This short story collection set in the Freehold Universe has an interesting twist. It follows the wanderings of a sword from prehistoric times to the far future, as she passes from owner to owner, sometimes by chance, sometimes by design. We also get to visit with Kendra Pacelli of Freehold and Ken Chinran of The […]
As an alternative to the death penalty, a murderer is subjected to memory erasure. Things do not go as planned. Well written as ever by Mr. Hamilton, with an neat twist at the end. Published on Mr. Hamilton’s website here.
This short story (actually more of a novella in length) is set after the Greg Mandel books. Mandel is not the protagonist, but nevertheless has a starring role. A C-list celebrity is found dead in mysterious circumstances. Psi-cop Greg Mandel is brought in to consult. At the same time, a real estate developer is caught […]
A short story collection set in the the Black Tide Rising universe of zombie apocalypse. Some stories are really good and some are average. On the whole a fun collection if you’ve read the books by John Ringo. The dialogue only vignette by John Scalzi deserves special mention as it is both clever and hilarious.
Our hero is a teenager who once dreamed of being an astronaut, but his life in a small town is not conducive to such dreams. His father was killed in Iraq, his mother is working two jobs and his older brother is a petty criminal. Life isn’t looking to go anywhere. Then one day he has a […]
After a serious accident early in the first Jupiter expedition, Otto Danzig was put into medical hibernation to allow him to heal. Now, months later and at Jupiter, he has been woken up to investigate the possible murder of two crew members while exploring the subsurface ocean of Europa. The nicest thing I can say about […]
A collection of stories and articles by Michael Z. Williamson. A fun retrospective into early works and assorted stories as a guest in the universes of other authors.
This short story set in the The Expanse universe features one of the protomolecule research team scientists as the protagonist. It details how the protomolecule was initially investigated, then unleashed on Eros, and the aftermath. The protagonist shows a bleakly callous worldview. He is certainly not a sympathetic person. However, while reading his view is […]
This prequel to The Expanse tells some of the story of Solomon Epstein, inventor of the Epstein Drive. This drive powers almost all interplanetary vessels in The Expanse. There is some background on the Earth-Mars relationship, and how the Belter culture would come to begin.
Blushspark is a young Bemmie who lives in a vast ocean. One day she sees a light overhead, and finds a mysterious object. This short story of first contact in the Boundary Universe is a pleasant addition. First contact is seen from the alien perspective, making it all the more interesting. The story is free […]
Sixty-three year old Elma lives in retirement on Mars with her ailing husband. She is famous for being an Astronaut on the first Mars expedition back in the 1950s. She years to go back into space, but when she is offered her dream mission she must choose between in and staying with her husband through […]
While this is a short story collection, but the first four stories can be thought of as four parts of an episodic novel. The fifth story is a singleton. All five have been published separately before, but I had never read them. The four connected stories follow Henry Vickers, master hunter and game guide, who becomes hired by […]
The crew of a gravity tug finds a bomb on board and must dispose of it with limited time. This short story does what it says on the tin and nothing more. Unfortunately.
Collecting five of McMaster Bujold’s early works, Proto Zoa is a lovely little gem, even though the stories have all been published before. “Barter”, “Garage Sale” and “The Hole Truth” are cute little vignettes in a suburban setting, one of which is not even science fiction. Bujold’s skill at finding the amusing and the ironic […]
This anthology of short stories deals with armored fighting suits (mecha, what have you) from many different perspectives. Some stories are pure action, while others delve deep into sentient machines and man-machine interfaces. There’s even romance. The stories range from excellent to passable. And there is quite a bit of thought-provoking stuff.
This collects all of Varley’s short fiction to date. What really makes the book shine, though, are the introductions to the stories. Eminently readable little anectodes from the author’s interesting life. Even with only the introductions and no stories, this would have been a great (albeit rather short) book. The stories are wide ranging from […]
This short story collection showcases Varley at his most Varley. Not a lot of action, but quite a bit of character driven plotting. Light reading but nevertheless enjoyable and in some cases thought provoking. I did find it uneven, and some of the stories were maybe a little bit too focused on just showcasing the […]
Alternate military history anthology. The quality is mixed, and it requires at least a passing knowledge of the incidents the stories are based on in order to extract full appreciation. A passable light read if you’re into military science fiction.
This anthology features short stories set in Stirling’s Draka universe. Twelve authors contribute. There are some real gems here, but you probably won’t appreciate them if you haven’t read the Draka series first.
This is a collection of short stories and articles. Steele’s has a journalistic style and tends to describe the actual “normal people” protagonists of an event as opposed to the powers that be. He is seldom grandiose, but his stories tend to be very crisp and relatable. The articles are from Steele’s time as a […]
This short story collection contains mostly previously published material, among others the stellar “Watching Trees Grow“, which it was a pleasure to re-read. There are three more standalones, one of which is a very short vignette. The last three stories are set in the Confederation Universe, with the two longer ones featuring investigator extraordinaire Paula […]
This short story is about Mars “the way it once was”, with canals and Martians. An expedition with three crewmembers has landed and finds itself in the way of hordes of “Winter Troops”, a new breed of Martians that feeds off the remnants of the fallen civilization that created the canals. Told as journal entries, […]
In this classic short story, a mercurial genius poet linguist is on Mars as part of an expedition. He delves deep into the mythos of the ancient (and still existing) Martian civilization. Zelazny’s story is astonishing in its beauty. The use of Book of Ecclesiastes to illustrate the ennui felt by the Martians is genius. […]
Well, he certainly is a scatterbrain, as he readily admits in the introduction. Although I feel that Niven’s writing has been in a steady decline for the past couple of decades, his short fiction and especially his articles are always great fun. Like N-Space and Playgrounds of the Mind this is a mix of new […]
If you’ve never read Larry Niven, these two collections are a great place to start. They are both a mix of essays, short fiction, and excerpts from novels. If you’ve already read practically all of Niven’s work, there is not a lot of new material, but the convention essays still make the books worth the […]