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Reach for Infinity (2014)

de Jonathan Strahan (Editor)

Altres autors: Pat Cadigan (Col·laborador), Aliette de Bodard (Col·laborador), Greg Egan (Col·laborador), Kathleen Ann Goonan (Col·laborador), Ellen Klages (Col·laborador)9 més, Karen Lord (Col·laborador), Ken MacLeod (Col·laborador), Ian McDonald (Col·laborador), Linda Nagata (Col·laborador), Hannu Rajaniemi (Col·laborador), Alastair Reynolds (Col·laborador), Adam Roberts (Col·laborador), Karl Schroeder (Col·laborador), Peter Watts (Col·laborador)

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Infinity Project (Book 3)

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1105193,114 (3.44)2
An original collection of new short science fiction from the biggest and most exciting names in the genre. The latest in the Infinities collections edited and comissioned by multiple award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan. What happens when humanity reaches out into the vastness of space? The brightest names in SF contribute new orginal fiction to this amazing anothology from master editor Jonathan Strahan. Including new work by Alastair Reynolds,Greg Egan,Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Karl Schroeder, Hannu Rajaniemi, Karen Lord, Adam Roberts, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Aliette de Bodard Peter Watts, and others!… (més)
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Disclaimer:

I'm not reading the entire collection. I'm reading only Peter Watts story, Hotshot.

This wonderful reviewer here: Claudia's Review has pointed out that this is not a standalone story. She's even provided a link to the author's website for the other stories (free to download) as well as the suggested reading order. Thank you!

As a matter of fact, this is the first story in the timeline for Watts' Sunflower cycle, starting off the mission from Earth and aiming for a little trip across SO MUCH TIME. :) The benefits of a black hole drive, no? :)

It really goes into the reasons for leaving and the reasons to stay on mission. Pretty interesting commentary about people, too. :) As a short story, it was pretty tight. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Reach for Infinity is the highly recommended third anthology of hard science fiction short stories in the Infinity series edited by Jonathan Strahan. The first two are Engineering Infinity and Edge of Infinity.

In the 14 short stories Strahan includes, he writes: "Many of the stories take place on Earth in the next hundred years, looking at points in time where people, or a person, look to make a critical difference and push forward towards something greater. Some of them take snapshots from places – deep within the future colonies of Mars or perched in the chromosphere of the sun – where humanity as a whole is pushing its boundaries and stretching its limits in order to achieve more. All of them are about, one way or another, reaching for infinity from within and without."

This collection presents a good variety of stories by accomplished authors from the hard science fiction genre. While all of the stories included are beyond a doubt well-written and great examples of the short stories you will find in hard sci-fi today, as in any anthology, some resonated more closely to my own preferences than others. All in all, this was a good collection and I enjoyed it immensely. To be honest, it was refreshing to tackle a shorter collection like this versus the usual huge and unwieldy "best of" collections that Strahan (and others) also edit.

Contents
Introduction by Jonathan Strahan
Break My Fall by Greg Egan
The Dust Queen by Aliette de Bodard
The Fifth Dragon by Ian McDonald
Kheldyu by Karl Schroeder
Report Concerning the Presence of Seahorses on Mars by Pat Cadigan
Hiraeth: A Tragedy in Four Acts by Karen Lord
Amicae Aeternum by Ellen Klages
Trademark Bugs: A Legal History by Adam Roberts
Attitude by Linda Nagata
Invisible Planets by Hannu Rajaniemi
Wilder Still, the Stars by Kathleen Ann Goonan
‘The Entire Immense Superstructure’: An Installation by Ken MacLeod
In Babelsberg by Alastair Reynolds
Hotshot by Peter Watts

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Solaris via Netgalley for review purposes.

( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Greg Egan - Break my fall

Unexciting tale of a problem with piggy-backing rides on meteors to get to Mars.

Aliette de Bodard - The Dust Queen

This story lost me completely...

Ian McDonald - The fifth Dragon

A slice of the near future for the Moon as two lovers go their separate ways...

Karl Schroeder - Kheldyu

In the Gennady series, a vicious dispute between plutocrats threatens to re-open a dangerous event from Earth's pre-history...

Pat Cadigan - Report concerning the presence of seahorses on Mars

Mars revolts in a strange near future.....

Karen Lord - Hiraeth : a tragedy in four acts

Rather gnomic tale about the life of a cyborg...

Ellen Klages - Amicae Aeternum

Cute story about two friends who will never see one another again...

Adam Roberts - Trademark bugs : a legal history

Brilliant satire in an alternate near future which develops a bizarre legal system

Linda Nagata - Attitude

Totally clichéd future sports story

Hannu Rajaniemi - Invisible planets (with apologies to Italo Calvino)

Clever riff on Calvino's style....

Kathleen Ann Goonan - Wilder still, the stars

Rather flat tale of a new breed of humans going to the stars...

Ken MacLeod - The entire immense superstructure : an installation

Not quite sure what to make of this - it is about a weird artist d but has no payoff..

Alistair Reynolds - In Babelsberg

An infallable robot is shown up...

Peter Watts - Hotshot

Another harrowing tale of exploration, this time involving the Sun... ( )
1 vota AlanPoulter | Dec 13, 2014 |
Publication date: May 27, 2014
Let me start off by saying I received a free copy of the e-book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book contains 14 short stories regarding humanity in space, reaching farther than the Earth and moon, struggling to create new communities and dealing with new technology. Strahan describes the collection in his introduction:

"Many of the stories take place on Earth in the next hundred years, looking at points in time where people, or a person, look to make a critical difference and push forward towards something greater. Some of them take snapshots from places - deep within the future colonies of Mars or perched in the chromosphere of the sun - where humanity as a whole is pushing its boundaries and stretching its limits in order to achieve more. All of them are about, one way or another, reaching for infinity from within and without."

Strahan also describes this book as a collection of "hard science fiction stories," which was a new term for me. I'm not very technical when it comes to genres so I looked to Wikipedia for more information and found this:

"Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both."

My thoughts:
Overall, I enjoyed the book - it was a nice change of pace, going back to science fiction - and "hard scifi" was a new experience for me. These stories definitely had a big technical focus and while sometimes it was hard to wrap my brain around the concepts or images being discussed, I really felt immersed in the future these writers created. I could imagine the technology in some of these stories coming to fruition at some point - though within 100 years seems like a bit of a stretch - and the problems some characters faced seemed very real. In some cases I was actually frightened, thinking about some of the worlds these writers created, because it's not a reality I would want to experience, but it seemed very possible. I thought the stories fit together well as a collection too - while I picked up on differences in writing style, it was clear all the writers were on the same wavelength and trying to write in the same universe. My biggest problem was probably my inexperience with the "hard scifi" genre - because it is supposed to be so technically detailed, and I'm not used to that, I did feel lost at times. I couldn't always picture the scenes or images the writers were trying to portray because there was so much jargon that I just didn't understand. But this isn't a criticism on the writers - I think if this was a genre I was more familiar with (or if I had a big interest in science and technology already) I don't think it would feel so overwhelming.

If you're a big scifi buff, especially someone who is into technical and scientific details, you should definitely check out Reach for Infinity. Strahan also references his two other collections in this intro, Edge of Infinity and Engineering Infinity so those might be worth checking out as well.

Some stories just didn't leave a big impression on me - though, as I said, they all fit nicely in this collection - so I don't have something to say about each one. Instead, I'm just going to share my thoughts on a few:

Break My Fall by Greg Egan - This story focuses on a group of people traveling from Earth to Mars. They're in a sort of convoy - multiple little ships traveling in a group - propelled through space by...asteroids? Unfortunately, this is one of the stories I had a hard time imagining - but it seemed like the ships latch onto some asteroids and use their rotation to propel to the next one. Anyway, a space storm arises and the crew has to make a decision about where to stop. When they do decide to dock at a station that can hold everyone from the convoy, one ship has an issue docking, and almost ends up lost in space. I don't want to give away the whole story, but I'll say that the ending left me puzzled. This might be because I couldn't really get a handle on the story from the beginning - but I honestly had no clue what to think of the ending.

Report Concerning the Presence of Seahorses on Mars by Pat Cadigan - At first I was totally confused by this title, but as the story progressed it made a lot of sense. Cadigan gives us a peek at colony life on Mars and the restrictions that Earth has placed on the people living there, because they're funding the whole project. I got the sense this was an earlier stage of the project, not something those on Earth were sure about continuing. As a precaution, they put a ban on childbearing, but the laws were worded so that it only prevented women from having children - as a result, some men decided to experiment with pregnancy. My summary might sound disturbing, but the story was well written and I enjoyed the little troupe of characters we followed. Again, I was a little lost with some of the imagery, but otherwise I was engrossed in Cadigan's world and I would like this to be a full novel.

Amicae Aeternum by Ellen Klages - Klages tells a story of a girl saying goodbye to her best friend, as well as everything she's familiar with on Earth, because her parents have volunteered to be part of a space project that will bring their family into space and leave them there. The girl and her family will live aboard a massive ship until their death, helping to create future generations, who will also live and die entirely on the ship as it navigates across the universe. This story was incredibly depressing because I couldn't imagine being forced to participate in something like that. It also reminded me of Beth Revis's story Across the Universe, as if this were a sort of prequel.

Trademark Bugs: A Legal History by Adam Roberts - This story was probably hardest for me to understand because it was formatted to be a sort of legal essay, about cases against pharmaceutical companies that started manufacturing bugs (colds, diseases, etc) as well as the cures, so that people would become infected and be forced to purchase the remedy or suffer. Between the legalese and the format of the document, I felt a little lost, but I understood the overall message, and it scared me. To me, designer bugs like this seem way more possible than traveling to Mars and creating a livable community. In my mind, it's something that could occur while I'm still alive! Probably I'm paranoid, but this little document really freaked me out, which is a sign of good writing.

In Babelsberg by Alastair Reynolds - This story focuses on a robot that was made to travel through space and document what humans could only hope to see someday. But what I focused on were the modifications humans could make to their bodies, thanks to the advancements of science. The robot in this story goes on two different talk shows to discuss his job - one is hosted by a baby, the other a T-Rex. Yes, they used to be regular men and paid for these genetic...enhancements? I don't consider being physically reverted to a baby or transformed into a T-Rex as an enhancement, but apparently these two gentlemen were pleased with their choices. This was another disturbing tale (in a good way!) and while I can't imagine something like this being possible any time soon, I can imagine people modifying or changing their bodies in strange ways, given the opportunity.

One thing that did bother me about the book was the formatting. I will say right now that I don't read e-books as often, so maybe I'm just not used to it, but the pages often had strange spacing that made it hard for me to focus on the writing. There were also spelling and grammar errors (though not as many as I've encountered in other e-books) and I'm not sure if this is because it's an e-book or because it just hasn't gone through the last round of edits. ( )
  MillieHennessy | May 26, 2014 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Strahan, JonathanEditorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Cadigan, PatCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Bodard, AlietteCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Egan, GregCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Goonan, Kathleen AnnCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Klages, EllenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lord, KarenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
MacLeod, KenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
McDonald, IanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Nagata, LindaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rajaniemi, HannuCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Reynolds, AlastairCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Roberts, AdamCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Schroeder, KarlCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Watts, PeterCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Tredowski, AdamAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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An original collection of new short science fiction from the biggest and most exciting names in the genre. The latest in the Infinities collections edited and comissioned by multiple award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan. What happens when humanity reaches out into the vastness of space? The brightest names in SF contribute new orginal fiction to this amazing anothology from master editor Jonathan Strahan. Including new work by Alastair Reynolds,Greg Egan,Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Karl Schroeder, Hannu Rajaniemi, Karen Lord, Adam Roberts, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Aliette de Bodard Peter Watts, and others!

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