I am holding off on reading this volume, which I managed to get a copy of in 2002 on eBay. For the moment, here are the contents, and story summaries for those stories I’ve previously read in other volumes.
Bruce Sterling. Cicada Queen.
Originally in Universe 13
James Tiptree Jr. Beyond the Dead Reef.
Originally in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1983
Ian Watson. Slow Birds.
Originally in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 1983
When I read this in Terry Carr’s #13, I summarized: “Alien artefacts appear on Earth at random, either disappearing after a period of time or occasionally exploding, leaving a seared circle of devastated land. One young person is tied to one of these ‘slow birds’ and disappears. He returns many years later, still young. He finds his now aged brother, a religious leader, and tells of his experiences and the war that Earth is in danger of losing.”
Poul Anderson. Vulcan’s Forge.
Originally in Amazing Science Fiction Stories, Jan 1983
Howard Waldrop. Man-Mountain Gentian.
Originally in Omni, September 1983
Greg Bear. Hardfought.
Originally in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, February 1983
When I read this in Terry Carr’s Year’s Best SF #13 I noted:
Nebula novella winner, and rightly so. A complex far future scenario in which humans are being selectively bred and genmod to fight a brood mind menace.
Joe Haldeman. Manifest Destiny.
Originally in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1983
Avram Davidson. Full Chicken Richness.
Originally in The Last Wave Magazine, vol 1
Robert Silverberg. Multiples.
Originally in Omni, October 1983
Jack McDevitt. Cryptic.
Originally in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction, April 1983
Connie Willis. The Sidon in the Mirror.
Originally in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, April 1983
When I read this in Carr’s #13, I summarized : “A dying star is being mined, with a weird mining community eking out an existence on the hot crust. A genmod pianoplayer, a Mirror who mimics those he meets, is caught up with the blind Pearl, and the evil miner responsible for her disfigurement.”
When I read this in Carr’s #13, I summarized : “The stakes are high in a gambling den which is licensed for more than monetary transactions.”
When I read this in Wollheim’s 1984 collection I summarized : “An alternate reality/history murder thriller, with the protagonist chasing an alter ego through murderous timelines.”
When I read this in New Hugo Winners I summarized: “Vergil Ulam has been experimenting with nano-technology – injecting medically applicable biochips into his bloodstream. The initial results are beneficial to him: his eyesight becomes 20-20, he is fitter and leaner.
But the consequences are far beyond his wildest dreams. The collective power of the microscopic beings in his veins is increasingly beyond his control, and when they being to start exploring further afield, his friend has to make a difficult choice. But by then the genie is very much out of the bottle, and Fermi’s theorem is shown to be true: there is no need to look outward for new universes to explore