The Sum of Us (Paperback)

Tales of the Bonded and Bound

By Juliet Marillier, Susan Forest (Editor), Lucas K. Law (Editor)

Laksa Media Groups Inc., 9780993969690, 384pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2017



Recommended by Publishers Weekly ("This is overall a strong collection . . . make it worth reading.")

Explore the depth and breadth of giving and of caring and delve into the world of caregivers with twenty-three original thought-provoking and moving stories where they can be funny, sad, or heartwarming.

A henchman looks after an aged supervillain. A soldier in charge of the governor's children. A cat helps his patients pass on. An android tends to a terminally ill patient. A service dog looks after an ice hockey player. A young apprentice guides a blind welder in space. An old couple with diminished capabilities depend on each other to survive an earthquake. An aging tutor overcomes the reservation of her pupil to build a submersible vessel. A hospice director trying to do the right thing. A pious monk makes the ultimate decision. And many more.

The world of caregivers and unsung heroes, the province of ghosts . . .

Who are THE SUM OF US?

Children giving care. Dogs and cats giving care. Sidekicks, military, monks, ghosts, robots. Even aliens. Care given by lovers, family, professionals. Caregivers who can no longer give. Caregivers who make the decision not to give, and the costs and the consequences that follow. Bound to us by invisible bonds, but with lives, dreams, and passions of their own.

These are their stories.

If we believe that we are the protagonists of our lives, then caregivers--our pillars--are ghosts, the bit players, the stock characters, the secondary supports, living lives of quiet trust and toil in the shadows. Summoned to us by the profound magic of great emotional, physical, or psychological need, they play their roles, and when our need diminishes . . .

The caregivers fade.

Twenty-three science fiction and fantasy authors capture the depth and breadth of caring and of giving and delve into the complex world of caregivers . They find insight, joy, devastation, and heroism in grand sweeps and in tiny niches. And, like wasps made of stinging words, there is pain in giving, and in working one's way through to the light.

Our lives and relationships are complex. But in the end, there is hope, and there is love.

AUTHORS: Colleen Anderson, Charlotte Ashley, Brenda Cooper, Ian Creasey, A.M. Dellamonica, Bev Geddes, Claire Humphrey, Sandra Kasturi, Tyler Keevil, Juliet Marillier, Matt Moore, Heather Osborne, Nisi Shawl, Alex Shvartsman, Kate Story, Karina Sumner-Smith, Amanda Sun, Hayden Trenholm, James Van Pelt, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Edward Willett, Christie Yant, and Caroline M. Yoachim

Introduction by Dominik Parisien

Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law

Foreword by Lucas K. Law

Afterword by Susan Forest


"This is overall a strong collection . . . make it worth reading." - Publishers Weekly

" . . . so definitely consider buying a copy, if not for yourself, then for someone who is serving as a caretaker. Hopefully the stories can serve as comfort to them. At the very least, it should make us all appreciate caretakers for all they do." - Lightspeed Magazine

"This anthology was one of the better ones, with no 'howlers' and several thought provoking page-turners." -Tangent