It would not be surprising to find COSGRRRL or something like it for sale in the Dealers’ Room or Art Show of a good science fiction convention, and I don’t mean that as an insult. Sci Fi/Fantasy fandom has long been a community that encourages creativity, vigorous and lively discussions, and thoughtful analysis of movies, books, and other media, and COSGRRRL fits right in. There are thoughtful and intriguing essays in here which offer new perspectives on, for example, Disney movies and motherlessness, War of the Worlds’ use of new media, political/economic systems and T.H. White’s “Once and Future King.” There are movie reviews that provide a look at Marvel’s Black Panther from an Afrocentric perspective and discuss what Jim Henson meant to achieve with Dark Crystal, as well as exploring the rather more obscure but deeply intriguing 2036: Origin Unknown. There’s poetry written from many points of view, including fictional ones, though readers don’t necessarily need to understand the backstory to enjoy them – but if A Letter To Julia inspires you to go watch Cowboy Bebop, for example, all the better.
Short works of fiction finish out the collection, all of them with the teasing, thought-provoking cleverness that short stories at their best tend to have, since they don’t have as much room for exposition and tend to leave more space for thought and speculation. Readers with interest in science fiction, fantasy, philosophy, or just arguing over the important points of a favorite movie are bound to find something in here worth reading. They might also find something that annoys or offends them, but that’s part of the price of creative experience. What makes COSGRRRL most enjoyable is the sheer love that the writers have for their work, and their delight in the works they write about – this collection comes from a place of passionate engagement, and while the quality of the writing may vary a bit from piece to piece, the commitment and the enjoyment remain full force throughout. A bit of professional editing might help give it a cleaner and more professional look, without, hopefully, losing the enthusiasm or the creative vigor. But in the end, the word “amateur” simply means one who engages in a hobby or art for love instead of money, and it’s that love that is the driving force behind COSGRRRL.
COSGRRRL, edited by Marjorie Steele, is a lively, creative, and thought-provoking collection of essays, reviews, poems and short prose and science fiction and/or fantasy fans are likely to find something of interest.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader