A review by veganschnitzel
Transcendent: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction by K.M. Szpara


like most collections, this was a mixed bag, but definitely more hits than misses in the collection. I especially enjoyed Nino Cipri's time-travel story "The Shape of My Name," the heartfelt magic realism of A. Merc Rustad's "When Monster's Dance," and the high-school horror of Molly Tanzer's "The Thing on the Cheerleading Squad."

it's a pleasure to read a bunch of stories featuring trans characters where the primary conflict isn't transition, and it's cool that the collection samples a pretty broad spectrum of subgenres. I was disappointed at the degree the collection skews transmasculine/nonbinary, though -- I definitely could have used more trans femmes. generally speaking I was less excited about the stories included in here that were "metaphorically" trans, or that qualified on the virtue of some character using gender neutral pronouns.

it's exciting that there's now enough trans speculative fiction to make a book like this, full of high-quality writing and imagination, a reality. i hope that there's another edition next year!