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All Out Review

All Out by various authors

This was edited by the same person who did the Out Now anthology, Saundra Mitchell. I greatly preferred this one. It was a collection of queer historical fiction, and unlike the last one the quality of the stories was pretty consistent. None of them stood out to me as “bad” or boring.


Queer, young adult, historical fiction, fantasy, short stories


From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.


There were TWO stories with aspec representation, although it wasn’t labeled. This was really refreshing since there’s hardly ever any.

One of my favorite stories was Every Shade of Red, a mlm Robin Hood retelling with a trans Robin Hood. This one was one of the most creative of the stories, and it gets you emotionally invested in the characters even with a short word count.

Another story I loved, Healing Rosa, was by one of my favorite authors, Tehlor Kay Mejia. Mejia has a really beautiful way of writing and I always get sucked into the tension of her scenes.

The anthology had more trans rep than Out Now, although could have done with more. Also, the stories were heavily focused around the US and Europe. There was cultural diversity, but hardly anything that didn’t take place in a Western country. For so many stories, it would have been nice to have them be more global.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and loved most of the stories.

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