Year's Best SF 4
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Travel to the Farthest Reaches of the Imagination
Acclaimed editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell is back with his fourth annual high-powered collection of the year's most inventive, entertaining, and awe-inspiring science fiction. In short, the best.
Here are stories from today's top name authors, plus exciting newcomers, all eager to land you on exotic planets, introduce you to strange new life forms, and show you scenes more amazing than anything you've imagined.
So sit back and blast off for an amazing trip with
and many more...
thermocarpet for a few silent seconds. “Ok, all right.” He stood up and held his hand across the desk. “Shall we shake on the deal?” “Signing papers will be sufficient,” she said, ignoring his hand. Molly settled back in the pilot seat of her skycar, glancing over at Gilby. “Something?” she inquired. He was sitting uneasily in the passenger seat. “I've never been that fond of your stunt flying, Molly.” “That wasn't stunt flying just now,” she said. “It isn't a stunt when you swoop to avoid
talked and displayed a large logogram on their screen. The sound spectrograph for “gourd” changed when it was used in the sentence; possibly a case marker. The logogram was odd: after some study, I could identify graphic elements that resembled the individual logograms for “heptapod” and “gourd.” They looked as if they had been melted together, with several extra strokes in the mix that presumably meant “eat.” Was it a multiword ligature? Next we got spoken and written names for the gelatin egg,
and see you shrink into the distance below me. Then, all of a sudden, I'm at the morgue. An orderly lifts the sheet from your face, and I see that you're twenty-five. “You okay?” I was sitting upright in bed; I'd woken Gary with my movements. “I'm fine. I was just startled; I didn't recognize where I was for a moment.” Sleepily, he said, “We can stay at your place next time.” I kissed him. “Don't worry; your place is fine.” We curled up, my back against his chest, and went back to sleep.
knee, and with a laughing voice, Chrome said, “No, you look gorgeous, darling. Just perfect.” I just hoped that I wasn't too ugly. That's all. We started down a long hillside, passing a small weathered sign that quietly announced that we were entering Chromatella. I read the name aloud, twice. Then came the first of the empty buildings, set on both sides of the little highway. My Chrome had warned me, but it was still a sad shock. There were groceries and hardware stores and clothing stores and
Etienne laughed, winced at the cracked sound, and stared down at the kneeling Rethe. “What for?” Tears streaked Zynth's face and she looked frightened. “For referring to its …status,” she whispered. “He…it …told me that it had been the giver for a child. And I thought that because you were its friend, you must know.” She bowed from the waist until her forehead rested on the floor at Etienne's feet. “I was wrong to be so familiar.” “Sit up. I knew he…fathered a child.” Tightlipped, Etienne