Distaff–A New Sci-fi Short Story Anthology

DISTAFF: NOUN

A staff used in spinning.
Of women and women’s work.
An anthology of women’s stories woven through time and space.

courtesy of the Distaff website

Distaff is a new anthology of science-fiction short stories born out of discussions by several female authors on the forums of the SFFChronicles. Beyond it being sci-fi, there is no common theme or thread to the anthology, which means the stories cover a wide range of styles and subjects, including a near-future Swedish crime story, chickens possessed by aliens (much more frightening than it sounds!), parents who learn they will never understand tech as well as their teenage offspring (timed perfectly to imitate life, though it was the news media that dropped the ball here) and a disturbing take on what might happen when evolution gets its messy hands on all the plastic swirling around in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

As with any anthology, there are hits and misses and some of the writing could use a little more polish. That said, there is a huge amount of imagination on show and a diversity of styles, from unrelentingly dark to lightly humerous and from mini space-opera to hard sci-fi to a touch of romance (if love with an AI that doesn’t understand why it is bad to kill people can be called romance). In other words, there should be something for almost everyone here.

Distaff is available from Aug. 15. If you are interested in learning more about any of the authors in the anthology, Peat Long has published a set of short interviews with them here.

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