Broken Metropolis


©Akshay Varaham

Broken Metropolis, edited by dave ring, is a collection of short urban fantasy stories that covers a range of queer identities and literary styles. 

The first word that comes to mind when I think of Broken Metropolis is charming. It is clear upon first impact that love and skill went into the design of the book. Even before cracking it open, I was taken by the cover, which features the endearing image of two boys on a motorcycle riding through a pastel, coastal city. The illustrator, Akshay Varaham, has used colors that evoke a muted, subdued atmosphere. This calm was broken after I finally touched the book to begin reading—that pretty cover also features an unexpected pebbled texture.

And yes, I know, “you can’t judge a book from its cover.” While true for most works, Broken Metropolis breaks that mold. The sentiment conveyed through the book’s cover and casing continues through the ten short fictions featured inside. Stories teeter between brief and romantic, like “Familiar” by kx carys, to the narratively and/or typographically strange, as seen in D.M. Rice’s “Dissonance, Part 1.”

Taking urban fantasy to fresh heights, Broken Metropolis is a beautiful addition to the pantheon of queer fiction. If you’re looking for cute, lighter queer fiction, pick up this anthology.


Devon Montgomery

Devon Montgomery

Devon is one of the founders and editors of Speculative City.