cover image The Final Frontier

The Final Frontier

Neil Clarke. Night Shade, $17.99 trade paper (594p) ISBN 978-1-59780-939-9

Clarkesworld editor Clarke’s stellar reprint anthology explores the expansive variety of space exploration stories, in shades from brutal to elegantly poetic. The late Jay Lake’s “Permanent Fatal Errors” shows how far a band of vicious explorers will go to hide a truly monumental discovery. Vandana Singh’s “Sailing the Antarsa” is a beautiful and sometimes harsh journey celebrating kinship among life forms of all kinds. “The Voyage Out” by Gwyneth Jones follows a band of prisoners as they prepare for exile on another world, a journey that could either kill them or offer a rebirth of hope. The critical element in many of these stories is that even among danger and violence, there can still be wonder in exploration and discovery. Courage and imagination may sometimes be twisted for bad ends, but they’re vital to perilous journeys, and they adeptly underpin most of the tales. Clarke has brought together outstanding works in which extreme environments bring out the best and worst of human nature. [em](Aug.) [/em]