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Book Reviews
Bicycles & Broomsticks
By: Elly Blue (Editor) - Microcosm Publishing, $12.95

Description: A coven races�literally�to fight off the magic�smog that threatens their city. A janitor at the last rocket launch site on a dying planet�sends the rocket up with a special spell of comfort.

Instead of casting the resiliency spell she asked for, a girl�s grandmother teaches her to ride a bike. A midwife�s bicycle�is stolen, resulting in a fitting comeuppance.

An urban witch falls for a bicycle mechanic and learns to reconcile her double life. Smash the petropatriarchy and enjoy these and more science fiction and fantasy stories�in the pages of the supernatural 9th volume of the popular Bikes in Space series.�

Verdict: Featuring ten incredible stories�by Hester Dade, M. Lopes da Silva, Monique Cuillerier, A. P. Howell, Ether Nepenthes, M. A. Blanchard, Kathleen Jowitt, G. J. Craddock, Gretchin Lair, and Emily Burton, and edited by Elly Blue, Bicycles & Broomsticks: Fantastical Feminist Stories about Witches on Bikes is a rather wonderful, fantastically alluring, new book that will have the reader transfixed from Page One through to Page 157.

With a jokingly outlandish Introduction that states we are being welcomed into the 2237 edition (and which is itself followed by a more grounded Introduction to 2023), it goes on to state that since the Great Plague took all the magic from us, the galaxy has been a cold and lonely place, with humans reliant on faulty machines to transport us, shade us from radiation, and even facilitate our communication and entertainment.

Thus, it is up to us archivists to look to the stories of Earth�s pre-magical past. Looking back to when the vast loneliness of the universe and the fraught results of our own technology were even more pressing issues can help us to see how people imagined their future so that we too can find hope again.

For me personally, the two stories that stood out where Gretchen Lair�s Luna Cycles, where a green witch writes under the pseudonym Crow Moon, about both Magic and Magick, and where Luna Cycles is actually an online Witches on Wheels group; and then comes Hestor Dade�s Charms, where protective charms are the bloodline for our lead, especially ones that included placing a hedgehog on a stranger�s front wheel, but also where trying to link smog motes, a talkative headlamp and the sighting of a Penny Farthing all in the same morning was something to also be investigated!

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