This latest book of the Chicks in Chainmail anthology series (with an 11-year gap between the last two, the next one is due in 2026) holds to the same general theme and sense of humor.

It leads off with Jody Lynn Nye’s “A Chick Off the Old Block”, is weakened by punching up the drama with overreactions from the viewpoint character, but is otherwise a solid, somewhat by the numbers adventure. Competently done, but the strengths don’t entirely make up for the weaknesses. At the other end, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “Fashion and the Snarkmeisters” is a lot more inventive, and I think she’s getting something off her chest.

In between, we get the wide mix of styles and genres, including one truly SF story (“Saving Private Slime” by Louisa Swann, which was a good reminder of why I really should be reading more SF short stories).

I would normally list the other highlights as part of this review, but frankly I’d list about half the stories here. I have generally enjoyed all the stories in this series, but while there’s no obvious standouts here, part of the reason seems to be I overall enjoyed them more, so it’d have taken even more to rise up from the pack.