Discover How We’ll Get into Space in Stellaris: People of the Stars, edited by Les Johnson and Robert E. Hampson

Discover How We’ll Get into Space in Stellaris: People of the Stars, edited by Les Johnson and Robert E. Hampson

Stellaris: People of the Stars (Baen, August 2020). Cover by Sam Kennedy

I complain (a lot) about the death of the mass market science fiction anthology. So when I see a new one on the shelves, it’s worth celebrating — especially when it looks as strong as Baen’s Stellaris: People of the Stars, which is obviously a tie-in to the hugely popular Stellaris computer game from Paradox.

Except it isn’t, which I discovered after I bought a copy and brought it home. It was inspired instead by a gathering of scientists and writers at the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, and is a mix of fiction and non-fiction essays on space travel. Here’s a slice from by Kevin P Hallett’s review at Tangent Online.

This anthology contains ten science fiction stories themed around humanity’s quest to expand out to the stars and the many challenges they will face. With very few exceptions the stories are strong page turners. Scattered among the stories are six essays on various challenges that humanity will face, ensuring the anthology is a broad exploration of space colonization in the future….

“At the Bottom of the White” by Todd McCaffrey

Cin is a crewmember of the Valrise, a trading spaceship that is renewing contact with the abandoned colony of Arwon. The trader’s technology far exceeds Arwon’s sectarian government that starves its disaffected minorities.

Unaware of the nuances in such a charged political environment, Cin and the other members of the ship’s crew try to trade. Only to find themselves suddenly embroiled in the brutal politics of subjugation and faced with tough choices. Cin must risk going ‘down to the white’, if she’s to help the people. This was an interesting character-centric story with its fair share of intrigue and action.

Les Johnson is the author of Mission to Methone; his previous anthology was Going Interstellar (2012), edited with Jack McDevitt. Robert E. Hampson is the editor of the forthcoming The Founder Effect.

Here’s the complete fiction Table of Contents.

“Burn the Boats” by Sarah A. Hoyt
“Bridging” by William Ledbetter
“Stella Infantes” by Kacey Ezell and Philip Wohlrab
“At the Bottom of the White” by Todd McCaffrey
“Pageants of Humanity” by Brent Roeder
“Time Flies” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Nanny” by Les Johnson
“Those Left Behind” by Robert E. Hampson
“The Smallest of Things” by Catherine L. Smith
“Exodus” by Daniel M. Hoyt

Stellaris: People of the Stars was published by Bean Books on August 25, 2020. It is 429 pages, priced at $16 in trade paperback, and $8.99 in mass market and digital formats. The cover is by Sam Kennedy. Read a generous excerpt at the Baen website.

See all our coverage of the best new science fiction releases here.

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