certain terms that weren’t immediately defined.

Recognize Fascism was a wild ride that I can’t recommend highly enough to anyone who has wondered how they’d react in a crisis.

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