Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Since the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016, people worldwide have donated a total of more than 23 million dollars to the OneOrlando Fund set up to benefit the victims and their families. It seems like a lot of money, but between the number of people affected, and the severity of their injuries – mental and physical – that money will be exhausted fairly soon. Also, after the initial outcry and horror that such a thing could have happened, and for such a reason, the shooting has faded out of the headlines. But for those who were directly affected, and for all people in the LGBTQ spectrum, the shooting is still at the forefront of their thoughts, and fears, and worries. So I was very pleased to see Dreamspinner Press put out this anthology to raise money for various LGBT organizations in central Florida, and I jumped at the chance to review it. Dreamspinner also has another anthology coming out in time for the 2016 holiday season, that will also benefit the same charities.
At first, I planned to do a short review on each story individually, but at a total of 31 stories (and almost 200,000 words) that just wasn’t possible. The stories are written by a combination of well known and lesser known authors from Dreamspinner’s ranks, and run the gamut of genres. There are contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, historical, and sci-fi works. Most are romances, but some are not. Most are M/M pairings, but there was also one F/F and one M/M/M/M. Some stories were extremely good, some less so, but there was only one that I had to DNF. My favorite was The Tithe by K.C. Burn, which was one of the fully original stories, but there were several that were in the various universes created by the authors in other published works (like Edmond Manning’s They Danced which tells another tale of the Lost and Founds, which would not have made much sense to me if I hadn’t read one of them first). The stories ranged from1 star to 5 star ratings, and overall the anthology really is more of a 3 star read, but I give it an extra star because of the generosity of the authors and the other people from Dreamspinner involved in putting it together. I looked at the call for submissions, and they were due only a month after the shooting itself, which is an incredibly short period of time to write something really good, so I actually expect the next anthology to be even better.
I also hope that there will be a little more detail of which organizations the money will be going towards in the next anthology. Overall, I do recommend this collection, especially for those who like to read shorter stories. I plan on buying the next anthology when it’s available.
The cover art, by Paul Richmond, really fits with the title of the anthology and the reasons it was written. I like the symbolism of one pair of hands holding and caring for another, checking a pulse as a nod to the name of the nightclub, and the rainbow coloring for Pride.
ebook, 574 pages
Published September 19th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleOne Pulse