An unabridged audio collection spotlighting the "best of the best" hard science fiction stories published in 2016 by current and emerging masters of the genre, edited by Allan Kaster, as narrated by top voice talents.
In "Vortex", by Gregory Benford, astronauts find a once thriving microbial lifeform that carpets the caves of Mars dying off.
A code monkey tracks down the vain creator of a pernicious software virus that people jack cerebrally in "RedKing", by Craig DeLancey.
In "Number Nine Moon", by Alex Irvine, illicit scavengers on Mars are on a rescue mission to save themselves after one of their team members dies.
A young girl's thirst for vengeance becomes a struggle for survival when she is swallowed by a gigantic sea creature on an alien planet in "Of the Beast in the Belly", by C.W. Johnson.
In "The Seventh Gamer", by Gwyneth Jones, a writer immerses herself into a MMORPG community to search for characters being played by real aliens from other worlds.
A woman armed with a rifle stalks a herd of cloned wooly mammoths in British Columbia in "Chasing Ivory", by Ted Kosmatka.
In "Fieldwork", by Shariann Lewitt, a volcanologist struggles with her research on Europa where both her mother and grandmother suffered dire consequences.
A daughter pays homage to her mother with mega-engineering projects to deal with climate change over eons in "Seven Birthdays", by Ken Liu.
In "The Visitor from Taured", by Ian R. MacLeod, a cosmologist in the near future is obsessed with proving his theory of multiverses.
The citizens of a small town on a "Jackaroo" planet object to a corporation placing a radio telescope near local alien artifacts in "Something Happened Here, But We're Not Quite Sure What It Was", by Paul McAuley.
And, finally, in "16 Questions for Kamala Chatterjee", by Alastair Reynolds, a graduate student defends her dissertation on a solar anomaly that threatens humanity.
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Only a few good stories
Some great sf authors in this collection, but only a few of the stories were actually interesting. The highlights being the stories by Ken Liu, Ian R. MacLeod and Craig DeLancey. Most of the stories stick to being hard sf with reasonable plausible science, but only a few of them uses it to tell anything interesting. Good science fiction is about ideas and concepts, but there are few of those in this collection. However, do check out novels or other short stories by the these authors. I have read much better from most of these names.
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The stories weren't bad writing, couldn't hook in
I delight in hard fiction, especially, Si-fi,. The hook for my reading/listening is when I come away with a better understanding of how the world fits together, or new perspectives on what I know. One tale of a place in time that we move planetary systems by vecturing the star was a rare delight to hear, yet, yet... I was not wowed, and I don't know why...