New Skies by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, ed.
New SkiesAn Anthology of Today’s Science Fiction
A shuttle crash lands on the moon. Now the astronaut has to stay alive while waiting for another ship from Earth to come to the rescue. A couple enters a bar, hoping to be matched with the right person for them. An alien ship lands on Earth to engineer the atmosphere into their type of habitable planet. A boy has to convince them that intelligent beings live there and the aliens should leave Earth alone. Another boy can see and hear in four dimensions rather than our normal three.
What if? That is the basis of good science fiction. Patrick Nielsen Hayden has gathered together a set of excellent short stories from the past twenty five years ago (even the one by Philip K. Dick although he died before that) into this anthology of “what if?”. Many of the stories are Nebula or Hugo award winners. So are the authors. Some I have read a lot – Spider Robinson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Connie Willis, Nancy Kress, Greg Bear, and Orson Scott Card. Some I have read and appreciated a selection of their work – Robert Charles Wilson, Jane Yolen, and Geoffrey Landis. Then there are the ones I haven’t read before – Terry Bisson, Steven Gould, Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald, Will Shetterly, David Langford, Greg van Eehout, and Maureen F. McHugh.
As for the stories themselves – this is good stuff. Hayden picked some of the best. There are stories to make you smile, some to make you wonder, some to surprise, and some to make you think. Some are better than others, yet I can recommend all of them. This is a good group of stories to make the reader wonder “what if?”