August 27, 2009
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by Holly Bkacl and Cecil Castellucci

Recommended by Corey Doctorow, this anthology collects intelligent stories about intelligent young people with unusual interests. The editor’s own story, “Once You’re a Jedi, You’re a Jedi All The Way” is terrific fun: a Chinese-American Klingon girl wakes up at a science-fiction convention to find herself with a terrible hangover, in bed next to a Jedi. Scott Westerfield’s “Definition Chaos” is a curious project brilliantly executed, and Kelley Link’s “Secret Identity” is the story that really sells the collection, a terrific excursion into what I’ve come to think of as the Greco-Emswhiller Territory.

It’s shameful that we continue to find talent, intelligence, and passion to be a defect that young people must overcome or transcend, but these “stories from the nerd herd” are more fun than a barrel of kobolds.