His Last Victim by K.G. Anderson

I really wasn’t expecting a tale of a cross-dresser in a collection of Jack the Ripper stories. Like, at all. Although, to be fair, I rarely expect to come across such a tale, so when you’re reading about historical fiction and retakes on a notorious serial killer… there isn’t much that could be farther from my mind.

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The Duke of Riverside by Ellen Kushner

The wit and dry humour in this story had me chuckling a fair bit. There was something about a strange, lanky scholar who was desperate to be killed roaming the streets and just having absolutely no luck. It got even better when you found out that he was a duke and abhorrent to the rest of his family. The beauty, humour and irony in the story had me cackling more than I should probably admit if I still wanted people to consider me sane (which I don’t, so it’s fine).

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La Reine d’Enfer by Kathe Koja

When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t quite remember what this short story was even about. There was a vague memory of enjoying the story and thinking it was very good, but I just couldn’t remember what happened in it. So I had to have a quick look at the pages again. And then it all came flooding back to me. And I’m really not sure why I didn’t remember this much clearer from the very beginning. There was a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to this story, with a great sense of darkness and brutality.

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The Faerie Cony-catcher by Delia Sherman

Without giving away the ending of this story (and why it is in the LGBTQI shelf), I can tell you that one of the characters is really not what I thought they were. And the reaction to this was kind of beautiful. I thought that this was going to go haywire incredibly quickly. However, it led to a great happy ending. And an acceptance of people who are just a little bit different from ourselves.

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Some Kind of Wonderland by Richard Bowes

I enjoyed this short story far more than I was expecting. I thought that it would be a slightly lame recap on the filming of a rework of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And it was that. But it really wasn’t lame. The description of the film, the characters and their issues (both within and without the film), even the setting were such a beautiful contemporary and modern approach to an old classic.

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The Hands That Feed by Matthew Kressel

I enjoyed the slight hint of an LGBTQI relationship throughout this story – it wasn’t intense and overbearing, but there was enough that this short story gets put on the LGBTQI shelf in my collection. I also liked that you constantly questioned the actual motives of Divya as you could further see Jessica falling for her… there was just something slightly and uncomfortably off in their interactions that doesn’t truly click until the very end of the storyline when everything is revealed.

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