The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection
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In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together short stories from award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley and John Barnes. And with an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.
only conclusion anyone can give you. We’ll have fifty visitors orbiting the planet and we’ll still be staring at the sky arguing about a list loaded with bad choices.” * * * The Integrators never used a visual representation when they communicated with their creators. They were machines. You must never forget they were only machines. Varosa Uman usually turned toward her biggest window and looked out at the sea when she talked to them. “I think you chose me because of my position on the
her perch. “You really don’t know much about anything other than killing things, do you, Bess?” Then she explained how lockets came in two hinged halves—there were, after all, plenty of examples of this and every other kind of trinket to be found on this isle—although the main thing that Bess was conscious of as they talked was her friend’s close presence, and the strange and peculiarly delicious sensation of a hand touching her own strange flesh. It was getting late. The dawn-singers had
as solitary monuments. There were faded cup-and-ring lines carved into what had been the stone’s upper end. And it was broad enough that a grown man could lie down on it. “What should I do?” I asked. “Lie down on it,” Mary said. So I did. I lay down upon the Stone of Loneliness and closed my eyes. Bees hummed lazily in the air. And, standing at a distance, Mary began to sing: The lions of the hills are gone And I am left alone, alone … It was “Deirdre’s Lament,” which I’d first heard her
human intervention, their millions of transistors carefully crafted from design templates on the central computer. The motherboards pause and chips are inserted by robotic units. They move on and pass through a bath of liquid solder. They arrive at the point where cables are attached and then into a bay where they are married with their shiny black set-top boxes. From here the units reach the packaging area and slide neatly into the colourful cardboard boxes with pictures of fantastic movie
corpses looked quite fresh. Only their terrible rictus faces were like those of the other and more ancient dead. “What is this?” I asked Lysenko. “One of Beria’s infernal machines?” He shot me an amused, impatient glance. “You over-estimate us,” he said. “This is not a product of our technology. Nor, I venture to suggest, is it one of yours.” “Then whose?” “If it is not from some lost civilization of deep antiquity, then it is not of this world.” We gazed for a while at the black empty