The 18 mostly original stories in this thought-provoking crime anthology offer gritty testament to the violence, cunning, and resilience of people pushed to the brink. Phillips and Gibbons showcase some major talent, notably Sara Paretsky (“Poster Child”), but less well-known authors also make solid contributions. In John A Imani’s moving “Nickels and Dimes,” a black observer of a confrontation between police and protestors in 1972 Los Angeles becomes a reluctant participant and de facto leader. Gibbons’s “The El Rey Bar” brilliantly conveys the chaos, the hopelessness, and the despair engendered during an L.A. riot. SF ace Kim Stanley Robinson’s exotic “The Lunatics” explores the issue of forced labor amid an attempted slave revolt on the moon. On the down side, Michael Moorcock’s lengthy “Gold Diggers of 1977,” first published in 1980, will be incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the story of the Sex Pistols.
— Publisher’s Weekly