The actual collection for 2019 is similar to the previous in many aspects, but the overall quality is lower and the overall concept is not a winning idea either.
Even in the 2018’s collection it was strange that all the main characters were girls, the boys were only exceptions. Now almost all the heroines are not just girls, but disabled, mostly half-legged girls with some kind of prosthesis… Everybody could be a hero. But making all the main characters to disabled little girls seems like some kind of overreacting.
Also many of them are orphans, and the other base idea for the stories that those are played on zeppelins. So the book is full of half-legged orphan girls, who live in zeppelins – it’s OK for one story, or some, but it is constrained and strange that all the independent authors were forced to use this similar setup.
My favorites were:
- Machine Language – the very first story, about the first connection with the aliens, between robots, where the human’s robot is driven by a half-legged girl on a space rocket.
- The Ground Shifted – another a pretty good story, where a girl sees everything in subatomic levels, which is a brilliant idea. It’s so sad – her parents were killed by her uncle, but eventually she is figuring out what to do.
- Thunderbolt Trail – an illegal race through the USA with very old cars (with gasoline propulsion!), with a boy and his dad.
- The Last Laugh – it’s a dictatorship, where jokes and laugh are forbidden, and some teenagers are frightened for their life. But humor helps, and it’s a funny reading at last.
- Yawn us to sleep and devour our dreams – a strange, but interesting idea for alien invasion: the aliens are yawning us to death, but it works, and the connection between the little girl and her family is heartbreaking.
Sean and Corie Weaver (Editors): The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Volume 5
Dreaming Robot Press
I got an advance copy through Netgalley.