Christmas on Ganymede and Other Stories
2 journalers for this copy...
Later: Lots of fun entries here, including stories from the '40s through the '80s. Among my favorites:
"Christmas on Ganymede" by Isaac Asimov features an attempt at bringing Christmas fun - and Santa Claus - to the residents of Ganymede, only to find that they've adopted these new customs a bit too enthusiastically.
John Christopher's "Christmas Roses," a poignant tale that highlights one of the less-used aspects of space travel - the long-term damage to the body via low-gravity situations. Here, that's used to put a hard limit on the number of trips an individual can make, and if they run out of trips while they're on a space outpost they can never get back to Earth. Blend that with a holiday theme and a personal dream for the future, and you get a very poignant story.
"The War Beneath the Tree" by Gene Wolfe is a rather chilling look at planned obsolescence as it plays out among the old and new toys beneath the Christmas tree - with a kicker that makes it an even darker tale.
"The Santa Claus Planet" by Frank M. Robinson takes culture-clash and a long-standing tradition on an alien planet, and comes up with a risky but effective way for a stranded Earthling to be successful.
Connie Willis' "The Pony" is all about being careful what you wish for, especially when there seems to be some holiday magic that's providing the exact gift one had imagined...
Gordon R. Dickson's "The Christmas Present" features an unlikely friendship between a young child and a jellyfish-esque alien on a planet where the ocean is full of dangers. When the child's father has to make a risky trip, the alien - having grasped the concept of giving presents - manages to give the child a very precious gift indeed.
"Christmas Treason" by James White is, unusually, not related to his marvelous "Sector General" doctors-in-space books; here, a group of young children with a variety of special gifts (but a limited understanding of how the world works) decide to help Santa by means of complicated plans involving teleporting into what they believe are the warehouses for the gifts. This one looked as if it was going to go very badly indeed, but not to worry!
Other stories range from romantic to Very Dark Indeed, and from human/alien culture clashes that lead to better understandings - or to deadly violence. Not exactly your typical holiday anthology, but a good one!
I'm looking forward to reading it.