cover image Futures from Nature

Futures from Nature

, . . Tor, $24.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1805-3

Hard SF fans should revel in Gee’s unusual anthology of 100 speculative miniatures created by scientists, journalists and top SF authors worldwide and originally published as recent one-page features in the science journal Nature . Each vignette centers on a wondrous or devastating or simply mind-boggling “what if,” carried to an unsettlingly original logical conclusion—or left spinning in an extraterrestrial mental orbit. A sampling of the treasures illustrates their remarkable range: Gregory Benford’s poignant “A Life with a Semisent” explores the human need for love; Paul McCauley’s “Meat” tackles the nasty human trick of twisting technology to immoral purposes; Robert Sawyer faces religion with the gobsmacking “Abdication of Pope Mary III”; and Ian Watson lets fly with his hilarious “Nadia’s Nectar,” one of the best bathroom tales around. All in all, this is a perfect volume to awaken startling new thoughts on old SF themes, giant leaps into the future in delectably palatable tiny packages. (Nov.)