The theme of the story is humanity pulling in on itself, a turtle withdrawing it’s head into it’s shell (Irvine’s imagery), and it’s a good read.
Nice take on the Singularity, from the perspective of teen whose parents ‘Singled’ when he was a toddler.
Chris Piccinetti provides a wonderfully literal cover image to go with this story title. Fortunately the story doesn’t feature beachball-sized floating eyeballs staring at an unbothered bovine.
The difference between what is real, and what is dream, and who is doing the dreaming, and what it all means, becomes very, very blurred.
Short piece to start the Fermi Paradox themed collection, as we look inside one man’s mind, courtesy of his psychiatrist, at the relationship between intergalactic and interpersonal loneliness.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction finishes 2009 with an issue of their now
Sean McMullen. The Twilight Year. A historical tale with the merest whiff of the fantastical.
Matthew Hughes. Sweet Trap. Further adventures of Hengis Hapthorne, in a story previously in the
Alex Irvine. Shambhala. The story was inspired by the illustration by Mark Evans which graces
Steven Popkes. The Great Caruso. A long-term smoker sources some dubious cigarettes, and finds that
Alex Irvine. The Lorelei. A nice piece of writing about the fin-de-siecle New York art
Mark W. Tiedemann. Rain from Another Country. Even after her death, Ann Myref is trying
Matthew Hughes. Mastermindless. The protagonist realises with a start that his facial features and his
Bret Bertholf. Alfred Bester Is Alive and Well and Living in Winterset, Iowa. A ‘doozy’
Buy a copy from Amazon. M. Shayne Bell. Anomalous Structures of My Dreams. When the
Paul Di Filippo. The Short Ashy Afterlife of Hiram P. Dottle. The bookish Dottle finds
Yesterday’s Tomorrows. Kate Wilhelm. Not a Kate Wilhelm Special Issue as it says on the
Have Not Have. Geoff Ryman. Classy stuff. The societal impact of technology is something that
Alex Irvine. Shepherded by Galatea. A few pages in, with a lot more information about
Stories by : Ted Chiang, Peter S. Beagle, Charles Stross, Greg Egan, Daryl Gregory, Jeffrey Ford, Holly Black, Ted Kosmatka, Alex Irvine, Daniel Abraham, Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, Theodore Goss, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Baxter, Ken Macleod, Susan Palwick, Michael Swanwick, M. Rickert, Tony Daniel, Elizabeth Hand, Chris Roberson, Elizabeth Bear, Kelly Link.
Overall, the quality of the stories is high, and a fine collection showcasing primarily British authors, although perhaps just a tad below the quality of last year’s ‘Constellations’.
Stories by : Alastair Reynolds, Alex Irvine, Bruce Sterling, Charles Coleman Finlay, Charles Stross, Chris Beckett, Eleanor Arnason, Geoff Ryman, Greg Egan, Gregory Benford, Ian McDonald, Ian R. Macleod, James Van Pelt, John Kessel, John Meaney, Kage Baker, Maureen F. McHugh, Michael Swanwick, Molly Gloss, Nancy Kress, Paul McAuley, Richard Wadholm, Robert Reed, Steven Popkes, Walter Jon Williams
All in all, an interesting varied collection, and well worth the shelf-space.