Upgraded - Robert Reed, Peter Watts, Neil Clarke, Madeline Ashby, Tobias S. Buckell (suicide TW)

This was a mixed bag. I liked it for the most part, barring certain stories written by male authors involving sex work, and was pleased there was attempts at LGBT inclusion, and there were a lot of authors of color too.

My favorite stories were:

"Tender" by Rachel Swirsky: This spoke to me so much. I think the narrator is supposed to be someone who is dying slowly, from illness maybe, and that is why they want to die so badly. As someone who has struggled with suicidal ideation and wanting very badly to die, though, I read it from that point of view. The feelings and emotions of someone who wants everything to be over with so badly, but mental health interventions prevent it, and everyone tells you how awful people who commit suicide are, or guilt trip you about THEIR feelings. What about my feelings? Why am I awful for hurting so bad I want to die to escape? Just have a lot of feelings about this story.

"Musée de l'Âme Seule" by E. Lily Yu: I've never gone through severe, limb-damaging physical trauma. But I've gone through trauma. And I've struggled with PTSD for years. I've experienced the isolation, the distancing of loved ones who do not want to bother supporting someone they now see as a stranger, who maybe they come to resent for things outside your control entirely. I've experienced the self-hate and the wishing for normalcy and the breakdowns. And I've experienced the relationships and community-building with others in similar straits, shared experiences, building up a positive state of mind from the shambles of abandonment and mental illness with their support and love and understanding. These are the things this short story made me think about and made me remember to cherish. You lose a lot when trauma and mental illness become a part of your life and person, but you can gain just as much from the ashes.