Covers by Camille André and Matt Dixon
Two years ago Tachyon published the groundbreaking anthology The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman. It contained fiction by Sofia Samatar, Sarah Pinsker, Amal El-Mohtar, Hannu Rajaniemi, Carmen Maria Machado, and many others, and won the 2018 World Fantasy Award, beating out some very stiff competition. (See the complete TOC here.)
Since then I’ve been wondering when the companion volume would appear, and it has finally arrived. The New Voices of Science Fiction, edited by Hannu Rajaniemi & Jacob Weisman, contains 20 stories published in the past five years by the rising stars of SF, including the Hugo award winner “The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer, Nebula winner “Our Lady of the Open Road” by Sarah Pinsker, and Hugo and Nebula winner “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” by Rebecca Roanhorse, plus stories by Kelly Robson, Amal El-Mohtar, Rich Larson, Sam J. Miller, Lettie Prell, E. Lily Yu, and many others.
This looks like one of the major anthologies of the fall, and it has vaulted near the top of my TBR pile. It has already received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Here’s a quick look at some of that early praise.
There are stories that perch on the borderlands between fantasy and sf such as Samantha Mill’s ‘Strange Waters,’ where a woman tries to navigate her way back to her family on literal timestreams while dodging historical records of her own future. There are stories that explore the ways in which the human mind can be changed by an alternate reality such as Alice Sola Kim’s ‘One Hour, Every Seven Years,’ about a woman continually attempting to revise her own childhood on Venus, or Amal El-Mohtar’s ‘Madeleine,’ an aptly titled Proustian story about a woman who is transported into intense visions of her past by an experimental medication. There are also stories that present unique dystopias such as the mist-haunted New York in Jason Sanford’s ‘Toppers’ or the mysterious outside world in David Erik Nelson’s ‘In the Sharing Place.’
From Publishers Weekly:
Most of the included works extrapolate contemporary technological and social changes into near-future nightmares, as in Jason Sanford’s “Toppers,” a scalding look at survival in a devastated New York; Sam J. Miller’s “Calved,” a heartbreaking vision of parenting gone hopelessly wrong in a warmed Arctic; and Sarah Pinsker’s “Our Lady of the Open Road,” a haunting view of musicians trying to connect to listeners in a future of deep anxiety and isolation. Others explore dangerous extensions of popular science: in Amman Sabet’s “Tender Loving Plastics,” AI foster parents shape human children; Alexander Weinstein’s “Openness” explores the staggering effect of social media gone amok. Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s rollicking “A Series of Steaks” and Suzanne Palmer’s “The Secret Life of Bots” are more lighthearted.
Read the complete PW review here. Here’s the publishers description.
Your future is bright! After all, your mother is a robot, your father has joined the alien hive-mind, and your dinner will be counterfeit 3D-printed steak. Even though your worker bots have staged a mutiny, and your tour guide speaks only in memes, you can always sell your native language if you need some extra cash.
In The New Voices of Science Fiction, you’ll find the rising stars of the last five years: Rebecca Roanhorse, Amal El-Mohtar, Alice Sola Kim, E. Lily Yu, Rich Larson, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Sarah Pinsker, Darcie Little Badger, Nino Cipri, S. Qiouyi Lu, Kelly Robson, and more. These extraordinary stories have been hand-selected by cutting-edge and award-winning author Hannu Rajaniemi (The Quantum Thief, Summerland) and genre expert, World Fantasy Award winner, Jacob Weisman (Invaders, The Sword & Sorcery Anthology).
So go ahead, join the interstellar revolution. The new kids already hacked the AI.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
“The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri (Tor.com, March 4, 2015)
“Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed, June 2015)
“One Hour, Every Seven Years” by Alice Sola Kim (original)
“Ice” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, Issue 109)
“Robo-Liopleurodon!” by Darcie Little Badger (original)
“Mother Tongues” by S. Qiouyi Lu (Asimov’s Science Fiction, January-February 2018)
“Calved” by Sam J. Miller (Asimov’s Science Fiction, September 2015)
“Strange Waters” by Samantha Mills (Strange Horizons, 2 April 2018)
“In the Sharing Place” by David Erik Nelson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, September-October 2018)
“The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, #132, September 2017)
“Our Lady of the Open Road” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2015)
“A Series of Steaks” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, #124, January 2017)
“The Need for Air” by Lettie Prell (Tor.com, June 27, 2018)
“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex Magazine, August 2017)
“A Study in Oils” by Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld, Issue 144, September 2018)
“Tender Loving Plastics” by Amman Sabet (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May-June 2018)
“Toppers” by Jason Sanford (Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 2016)
“Utopia? LOL!” by Jamie Wahls (Strange Horizons, 5 June 2017)
“Openness” by Alexander Weinstein (Beloit Fiction Journal, Spring 2016)
“The Doing and Undoing of Jacob E. Mwangi” by E. Lily Yu (Asimov’s Science Fiction, May-June 2019)
The New Voices of Science Fiction will be published by Tachyon Publications on November 13, 2019. It is 432 pages, priced at $17.95 in trade paperback and $9.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Matt Dixon. Get more details at the Tachyon website.
See all our recent coverage of the best new science fiction and fantasy here.