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Publisher: INFINIVOX

Publication Date: 2021

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The Year's Top Hard Science Fiction Stories 5

Edited by Allan Kaster

An unabridged collection spotlighting the best hard science fiction stories and novellas published in 2020 by current and emerging masters of the genre.

  • “Salvage” by Andy Dudak — Aliens, who believe that observing the stars causes dark energy, freeze intelligent beings to prevent the end of the universe.

  • “You and Whose Army?” by Greg Egan — A hive mind is disturbed when one of four neurally linked brothers unexpectedly breaks his connection.

  • “Time’s Own Gravity” by Alexander Glass — Creatures that feed on time threaten Earth.

  •  “Brother Rifle” by Daryl Gregory — A Marine receives a brain implant to help him deal with a brain injury that has left him void of feelings and unable to make decisions.

  • “Invisible People” by Nancy Kress — A married couple discover that their adopted daughter had been genetically modified before birth.

  • “Tool Use by the Humans of Danzhai County” by Derek Künsken — An epic story of a man and his illegitimate daughter separately trying to revolutionize AI and bioengineering from rural China.

  • “How Quini the Squid Misplaced His Klobučar” by Rich Larson — A high-tech gene art heist in a future Spain is undertaken by a professional thief more interested in revenge than money.

  • “50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know” by Ken Liu — The obituary for an AI provides a list of advice for other advanced AIs.

  • “A Mastery of German” by Marian Denise Moore — A biotech company is concerned with the ethics of passing memories between people as it develops this capability.

  • “Eyes of the Forest” by Ray Nayler — Human explorers struggle to survive in the deadly, primeval forest of an alien planet.

  • “Beyond the Tattered Veil of Stars” by Mercurio D. Rivera ­— A scientist creates a virtual world so other species can evolve and solve humankind’s problems in the real world.

  • “Bereft, I Come to a Nameless World” by Benjamin Rosenbaum ­— An ancient polymorph constructed being, fleeing a failed utopia, returns to a familiar world to find an old friend.

  • “When God Sits in Your Lap” by Ian Tregillis — A fallen angel in a noir-like Los Angeles is hired by a man to persuade his wealthy mother to leave her new husband and keep his aerospace empire inheritance intact.

  • “Mediation” by Cadwell Turnbull — An AI helps a family cope with the death of its father.

  • “Test 4 Echo” by Peter Watts — A damaged, semi-independent component on an autonomous undersea drone on Enceladus shows signs of emerging consciousness.

Paperback Book

368 pages


6 x 0.92 x 9 inches




1.2 pounds

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