The editors of Full Spectrum have gathered here original speculative fiction that is astonishing both in range and quality. From medieval sorcery to dystopian futures, from computer-generated virtual realities to space research outposts, from idol worship to scientific philosophy, the volume shows off the best of well-known (Stephen Donaldson, Ursula Le Guin) and not so well-known SF and fantasy authors. Dave Smeds conjures a future where regeneration and eternal youth are made possible through biotechnology; his story tells what happens to a dysfunctional mother and daughter in a world where suicide is a hobby and murder a misdemeanor. A. R. Morlan's men and women have changed social roles due to a disease that has reduced male births to less than 15%. David Brin and L. Timmel Duchamp also weigh in with reproduction stories, Brin through a highly technical story of a future in which cloning has made men unnecessary, Duchamp through a tale of an infectious hermaphrodite from another world. The focus on women throughout and the general excellence of the stories should give this volume broad appeal. (Mar.)
Ray Aldridge's compelling tale of a world where men literally die for beauty (``The Beauty Addict'') and Elizabeth Hand's evocative retelling of ``The Earl King'' highlight this collection of 19 stories and one poem (by Ursula LeGuin). Other standouts in an unusually strong anthology of original short stories include entries by Stephen R. Donaldson, David Brin, and Danith McPherson. In a genre saturated with collections of every sort, this series is one of the best. Eminently suitable for sf and short story collections.
Another noteworthy entry in this laudable series of original anthologies, this one comprising 19 stories—one a translation from the French—and a poem from Ursula K. LeGuin. Best of the bunch: a splendid discourse on the enigmas of alien communication (John M. Landsberg); aliens, beauty, and art, in a striking combination (Ray Aldridge); a waggish and touching yarn featuring another story's minor characters (Martha Soukup); Andean saints and magic realism (Bonita Kale); brooding, provocative thoughts on aliens and alienation (Mark Rich); and, amusing and telling, a man who wakes up dead (Nancy Kress). Also worthwhile, if less remarkable by comparison: hermaphrodites, women warriors, alien artifacts, memory, magic, growing up, computers and paranoia, god and guilt, a deal with the devil, Mars, black holes, and Africa. High standards maintained: the fourth in this series is as thematically diverse, well crafted, and imaginative as ever.