- In “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls,” by Aliette de Bodard, set in the author’s Dai Viet interstellar empire, an Empress orders her scientific Grand Master to search deepest space and track down the missing Citadel, along with its technologies, to help defend against enemies amassing on her borders.
- In “The New Mother,” by Eugene Fischer, a freelance journalist pursues the career-making opportunity to write a feature article for a major publication following a contagion that turns human ova diploid, capable of parthenogenesis—reproduction without the need for sperm.
- In “Inhuman Garbage,” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, set in the author’s popular Retrieval Artist series, a detective investigates the murder of a body found in a recycling/composting waste disposal crate in a dome on the moon.
- In “Gypsy,” by Carter Scholz, a meticulously rendered, slower-than-light, starship flees a totalitarian Earth on a mission whose outcome is not a clear-cut success or failure.
- Finally, in “What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear,” by Bao Shu (Translated by Ken Liu), Xie Baosheng and his lifelong love, Qiqi, are small children as the countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics has begun. Their lives in China are prosperous but then history starts to run backwards.
Short novels are movie length narratives that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This audio collection presents the best-of-the-best short science fiction novels published in 2014 by current and emerging masters of this vibrant form of story-telling.
Audiobook: $34.99 (Audible)
Edited by Allan Kaster
Read by Tom Dheere and Nancy Linari
Playing time: more than 16 hours