Altered Perceptions, edited by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Robison Wells

Altered Perceptions, edited by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Robison Wells (2014) is an anthology that is three things within a single cover.   To start with, this project came in to being as a fundraiser to support Robison Wells during a crippling struggle with debt caused by his mental illness.   That part of the story, in which people pledged money in return for a copy of the book, ended last May after raising over $120,000.   

Secondly, this is a book in which a stellar collection of YA Speculative Fiction share their own experiences with mental illness-- and it is eye-opening how many of them have struggled with various permutations of this.   As such, it's tremendously successful at raising awareness and destigmatizing mental illness-- young fans of these authors who are struggling themselves will find they are not alone, that help is possible, that life can still be lived well (and that you can still be a famous author despite it all).

Thirdly, it's an unusual anthology in that it's not a collection of short stand-alone pieces.  Although there are a few of these, it is primarily a gathering of unpublished writings, deleted scenes, and paths that didn't end up being taken from the worlds of these authors' books.   To appreciate these writings, it really helps to be familiar with what's been published.   If you are a Brandon Sanderson fan, for instance, you will be thrilled with a whole long section of a book that wasn't what The Way of Kings ended up being.   If, like me, you enjoyed Jessica Day George's Princess of Glass, you'll enjoy seeing Poppy again in a scene that didn't make it to the final verson.  And so on. If you scroll down here at Goodreads, you can see what the book holds.   This is the sort of thing that will certainly be delicious mind-candy for the current fan, but not necessarily appealing in its entirety to those who haven't read these authors.

Amazon is selling it as a Kindle edition (and B. and N. has it for Nook) and I think it would be a good e-reading choice, as it's not a book you need to curl up with and read all in one cozy sitting.   It's more like a sushi platter or a candy box, with morsels (both autobiographical and fictional) to savor or not according to taste.    I can't seem to find the hardcover for sale commercially anywhere, which is an awful pity, because I really really really think this is a book that is a must for any young spec fic fan who is worried about mental illness/is suffering from it themselves, one that should be on the shelves of public library and high school libraries.  They'll take it out for the authors, and stay to become more aware of mental illness.....

1 comment:

  1. I love that cover. This sounds like an interesting one, and it has some bits and pieces from series I've read.


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