- In “Earth I,” by Stephen Baxter, a search among the stars to ferret out the origins of mankind amidst the Xaian normalization digs up many surprises.
- In “Success,” by Michael Blumlein, a brilliant but erratic biologist studying epigenetics struggles to hang on to his grip on everyday life as he writes his ground-breaking tome.
- In “Feral Moon,” by Alexander Jablokov, the Alliance military is invading Phobos to retrieve dead bodies for later repatriation, but the stiff resistance is putting the operation in serious doubt.
- In “The Weight of the Sunrise,” by Vylar Kaftan, winner of both the Nebula Award and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, the Incan empire is offered a vaccine, to contain a smallpox out-break, by a Virginian raising funds for the American war against the British.
- In “One,” by Nancy Kress, a boxer down on his luck gains the ability to read minds and grapples round-after-round with the consequences.
- In the Great Ship story “Precious Mental,” by Robert Reed, an immortal captain who has been living incognito for hundreds of years is kidnaped to help salvage an ancient derelict spaceship.
- Finally, in the Poirot-like mystery “Murder on the Aldrin Express,” by Martin L. Shoemaker, murder is suspected in the death of the leader of a Mars expedition when evidence of sabotage is uncovered.
Short novels are movie length narratives that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This collection showcases the best-of-the-best science fiction novellas published in 2017 by current and emerging masters of this vibrant form of story-telling.
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