"In her short story collection, Charlie Jane Anders explores the depths of human relationships and personality in a series of wild scenarios: The woman who can see all possible futures is dating the man who can see the one and only foreordained future. A wildly popular slapstick filmmaker is drawn, against his better judgment, into working with a fascist militia, against a background of social collapse. Two friends must embark on an Epic Quest To Capture The Weapon That Threatens The Galaxy, or else they'll never achieve their dream of opening a restaurant—and more.
The complexity of the concepts explored through the work of Anders makes for thought-provoking reading, to be sure—the author is unafraid to challenge the reader. She is particularly fascinated by the fluidity of gender and the interpersonal dynamics that spring from that fluidity; she also has a knack for finding the (admittedly dry and dark) humor inherent to various flavors of apocalypse. Her ability to wield genre tropes and generalizations in unconventional ways makes every story contained herein an absolute treat ... Even Greater Mistakes is an exquisite collection, an assemblage of outstanding short fiction. Anders is a gifted prose stylist, one with a vast imagination to go with her technical craft. The worlds in which these stories operate are rich and vivid, beautifully realized without tiresome minutiae. With just a few sentences, Anders can clearly and concisely convey her vision of place; it’s a rare talent indeed, but one that she with which she is generous.
With Even Greater Mistakes, she precisely unpicks what is behind the choices writers make available to their characters ... In 'The Time Travel Club,' the process by which we pick ourselves up after life has been devastated by our own choices is unspooled in a beautiful, haunting little tale ... Anders excels at revealing how various hidden mechanisms shape our lives and at showing us their artifice ... But as Anders shows us, we have choices in how to deal with these rigged systems. We can always throw the whole lot in the bin.
With boldly realized worldbuilding in a fraction of the space that many SFF novels take up, these stories feel almost too short—they often end with the reader blinking back a powerful afterimage, followed by the urge to immediately read anothern ... Anders’ brief intro to each selection is a much-appreciated bit of context, with details that sketch out her career as an artist and journalist in the SFF sphere ... It will also help readers further determine if they want to read straight through or dart around ... There is no wrong path, and a linear read has the feel of reaching into a bag of mixed candy (sweet, sour, anise-y) with every turn of the page ... Less effective are the stories that tie in to Anders’ novels or otherwise larger SFF universes ... Anders is an incredibly self-aware writer. She treats Even Greater Mistakes as the opportunity to display both her guaranteed hits as well as stories that she struggled to get right. But the very best thing about Anders’ work is how she queers even her own worlds ... there will always be...writers like Anders, chronicling ages we haven’t yet lived but that, through her thoughts and words, we feel as if we have.