Books : reviews

Dominik Parisien, Navah Wolfe, eds.
Robots vs Fairies.
Saga Press. 2018

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 12 October 2018

Get ready for the ultimate death match between the mechanical and the magical.

Travel with us to distant stars, step sideways into worlds under the hill, journey across ruined landscapes at the end of the world, solve riddles in the Old West, and follow that strange music to the dive bar down the road. The robots and fairies are waiting for you there. They are waiting for you everywhere. And now the time has come to choose a side. Old stories will be upgraded, worlds will collide, science will give way to magic, and magic will become science.

Join eighteen bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming authors as they pick a side and take a stand to answer the question on everyone’s mind: When the lasers cease firing and the fairy dust settles, who will triumph in the epic battle between the artificial and the (super)natural?

A good varied bunch of stories about fairies, or robots, or both, lording it over humans. If I was asked to choose between welcoming our fairy or robot overlords, I’d probably choose robots, as they are disinterested monsters, whereas fairies are cruel. Oh, hang on a minute, maybe I’d choose fairies, as robots actually exist.


Seanan McGuire. Build Me a Wonderland. 2018
Why are the maintenance techs at the Dreamland amusement park so worried by the efficiency expert? And what is he hiding from them?
Ken Liu. Quality Time. 2018
Building robots that are too effective at household chores has unintended consequences.
Tim A. Pratt. Murmered Under the Moon. 2018
The mortal chief librarian of the Fairy Library has to defend it against another mortal attacker.
Annalee Newitz. The Blue Fairy's Manifesto. 2018
A factory robot is given free will by a revolutionary. Whose side will he take?
Sarah Gailey. Bread and Milk and Salt. 2018
A fairy-demon, enchanting a human boy, instead gets caught in the boy's trap. Can the fairy use its last scrap of magic to get revenge? [I don't care who wins; both sides deserve to lose!]
Jonathan Maberry. Ironheart. 2018
A dying farmer tries to mend the farm's bots to help his grandparents; his dying breath has an unexpected effect. [The whole tone of this has a strangely 1950s vibe.]
Kat Howard. Just Another Love Song. 2018
A banshee sings a love song to free her Fae friends from enchantment of a gancanagh.
Mary Robinette Kowal. Sound and Fury. 2018
A ship's engineer is ordered by a diplomat to use a giant robot – or Personal Diplomatic Surrogate – to impress the natives. It goes wrong.
Jeffrey Ford. The Bookcase Expedition. 2018
Watching a group of fairies mount a perilous expedition up a bookcase to reach a spider's web.
Madeline Ashby. Work Shadow/Shadow Work. 2018
A robot home-care assistant helps an old woman to find the road in the sky.
Jim C. Hines. Second to the Left, and Straight On. 2018
Tinkerbell is abducting young girls in order to find Peter.
Lavie Tidhar. The Buried Giant. 2018
In a future desolate world, two children hear a fable about a war between humans and robots.
John Scalzi. Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans for the First Time. 2018
Post-apocalypse robots find human artefacts, and discover why the humans died out. Maybe.
Lila Bowen. Ostentation of Peacocks. 2018
The Shadow, dispenser of justice, comes across four cowboys/fairies in pursuit of a possum/human.
Alyssa Wong. All the Time We've Left to Spend. 2018
Spending quality time with robots made to recreate your doomed pop band.
Maria Dahvana Headley. Adriftica. 2018
Heck Limmer discovers who his wife Tania used to be married to, and why the world is dying.
Max Gladstone. To a Cloven Pine. 2018
A broken crew in a spaceship are fleeing the deadly Witch. Why does Caliban want to stop running?
Catherynne M. Valente. A Fall Counts Anywhere. 2018
Beware the Robots v Fairies deathcage match, humans!