Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric: Volume Iby Roger Bourke White Jr.
• A young girl growing up on a Kansas farm discovers she's not in Kansas anymore!
• Power-armored mercs get hung out to dry on a hostile world. What do they do now?
• Where does the five-hundred-pound alien sleep?
These are technofiction-stories where the science matters as much as the characters.
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"Tips" is a collection of science fiction short stories, and it's an interesting collection. In each story White takes a science concept and then wraps and interesting story around it. What he deals mostly with are surprising uses and fallouts from interesting technologies. For instance, his first story, Mommy, Why Am I Here?" talks about how mankind will first engage in exploring alien cultures on distant star systems. The fastest and cheapest way to send a human to a distant star system that has intelligent life is not to send a starship, but to send information using radio waves. We will send DNA codes to distant star systems long before we send starships. But it takes more than just sending DNA to make a good star system explorer, and that's the twist that makes the story interesting. Another story, Where Does the 500 pound Alien Sleep?, tells the story of a human starship finding a planet orbiting a distant sun with an alien life form that is really just too creepy for humans to deal with. They cut bait. well they try to, and that's when the killer robots get involved and give chase. But, this is the fun twist to this story, they ask the humans for help! They have killer origins but they can learn and they can see this situation on their planet is out of hand. How the humans and robots solve this I will let you discover, but, I will tell you where the 500 pound alien sleeps: Anywhere he wants to! White's stories in this book all deal with interesting science issues in a good story telling way. I really like the internal consistency of these stories -- people (and aliens!) are all doing what they do for good reasons -- no one does things just to follow some space opera story formula. This volume, Volume One, is about stories in space. Volume Two is about stories on Earth.