Nothing Without Us Anthology

ID: CSFFA official Aurora Award nominee logo. It's a silver gradient rectangular shape with a sloping top. A bright red maple leaf is in the centre. Words: Aurora Nominee

Nothing Without Us is a multi-genre fiction anthology where the lead characters identify as disabled, d/Deaf, neurodivergent, Spoonie, and/or they manage mental illness. This collection includes both speculative and realistic fiction, which flow together beautifully as we navigate through the stories of these heroes. Foreword by eight-time Prix Aurora Award winner, Derek Newman-Stille.

Nothing Without Us was a 2020 Prix Aurora Award finalist for Best Related Work. Many thanks to our authors and amazing supporters!

Nothing Without Us is now available at these online retailers, and from Presses Renaissance Press (ebook, paperback, and audiobook).

Read 22 brilliant stories where we are the heroes, not the sidekicks!

Book cover ID: Old russet brick wall with faded spray-painted colours in aqua, yellow, white, beige, and reds. Stencilled boldly in black: Nothing Without Us. (The list of editors and authors appears underneath.)
Nothing Without Us

Editors: Cait Gordon and Kohenet Talia C. Johnson

Authors:  Myriad Augustine, Carolyn Charron, Joanna Marsh, Elliott Dunstan, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Raymond Luczak, Nicole Zelniker, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Jamieson Wolf, J. Ivanel Johnson, Tom Johnson, Tonya Liburd, Shannon Barnsley, Madonna Skaff, Maverick Smith, George Zancola, Diane Koerner, Laurie Stewart, Tasha Fierce, Nathan Caro Frechette, Emily Gillespie, Derek Newman-Stille

Publisher: Renaissance

Story Teasers!

Here is our list of stories as they will appear in the anthology.

The Bellwoods Golemby Myriad Augustine—Something woke up Hadas in the middle of the night: a golem cradling their cell phone. This alone would be most unexpected, but the creature instinctively knowing what breakfast to prepare gives Hadas further pause to ponder over their new acquaintance.

Knit One, Purl Two, by Carolyn Charron—Maggie has a problem. There’s a vampire in her basement. The coffin in the living room should have been a giveaway, but sometimes tenants can be eccentric.

Namesby Jennifer Lee Rossman—When a coyote crosses Beck’s path, it’s jolting. Mostly because the animal has ‘people’ eyes. And Beck might be the only one in the town who knows why.

Mafia Butterflyby Raymond Luczak—Entering into any social dynamic can often feel awkward at first, but a young woman soon discovers her local Deaf community events are dominated by a gatekeeping ‘mafia boss.’ 

Dress Rehearsalby Nicole Zelniker—Lizzie hates hospitals. She promised her sister she’d visit their dying mother, even though Lizzie and her mom have something in common: they share the same genetic disease. 

The Descentby Jamieson Wolf—A wizard seeks a mystical Oracle to find out how he can be cured of his debilitating condition, known only to him as the pesky Max Shadow. He must descend a seemingly never-ending staircase unassisted, with Max as his constant companion.

Bug Huntby Joanna Marsh—Mina and four other women are given a mission to destroy the best pilot in the Empire, Anna Hyde. Hyde’s leading-edge mech is known as the Godkiller. The five soldiers’ mech fighters are subpar. They’re probably screwed.

Oliver Gutierrez and the Walking Stick of Destinyby Elliott Dunstan—Oliver must make a decision about xyr cane, which is set against the corner, stalking xem. But before xe can figure it out, two familiar voices pipe in with their opinion on the subject.

Crutch. Cage, Sword, Kerfuffleby Dorothy Ellen Palmer—A story in three acts, featuring Nellie, a pregnant, disabled activist and improv theatre performer. On Friday, she spots a sword in the Roman Britain wing of the museum—and it’s not just any sword. It’s the sword, which might be the perfect weapon to carry out her plan for the weekend. 

Iron Bone, by J. Ivanel Johnson—Fiona manages to have a rod up her backside while being spineless at the same time, especially when it comes to encounters with the Royal family. Still, this equestrian presses on, even if she might be the cause of tragic global events.

Sometimes You…, by Tonya Liburd—Robin is homeless and grappling with mental illness but finds surprising ways to meet the challenges around them. Sometimes it’s not as easy as you think…

Search and Seizureby Shannon Barnsley—Cassie wants answers to why she’s having seizures, only to be met with the response, “It’s all in your head.” Things take a turn for the paranormal as Cassie finds herself back in the hospital once again, but this time, no one can tell she’s really there.

Backboneby Madona Skaff—Ian is covered in blood that’s not his own. His best friend says he won’t get away with it. What will Ian do now that the cops have found him on the floor… beside the body?

The Case of the Silenco Scientistby Maverick Smith—A client’s spouse and child are missing, presumed abducted. It’s now up to two Silenco investigators to get to the bottom of this case, and there’s no time to lose.

Flight, by George Zancola—It’s summertime in Toronto, during a heatwave in ’76. Tom and his sidekick Cathy have just escaped detention, hoping to begin a new way of life as they march through the city’s sweltering heat.

Panic in Paradise, by Diane Koerner—A woman coping with multiple chemical sensitivities finds some relief in her home on the Big Island…until Mother Earth makes known her displeasure at what humankind has constructed around this paradise.

The Blessing Cookiesby Laurie Stewart—It’s the Harvest Festival and time for the Blessing ritual. The family matriarch has been the Voice of Lethe for decades. The cookies must be doled out, and the crystal will decide. This will be a miserable day.

Jungle Demonby Tom Johnson—In an African wood of dense trees and vines resides a monster who could even be part of the jungle itself. N’Domo Demon is the game given to this creature, once a man, who now observes human life from the fringes. 

The Living Among the Dead, by Tasha Fierce—What’s it like to feel like you have to ‘pass as alive’ among the living? When nobody wants to believe you’re dead, even though you’ve tried to explain it to them, you’ve no choice but to keep it a secret.

Aloneby Nathan Fréchette—Grief can be life-changing. Having a support system is crucial, especially when you don’t want to go through it alone.

No Room at the Innby Emily Gillespie—You find yourself in the hospital and cry out for water. You’re not convinced anyone can see you until a doctor asks you a direct question. You know you should spend the night—they even have your pill—but they’re not listening to what you’re asking for.

Charity™, by Derek Newman-Stille—It’s fundraiser time, when all the disabled folks are on display, hoping to entice the ever-so curious able-bodied donors to cough up some cash. After all, money from the Normies is all they have to live on, now that there are no other financial assistance programs. The better the inspiration, the higher the donation. Except…not every Crip wants to play the game.