Nothing Without Us is a multi-genre, own-voices anthology where the lead characters identify as disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, 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 is now a 2020 Prix Aurora Award nominee in the Best Related Work Category. Many thanks to our authors and amazing supporters!
The anthology is available in print, audiobook, and ebook versions on the Press Renaissance Press online bookstore! You can also find the print book and Kindle version on Amazon, the audiobook and ebook on Kobo, and the print book on the B&N website.
Read 22 brilliant own-voice stories where we are the heroes, not the sidekicks!
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
Here is our list of stories as they will appear in the anthology.
The Bellwoods Golem, by 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.
Names, by 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 Butterfly, by 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 Rehearsal, by 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 Descent, by 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 Hunt, by 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 Destiny, by 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, Kerfuffle, by 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 Seizure, by 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.
Backbone, by 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 Scientist, by 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 the Volcano Goddess Pele makes known her displeasure at what humankind has constructed around this paradise.
The Blessing Cookies, by 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 Demon, by 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.
Alone, by 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 Inn, by 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.