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Keystone Chronicles, edited by Juliana Rew is an anthology about subtly important things: turning points on which pivot the histories of species, planetary satellites that have been turned into expensive liabilities and reimagined cynical fantasy alternatives.

The idea of the keystone, as a theme for an anthology, sounds vague enough for it to be a risky thing to tackle. When I picked up this anthology in the first place, I could only come up with a quite literal interpretation of the theme. Thankfully, Third FlatIron’s choices did their best to prove me wrong.

From occult bee-related disturbances to journals by extraterrestrial Contact officials, Keystone Chronicles does a great job of providing a fascinating variety, more than any of the other anthologies the publisher has put out so far. Warzel’s “You Cannot Have a Meaningful Campaign…” reads like a ‘who’s up next’ repurposed for a hard science fiction universe, Bowden’s “Splinters” is a pitch-black humorous approach to the tale of Prometheus and King’s “To Their Wandering Eyes” has that unique, Stantislave Lem-like quality you just won’t find in newer science fiction.

“Grins and Gurgles” a flash-fiction section of the anthology, features some great work of flash science fiction, but unfortunately, its first two stories tend to lean more to an esoteric, author-y type of humor that only writers will get. That’s not to say Sherridan’s “Saint Urho” wasn’t a joy tor read through.

With these things in mind, I believe that the publisher would do well to start considering longer-length anthologies. Set at 107 pages, Keystone is a collection that could very well introduce you to the light but filling style of the publisher, but its length will probably leave you wishing for more.

Keystone Chronicles is published by Third FlatIron Press

Keystone Chronicles Anthology, edited by Juliana Rew
POSITIVES -More variety than ever -Surprisingly creative twists based on the anthology's theme NEGATIVES -Most 'Giggles and Gurgles' flash stories were too esoteric for most readers -The anthology feels a bit on the short side
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About The Author

Konstantine

Konstantine is a writer by choice. His short stories have been published in Haikaosru's Battle Royale-Slam Book, the AE Canadian SF Review and the Savage Beasts anthology by Grey Matter Press. People tell him he's got a writing problem, but he's recently managed to have one of his stories published in Japanese so he guesses he's still got it under control. He's got a Patreon Account, where he writes SF flash fiction and dreams to one day isolating himself in a little house in the mountains, where he will live off the land and order groceries from Amazon, like his glorious ancestors.

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