Conquerors, Betrayers, and Lovers: Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth, edited by Neil Clarke

Conquerors, Betrayers, and Lovers: Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth, edited by Neil Clarke

Not One of Us Neil Clarke-small Not One of Us Neil Clarke-back-small

I ran into Neil Clarke at the World Fantasy Convention two weeks ago and had the chance to catch up, however briefly, as we chatted in the Dealer’s Room. Since retiring from his day job Neil has become something of an editing dynamo. In addition to editing and publishing Clarkesworld every month, one of the most acclaimed magazines in the field, he’s also produced some of my favorite anthologies of the past two years, including Galactic Empires, The Final Frontier, and of course his annual Best Science Fiction of the Year books, the most recent of which was Volume Three.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to pick up his latest, the generously-sized reprint anthology Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth, which contains work by Nancy Kress, Steve Rasnic Tem, Robert Reed, Liu Cixin, Rich Larson, Kelly Robson, James Patrick Kelly, Molly Tanzer, Caroline M. Yoachim, Judith Berman, Ian McDonald, Paul McAuley, Ken Liu, Ted Chiang, and others. Publishers Weekly gave it a rave review; have a look.

Collecting 21 stories from the last two decades, this hefty and fascinating theme anthology focuses on one of SF’s major issues: If aliens aren’t just bug-eyed monsters with no more than rape and plunder on their minds, what else — who else — could they be?… The short stories frequently make good use of their length to shift perspectives abruptly, putting readers not just in the presence but inside the skins of aliens who might be conquerors, teachers, betrayers, or lovers — or some all-too-human combination. They also aren’t afraid to tackle contemporary political hot topics such as immigration, citizenship, and belonging. Outstanding works by Nancy Kress (“Laws of Survival”), Judith Berman (“The Fear Gun”), and Ted Chiang (“Story of Your Life”) are highlights, but there are no inferior pieces here. This is a fine, thoughtful book.

Read the complete review here. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Introduction by Neil Clarke
“Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman
“Laws of Survival” by Nancy Kress
“At Play in the Fields” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“The Ants of Flanders” by Robert Reed
“Taking Care of God” by Liu Cixin
“Water Scorpions” by Rich Larson
“The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill” by Kelly Robson
“Men are Trouble” by James Patrick Kelly
“They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass” by Alaya Dawn Johnson
“Bits” by Naomi Kritzer
“And Never Mind the Watching Ones” by Keffy R. M. Kehrli
“Dark Heaven” by Gregory Benford
“Nine-Tenths of the Law” by Molly Tanzer
“Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion” by Caroline M. Yoachim
“Time of the Snake” by A.M. Dellamonica
“The Fear Gun” by Judith Berman
“Tendeléo’s Story” by Ian McDonald
“The Choice” by Paul McAuley
“Passage of Earth” by Michael Swanwick
“Reborn” by Ken Liu
“Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
About the Editor

If you don’t already, you should make it a habit to regularly check out Neil’s excellent Clarkesworld, one of the finest SF magazines available.

Neil Clarke’s previous anthologies include:

The Final Frontier
Galactic Empires
More Human Than Human
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume One
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Two
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three
Clarkesworld: Year Six edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace
Clarkesworld: Year Seven, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace
Clarkesworld: Year Eight, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace

Not One of Us was published by Night Shade Books on November 13, 2018. It is 595 pages, priced at $17.99 for both the trade paperback and digital editions. The cover is by Jacques Leyreloup .

Get more details at the Night Shade website here.

See all of our coverage of the best new SF & fantasy here.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m astonished to hear that the publication date is November 13. I happened to be in a local bookstore (Cape Town, South Africa) on that very day, and they had it! It mist have shipped ages ago.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x