"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.
Charlie Jane Anders is an inventive writer with a dazzling skill for short stories, and her new collection, Even Greater Mistakes, is a thoughtful and frequently hilarious delight, with deep goofiness running alongside potent examinations of depression, loss, and institutional bigotry. Resistance and persistence are woven through these nineteen stories, along with the power of change, the importance of community, and a rich and empowering imagination ... Two things (among many) that fascinate me about Anders’ work: firstly, more than most speculative fiction writers, her writing retains the kind of entertainer’s energy and timing that comes from live performances. And secondly, perhaps connected to that tradition of oral storytelling, her stories display a kind of purposeful, exploratory, and not-unpleasant messiness, for lack of a better word, often veering away from traditional plot structures or expectations ... a command performance, and it’s a delight to be in the audience.