|Wrestling With Gods: Tesseract Eighteen
Liana Kerzner & Jerome Stueart, Editors
Hades Publications (April 2015)
Wrestling With Gods is an interesting collection of speculative stories and poems having to do with faith. I was a tad skeptical when I first received this Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing because, well, I’m kinda skeptical in general and even moreso where faith is involved. Fortunately, in this case, my skepticism was unfounded.
Kerzner and Stueart did a wonderful job collecting pieces from writers all over Canada who each approached the idea of faith and belief in their own way. While the collection isn’t perfect—a few of the stories were a tad predictable and ordinary and a couple of the poems didn’t really grab me—several took the suggested theme and went somewhere new and different. Storywise, I was especially taken by Janet Nicholson’s “A Cut and a Prayer,” in which a devout Muslim struggles to become even closer to her god; David Jón Fuller’s “The Harsh Light of Morning,” where two strong beliefs battle for supremacy; and Mary Pletsch’s “Burnt Offerings,” a story that pictures a battle within a galaxy-wide virtual church.
But there are so many good tales in Wrestling With Gods: Alyxandra Harvey’s prose in “The Faith Circus” is delicious; Ganesha getting a makeover in Savithri Machiraju’s “Ganapati Bappa Moriya!” is adorable; and Megan Fennell’s “Where the Scorched Man Walks” is dark and gorgeous. Of the poems, I really liked David Clink’s “The Machine” and Erling Friis-Baastad’s “Exoplanet IV.” So many more, though!
All in all, Wrestling With Gods is a solid, enjoyable read that does a fine job of exploring its theme of faith. Definitely worth picking up.