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Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction

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New cover edition here Solaris Rising presents nineteen stories of the very highest caliber from some of the most accomplished authors in the genre, proving just how varies and dynamic science fiction can be. From strange goings-on in the present to explorations of bizarre futures, from drug-induced tragedy to time-hopping serial killers, from crucial choices in deepest New cover edition here Solaris Rising presents nineteen stories of the very highest caliber from some of the most accomplished authors in the genre, proving just how varies and dynamic science fiction can be. From strange goings-on in the present to explorations of bizarre futures, from drug-induced tragedy to time-hopping serial killers, from crucial choices in deepest space to a ravaged Earth under an alien thrall, from gritty other real worlds to surreal other realms, Solaris Rising delivers a broad spectrum of experiences and excitements, showcasing the genre at its very best.


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New cover edition here Solaris Rising presents nineteen stories of the very highest caliber from some of the most accomplished authors in the genre, proving just how varies and dynamic science fiction can be. From strange goings-on in the present to explorations of bizarre futures, from drug-induced tragedy to time-hopping serial killers, from crucial choices in deepest New cover edition here Solaris Rising presents nineteen stories of the very highest caliber from some of the most accomplished authors in the genre, proving just how varies and dynamic science fiction can be. From strange goings-on in the present to explorations of bizarre futures, from drug-induced tragedy to time-hopping serial killers, from crucial choices in deepest space to a ravaged Earth under an alien thrall, from gritty other real worlds to surreal other realms, Solaris Rising delivers a broad spectrum of experiences and excitements, showcasing the genre at its very best.

30 review for Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    As usual with anthologies, this one has its ups and downs, but with 9 four and five stars stories out of 19, it’s a very good one. 1. A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead, Ian McDonald - A sort of Facebook for dead people. Interesting idea, but it’s more of a satire on the consumerist society and desire to make money no matter through what means. 2/5 2. The Incredible Exploding Man, Dave Hutchinson - Great one. An extrapolation on the Calabi-Yau space. 4/5 3. Sweet Spots, Paul di Filippo - F As usual with anthologies, this one has its ups and downs, but with 9 four and five stars stories out of 19, it’s a very good one. 1. A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead, Ian McDonald - A sort of Facebook for dead people. Interesting idea, but it’s more of a satire on the consumerist society and desire to make money no matter through what means. 2/5 2. The Incredible Exploding Man, Dave Hutchinson - Great one. An extrapolation on the Calabi-Yau space. 4/5 3. Sweet Spots, Paul di Filippo - Funny story about a teenage boy and his otherworldly powers to trigger a Domino effect. Too bad the ending is a letdown. Nonetheless, interesting. 3/5 4. The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three, Ken MacLeod - An alternate reality story set in France, with a twist at the end, though not something to make it awesome. 3/5 5. The One that Got Away, Tricia Sullivan - A dystopian setting which reminded me of Watts' universe from his Rifters series. Depressing world, however, below fragment won it a place in my heart: I wish I could stay out here, never go back to land. Out here on the moving water with the bioluminescence starring my wet hands like I’m five years old playing with glitter. Galactic me. 4/5 6. Rock Day, Stephen Baxter - An unusual post-apocalyptic story of a boy and his dog. I liked it very much, especially its conclusion, even though I still don't like much Baxter's writing style. 4/5 7. Eluna, Stephen Palmer - A girl's rite of passage tale in a highly alien environment. Too alien to be coherent and the ending seemed a bit of the track, compared to the narrative. 2/5 8. Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel? Adam Roberts - A time travel/alternate history version of what might have happened behind some important events in Earth's history. 3/5 9. The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara, Lavie Tidhar - There is a Che in every war conflict. DNF, I don’t like his writing style, nor the subject. 10. Steel Lake, Jack Skillingstead - A touching story about a father and his son, lost opportunities and regrets. 4/5 11. Mooncakes, Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom - This one felt like a Facebook truism, not like a story. 1/5 12. At Play in the Fields, Steve Rasnic Tem - A man dies during a surgery and gets revived in an otherworldly Earth in the future. 4/5 13. How We Came Back from Mars, Ian Watson - Too cartoonish and silly: 5 astronauts are brought back from Mars to Earth by a UFO and left in a Wild West movie setting; DNF. 14. You Never Know, Pat Cadigan - Couldn’t get past the first two pages - skipped 15. Yestermorrow, Richard Salter - Superb policier/time travel story. 5/5 16. Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions, Jaine Fenn - Eerie story of a team sent through a portal to another planet. 4/5 17. Eternity’s Children, Keith Brooke and Eric Brown - Exceptional story, set on an alien world, which reminded me of one of PFH’s alien worlds. 5/5 18. For the Ages, Alastair Reynolds – A mission gone wrong in deep space. I simply cannot get enough of Reynolds' writing and his larger than life scope and the immensity of the universe. Didn’t find his input on this story but I wonder if the Commonwealth here is not an homage to his friend’s widely-known universe. 5/5 19. Return of the Mutant Worms, Peter F. Hamilton – He can do much better than this, but still he managed to deliver a good ironic story about how a writer’s career depends on an editor’s whim. 3/5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miloș Dumbraci

    A smart well mannered uprising of the dead – Ian McDonald – 1/5 uniteresting and I hated the disjointed narrative style The incredible exploding man – Dave Hutchinson 3/5 well written and starts great but ends up underwhelming Sweet spots – Paul di Filippo 1/5 seems written by a 14 yo boy, with 14 yo obsessions and sense of humour The best science fiction of the year three – Ken MacLeod 5/5 nice alternate world with a smart twist; also, great to read in 2017 (it is about intellectuals having to fle A smart well mannered uprising of the dead – Ian McDonald – 1/5 uniteresting and I hated the disjointed narrative style The incredible exploding man – Dave Hutchinson 3/5 well written and starts great but ends up underwhelming Sweet spots – Paul di Filippo 1/5 seems written by a 14 yo boy, with 14 yo obsessions and sense of humour The best science fiction of the year three – Ken MacLeod 5/5 nice alternate world with a smart twist; also, great to read in 2017 (it is about intellectuals having to flee US for Europe because of state censorship – did Macleod forsee Trump?) The one that got away – Tricia Sullivan 2/5 too much, too weird, with a weak end Rock day – Stephen Baxter 4/5, though rather unoriginal, a good old-school read still, with a not so surprising end twist, but satisfying Eluna – Stephen Palmer 5/5 excellent alien-policier within a strange world Shall I tell you the problem with time travel? - Adam Roberts 5/5 a good and original time travel story with 2 different surprising twists The lives and deaths of Che Guevara - Lavie Tidhar 3/5 good writing, nice but not so original idea; rather repetitive though Steel Lake – Jack Skillingstead 5/5 great clear fast moving writing, excellent touching (though not so scifi) story Mooncakes – Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom 1/5 nothing much going on here, only the background is scifi-ish At play in the fields – Steve Rasnic 4/5 well-written misterious postapocalyptic, but it turns away from the fascinating alien new world to not-so-fascinating memories How we came back from Mars – Ian Watson 1/5 too much talk for too little (to none) idea; tries unsuccesfully to be funny You never know – Pat Cadigan 1/5 also too many words for too little, I lost my interest really fast Yestermorrow –Richard Salter 5/5 great time-jumping noir policier Dreaming towers, Silent mansions – Jaine Fenn 3/5 good intriguing background, good build-up (a little slow), unexpected but rather lame and unconvincing explanation/ending Eternity children - Keith Brooke and Eric Brown 5/5 wonderful old-school style story, with colonising a new world, slowly revealed, and strange natives, but also some lifestyle values For the ages – Alastair Reynolds 2/5 less scifi story, more physics class, overlong and boring Return of the mutant worms – Peter f Hamilton 1/5 where is the scifi? And it is supposed to be a funny story – but no laughter here

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    It's that time of year again. No, not bath time (that's in the summer), but time to immerse myself in an array of modern, brand new SF instead of the classic variety that I usually find myself wallowing (and thoroughly enjoying). This book marks the resurrection of the "Solaris New Book of SF" series that ran for three volumes and then ended when, I believe, Solaris changed hands and the then editor of the series George Mann left. I read the last volume in the old series (see here), enjoyed it ve It's that time of year again. No, not bath time (that's in the summer), but time to immerse myself in an array of modern, brand new SF instead of the classic variety that I usually find myself wallowing (and thoroughly enjoying). This book marks the resurrection of the "Solaris New Book of SF" series that ran for three volumes and then ended when, I believe, Solaris changed hands and the then editor of the series George Mann left. I read the last volume in the old series (see here), enjoyed it very much and was disappointed when I learned that the series had ended. Delighted indeed I was when I heard it was being re-launched and now in the capable hands of Ian Whates. So, what about the stories? They were thematically and qualitatively varied as usual. Several really didn't work for me at all. Either they were too political (Ian McDonald's "A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead" and Lavie Tidhar's "The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara"), to alien and opaque (Stephen Palmer's "Eluna" and Tricia Sullivan's "The One That Got Away") or simply boring (Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom's "Mooncakes"). On the other hand, there were some real gems. I particularly enjoyed Dave Hutchinson's "The Incredible Exploding Man", Paul di Filippo's "Sweets Spots", Pat Cadigan's "You Never Know" and Alastair Reynolds's "For the Ages". Ian states in the introduction that there is no common theme to be found in this collection but I did notice that several stories were making overtly political points and there were a few genre-referencing stories. I'm not particularly a fan of political SF stories unless it is done very carefully avoiding polemic and didactic lecturing. Genre-referencing can be a real turn off for me too although I did find Peter F. Hamilton's "The Return of the Mutant Worms" hilarious. Overall, while I breezed through the collection and got at least some enjoyment out of most of the stories, I felt there were a few weaknesses that prevent me rating this higher than three stars. However, I imagine that it's largely a matter of taste. I certainly wouldn't want to put anyone off reading this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I will admit that I am enough of a pathetic die-hard fan that I got this anthology off the back of its inclusion of an Alastair Reynolds story; others in the contents page also grabbed my attention, of course, so it wasn't a completely ridiculous buy. Since saying farewell to Last Short Story I have got interested in reading anthologies again - well, actually, I was never very interested in anthologies before LSS introduced them to me, and then a few years of that burnt me out. Anyway, I was dea I will admit that I am enough of a pathetic die-hard fan that I got this anthology off the back of its inclusion of an Alastair Reynolds story; others in the contents page also grabbed my attention, of course, so it wasn't a completely ridiculous buy. Since saying farewell to Last Short Story I have got interested in reading anthologies again - well, actually, I was never very interested in anthologies before LSS introduced them to me, and then a few years of that burnt me out. Anyway, I was dead keen about giving this one a go. Unsurprisingly, but unfortunately, it's quite a mixed bag. Let me go through the stories. (The short version: there are some good, and a couple of very good, stories; plus a whack of indifferent ones.) The good: Ian McDonald's "A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead" is a delightful take on how social media might interact with local culture in order to impact on the political arena. With the events of the last 18 months this isn't a radical notion at all, but McDonald here imagines a company offering virtual space for the dead - spirit-houses created by the bereaved for the recently departed. And what's a virtual space like that without forums, and interaction? It's really just the next step for the departed themselves to take part in those discussions, and to be commenting on contemporary affairs. I really enjoyed the style of this story as well as the content, although it was a bit confusing to begin with; it jumps from posts written by the dead, to interviews with the website's creator, to discussions between the relatives of the talking dead. And gradually a picture builds up of what is going on in this country (which I think is never named, but seems to neighbour Mali), and the impact of the dead speaking out. It's a really great opening to the anthology. On a completely different wavelength is "The Incredible Exploding Man," by Dave Hutchinson. Rather than jumping around points of view, as with the McDonald, this story jumps around chronologically but centres on one main event: an accident at a Collider somewhere in the US, and its effects on the people in the room. There's no black hole as some of the more hysterical media suggested when the LHC was turned on at CERN, but a more subtle impact on the physiology and very existence of the people. It's fast-paced and features some nicely differentiated characters to bring out some of the ramifications of the event. Paul di Filippo's contribution, "Sweet Spots," is similar to the McDonald in that it involves an individual having an impact on society, but different because it has nothing to do with social media: instead, here an adolescent boy discovers that he can see how to influence events by a word, a nudge, an appropriately directed foot... and of course, there are ramifications, some unforeseen. The story harks to some superhero ideas of great responsibility with great power, and it is interesting to watch Arp (the protagonist) come to certain conclusions himself. I can't say I particularly liked Arp; he was too genuine an adolescent for that! But again it's a well-paced story with a clever premise. With Stephen Baxter's "Rock Day," the anthology goes rather melancholy, being about a boy and his dog and a world that is not quite right. Baxter draws out the boy's curiosity and confusion gently and sympathetically, and although the scenario of 'Rock Day' seems too farfetched (I know, crazy thing to say about a science fiction anthology), the consequences fit all too well into a science fictional universe. All of the stories to this point have been recognisably set on Earth. Stephen Palmer takes us away from that - if not spatially then certainly temporally. "Eluna" imagines a society with what at first looks like a radically different way of doing things, which on closer inspection may not be as different as readers might like. It's about individuality and curiosity, innovation and tradition and sacrifice. And machines. Adam Roberts begins his story with a disaster, which might be seen as a bold move. But pretty much all of "Shall I Tell you the Problem with Time Travel?" is concerned with disasters of one sort or another, usually of the fairly significant variety, and it does indeed suggest a potential problem with time travel, which I can't possibly even allude to here without spoiling what is quite nicely revealed as it progresses. Going forwards and then backwards in time as the story unfolds, this is a very enjoyable if quite horrifying little story about one of science fiction's more beloved tropes. And taking as his inspiration the revolutionary Che Guevara, Lavie Tidhar imagines a world in which that soldier-cum-poet-cum-politician did not die when he did. There's only one science fictional element to "The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara," and although it's a crucial one the story could be read as a commentary on the politics of the last forty years or so just as much as science fiction. It ranges across numerous countries and contexts, using interviews and magazine excerpts to break up the plot, and is a quirky and entertaining piece. Steve Rasnic Tem, in "At Play in the Fields," offers one of the few stories involving non-human characters. He wonders what it would be like to wake up one day and discover that the world has not only been discovered by aliens, but that it's also a whole lot later - in years - than when you went to sleep. This is a story about a man and an alien, but also about a man coming to terms with these sorts of profound changes through the mundane objects around him. It's a quite tactile story, and one to make the reader wonder which of the objects around them might survive long into the future - and what this will say about us as individuals and as a culture. On the other hand, "Yestermorrow" by Richard Salter is concerned with time rather than objects; specifically, what it would be like to always wake up not knowing which part of your life today is, because you are living quite literally from day to day - one day waking up as a baby, the next at forty, but you don't take that knowledge with you. Which of course means you know when, calendrically speaking, you will die. Certainly presents some interesting problems for the police. Jaine Fenn's story is one of exploration that initially seems like it could almost be straight out of Star Trek or StarGate SG1 - a gate to another world, can't get back through, whatever will we do?! However it is saved from falling into tired tropes thanks to engaging characters and a nicely intriguing twist that suggests some rather interesting things about those characters. In style, it mixes up transmission reports with conventional third-person narrative. There's a suggestion of postcolonial ideas about "Eternity's Children," from Keith Brooke and Eric Brown. A world that is both a long-term killer of human visitors and the long-term ensurer of their longevity is visited by a representative of the company responsible for it; naturally things do not progress in a straightforward manner. It would have been possible for this story to follow the old idea of white-man-seduced-by-exotic-place, but I think it mostly avoids that by the awareness of the main character, Loftus, of what he is about, and his willingness to think beyond his task. The penultimate story of the anthology is actually the one I read first and may or may not be the main reason I bought the anthology... "For the Ages," by Alastair Reynolds, is a wonderful far-future story about the big things - the entirety of cosmology and leaving a message for the ages - and the small things - messy human relationships and just how messy they can get. Th characters are finely drawn and utterly believable, the task preposterous and glorious and utterly fitting for the hubris of the human race. It's easily my favourite story of the entire set. The indifferent: In "The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three," Ken Mcleod combines lack of interesting plot (editor searching for stories, French government launches a curious balloon) with lacklustre characters, resulting in a story that utterly fails to compel. The next story was also a disappointment, because although there is a potentially intriguing idea in "The One That Got Away" - ocean creatures are washing up onto the beach in vast quantities, and something might be found within their bodies - Tricia Sullivan does not provide enough political or historical background to explain what is being searched for or why. That could be forgiven if the characters were compelling enough that their quest was an end in itself, but sadly this is not the case. Looking at a broken father-son relationship, Jack Skillingstead's "Steel Lake" has both Too Much and Too Little: too much sentimentality, and too much wrong with the father for him to be at all approachable or sympathetic; too little overall point, either in plot or characterisation. Being overly sentimental also characterises "Mooncakes," a collaboration between Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom. I like stories about spaceships heading out into the unknown and how people cope with the stress of leaving family, but this one left me cold. The 'all cultures are precious' line (which I agree with already) was hammered out without a care for subtlety - too much telling, not enough showing - and the family relationship depicted was boring and predictable. Ian Watson's "How We Came Back from Mars (A Story that Cannot be Told)" is (maybe) an alien contact story, with a team of explorer (maybe) on Mars managing to get back to Earth a whole lot faster than expected, who then have to deal with the ramifications of people not believing their story, made particularly problematic by the place they arrive back at. It's an interesting enough premise, but the story tries too hard to be conspiratorial and suggestive without having the atmosphere or characters to pull it off. Sadly, Pat Cadigan's "You Never Know" also failed to grab me - sad because I usually love Cadigan's work, and because it means I disliked two out of the three works by women (the third, by Jaine Fenn, is discussed above). The atmosphere - a secondhand shop - and premise - the shop assistant and his experience with a new security system - are approachable and familiar-seeming. The denouement, however, left me confused and grasping for understanding, and not in a positive way. Sadly, the last story of the anthology definitely falls into the 'indifferent' camp. When a writer writes about a writer, it's hard for me at least not to wonder about the level of congruency going on. For Peter Hamilton's sake, I hope there is no congruence between the writer in "Return of the Mutant Worms" and himself, because the thought of having an editor bring up an unpublished 21-year-old story and offer to publish it must be nightmarish to many successful authors. Anyway, this is ultimately a smug and unsatisfying little story that does little good for the memory of the anthology as a whole. One last thing to mention: I found the author notes preceding each story generally a bit tawdry. They seemed to be trying for a mix of bibliography + interesting factoid, and did not often hit the right note; there was too much effort at sounding quirky for it to be genuinely appealing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mieneke

    Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction has a very exciting line-up of contributors. It's the perfect way to get a taste of some of today's most exciting SF voices. The only ones from this collection I've read work from before are Eric Brown and Peter F. Hamilton. So for this relative SF newbie this anthology was quite a treat and a great way to expand my acquaintance with today's SF writers. Before I get to some of the separate stories, I wanted to touch on what reading this anth Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction has a very exciting line-up of contributors. It's the perfect way to get a taste of some of today's most exciting SF voices. The only ones from this collection I've read work from before are Eric Brown and Peter F. Hamilton. So for this relative SF newbie this anthology was quite a treat and a great way to expand my acquaintance with today's SF writers. Before I get to some of the separate stories, I wanted to touch on what reading this anthology made me discover. Thus far the SF I've read has mostly been either military SF or SF with a more Urban flavour, such as Lauren Beukes' Moxyland and Marianne de Pierres' Parrish Plessis series. I've read Eric Brown's Kéthani , Peter F. Hamilton's Misspent Youth and James S.A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes (for which I still need to write a review) and those three would all fit in the more traditional SF category, I think. But what all of the SF I've read has in common, is that it's more about the people than the technology. None of them are what I'd call Hard SF, by which I mean that even a straight up Humanities student such as myself, who doesn't have a lot of natural aptitude for the Sciences, can understand and enjoy it. In reading this anthology that was what became clear to me. I really do prefer the stories that focus more on people, whether people dealing with the future, people interacting with aliens, or people just being people. And I learned that, as the flap text says, SF is a very broad church; there are as many forms as there are stories. Solaris Rising is a very strong collection of stories. Out of the nineteen of them in the book, there was only one real dud for me. And honestly, I'm still not sure I "get" the story and whether that might not be the reason I didn't like it. The story that has me so confused is Pat Cadigan's You Never Know. I actually still don't know what happened. I know it's about this guy who works in a thrift shop style store, who has a favourite customer visit him almost every day, who gets a camera security system installed and then you've lost me. There's something about wave functions and ... voom ... that went right over my head! Which is a shame, because stylistically, I quite enjoyed Ms Cadigan’s writing. The remaining eighteen stories were very enjoyable, with about six really standing out for me. The first is A Smart-Mannered Uprising of the Dead by Ian McDonald, which is also the first story in the book. The reason the story fascinated me is that it resonated with an article I'd read about mapping the Republic of Letters by Stanford University – which of course now I can't find any more, but here's a link to the project  – that referred to said Republic as the Facebook of the Eighteenth Century.  So to start off with, there was something outside of the text to hook me into it. But then I discovered that the story was wonderful in and of itself. I loved the idea of the dearly departed still commenting on our lives from their virtual hereafter and taking action to put people in their place. I also liked the final twist, the reveal of what had really happened. This was my first time reading anything by Ian McDonald and it won't be my last! The second of my favourite stories is Sweet Spots by Paul di Filippo. It's a story about learning that there are consequences to your actions and taking responsibility for your choices. Even if this was a short story, the main character showed real growth and I truly enjoyed this one. Next up is Rock Day by Stephen Baxter. Matt's, the main character's, story is such a sweet, touching story, a boy and his dog. I loved the way this turned out. At first I thought it was a bit like a rapture story with all the people raptured and some people left behind, but the twist it had was masterful and had me sighing in satisfaction. Ian Watson's How We Came Back From Mars was another favourite. I loved the play on the eternal conspiracy theories surrounding the moon landing and the way the crew were both spared and still lost their lives was played out very well. Another well-thought out conceit was the one central to Richard Salter's Yestermorrow, in which each person gets a number of allotted days to live but these days aren't consequential, they jump around in their lives. At first was a little confusing to wrap my head around, but once I got used to the concept, I thought the story was amazing. It was so cleverly done and I loved the interplay between the main character's job – he's a detective solving a case – and what we get to see of his private life, the problems this day-jumping causes in his marriage. My final favourite is Eternity's Children, a collaboration between Eric Brown and Keith Brooke. I loved this bitter sweet tale of a world about to be left behind, almost a final contact story as it were. Eric Brown is one of the two authors in this anthology I've read before and I expected to enjoy this tale, but it wasn't what I'd expected from having read Kéthani. The latter surely has aliens in it, but they're distant, mysterious beings and the novel is focused on Earth. While this collaboration featured a far flung planet, colonised by humans, where they peacefully co-exist with the native species, even having to go as far as to be adapted to the inimical plant life to survive. It was a beautiful and sad story and I loved the ending. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you're of a mind to dip your toes into Science Fiction, then this is a perfect starting point. At the same time, I think this is also a rewarding read for SF aficionados, if only to be treated to stories by some of their favourites. From Mr Whates' foreword, I gather that this is a reboot of the previous The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction series; hopefully this first volume of the new iteration will be a great success and Solaris will decide to publish more volumes in the future, as I'd certainly be back for more. Solaris Rising is one anthology anyone with an interest in SF shouldn't miss! This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    M.G. Mason

    I realise I am late in the day with this review. The Solaris series after all is now an annual event and this first one came out three years ago. I bought it in 2012 when it was on kindle daily deal and have only just got around to reading it now. The collection boasts such modern science fiction giants as Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds so the question we all want an answer to is whether it lives up to that level of expectation. I won’t summarise all of the sto I realise I am late in the day with this review. The Solaris series after all is now an annual event and this first one came out three years ago. I bought it in 2012 when it was on kindle daily deal and have only just got around to reading it now. The collection boasts such modern science fiction giants as Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds so the question we all want an answer to is whether it lives up to that level of expectation. I won’t summarise all of the stories here, just a handful of my favourites and most noteworthy. It’s an eclectic collection without a common theme to link them merely beyond having some big names and award winners. Ian MacDonald (author of The Dervish House) is first up with a first person tale set at the end of the 21st century where China is exploiting the food resources of an unnamed African country. It’s told by a dead man observing the politically volatile situation in the country and how, despite being dead, he can do something about it thanks to a recent technological development. My next favourite in the volume is Stephen Baxter’s Rock Day. Young Matthew wakes up in his quiet leafy Liverpool suburb to see the world around him deserted. There’s no power, no food and the neighbourhood is a mess; only the widower next door seems to be the only other person left in the city. When Matthew takes the dog out for a walk, he learns the truth of what happened to the world and to him. Lavie Tidhar is known for producing some weird stuff, most notably a book about Osama Bin Laden that had critics either scratching their head in bemusement or lauding it as a work of pure artistic genius. In, The Lives And Deaths of Che Guevara, the Cuban revolutionary gets the same treatment. Revived after his death, he is moved to Lebanon where he can help sort out that conflict. Some social commentary if you know much about the man or the period. I really enjoyed Ian Watson’s How we came back from Mars. It’s about a group of astronauts returned from the red planet by a flying saucer – the owners of which refuse to identify themselves. Instead of Arizona or Nevada, they end up on a film set in rural Spain and nobody will believe they are not actors. Lots of in-jokes about faked moon landings make this one of the quirkiest in the volume. I really wanted to like Yestermorrow. Some time in 2013, a strange time anomaly takes place in the UK and people are no longer living their lives in a linear fashion. For example, I could wake up tomorrow and re-live a day from my past (you can’t go back to before the event “The Slip”, happened) but still have the memories of yesterday when I was 39. The day after, I may wake up on my 70th birthday etc. This is about a detective investigating a murder that took place moments before the victim was supposed to die in a suicide. The government tries to prevent further anomalies by telling people what will happen to them on any given day, including the day of their death. Interesting, but a little difficult to get into. There’s some quality work from some big names but none of them truly stand out here. Most of the stories are just ok, some are good but not great and that’s quite disappointing considering. See more book reviews at my blog

  7. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Based on the gorgeous cover art (Solaris really does have the best artists and designers on the market now) I was expecting more space stories, but most of them are down to earth, literally or figuratively. I was not disappointed by the quality, however. There was only one story I did not like. There were a couple others I didn't quite understand but which were still interesting. Most everything else was great. I look forward to seeing what Whates has collected for the next two volumes, which I' Based on the gorgeous cover art (Solaris really does have the best artists and designers on the market now) I was expecting more space stories, but most of them are down to earth, literally or figuratively. I was not disappointed by the quality, however. There was only one story I did not like. There were a couple others I didn't quite understand but which were still interesting. Most everything else was great. I look forward to seeing what Whates has collected for the next two volumes, which I've already purchased.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nadège

    Mes trois nouvelles préférées (*****): - Sweet spots, de Paul di Filippo. Un adolescent se découvre un super pouvoir : il peut sentir lorsqu'il se trouve au bon endroit au bon moment, quelle action déclenchera une suite d'événements qui aboutira à un résultat voulu. Il ne connaît pas forcément le détails des causes et conséquences, mais il "sent" que bousculer cette personne à ce moment précis aboutira plus tard pour lui à une glace gratuite. Et comme lui, on reste fasciné de découvrir la chaîne Mes trois nouvelles préférées (*****): - Sweet spots, de Paul di Filippo. Un adolescent se découvre un super pouvoir : il peut sentir lorsqu'il se trouve au bon endroit au bon moment, quelle action déclenchera une suite d'événements qui aboutira à un résultat voulu. Il ne connaît pas forcément le détails des causes et conséquences, mais il "sent" que bousculer cette personne à ce moment précis aboutira plus tard pour lui à une glace gratuite. Et comme lui, on reste fasciné de découvrir la chaîne d'incident qui s'accomplit. J'aime beaucoup les personnages, et les choix qu'ils font pour utiliser ce pouvoir. - Rock Day, de Stephen Baxter. Dans un futur pas très lointain, juste suffisant pour que notre technologie ait évolué un peu, Matt se réveille comme tous les matins. Sauf qu'il est seul, à l'exception de son chien et d'un voisin qu'il connaît peu. Et aussi, la ville semble abandonnée depuis des dizaines d'années. La chute est excellente, donc je ne vous la spoilerai pas. - Yestermorrow, de Richard Salter. Depuis le Switch, le 19 février 2013, chacun vit le reste de ses jours dans le désordre. Vous pouvez vous réveiller en mars 2025, et le lendemain en juillet 2017. Par conséquent, l'avenir est quelque chose de connu, et il faut respecter l'ordre des choses. Lorsqu'un crime est commis, la police sait déjà quand elle attrapera le coupable et combien de temps il passera en prison. Et tous savent que les meurtres en série de juin 2017 ne sauront jamais résolus. Mais malgré les avertissements de ses collègues, Craig Carter ne veux pas lâcher le morceau. Et comme il n'a jamais vécu un jour plus loin que le 12 juin 2017, il sait qu'il mourra à cette période... Le concept est génial, et les implications explorées bouleversantes. Notamment une vie de famille compliqué lorsque ton fils de 4 ans a peut-être déjà vécu plus de jours que toi. Mention spéciale à la première nouvelle A smart well-mannered uprising of the dead, qui plonge bien dans le bain en racontant que transformer les pages Facebook en mausolées en ligne, c'est bien, mais que se passerait-il si les morts les utilisaient pour continuer à poster des messages? Et aussi Eternity's Children, de Keith Brooke et Eric Brown, qui en 25 pages a déployé un univers étendu et futuriste, avec lequel on se familiarise très vite. Et laisse quand même le temps de développer des personnages très différents, avec des motivations propres. Les autres sont sympathiques, les voici classées de la plus étonnante à la plus insipide : The Incredible Exploding Man (****, j'ai eu l'impression de lire l'histoire de Dr Manhattan), At play in the fields (***, une race alien dépaysante... mais il ne se passe pas grand chose en 14 pages), Steel Lake (***, assez beau sur la relation père-fils), Shall I tell you the problem with time travel? (***, concept intéressant, mais le récit m'a laissée assez de marbre), For the Ages (***, idée assez cool, fin décevante), How we came back from Mars (***, j'ai bien compris le schéma de nous raconter une histoire pour nous tromper, et nous révéler un grand secret à la fin... sauf que l'histoire racontée au milieu est fade), The lives and deaths of Che Guevara (***, exactement ce qu'annonce le titre), Mooncakes (***, faut-il conserver les traditions de son pays d'origine, ou les abandonner pour celles de son pays d'accueil?), Return of the mutant worm (***, plus un message d'avertissement à destination des jeunes auteurs qu'une nouvelle de SF). Par contre, il y a en a quelques unes que je n'ai même pas compris : The best science-fiction of the year three, The One that got away, Eluna, You never know et Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions. Soit elles avaient des significations trop ésotériques pour moi, soit mon niveau d'anglais n'était parfois pas suffisant pour suivre.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pablo Flores

    There's a wide range of styles and qualities among the stories in this book, so anything said in general will be a bit unfair. It begins nicely enough but with few exceptions most of the stories are meh. I know this is not the best SF on offer. There are a few gems, such as "A smart well mannered uprising of the dead" and "How we came back from Mars", but they are not SF, really; of the stories which are I'd mention "Yestermorrow" (soft) and "For the ages" (hard). Some stories look positively li There's a wide range of styles and qualities among the stories in this book, so anything said in general will be a bit unfair. It begins nicely enough but with few exceptions most of the stories are meh. I know this is not the best SF on offer. There are a few gems, such as "A smart well mannered uprising of the dead" and "How we came back from Mars", but they are not SF, really; of the stories which are I'd mention "Yestermorrow" (soft) and "For the ages" (hard). Some stories look positively like half-done exercises or joke submissions. Three stars because the just shouldn't pay for the sinners and I'm feeling generous.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Pawlak

    Good collection Enjoyed the mix in this book. Like all collections, there were stories I loved and some that were just ok. I definitely recommend this collection though, a few stories everyone can fall in love with and expand with their own imagination afterwards.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    The main reason I choice this book as my old school friend Richard Salter had become a writer and by most accounts his current best piece of work could be found in Solaris Rising. He is obviously very proud to feature in the same collection as Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, etc etc. Of course I jumped straight to Richard's story "Yestermorrow" first and read his deliciously bittersweet story about living in a time fractured near future where each day experienced is in a ran The main reason I choice this book as my old school friend Richard Salter had become a writer and by most accounts his current best piece of work could be found in Solaris Rising. He is obviously very proud to feature in the same collection as Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, etc etc. Of course I jumped straight to Richard's story "Yestermorrow" first and read his deliciously bittersweet story about living in a time fractured near future where each day experienced is in a random order and different from person to person. I feel a strong influence of Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake", but done right! "A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead" by Ian McDonald is a soft opener to the collection as the sci-fi angle of the uprising is resolved prosaically. "The Incredible Exploding Man" by Dave Hutchinson was much more meaty with its sci-fi involving quantum physics. It ends leaving me wanting more, and a sandwich, which is a sign of a good short story. "Sweet Spots" by Paul di Filippo is another favourite of mine - a school kid suddenly gains an intuitive understanding of chaos theory resulting in him knowing in advance the outcome of any small action taken at the right moment and in the right place (the sweet spot). Again the story ends leaving me wanting more. "The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three" by Ken MacLeod is an odd little story set in a near future Paris after some revolution has reset the calendar. In theory it features a brand new anti-gravity device being demoed, but then one of the characters doubts it, which left me a bit confused. "The One That Got Away" by Tricia Sullivan was a very odd tale of looking for parts of gods in the smelly and toxic dead fish washing up on a particular beach. I have Sullivan's award winning "Dreaming in Smoke" unread on my shelf - it will now get read a bit sooner! "Rock Day" by Stephen Baxter is a tale of a boy and his dog, but all is not quite right with the world - where have all the people gone? "Eluna" by Stephen Palmer left me a bit cold. It is set on a distant world in the far future and follows a young person waiting for their first planted seed to germinate. Then it goes a bit weird when someone's face is chewed off. "Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel?" by Adam Roberts is a truly cautionary tale - you can't change the past! "The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara" by Lavie Tidhar bored me. Just not my thing. "Steel Lake" by Jack Skillingstead is a drug induced reconciliation between father and son. Not my cup of tea. "Mooncakes" by Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom is a sweet little story about maintaining one's cultural heritage as humanity blasts off for other plants orbiting other stars. "At Play in the Fields" by Steve Rasnic Tem is set in a post-apocalyptic future when a sentient triffid-like plant species has taken over Earth and revived some frozen humans to dig for things. The story doesn't really go anywhere, which disappointed me. "How We Came Back from Mars" by Ian Watson is nice little take on Capricorn 3, the classic movie about faking a Mars landing. Here the astronauts really land on Mars but have trouble leaving. When they are rescued by a flying saucer and dumped in wild west style outdoor movie set in Spain who will believe the flying saucer part? "You Never Know" by Pat Cadigan is a funny-peculiar story by the end of which I wasn't sure what was "real" and what was just in the character's head. "Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions" by Jaine Fenn is set through a portal to another world made of green stone fashioned by some long disappeared civilization into buildings and towers, steps, etc. When the team sent through the portal start mysteriously dying, why does the team leader seem to care less and less? Odd. "Eternity's Children" by Keith Brooke and Eric Brown is an interesting tale of a planet found with a plant which gives eternal life. Exacting the compound from the plant is expensive and then has to be shipped back to Earth only for the rich to enjoy. The story looks at what happens when they are told the compound has been synthesised so the plants and their workers are redundant. "For the Ages" by Alastair Reynolds is a slightly unsatisfying tale of trying to write a message to future civilizations about the state of the universe before the continual expansion has pushed all our neighbour galaxies too far away to be seen. "Return of the Mutant Worms" by Peter F. Hamilton is a funny-haha cautionary tale about selling any old rubbish short story (especially if it features any sex) in your youth. A nice humorous end to the collection.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead - Ian McDonald - 4 stars Amusing. Mark Zuckerberg take note. The Incredible Exploding Man - Dave Hutchinson - 2 stars Harmless. Sweet Spots - Paul di Filippo - 3 stars Entertaining if a touch predictable (if you'll forgive the pun). The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three - Ken Macleod - 2 stars Well written but I found this confusing. I kept having the feeling I should know about the authors and books he was talking about. Also, he used anarchism and commu A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead - Ian McDonald - 4 stars Amusing. Mark Zuckerberg take note. The Incredible Exploding Man - Dave Hutchinson - 2 stars Harmless. Sweet Spots - Paul di Filippo - 3 stars Entertaining if a touch predictable (if you'll forgive the pun). The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three - Ken Macleod - 2 stars Well written but I found this confusing. I kept having the feeling I should know about the authors and books he was talking about. Also, he used anarchism and communism as if they were interchangeable, whereas I have always viewed one as being about social policy and the other about economic policy. I spent so much time going "huh?" I almost missed the actual point of the story. The One that Got Away - Tricia Sullivan - 1 star Just odd except for the entirely conventional ending. Rock Day - Stephen Baxter - 3 stars Although I think I would have taken the blue pill myself. Eluna - Stephen Palmer - 2 stars The world building, in such a short tale, was excellent. However, I felt like I'd read the first half of one story and the 2nd half of a different one. I have no idea what happened. Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel? - Adam Roberts - 4 stars Nicely done. The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara - Lavie Tidhar - 3 stars An interesting variant of The Boys from Brazil, if you like that sort of thing. Steel Lake - Jack Skillingstead - 2 stars A very thin veneer of SF on a very conventional story. Mooncakes - Mike Resnik and Laurie Tom - 1 star Overly sentimental for my tastes. At Play in the Fields - Steve Rasnic Tem - 3 stars Thought provoking but grim. How We Came Back from Mars - Ian Watson - 3 stars Amusing. It wasn't the landing that was faked! You Never Know - Pat Cadigan - 2 stars Quantum physics makes my brain hurt. Yestermorrow - Richard Salter - 3 stars An interesting idea, but I can't believe so many people are willing to do what their pamphlet tells them to do. Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions - Jaine Fenn - 2 stars Supposedly inspired by a dream and it is dream-like. Each scene makes sense but when they are strung together it left me going "huh?" Eternity's Children - Keith Brooke and Eric Brown - 2 stars Standard exploration of the "right" way to achieve immortality, with the standard "right" answer. Personally, I'd opt for the "not dying" approach. For the Ages - Alastair Reynolds - 3 stars Classic Reynolds. World building on an almost unimaginably grand scale but with small, flawed people. Return of the Mutant Worms - Peter F. Hamilton - 3 stars About an SF story rather than being one but amusing all the same.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Knotley

    Out of nineteen stories, a couple fall a little flat and one was so difficult to grasp (even for a long time sci-fi reader) that I had to skip on by. The rest though? The rest range from pretty damn good to downright astounding. As short story collections though, any sci-fi fan would be remiss to let this one gather dust.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike Smith

    There were a few entries in this collection of original science fiction short stories that I didn't understand. The settings were so bizarre, so different from anything else I've read, that I wasn't really sure what was happening or what they were about. That, to me, is a bonus. I'm impressed that, after four decades of reading science fiction, I found authors whose words, ideas, and themes could surprise me. Among the stories I particularly liked were: - "Sweet Spots" by Paul Di Filippo, in whic There were a few entries in this collection of original science fiction short stories that I didn't understand. The settings were so bizarre, so different from anything else I've read, that I wasn't really sure what was happening or what they were about. That, to me, is a bonus. I'm impressed that, after four decades of reading science fiction, I found authors whose words, ideas, and themes could surprise me. Among the stories I particularly liked were: - "Sweet Spots" by Paul Di Filippo, in which a teenager discovers he has a gift for nudging reality - "Rock Day" by Stephen Baxter, about a boy who wakes up to find everyone else seems to have disappeared - "Yestermorrow" by Richard Salter, where everyone in the world experiences the days of their lives in a random order (similar to the premise of the 2007 movie Premonition) - "For the Ages" by Alastair Reynolds, about an attempt to leave a message for posterity (that reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke's classic story "The Star") This book was so successful, it spawned at least two sequels. I enjoyed it, so if you like modern, thoughtful science fiction (with a few temporal paradoxes thrown in), you should like it, too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Raj

    Of the 19 stories in this collection, I loved some, liked most of them and only disliked two or three. That's a pretty good hit rate for the collection. Unfortunately, the misses for me were some of the big names: I completely failed to get Tricia Sullivan's The One That Got Away and Pat Catigan's You Never Know just perplexed me. But on the up side, I adored Keith Brooke and Eric Brown's Eternity's Children about a man wracked with guilt as he goes to destroy a colony's entire way of life; Alis Of the 19 stories in this collection, I loved some, liked most of them and only disliked two or three. That's a pretty good hit rate for the collection. Unfortunately, the misses for me were some of the big names: I completely failed to get Tricia Sullivan's The One That Got Away and Pat Catigan's You Never Know just perplexed me. But on the up side, I adored Keith Brooke and Eric Brown's Eternity's Children about a man wracked with guilt as he goes to destroy a colony's entire way of life; Alistair Reynolds For the Ages, telling of possibly the most audacious plan in the history of Humanity; and Peter F. Hamilton's very playful, and metafictional, Return of the Mutant Worms about a former SF author whose past comes back to haunt him. As as well as these gems, Ian McDonald's A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead, Paul de Fillippo's Sweet Spots and Jaine Fenn's Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions are all worthy of more than just namechecks (which is, due to terminal laziness on the part of the reviewer, all they're getting). A rather fine collection with a lot of stories worth dipping into.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hunter

    Overall, this was a good collection of stories by some very exciting writers. Unlike several of the other reviewers, I quite enjoyed Pat Cadigan's "You Never Know" and found "Eternity's Children" heartbreaking without being sentimental. I bought this primarily for Alastair Reynolds' "For the Ages" and while the concept is interesting on many levels, the story failed for me in its characters--while I do appreciate him writing non-pornographic SF about lesbians, I didn't believe those two would ev Overall, this was a good collection of stories by some very exciting writers. Unlike several of the other reviewers, I quite enjoyed Pat Cadigan's "You Never Know" and found "Eternity's Children" heartbreaking without being sentimental. I bought this primarily for Alastair Reynolds' "For the Ages" and while the concept is interesting on many levels, the story failed for me in its characters--while I do appreciate him writing non-pornographic SF about lesbians, I didn't believe those two would ever have been a couple. When the general quality of the stories is high enough, as it is here, I don't mind the occasional dud--now I know not to bother checking out Stephen Palmer's work without very strong and specific recommendations. Those are the standouts for me, a couple of weeks after reading. With anthologies I often find that a truer judgment evolves as I see which, if any, stories stick with me over time. But if you're looking for a nice sampling of current SF, this does the job.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simon Harvey

    2011 anthology of new SF short stories varying massively in quality. On the whole the disappointments (especially the normally great Mike Resnick) are outweighed by the stunners (Richard Salter, Keith Brooke/Eric Brown, Alastair Reynolds).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Had some good short stories but mainly abit weak

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lawton

    Since it's a short story anthology, it's hard to review. Some stories I really liked, some I couldn't be bothered finishing even though short Since it's a short story anthology, it's hard to review. Some stories I really liked, some I couldn't be bothered finishing even though short

  20. 5 out of 5

    Philip Hollenback

    One of the best scifi anthologies I've read in a long time. Filled with unusual and unexpected stories. One of the best scifi anthologies I've read in a long time. Filled with unusual and unexpected stories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    As I will have the full FBC rv soon which I will c/p it here, just some notes starting with my updates on sffworld: I read the Hamilton story which is the last and while short and not really sf, works very well as a self-parody (famous writer that penned the hugely popular and quite explicit sf door stopper series Day's Twilight (!!!) gets in trouble over a long ago story) and the Adam Roberts story which features another crazy explanation of a sf trope, this time the paradoxes of time travel and As I will have the full FBC rv soon which I will c/p it here, just some notes starting with my updates on sffworld: I read the Hamilton story which is the last and while short and not really sf, works very well as a self-parody (famous writer that penned the hugely popular and quite explicit sf door stopper series Day's Twilight (!!!) gets in trouble over a long ago story) and the Adam Roberts story which features another crazy explanation of a sf trope, this time the paradoxes of time travel and superb prose and characters. The Reynolds story also seems awesome and there is much more including Ken McLeod, Jaine Fenn, Ian McDonald, Stephen baxter, Stephen Palmer, Eric Brown and Keith brooke, Ian Watson, Lavie Tidhar and a few others I read one more story in Solaris Rising, the Reynolds For the Ages one and it was typical serious cosmological stuff interspersed with human interest that made AR the leading hard sf voice of our time. Reminded me how much I missed a Reynolds novel this year... So far the three stories I bought the anthology for (Hamilton, Roberts, Reynolds) delivered and more and now I am starting reading the rest with the Brown/Brooke collaboration Eternity's Children that is about one of their favorite theme (see Accord, Kings of eternity for novels from either author); the Fenn story and the Ken McLeod are also big priorities and should be next On finishing the anthology I would add that the Fenn and Brooke/Brown story are also awesome, the Baxter, Palmer, Fillipo were very good, the Watson, McLeod and Tem ok and the rest did not really work for me. More detail: overall it had 5 very strong stories, 3 strong stories, 3 ok to good ones and 7 that did not do much for me, but with the exceptions of the Ian McDonald one and the Lavie Tidhar one, the rest were from authors I do not like so I did not expect anything else, while the Tidhar one being about a communist murderer of the 20th century that somehow got romanticized by leftist intelligentsia was sure to annoy me. Overall the best story was from Adam Roberts Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel?, with close contenders from A. Reynolds For the Ages and Keith Brooke/Eric Brown Eternity's Children, while Peter Hamilton's Return of the Mutant worms and Jaine Fenn's Dreaming Towers Silent Mansions round up the A+/++ level stories. Then the stories by Stephen Baxter Rock Day, Stephen Palmer Eluna and Paul di Flippo Sweet Spots were pretty good too, though not quite at the level of the above 5, while the stories by Ian Watson How We Came Back from Mars, Ken McLeod, The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three and Steve Rasnic Tem, At Play in the Fields were ok but at least in the Watson and McLeod case far from their best and more of a filler/by the number stuff; still both are excellent writers and even their filler is decent. Then in addition to the aforementioned McDonald and Tidhar stories, the ones by D. Hutchinson, Pat Cadigan, Tricia Sullivan, Jack Skilingstead and Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom did nothing for me, but as mentioned i never expected anything since I do not like the writing style of any of these authors and avoid their books. Overall Solaris Rising is a very strong eclectic anthology with something to please any lover of contemporary sf. Full FBC Rv: INTRODUCTION: After a period of flourishing in 2007-2009 it seemed that the original sf anthology went on the back-burner these past two years when the main three lines - Solaris Book of SF, The New Space Opera and Fast Forward - have not appeared with new editions. So I was very excited to see the announcement of Solaris Rising and when I saw the stellar lineup, it became a buy and read on publication at the end of October. Here is the table contents while below I will talk about the stories in the order I read them rather than in the way they are arranged in the anthology. As 2010 and especially 2011 have been years when I read considerably less short fiction than usual, I wanted to make sure I won't get bogged down again so I went straight to my favorite writers, while leaving for a more cursory read the ones I had very little expectation based on past experience with their style. Introduction, Ian Whates A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead, Ian McDonald The Incredible Exploding Man, Dave Hutchinson Sweet Spots, Paul di Filippo The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three, Ken MacLeod The One that Got Away, Tricia Sullivan Rock Day, Stephen Baxter Eluna, Stephen Palmer Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel? Adam Roberts The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara, Lavie Tidhar Steel Lake, Jack Skillingstead Mooncakes, Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom At Play in the Fields, Steve Rasnic Tem How We Came Back from Mars, Ian Watson You Never Know, Pat Cadigan Yestermorrow, Richard Salter Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions, Jaine Fenn Eternity’s Children, Keith Brooke and Eric Brown For the Ages, Alastair Reynolds Return of the Mutant Worms, Peter F. Hamilton OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: I first read the Peter Hamilton story which is the last and while short and not really sf, it works very well as a self-parody - famous writer that penned the hugely popular and quite explicit sf door stopper series Day's Twilight (!) gets in trouble over a long ago magazine submitted story - and the Adam Roberts story which features another crazy explanation of a sf trope, this time the paradoxes of time travel and has the expected superb prose and characters, while not much later I also read the Alastair Reynolds story which contained the author's trademark serious cosmological stuff interspersed with human interest that has made him the leading hard sf voice of our time. This story reminded me how much I missed a Reynolds novel for almost two years now as Terminal World has been published in early 2010. In addition to the trio above, the stories by Eric Brown/Keith Brooke and Jaine Fenn respectively were also excellent. A world that offers essential immortality to the rest of the human race at a price for its human inhabitants and an expedition into the alien unknown that turns out to involve deep human motivations coupled with great prose and characters added these two stories to the A++ top tier ones of the anthology. Overall I would say that Adam Roberts Shall I Tell You the Problem with Time Travel? is my favorite story of the anthology, but all of these five are stories that reminded me again why I love science fiction in the short form too! In the next tier of interesting stories that I greatly enjoyed and for which the style worked well are: Rock Day by Stephen Baxter, Eluna by Stephen Palmer, Sweet Spots by Paul di Filippo and Yestermorrow by Richard Salter. Another familiar author theme - the end of the world from sfnal not supernatural reasons from S. Baxter, a bittersweet coming of age story in the author's far future biotech milieu from S. Palmer, the usual partly funny, partly serious offering that P. di Filippo is known for and a vigorous tale of time travel/near future end of the world (sort of!) by new author for me Richard Salter were all stories that are recommended and add to the reasons Solaris Rising was a big success for me. The stories by Ian Watson How We Came Back from Mars, Ken McLeod, The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three and Steve Rasnic Tem, At Play in the Fields were ok but at least in the Watson and McLeod case far from their best and more of a filler/by the numbers stuff; still both are excellent writers and even their filler is decent so while the take on big government conspiracies that are featured in both did not quite gel, they were still quite readable. At Play in the Fields which features aliens and advanced biotech was quite interesting but it was too short on its own and it also stopped short of feeling complete. Of the rest of the stories, five were from authors I tried several times and their prose never worked for me (Dave Hutchinson, Jack Skillingstead, Tricia Sullivan, Mike Resnick here in collaboration with Laurie Tom, not that it helped anyway and Pat Cadigan) and while I read all just to do my duty, I have to say that I completely forgot them almost before finishing them as the magic of writing that makes one recall what a story is about simply was not there for me. However if you are a fan of any of these authors, you may have a different opinion so give them a try! Finally, two disappointments from authors I generally enjoy: A Smart Well-Mannered Uprising of the Dead, Ian McDonald is a sfnal zombie story and as such it bored me to no end, while The Lives and Deaths of Che Guevara, Lavie Tidhar is a story that talks about a communist murderer... Overall Solaris Rising (A+, highly recommended) is a very strong eclectic anthology with something to please any lover of contemporary sf.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Pretty solid 3.5 stars. Most stories where 3 stars, with several 4, with only one or two clunkers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maja Szerb

    Had to stop in the middle: the stories were sooo boring and badly written!!! :S ...continued a couple of weeks later, I wish I didn't: this book is just VERY BORING!!! But most importantly they are NOT really SCI-FI either!! :S If I mention a space mission that's going to happen and then I go into some family issues and write the whole story about that: it's not a sci-fi!!! ...you could've put the JFK murder story also into this book, since he came up with the space program... I think this is not h Had to stop in the middle: the stories were sooo boring and badly written!!! :S ...continued a couple of weeks later, I wish I didn't: this book is just VERY BORING!!! But most importantly they are NOT really SCI-FI either!! :S If I mention a space mission that's going to happen and then I go into some family issues and write the whole story about that: it's not a sci-fi!!! ...you could've put the JFK murder story also into this book, since he came up with the space program... I think this is not how you define sci-fi!! If you want to read some good stories and save a lot of struggle with bad stories: SKIP THIS BOOK and chose a better one! ...it won't be difficult!! ;)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ilmari Vacklin

    A few mediocre stories mar the otherwise interesting collection. One story on the Kindle version is missing the space after every tenth word or so.

  25. 4 out of 5

    JM

    Collection of sci-fi short stores. Entertaining.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    4

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lee Pfahler

    I have read only Eric Brown and Keith Brooke's novelette "Eternity's Children". I am a big fan of Eric Brown and like his emphasis on redemption and reconciliation in his stories. I have read only Eric Brown and Keith Brooke's novelette "Eternity's Children". I am a big fan of Eric Brown and like his emphasis on redemption and reconciliation in his stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rich Andrews

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jack Sharp

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

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