December 05, 2004

New Skies ed. by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

cover: cool cyborg girl with a monocle and wires for hairI was delighted to discover that Patrick Nielsen Hayden had a new anthology out. His three Starlight books collected some of the best science fiction stories I've ever read. New Skies is a book of short fiction for young adults and it's just wonderful.

Terry Bisson's short short "They're Made of Meat" gives us a taste of how bizarre our organic composition might seem to a silicon-based intelligence.

Geoffrey A. Landis tells the story of a woman whose only hope of surviving a crash landing on the moon long enough for rescue to arrive is to walk all the way around the globe following the sun in "A Walk in the Sun".

In "Peaches for Mad Molly," Stephen Gould shows a fringe culture that lives on the outside surface of mega skyscrapers.

Spider Robinson's "Serpents' Teeth" is one of those stories you can't describe without spoiling it.

Debra Doyle & James D. MacDonald's "Uncle Joshua and the Grooglemen" seems like fantasy until late in the story.

"A Letter from the Clearys" by Connie Willis is a poignant post-apocalyptic tale.

In "Brian and the Aliens," Will Shetterly writes a fun, goofy little first contact story.

David Langford's "Different Kinds of Darkness" depicts a strange dystopian future with ample cause for hope.

Greg van Eekhout's "Will You Be an Astronaut" is part school primer, part propaganda, part recruitment flyer.

"Cards of Grief" is Jane Yolen's story of passing responsibility from one generation to the next.

Greg Bear explores what happens when four-dimensional beings take notice of our three-dimensional world in "Tangents."

Philip K. Dick's tale of cruelty to animals, "The Alien Mind," is shocking and funny.

"Out of All Them Bright Stars" by Nancy Kress shows both the xenophobic and xenophilic aspects of human nature.

Maureen F. McHugh's "The Lincoln Train" is an alternate history Civil War where the underground railroad serves a quite different purpose.

Kim Stanley Robinson can't seem to write enough about the red planet so his contribution is the sports story "Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curve Ball to Mars."

Orson Scott Card offers up a Mormon-tinged post-apocalyptic tale of religious sentiment and avarice in "Salvage."

Finally, Robert Charles Wilson offers a glimpse of the transition to post humanism in "The Great Goodbye."

I liked almost all of these stories, and even more remarkable remembered them all clearly from their titles and a quick skim here a month and a half after I finished the book. Damn good stuff.

Posted by jeffy at December 5, 2004 04:17 PM