Far Futures

Overview

Gregory Benford, one the great SF writers of our day, has assumed the mantle of editor to produce an ambitous hard SF anthology: Far Futures. Many of the fields's greatest works concern vast perspectives, expanding our visions of ourselves by foreseeing the immense panorama of time. This anthology collects five orignal novellas that take the very long view, all set at least ten thousand years in the future. The authors take a rigorously scientific view of such grand panoramas, confronting the largest issues of ...

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Overview

Gregory Benford, one the great SF writers of our day, has assumed the mantle of editor to produce an ambitous hard SF anthology: Far Futures. Many of the fields's greatest works concern vast perspectives, expanding our visions of ourselves by foreseeing the immense panorama of time. This anthology collects five orignal novellas that take the very long view, all set at least ten thousand years in the future. The authors take a rigorously scientific view of such grand panoramas, confronting the largest issues of cosmology, astronomy, evolution, and biology.

Genesis by Poul Anderson is set a billion years ahead, when humanity has become extinct. Earth is threatened by the slowly warming sun. Vast machine intelligences decide to recreate humans.

In At the Eschaton by Charles Sheffield, a man tries to rescue his dying wife from oblivion by hurling himself forward, in both space and time, to the very end of the universe itself.

Joe Haldeman's For White Hill confronts humanity with hostile aliens who remorselessly grind down every defense against them. A lone artist struggles to find a place in this distant, wondrous future, where humanity seems doomed.

The last moments of a universe beseiged occupy Greg Bear's Judgment Engine. Can something human matter at the very end of creation, as contorted matter ceases to have meaning and time itself stutters to an eerie halt?

Donald Kingsbury contributes Historical Crisis, a starting work on the prediction of the human future that challenges the foundations of psychohistory, as developed in Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation Trilogy.

Far Futures is required reading for the core audience of hard SF devotees. It may be the best book they read all year.

This ambitious, hard SF anthology includes five completely new short novels by living masters of the genre--all set at least ten thousand years in the future. Contributors include Poul Anderson, Charles Sheffield, Joe Haldeman, Greg Bear, and Donald M. Kingsbury.

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Editorial Reviews

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Far Futures offers excellent hard-SF novellas by Greg Bear, Poul Anderson, Charles Sheffield, and Donald Kingsbury -- but is especially notable now, with all the attention being paid to Joe Haldeman (a new edition of The Forever War; Forever Peace). Haldeman's contribution, the haunting romantic tale "For White Hill," is now available nowhere but in this collection, and I think it's his finest novella yet.
—Gary Wolfe
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It has been a very good year for hard science fiction, with two outstanding novels-Greg Bear's Legacy and Gregory Benford's Sailing Bright Eternity-revealing the wonders the future may hold. The majority of the five original novellas in this anthology edited by Benford including one by Bear do the same. Both Bear's ``Judgment Engine,'' which opens the book, and Charles Sheffield's ``At the Eschaton,'' which closes it, end at what might, or might not, be the final moments of life in the universe. Poul Anderson, whose 25-year-old novel Tau Zero set the standard for end-of-the-universe stories, limits himself to the possible end of organic life on Earth in telling of a very special ``Genesis,'' the most plot-rich and interesting contribution here. Joe Haldeman's ``For White Hill,'' which also deals with the pending extinction of life on Earth, appears, as does Sheffield's considerably weaker tale, to be a love story-at least until its denouement, in which one of its artist-protagonists creates her ultimate work of art. Donald Kingsbury's lengthy ``Historical Crisis,'' which loosely elaborates upon Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, again affirms its author's ability to transcend and honor his sources. Most notable about all of these oft-apocalyptic novellas-excluding their common acceptance that organic life is destined to be superseded-is their essential vivacity. This volume presents five glorious adventures bound to delight anyone with an abiding curiosity about the distant future. Dec.
Library Journal
Five novellas by veteran authors of hard sf focus on imaginary far futures and explore the death of the universe, the end of time, and the evolution of human consciousness. Including Donald Kingsbury's challenge to Asimov's Foundation novels "Historical Crisis", Charles Sheffield's saga of a love that transcends the ages "At the Eschaton", Poul Anderson's look at the rebirth of humanity as an experiment by machine intelligences "Genesis", Greg Bear's vision of entropy's last dance "Judgment Engine", and Joe Haldeman's tale of the ultimate war "For White Hill", these selections challenge the boundaries of the imagination. A strong addition for most libraries' sf collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312863791
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Benford

Gregory Benford is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received the Lord Prize for contributions to science in 1995 and the Asimov Memorial Award for popularizing science in 2007. He has written numerous works of science fiction, receiving a Nebula Award and a John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Timescape.

Vikas Adam has numerous credits in theater, film, and television. His fifty-plus audiobooks span genres and include The City of Devi, A Free Man, The Far Pavilions, Ender’s Game Alive: The Audioplay, Dreams and Shadows, and Tesla’s Attic. He’s an Audie nominee and Earphones Award recipient. He has a BFA in theater from Syracuse University and a MFA in acting from UCLA, where he’s a lecturer in the theater department.

J. Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. He began his audiobook work in 2000 and has since lent his voice to many fiction and nonfiction titles. He has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and was named a finalist for Audie Awards in 2003 and 2012. Between books, he is active in regional theaters across the country. His television appearances include guest spots on Nip/Tuck and Numb3rs.

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than two thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the prestigious Audie Award for solo narration in both 2005 and 2007 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Looking Long 11
Judgment Engine 23
Genesis 56
Historical Crisis 149
For White Hill 242
At the Eschaton 280
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