From the moment you are born, you never stop aging. But what does it mean to grow older? That conversation is at the core of the new anthology Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories.
Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, the collection attempts to answer the only question that really matters: What is a life well lived?
This anthology is filled with stories (and a couple of poems) from 23 speculative fiction writers, exploring different ages and stages of life. According to Forest, “The underpinning idea unifying the stories in Seasons Between Us is that the journey of self-examination and the redefinitions each of us makes throughout our lifetimes (‘aging,’ if you will) is a form of boundary-crossing.”
Each story is, in essence, a collection of moments. Forest says about the stories, “Sometimes these boundaries are momentous, and sometimes they may seem inconsequential; but in each of the stories, the author found a moment in a character’s life that was defining.”
Law echoes that sentiment when talking about the inspiration for the anthology. “Anticipation, combining with fear and wonder, about the subject matter is the inspiration behind this anthology. Growing older has been a fascinating subject since I was a little kid.”
According to Law, the anthology went through some growing pains of its own. This came into focus for both him and Forest as they considered Seasons Between Us in the context of the series of Laksa Media anthologies, which includes Strangers Among Us, The Sum of Us, and Shades Within Us – which also focus on themes around identity, such as migration and being an outsider.
“Originally, this anthology was supposed to deal with the pros and cons of growing old,” says Law. “After much contemplation, Susan and I realized this anthology is a natural progression from our previous anthologies; the migration, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, is the key that connects the series.”
Included in this collection are stories of family relationships, love, memory, and grief, with some magic, hybrid beings, alternate worlds, and futuristic settings in the mix. The complexity of aging was reflected in the submissions. “We received a wonderful, very rich array of stories we were pleased to include in the anthology,” says Forest.
Law further notes, “Aging may be a broad subject, but all of us experience it every day. It is a process where each of us has to manage our expectations, wants, needs, ambitions, successes, failures, regrets, et cetera. It is what makes us human.”
The tales in Seasons Between Us are relatable to virtually anyone, as everyone ages. Characters in different seasons of their life interact with other generations, providing a variety of perspectives.
Forest expands on those ideas when talking about what she thinks readers will get from this anthology.
“I’m hopeful readers will see the nuances of diverse experience,” she says.
“Although speculative, all the stories are fully relatable to the human condition, and yet each finds that moment, that small nub, that lens through which experience is filtered in ways that illuminate both our uniquenesses and our commonalities.”