An unabridged collection of the “best-of-the-best” science fiction stories published in 2010 by current and emerging masters of the genre. In “Under the Moons of Venus,” by Damien Broderick, a man, who has returned to a mostly deserted Earth from a terraformed Venus with Luna and Ganymede as moons, longs to go back to Venus. In “The Shipmaker,” the 2011 story winner of the British Science Fiction Association Award, by Aliette de Bodard, a maker of living spaceships has her career threatened by the birth of a sentient Mind that will come before the ship that will house it will be ready. In “Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain” by Yoon Ha Lee, a construct meets with an assassin that is the keeper of a gun that erases a victim’s entire lineage to secure the destruction of another gun made by the same gunsmith. In “Re-Crossing the Styx,” by Ian R. MacLeod, an entertainer aboard a cruise ship falls in love with a zombie husband’s Minder and schemes to free her from her marriage. In the steampunk story “Eight Miles,” by Sean McMullen, an English lord hires a balloonist to take him and a nonhuman female to a great height in order to learn the secrets of another world. In “Elegy for a Young Elk” by Hannu Rajaniemi, the gods use a real human to retrieve something important from a city that has become sentient and surrounded by a firewall that protects against gods. In “Alone” by Robert Reed, set in the author’s Marrow universe, a traveler aboard the Great Ship has eschewed contact and remained alone for far longer than seems possible. In the winner of the 2010 Asimov’s Readers’ Award for best novelette “The Emperor of Mars,” by Allen M. Steele, a contract worker on Mars becomes enamored with the science fiction retrieved from NASA’s Phoenix lander that arrived on the red planet back in 208. In “A Letter from the Emperor,” by Steve Rasnic Tem, an imperial envoy visits an outlying colony where a retiring colonel, whose memory is suspect for security reasons, claims to have fought alongside the emperor. Finally, the 2010 Shirley Jackson Award winner for best short story, “The Things,” by Peter Watts, is a retelling of John Carpenter’s classic movie, The Thing, from the perspective of the shape-shifting alien confronting a group of scientists in Antarctica.
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The years top 10 tales of science fiction: 3
Engaging stories that evoke wonder at the speculative technology & inventive surroundings that I would rate as a 5 star except it is the first collection of this series I've read. So, I'm withholding that highest rating in hopes that it is surpassed by one of the other books in the series, which I intend to start reading right now.