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in libris

Read much. Talk little.

Currently reading

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages
Stephen Greenblatt, Alfred David, James Simpson, M.H. Abrams
Progress: 367/543 pages

Engineering Infinity, ed. by Jonathan Strahan

Engineering Infinity (The Infinity Project Book 1) - Charles Stross, Gwyneth Jones, John Barnes, Hannu Rajaniemi, Stephen Baxter, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John C. Wright, Karl Schroeder, Robert Reed, Jonathan Strahan

This is another fine anthology edited by Mr. Strahan, and as he always does, he makes the reading order count. That is to say, as you march through the anthology, you'll note interesting connections between adjacent stories (not always, but there are some). But that is almost beside the point of my review. I have below selected my favorite stories from the bunch.



Malak, by Peter Watts. Classic Watts -- a story about a missile with AI that evolves to the point that it must confront the morality of its tasks.

The Invasion of Venus, by Stephen Baxter. Alien intelligence is found to exist. They have an invasion fleet on the way... but it passes right by Earth. This one somehow makes you feel really small without the aliens ever stepping foot on Earth.

The Server and the Dragon, by Hannu Rajaniemi. A beautiful scientifictional fable in which a solar-system-spanning server falls in love with a "dragon". But "dragons" are dangerous.

Creatures with Wings, by Kathleen Ann Goonan. Can a ne'er-do-well in Hawai'i become the savior of an alien race? Read it, and find out.

Mantis, by Robert Reed. An interesting sf take on the ancient concepts of mirrors and the Gaze of the Other.

A Soldier of the City, by David Moles. Far-future cities of Babylonian descent go to war with pirates in the outer rim. One soldier does his duty, caught between family-and-state loyalty and the chaotic outcomes of violence.

The Birds and the Bees and the Gasoline Trees, by John Barnes. We've explored our solar system, but a mystery lurks in our own Southern Ocean. It is indeed a mystery from the sea, but no reason to go mad from the revelation or flee from the light.