Four good new stories, and some substantial classic SF reprints. Plenty of bang for your buck.
Kali Wallace. Fatima’s Wound. “Another good story from Wallace.” Full Best SF Review here
Tom Crosshill. The Magician and Laplace’s Demon. “A clever story, whose protagonist is a powerful AI, confident that it is the only one on Earth, and supremely confident in its ability to cleanse the universe of magic, as it gradually disposes of more and more of the magicians whose abilities are an affront to it’s worldview.” Full Best SF Review here
Matthew Bennardo. Now Dress Me in My Finest Suit and Lay Me in My Casket. “Neat five-pager from Bennardo. – quite impactful considering the short length.” Full Best SF Review here
Dominica Phetteplace. No Vera There. “If you’re looking for a straightforward narrative, with the protagonist having to overcome a life-threatening obstacle, look elsewhere, but look here if you want something just a little bit different that reads well.” Full Best SF Review here
Classic reprints as selected by Gardner Dozois (and he should know!)
Allen M. Steele. The Emperor of Mars. Originally in Asimovs June 2010. “Steele revisits a theme from a previous story of his, although with an sfnal rather than a fantasy element.” Full Best SF Review here
Alastair Reynolds. The Sledge-Maker’s Daughter. Originally in Interzone #209 April 2007. “As the story progresses, rather than being a Catherine Cookson story, the SF background is gradually, and enticingly revealed, providing an intriguing backdrop which could be explored at greater depth.” Full Best SF Review here.
Xia Jia. Tongtong’s Summer. First published in Neil Clarke’s ‘Upgraded’. Advert at the bottom of this review.
Non-fiction by Ken Liu (Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction), an interview with Kameron Hurley, an Another Word column by Daniel Abraham, and an editorial by Neil Clarke.”
Handsome cover by Lake Hurwitz, which looks particularly good on the cover of the actual print version from Amazon.