Unlimited Futures (ed by Rafeif Ismail & Ellen van Neerven, Fremantle Press)
Unlimited Futures is a YA anthology of sci-fi and speculative fiction edited by Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neerven. What makes it so different from other collections like it is the anthology’s centring of Blak and Black lives in an Australian context. Unlimited Futures contains a mix of genres including poetry, which is rare in sci-fi anthologies but works well here, providing the collection with a dynamic pace. There are stories of intergalactic healers, repressive government regimes and powerful spirits and ancestors, as well as tales of power, greed, tragic love and the beauty of Country and community. Each piece encompasses culture in some way, emphasising its importance as not just a thing of the past but also as having a place in present and future. Across space and time, culture has a place and is continuously evolving. The opening introduction is brief but important, outlining the editors’ initial idea and their intent with the book. The stories selected for the anthology perfectly encompass the central idea of ‘unlimited futures’ and though at times the anthology can be heartbreaking, it is also poetic and powerful. The authors of each piece range from established to emerging so this anthology is also a great way to read some new writers; it contains something for everyone. Unlimited Futures is recommended for those who have enjoyed Ryan Griffen’s TV series Cleverman and the stories in N K Jemisin’s How Long ’til Black Future Month?
Tracy-Kate Simambo is a writer and former Djed Press mentee.