I am a sucker for short stories and science fiction, so when I had the opportunity to read a review copy of "Strange Bedfellows: An Anthology of Political Science Fiction" edited by Hayden Trenholm, I jumped at the chance to see what this anthology was all about.
"Strange Bedfellows" is an anthology that looks to illustrate the relationship between science fiction and politics and the way in which these two seemingly disparate genres interact to shape our world and worlds that could be. As can be expected by an anthology shaped by politics, the stories in this book are shaped by passion and beliefs that have a strong impact on the stories. Politics is one of the most passionate areas of modern society and this anthology seeks to spark a conversation, at least in the reader's mind if not in reality, about how politics shapes our worldview as well as our views of what could have been or what could be in the future.
Short story anthologies are notoriously hard to review as they normally contain a mixture of stories that elicit varied responses from the reader. As with most anthologies, "Strange Bedfellows" follows suit in this regard as some of the stories were thought provoking and moving while others failed to capture that spark for me. The stories that I enjoyed the most may not be the same stories that another reader would find captivating. This is especially true in this anthology as political views are varied and summon such strong passion that some readers may be completely turned off by some stories that clash with their political views simply due to that fact. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable anthology filled with well written stories that in which in could find value in spite of (and sometimes because of) their political views. Yes, some of the stories did not work well for me while others were very compelling. Overall, "Strange Bedfellows" is an interesting anthology that is well worth reading for fans of science fiction and political fiction as well. Politics have played an important role in science fiction for a long time and are a powerful force in some of the classic science fiction works (such as the works of George Orwell and Frank Herbert's "Dune" series) and this anthology presents an interesting mixture of political views in science fiction that is varied and even from distinctly opposing viewpoints. I would doubt that there is a reader that will enjoy every story in this anthology but I also doubt that there is a reader who will feel cheated by the experience of reading the stories that are collected here.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Bundoran Press Publishing for this review copy. "Strange Bedfellows" is available now.