Carbide Tipped Pens

by Ben Bova, Eric Choi | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 9780765334312 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/15/2020
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, May 15, 2020
I got this softcover from Better World Books. It's a hard-SF anthology, with contributions from authors in the US and Canada (plus a German now living in Australia and one from China - and editor and contributor Eric Choi was born in Hong Kong and now lives in Toronto). Among my favorite stories:

"The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever" by Daniel H. Wilson - a fantastic opening story, and for a "hard-SF" themed tale it is impressively emotional. The narrator is a physicist who's much more comfortable with science than with feelings, but has managed to be a good and loving father to his daughter after his wife left them. The story gets the reader involved with this little family - and then throws in a complication from space, one that our protagonist is able to recognize at once in all its shattering inevitability. I hadn't expected a hard-SF story to make me cry...

"Thunderwell" by Doug Beason is a kind of reverse spin on The Martian, with the Earth-bound protagonist trying to implement an extremely hazardous technology to send supplies to six astronauts (including her husband) stranded on Mars. The literal fallout of the attempt could be catastrophic, and while the story's presented with a hopeful note, it really does beg the question of cost.

"The Snows of Yesteryear" by Jean-Louis Trudel is set in Greenland, and deals with some extreme methods aimed at correcting the climate changes - with some eco-terrorist activity involved, and a nod to the historic use of ice-tunnels in Greenland as military bases.

"Skin Deep" by Leah Peterson and Gabrielle Harbowy posits the use of special tattoos to activate the wearer's immune system, as a treatment for various types of allergies and other illnesses. But when something goes wrong with the process and a skilled malpractice attorney wins a few too many cases, the pharma companies fight back. This one's quite the thriller - with a kicker showing how an inadvertent in-joke led to something truly awful.

Eric Choi's "She Just Looks That Way" is about the neurological factors involved in feelings of romantic love - with a man desperate to become unable to see the woman he's got unreciprocated feelings for.

"Siren of Titan" by David deGraff is about SIREN, a robot with highly-advanced AI, who's been sent to Saturn's moon Titan to seek signs of liquid methane and find its source. But SIREN is perhaps a bit too human, and begins to admire the beauties of this place, causing its goals to change - but without being able to express this to the humans controlling it from afar.

"Ambiguous Nature" by Carl Frederick is set in the remote Australian desert, and features a SETI outpost where they just might have received their first alien contact - if only they can prove it. And does it have anything to do with a young child's imaginary friend, or is that just coincidence?

And there's more. Quite a good collection!

Released 1 mo ago (7/5/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Swamscott St in Newfields, New Hampshire USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in this new LFL, set up as a miniature cabinet perched on a stone wall; hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Seeking Septads challenge, for "carbide". ***

*** Released for the 2020 Canada Days challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2020 Science Fiction challenge. ***

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