In “Shadows of Eternity,” by Gregory Benford, a student investigates enigmatic SETI recordings from probes sent to nearby stars despite her teachers’ admonishments to stick to the curriculum. An alien robot offers to help save Earth as war and pollution ravage the last of the survivors on the planet in “The Chatter of Monkeys,” by Bond Elam. In “Acadie,” by Dave Hutchinson, the first humans still, even after five hundred years, hunt across the stars for their augmented children who have left Earth in search of paradise. The crew of an exploratory starship finds an icy moon that might harbor life in “Canoe,” by Nancy Kress. In “The Use of Things,” by Ramez Naam, an astronaut struggles to survive after being jolted free from an asteroid while on a solitary prospecting mission. A problem with the local birds threatens the rebuilding of Bikini Island as sea-levels rise due to global warming in “The Proving Ground,” by Alec Nevala-Lee. In “Holdfast,” by Alastair Reynolds, a genmod human soldier faces off with an alien warrior in the inhospitable terrain of a superjovian planet. A Russian astronaut, gathering debris in near-Earth space, must make tough moral choices when asked to carry out a special mission in “Vanguard 2.0,” by Carter Scholz. And finally, after a terrorist attack, a technically dead fish farmer gets a new body and second chance at life as an experimental super soldier, in “ZeroS,” by Peter Watts.
Short novels are movie length narratives that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This collection presents the best-of-the-best science fiction novellas published in 2015 by current and emerging masters of this vibrant form of story-telling.
Audiobook: $34.99 (Audible)
Paperback: $18.99 (Amazon)
Edited by Allan Kaster
Read by Tom Dheere and Nancy Linari
Playing time: approximately 16 hours