Sprawl, ed. Alisa Krasnostein

Second paragraph of third story (“How to Select a Durian at Footscray Market”, by Stephanie Campisi – third if you count the opening poem):

There are blobs of fruit flesh on the ground where people have pestled kumquats or grapes beneath their shoes, shoes that are old and friendly sandals or heels thin and high as kebab skewers. Kids, hair carved into waterfalls that trail down their necks or propped up in pineapply plumes with supercute sparkly hair bobbles, stagger about in that toddlerish way, their plump bellies steering them towards tasting plates of chopped up sour mango, glistening papaya, white and virginal dragonfruit and blobs of eyeball-like longan.

An anthology of sff stories by Australian writers, published in 2010 in anticipation of that year’s Worldcon. They’re all pretty good. I particularly liked the opening by Tansy Rayner Roberts, “Relentless Adaptations”, which looks at a dystopian future for literature, and the sinister youth of Angela Slatter’s “Brisneyland by Night”. but I don’t think that there is a dud in the collection. You can get it here.

This was both my top unread book acquired in 2015 and the sf book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next on those piles are two books by Brain Aldiss, respectively Complete Short Stories: The 1950s and Jocasta, Wife and Mother.

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