The Fate of Mice - Susan Palwick "But mostly I was sad, listening to her, because I felt like everyone I knew had died somehow, changed into other people when I wasn't looking." Susan Palwick's collection of stories is chock full of changings, people who transform into other things, for better or for worse. An intelligence enhanced mouse, freaks born with insides on their outsides, fairy tale vampires, quick-aging werewolves, frost demon wives, truth-telling zombies, and more. There's no "normal," here. But the stories have uncanny emotional resonance, and some are on the level of must-reads, including "The Fate of Mice" and "The Old World."

A bit like the last Tachyon collection I read, the order of stories feels erratic. There is a huge difference in the quality of Palwick's later stories compared to the earlier ones, but they are mixed together with little apparent rhyme or reason. Moreso than Eileen Gunn's collection, Palwick's themes are more sustained and even substantial. It is this sustained meditation on themes of human alterity that makes the collection work, and I will recommend it highly.