So there’s this anthology coming out in a week. It’s called Strange Waters. You may have heard of it. It’s been making the rounds on social media and Goodreads for a while now. I’ve mentioned it once or twice. Just in case you’ve somehow missed out on all the hoopla, however, here’s the deal: Strange Waters is an anthology collaboration by the Phoenix Fiction Writers featuring nine science-fiction and fantasy stories all inspired by the same base image.
But I’m not here to twaddle on about the anthology. I’m here to wave my arms and shout about one of my favorite stories from the collection, this little gem called Kamynosa’s Labyrinth. Beth Wangler wrote it. She’s pretty great. But first, the cover art. Look at it. Go on, take your time. Bask in the artwork.
Good? Good. Okay. So basically, Kamynosa’s Labyrinth is the story of an archipelago princess (think major ancient-Greece vibes) who, tired of being overlooked, enters a dangerous sea-race alone in order to prove that she’s capable of leading her people by herself. This race, known as the Labyrinth, pits Kamynosa against boat-loads (heh) of opponents vying for her hand, tests her mettle on the dangerous waters, and challenges her own self-belief.
If you like boats, the ocean, high-stakes races (insert now this is pod-racing reference here), and a dynamic female protagonist, you’ll love the adventure packed into Kamynosa’s Labyrinth. But this story is about so much more than a girl out to prove she doesn’t need the guys. It’s not the heavy-handed, social-commentary shovel with which current media seems determined to bonk us over the head. No. Kamynosa’s Labyrinth handles its themes with (gasp) balanced tact and doesn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater…if you get my drift. No spoilers, don’t worry! I won’t say whose baby. Uhm. Anywho.
So…yeah. This anthology is going to be great, and Kamynosa’s Labyrinth is already one of my favorite entries. For more info on the anthology, follow this magic hamster. To check out Beth Wangler’s official story reveal, follow this different magic hamster. So many hamsters.