The Final Frontier: Stories of Exploring Space, Colonizing the Universe, and First Contact | Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies | Infinity Wars | 2: The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Two | The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection | Bridging Infinity | The Best Science Fiction of the Year
From E. E. "Doc" Smithâs Lensman, to George Lucasâ Star Wars, the politics and process of Empire have been a major subject of science fictionâs galaxy-spanning fictions. The idiom of the Galactic Empire allows science fiction writers to ask (and answer) questions that are shorn of contemporary political ideologies and allegiances. This simple narrative slight of hand allows readers and writers to see questions and answers from new and different perspectives.
The stories in this book do just that. What social, political, and economic issues do the organizing structure of Âempireâ address? Often the size, shape, and fates of empires are determined not only by individuals, but by geography, natural forces, and technology. As the speed of travel and rates of effective communication increase, so too does the size and reach of an Imperial bureaucracy. Sic itur ad astraÂÂThus one journeys to the stars.â
At the beginning of the twentieth century, writers such as Kipling and Twain were at the forefront of these kinds of narrative observations, but as the century drew to a close, it was writers like Iain M. Banks who helped make science fiction relevant. That tradition continues today, with award-winning writers like Ann Leckie, whose 2013 debut novel Ancillary Justice hinges upon questions of imperialism and empire.
Here then is a diverse collection of stories that asks the questions that science fiction asks best. Empire: How? Why? And to what effect?
Table of Contents:
- ÂWinning Peaceâ by Paul J. McAuley
- ÂNightâs Slow Poisonâ by Ann Leckie
- ÂAll the Painted Starsâ by Gwendolyn Clare
- ÂFirstbornâ by Brandon Sanderson
- ÂRiding the Crocodileâ by Greg Egan
- ÂThe Lost Princess Manâ by John Barnes
- ÂThe Waiting Starsâ by Aliette de Bodard
- ÂAlien Archeologyâ by Neal Asher
- ÂThe Muse of Empires Lostâ by Paul Berger
- ÂGhostweightâ by Yoon Ha Lee
- ÂA Cold Heartâ by Tobias S. Buckell
- ÂThe Colonel Returns to the Starsâ by Robert Silverberg
- ÂThe Impossiblesâ by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- ÂUtriusque Cosmiâ by Robert Charles Wilson
- ÂSection Sevenâ by John G. Hemry
- ÂThe Invisible Empire of Ascending Lightâ by Ken Scholes
- ÂThe Man with the Golden Balloonâ by Robert Reed
- ÂLooking Through Laceâ by Ruth Nestvold
- ÂA Letter from the Emperorâ by Steve Rasnic Tem
- ÂThe Wayfarerâs Adviceâ by Melinda M. Snodgrass
- ÂSeven Years from Homeâ by Naomi Novik
- ÂVerthandiâs Ringâ by Ian McDonald
Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.