edited by Allan Kaster
Paperback price: $22.99 e-book price: $6.99
This collection presents 20 of the best space operas published over the past 20 years in more or less chronological order and edited by Allan Kaster.
- “Mayflower II” by Stephen Baxter In this story, a Locus Award finalist, one thousand people aboard five generation starships leave the Sol system to flee an enemy that threatens to destroy their way of life.
- “On the Orion Line” by Stephen Baxter In this story, nominated for a Hugo Award, a soldier fights for survival behind enemy lines, on an alien vessel, thousands of light-years from Earth.
- “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette In this story, a Locus Award finalist, space pirates haul in booty aboard a living spaceship that doesn’t quite smell right.
- “By the Warmth of Their Calculus” by Tobias S. Buckell The captain of a dustship musters her crew to escape from a trap set by Hunter-Killers in a game of cat and mouse amid the rings of a giant planet.
- “Weep for Day” by Indrapramit Das A woman recalls a childhood train journey, on a planet with a permanent dayside and a nightside of eternal darkness, to see a captured specimen of the Nightmare race.
- “Glory” by Greg Egan In this story, nominated for a Hugo Award, mathematicians seek to learn more from a civilization, on another planet, that spent three million years doing math.
- “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman In this story, nominated for a Nebula Award , an alienated teenager, in a domed iron city on a planet where a fundamentalist revolt is brewing, seeks to uncover her enigmatic tutor’s long-held secret.
- “Saving Tiamaat“ by Gwyneth Jones Human diplomats must deal their own cultural biases while dealing with two representatives from warring factions on a newly discovered planet.
- “Someday” by James Patrick Kelly In this story, a Locus Award finalist, peculiar mating rituals and divergent evolution have developed on a lost colony that has been out of contact with the rest of humanity.
- “Jonas and the Fox” by Rich Larson An enemy of the revolution, on a colonized planet, uploads a digital copy of himself into the body of a braindead boy in an attempt to escape off-world.
- “Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee In this story nominated for a Hugo Award and set in the author’s Machineries of Empire universe, an undercover agent infiltrates a space station to recover the crew of a lost ship.
- “Dead Men Walking” by Paul McAuley In this story, a Locus Award finalist, programmed military doppelgängers continue to carry out their missions long after the Quiet War’s end.
- “The City of the Dead” by Paul McAuley The constable in a settlement on a planet full of the tombs of a long-vanished alien race befriends a woman who researches dangerous hive rats.
- “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald In this story, a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist, an aristocrat’s trip to Venus, in search of her disgraced brother, is memorialized by papercuts of flora native to the planet.
- “The Third Party” by David Moles Two rival space-faring cultures vie for influence over the people of a forgotten human world.
- “The Hero” by Karl Schroeder A dying young man on a treasure hunt tries to save a world that’s devoid of gravity and lit by artificial suns.
- “Bright Red Star” by Bud Sparhawk Modified combat troops must deal with recalcitrant settlers on a planet being attacked by hostile aliens.
- “The Days Between” by Allen M. Steele In this story, nominated for both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, a man aboard a ship in deep space wakes up from biostasis at the wrong time.
- “Slow Life” by Michael Swanwick In this Hugo Award winning story, an astronaut in a damaged balloon struggles to survive eight hundred meters above the surface of a sea on Titan.
- “The Island” by Peter Watts In this Hugo Award winning story, an eternal aboard a slower than light ship is woken to investigate an unexplained signal emanating from the area of the ship’s next stargate construction site.