The world of caregivers and unsung heroes, the province of ghosts . . .
WHO ARE THE SUM OF US?
Children giving care. Dogs and cats giving care. Sidekicks, military, monks, ghosts, robots. Even aliens. Care given by lovers, family, professionals. Caregivers who can no longer give. Caregivers who make the decision not to give, and the costs and the consequences that follow. Bound to us by invisible bonds, but with lives, dreams, and passions of their own.
If we believe that we are the protagonists of our lives, then caregivers—our pillars and our strengths—are ghosts, the bit players, the stock characters, the secondary supports, living lives of quiet trust and toil in the shadows. Summoned to us by the profound magic of great emotional, physical, or psychological need, they play their roles and, when our need diminishes . . .
These are their stories. From the Warlord to the Gatekeeper. From the Gardener to the Crystal Harvester. From the Mother's Keepers to the Ambassador. And more . . .
Twenty-three science fiction and fantasy authors explore the depth and breadth of caring and of giving. They find insight, joy, devastation, and heroism in grand sweeps and in tiny niches. And, like wasps made of stinging words, there is pain in giving, and in working one's way through to the light. Our lives and relationships are complex. But in the end, there is hope, and there is love.
FEATURING ORIGINAL STORIES BY COLLEEN ANDERSON, CHARLOTTE ASHLEY, BRENDA COOPER, IAN CREASEY, A.M. DELLAMONICA, BEV GEDDES, CLAIRE HUMPHREY, SANDRA KASTURI, TYLER KEEVIL, JULIET MARILLIER, MATT MOORE, HEATHER OSBORNE, NISI SHAWL, ALEX SHVARTSMAN, KARINA SUMNER-SMITH, KATE STORY, AMANDA SUN, HAYDEN TRENHOLM, JAMES VAN PELT, LIZ WESTBROOK-TRENHOLM, EDWARD WILLETT, CHRISTIE YANT & CAROLINE M. YOACHIM
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DOMINIK PARISIEN
Foreword by Lucas K. Law
Afterword by Susan Forest
Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law