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!Download Epub Ä Aliens: Recent Encounters ô Under the countless billions of stars in the universe, what forms will alien life take How will they live And what will happen when we meet them Aliens Recent Encounters collects answers to these questions from some of today s best science fiction writers From first encounters to life alongside aliens and stories of the aliens own lives here are many futures violent and peaceful, star spanning and personal Only one thing is certain alien life will defy our expectations Absolute rating 2.75 2.8 Aliens Recent Encounters is a decent collection of stories, most dealing with the consequences of encounters between humans and aliens duh I picked it off the new book shelf at one of my libraries because I saw that it contained works from some of my favorites Ursula K Le Guin, Caitl n R Kiernan, Alastair Reynolds and from some whose work I ve read before and liked Nisi Shawl, Paul McAuley, Nancy Kress, Greg Van Eekhout.As it turned out, only Kress story m Absolute rating 2.75 2.8 Aliens Recent Encounters is a decent collection of stories, most dealing with the consequences of encounters between humans and aliens duh I picked it off the new book shelf at one of my libraries because I saw that it contained works from some of my favorites Ursula K Le Guin, Caitl n R Kiernan, Alastair Reynolds and from some whose work I ve read before and liked Nisi Shawl, Paul McAuley, Nancy Kress, Greg Van Eekhout.As it turned out, only Kress story made it on to the list of stand outs UKL and Kiernan were not on their A games with Seasons of the Ansarac and I Am the Abyss, I Am the Light, respectively, but even their B games are better than most other s best efforts Eekhout wrote one of my favorite short stories, Wolves Till the World Goes Down, which I made my English students read in the Mythology unit when I was teaching, but I haven t been impressed by anything I ve read of his since And Native Aliens was no exception, being a pedestrian effort about colonialism and the children of colonizer native.The gems in this collection were IMO The Tetrahedron, Vandana Singh It seems every SF author has to write their enigmatic object that appears suddenly one day story Norman Spinrad did it in 1964 with Rules of the Road Singh s version is one of the better efforts in this subgenre Knapsack Poems, Eleanor Arnason This is one of the few stories with no human characters, and follows the wanderings of a group entity alien similar to those in Vernor Vinge s A Fire Upon the Deep.Gitte Christensen s Nullipara is a parable about a daughter and her father their relationship after the world they ve colonized radically changes one of them As I write this, it occurs to me that a similar parent child dynamic is played out in muo ka s Child by Indrapramit Das, though her take isoptimistic sort of My Mother Dancing, by Nancy Kress, is about recognizing life and the obstacle of human prejudices.I hadn t planned on including Genevieve Valentine s Carthago Delenda Est but theI consider it, theI m coming around to thinking this might be the best of the lot A rather bleak meditation on the intractably self destructive nature of humans.Not a full throated recommendation but you could do worse I wasn t so sure about getting this antho, because well, it s not exactly that sci fi s not my thing, there s a lot of sci fi out there that I ve loved, but I m not typically excited about it like I am about fantasy, you know But I knew Alex s tastes and my tastes have significant crossover area, and THEN I saw the authors on the TOC, and I was pretty much sold.Omg, y all, this antho is amazing This is everything I forgot I loved about sci fi the sense of deep wonder terror awe and the pus I wasn t so sure about getting this antho, because well, it s not exactly that sci fi s not my thing, there s a lot of sci fi out there that I ve loved, but I m not typically excited about it like I am about fantasy, you know But I knew Alex s tastes and my tastes have significant crossover area, and THEN I saw the authors on the TOC, and I was pretty much sold.Omg, y all, this antho is amazing This is everything I forgot I loved about sci fi the sense of deep wonder terror awe and the pushing of the boundaries of perception and possibility, the longing to know what s out there and getting an answer you completely didn t expect And inclusivity AND HOW Some notes on stories I thought were highlights to be added later IMPORTANT NOTE The first edition of this book ISBN 9781607013914 , at least, is missing the second half of Seasons of the Ansarac by Ursula Le Guin You can read the missing part of this story here realistically developed, biologically plausible, sentient species are my absolute favourite element of science fiction My dream anthology would be a hard SF only collection of stories about aliens their biology, culture, and interactions w IMPORTANT NOTE The first edition of this book ISBN 9781607013914 , at least, is missing the second half of Seasons of the Ansarac by Ursula Le Guin You can read the missing part of this story here realistically developed, biologically plausible, sentient species are my absolute favourite element of science fiction My dream anthology would be a hard SF only collection of stories about aliens their biology, culture, and interactions with humans Aliens Recent Encounters 2013 , edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane, mixes both hard and soft SF with a smattering of magical realism and mythology, so not every story was to my taste However, it is still an excellent anthology, thematically strong, while providing lots of variety.This is a reprint anthology containing 32 short stories, all originally published between 2000 and 2012 hence the book s subtitle The editor has done a good job of representing a number of nationalities with her author choices, and the gender balance is good too, with 21 stories by women, 10 by men, and one neutrois neutral gendered author There are a few really big names i.e all the ones on the front cover but a whole bunch of relative unknowns as well.The selection of stories is mostly exceptional These stories provide a huge number of approaches to the idea of humans interacting with aliens, and every couple of stories there d be another great idea that blew my mind Some of the most noteworthy inclusions, for me, were The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species by Ken Liu A short piece in the form of a few explanatory passages about how different alien species store information Solid with ideas, my only complaint is that Liu didn t think up another ten species to flesh this story out with The final story in this collection, A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel by Yoon Ha Lee, is almost exactly the same idea in the same format, but about various ways and reasons for travelling rather than storing information It s just as good, and it also could have been longer Golubash, or Wine Blood War Elegy by Catherynne M Valente A history of war and planetary colonisation told through a wine tasting session The wines themselves are alien, despite being made from Earth grapes, and you ll find out why Sounds delicious, though Seasons of the Ansarac by Ursula K Le Guin A brilliant piece from this master of anthropological SF, about an alien culture whose life cycle has evolved around its mass migrations, and the fragility of the culture when it comes into contact with other races Touching and bittersweet I went and ordered her collection Changing Planes as soon as I finished this story Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine At first I didn t get the ending, but when I dug back through this layered, complex story I realised how clever it is Humanity is just one of many species forced to put war aside and coexist in the prolonged wait for an unprecedented galactic event The story focuses on the turmoil and rivalry between the leaders of several factions, many of whom are clones The Beekeeper by Jamie Barras In a universe where technology, including spaceships, is grown, a scientific team returns to a world that had been previously seeded with a garden to grow such things, as well as homunculi to tend the garden Of course, the team runs into danger This story had a killer twist that had me grinning as I read the final pages, then immediately go look Barras up online to find out what else he d written Noumenon by Robert Reed An episode set in Reed s Great Ship universe Marrow et al , this story has me wanting to read the novels and other stories in that setting Reed seems to like playing with the concept of worlds within worlds, and he brings a technological twist to that idea in this story Keep on going through the seemingly unrelated sections about an alien creature, it all ties together in the end Honey Bear by Sofia Samatar What starts off as a simple enough story about family strife turns creepy and weird when you figure out what s going on A very dark story which explores ways our lives might be forced to change when aliens take over earth It incorporates some elements from faerie mythology, but don t expect Tinkerbell There are a couple of other great, similarly unsettling stories about cooperation between humans and aliens in this anthology muo ka s Child by Indrapramit Das, and Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck Knacksack Poems by Eleanor Arnason No humans at all in this story Just an excellent fable like recount of a poet s adventures in a somewhat medieval setting The SF twist These creatures are much like the Tines in Vernor Vinge s A Fire Upon the Deep, in that they are composed of multiple organisms and share a group mind This story was funny and engrossing My Mother, Dancing by Nancy Kress This story is set in a far future when Fermi and his famous paradox about the lack of alien life in the universe is now the basis of a religion It tells of the interactions between human missionaries spreading eukaryotic life throughout the universe, and some of their creations, who have a unique problem that might be too much for the humans to comprehend.There are a number of other stories I really liked the majority of the remaining 20 but I won t describe every single story in this review There are, though, some stories I wasn t greatly enthused about.Sadly, one of them was the contribution by Alastair Reynolds Reynolds is one of my very favourite SF authors but I felt that his story in this anthology, For the Ages , was rather lacklustre He has other short stories that are farsuited to the alien theme, considering that this story doesn t even feature aliens directly, but rather tackles the idea of how to send a message to hypothetical aliens in the future.I also wasn t captivated by Caitl n R Kiernan s I am the Abyss, I am the Light , which includes a lot of alien biology but whose main character isn t very sympathetic in wanting to eschew her humanity nor did The Forgotten Ones by Karin Lowachee interest me, as it seemed to be rather heavy handedly trying to Say Something Important about the effects of colonialism Shallot by Samantha Henderson and Test of Fire by Pervin Saket both relied pretty heavily on allusions of the literary and mythological variety, respectively, so maybe it s my fault for not really understanding them, but I didn t get much out of them either.The story that made me roll my eyes and go so what the most was Honorary Earthling by Nisi Shawl Oh yes, I m sure it s a very important story about race in America and yada yada yada, but the postmodern style incorporating transcripts, articles, blog posts and one sided conversations did absolutely nothing for me and I struggled to find any kind of science fiction aspect to the story at all It seemed to be muchabout ghosts, although there was a throwaway line about aliens, but that just wasn t enough to warrant its inclusion in this collection in my opinion.Those few less than great stories aside, there is so much here that is worth the anthology s price For any fan of aliens in science fiction, you can t go wrong