Farther Reefs: Ten Stories of Ocean Adventure, New Relationships, and Nautical Mystery – J.S. Fields & Heather Tracy & Sarah Day & Tim Pratt & William C. Tracy & N.L. Bates & Kim Pritekel & Robin C.M. Duncan & Vanessa Ricci-Thode & Kyoko M. & Sara Codair & Margaret Adelle

On a backdrop of book pages, an iPad with the cover of the Farther Reefs anthology. At the top of the image, a strip of torn paper with a quote: "Amazing worldbuilding and so many mermaids…" and a URL: judeinthestars.com.

The same team who brought us Distant Gardens in 2021 chose the sea and its creatures for its new anthology, Farther Reefs. As J.S. Fields writes in the introduction, “There are fewer nail polish jokes this time but a lot more mermaids, which seems like a pretty fair trade”, and yes, it is. And not just mermaids…

Ten stories (by eleven authors), all sapphic, with various degrees of steam (the spiciest is at the end). I enjoyed most of them (one I skimmed because I was a bit bored, but that’s a matter of taste I think) and some I really really loved: The Salvage Sirens by Sarah Day and Tim Pratt, Haunting Georgie by Sara Codair, Jack of Diamonds by N.L. Bates, in part because it reminded me of Shell Game by Benny Lawrence. I need to read more stories by these last two authors since their Distant Gardens offerings were among my favourites as well.

What’s terrific about these collections is how each author manages to create a whole world in just a few sentences and going from one story to the other feels like travelling between worlds.


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