Monday, July 10, 2023

Here are the best of Amazon's new free science fiction short stories by top authors

This month, Amazon put out a series of six science fiction short stories by top authors. From what I could tell, they're not connected in any way, other than being about space travel. The text and audio version are free with Prime, and currently 99 cents each if you don't. Here's what I enjoyed from the "Far Reaches" collection:

"How It Unfolds" by James S.A. Corey: This one is terrific. Mankind creates teleporter technology that allows us to beam people and equipment across the galaxy to promising looking planets. And that selection process was deemed so terrific, that copies of the exact same people and exact same equipment are beamed to a lot of planets to try to establish footholds. Some go well, some do not, and some go strangely. Good set up, thought-provoking questions, and a moving love story.

"Void" by Veronica Roth: A murder mystery set on a spaceship. I lost interest halfway through.

"Falling Bodies" by Rebecca Roanhorse: Grim tale about a young man struggling to cope with being adopted by (very human-like) alien conquerors.  

"The Long Game" by Ann Leckie: I enjoyed this one, as I do all her books--like many of her stories, an exploration of people learning to communicate with an alien intelligence.

"Just Out of Jupiter's Reach" by Nnedi Okorafor: Also terrific and the most fantastical of the series. An odd group of people win a Willy Wonka-like contest to explore space in some truly strange spaceships.

"Slow Time Between the Stars" by John Scalzi: From what I read, it's about how disappointing space travel is likely to prove, absent almost magical technological advances. It spent so much time talking about how boring space exploration is likely to be that I was convinced and stopped reading halfway through.