Now thirteen of today's top authors blaze new pathways to worlds beyond imagination from: a civilization of humans living in a Dyson sphere to whom the idea of living on a planet is pure mythology...to an ancient man so obsessed with an alien legend that he will risk ship and crew in the Void in the hopes of proving it true...to the story of the last free segments of "humanity," forced to retreat to the very edge of the galaxy in the hope of finding a way to save themselves when there is nowhere left to run...
|Product dimensions:||4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.75(d)|
About the Author
Martin H. Greenberg was honored in 1995 by the Mystery Writers of America with the Ellery Queen Award for lifetime achievement in mystery editing. He is also the recipient of two Anthony awards. Mystery Scene magazine called him "the best mystery anthologist since Ellery Queen." He has compiled more than 1,000 anthologies and is the president of TEKNO books. He lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
|Star Light, Star Bright||51|
|Out of the Cradle||89|
|The Cutting Edge||120|
|The Last Bastion||175|
|Down on the Farm||206|
|Set in Stone||228|
|Ruins of the Past||243|
|Angel on the Outward Side||278|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Built around a liberal definition of frontiers, this anthology of original stories not only has stories about space exploration and life on harsh colony worlds but also stories about death and dreams and transformation. None of the stories break new ground, but most keep you entertained as they roam around old plots.Two stories hold little interest. "The Cutting Edge" by Janet Pack handles the details of its technology plausibly and realistically, but, at this point in time, a story about using nanotechnology just to remove a brain tumor seems stale. "Home World" by Marc Bilgrey features the old story of a frontier couple threatened with the encroachment of the civilization they originally fled.The vast bulk of the stories are entertaining examples of old ideas well done. It was nice to see geology, a little used science in science fiction, providing the clues to an alien artifact in Kathleen M. Massie-Ferch's "Traces". While conducting her researches, the heroine also has to avoid persecution by the theocratic government she lives under. It has already imprisoned her ex-husband for insisting man is not the universe's sole intelligence. Robert J. Sawyer's "Star Light, Star Bright" is one of those stories where the inhabitants of an artificial world, here a Dyson sphere, realize that man did not evolve there. Its charm derives from the clues they use to deduce this. The "Chauna" of Alan Dean Foster's similiarly titled story are mythic creatures inhabiting deep space, and a legendary inventor and mogul, enfeebled and dying, leads a resentful crew on a quest to find them. Terry D. England's "Out of the Cradle" was a fun, sometimes humorous story, about a connoisseur of death, or, more accurately, the pain involved in his elaborate, repeated suicides. His siblings wish he would put such adolescent activities behind and upload his mind to the TerraSphere, a virtual environment inhabited by most of humanity's intellects. He has other ideas, though. The frontier of dream research is the subject of Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Dreamlike States". Its protagonist embarks on a disasterous project to synchronize his dream with those of his twin brother. Lawrence Watt-Evans' "The Last Bastion" reminded me a bit of Vernor Vinge's work, specifically A FIRE UPON THE DEEP. A coalition of human groups has to negotiate with the Link, a human-computer interface originally created by humanity and now at war with them. But both sides now need a peace because research by the Link has spawned new enemies for both. "Forgotten" by Peter Schweighofer doesn't try to rationalize its ending, but its main attraction is the study of those abandoned in nursing homes, here a futuristic one in orbit around a gas giant. Julie E Czerneda's "Down on the Farm" offers the unusual proposition of an agricultural boot camp through which all of a colony world's immigrants must go. They're annoyed by its stress on primitive, labor intensive methods, but, at story's end, hidden reasons for the camp are revealed.Two adventure stories offer little novelty but still keep the pages turning: Andre Norton's "Set in Stone" and Robin Wayne Bailey's "Angel on the Outward Side". The Norton tale features a slave and his masters confronting, on an exploratory mission, an alien and hostile intelligence. Bailey's tale gives us a Shakespeare-quoting, android pacificst and his decidedly non-pacificistic partner, one of those mercenaries with a dead family and a whole lot of enemies who want his head. Here he meets an old love who hires him to find her lost sister. Nothing special in the plot pieces, but the team of North and Yoru were entertaining enough that I'd like to see them in other adventures.The gem of the collection is Jane Lindskold's "Ruins of the Past". Full of plot surprises, good characterization, and humor at just the right moments, it tells of a woman desperately fleeing creditors who want to force her into lifetime indentured servitude. Hoping for quick cash, she climbs a m