Hot Best Seller

Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

The universe of the mind is a limitless expanse of wonders, filled with worlds and secrets that cannot be fully explored within the pages of a single novel. Here, science fiction's most beloved and highly honored writers revisit their best-known worlds in perhaps the greatest concentration of science fiction ever in one volume.


Compare

The universe of the mind is a limitless expanse of wonders, filled with worlds and secrets that cannot be fully explored within the pages of a single novel. Here, science fiction's most beloved and highly honored writers revisit their best-known worlds in perhaps the greatest concentration of science fiction ever in one volume.

30 review for Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    *****"Old Music and the Slave Woman" - Ursula K. LeGuin. Yes, I checked this book out from the library because I saw that it had a LeGuin story I hadn't read before! And yes, this alone was worth the price of admission. (Well, since it was from the library there wasn't a price, but, you know...) Set in the world of the Ekumen. The egalitarian interplanetary alliance has come to this corner of the galaxy. Ideas of freedom have spread, causing riots and rebellion in a society based on racial slavery *****"Old Music and the Slave Woman" - Ursula K. LeGuin. Yes, I checked this book out from the library because I saw that it had a LeGuin story I hadn't read before! And yes, this alone was worth the price of admission. (Well, since it was from the library there wasn't a price, but, you know...) Set in the world of the Ekumen. The egalitarian interplanetary alliance has come to this corner of the galaxy. Ideas of freedom have spread, causing riots and rebellion in a society based on racial slavery. An ambassador of the Ekumen is kidnapped by those who hope to use him as a political mouthpiece, and imprisoned. A mere recital of the events of the tale can't come even close to LeGuin's succinct but thorough exploration of the evils of social injustice, tempered by the further evils that can happen when lofty ideals meet imperfect human reality. There's more here to think about than in a dozen angry political screeds, and much more of worth. *** "A Separate War" - Joe Haldeman. A story which fills in a 'gap' covering what happened to one of the main characters in 'The Forever War' when the two protagonists were separated. A heterosexual woman from our time period deals with losing her lover, is trained for officership in a space military, and comes to terms with living in a homosexual future. I didn't enjoy this as much as I remember liking 'Forever War,' but it was OK. ** "Investment Counselor" - Orson Scott Card. This story introduces Ender Wiggin (of 'Ender's Game') to the AI, Jane. Ender has just turned 20 and must figure out how to deal with his huge and hugely complicated trust fund. Jane presents herself as a piece of accounting software. While 'Jane' is the star of the show, here (by far the most intriguing and likable character in the story), the piece doesn't answer enough questions about her to really stand on its own - it feels like a piece of deus ex machina. The custom of 'speaking for the dead' as described here, is unconvincing - a better job has been done elsewhere in Card's work. ** "Temptation" - David Brin. I've read Brin's first 'Uplift' trilogy, but years ago. I remember thinking they were pretty all right, but haven't gotten around to the second trilogy. This short story set in that world, didn't really do it for me. It had a bit too much jammed into not enough pages, and the action and philosophy didn't quite mesh. Rather a lot of time is spent in setting up a reasonably interesting sci-fi scenario - and then it's sort of dropped: "Wait! Something new has come along! Now we are going to be faced with a philosophical dilemma having to do with the nature of reality and free will!" The terms in which the dilemma is discussed also seemed somewhat out of character for the individuals involved, as they'd been presented up until then. I also just didn't find his sentient dolphins to be very compelling characters. ** "Getting to Know the Dragon" - Robert Silverberg. Since Silverberg's the editor, I guess he gets to put in whatever he wants! I haven't read any of Silverberg's other 'Roma Aeterna' alternate history stories, but I didn't find this one to be among his best work. Again, there are two parts to the story that don't really mesh that well. The main character, a scholar and 'Renaissance' man in a world dominated by the Roman emperor, has to deal with being co-opted into manic Imperial plans for grandiose architectural projects. The same character then reads a journal, recently unearthed from archives, telling the story of the hero Emperor Trajan's journey around the globe. Like Captain Cook or Columbus, his supposedly heroic journey was actually marked by cruelty and barbarism. The take away seems to be that a 'decadent' and peaceful society may be better than a supposedly 'progressive' one. I'm fine with that premise, but the story just didn't fully win me over. *** "Orphans of the Helix" - Dan Simmons For some reason, the introduction to/description of this story didn't really grab me - but I actually really liked the story itself. It effectively advertised Simmons' Hyperion books, which I haven't yet read - but definitely want to. A bit reminiscent of a Star Trek episode, this short story has the AIs of a colony ship wake some of the crew to deal with a problem they've encountered - a far-flung colony is being harassed by a seemingly automated alien 'harvester' ship. Very enjoyable. *** "Sleeping Dogs" - Nancy Kress Set in the world of her 'Sleepless' novels, this short story makes a bit of a side-note on how her theoretical new bio-technologies might affect the lower echelons of society. A 'trailer-trash' type family illegally purchases some genetically modified puppies. Tragedy - and revenge - ensues. Not bad, but it didn't fully transcend stereotypes. *** "The Boy Who Would Live Forever" - Frederick Pohl I believe this story was later expanded into a novel of the same name. It's part of the 'Heechee' saga, which, due to the silly name, I always feel ought to be absurd and comic, but is actually fairly earnest sci-fi. This is very much in the vein of 'classic sci-fi for boys.' A young man (and his buddy) are willing to stake everything on a gamble of a mission - setting out randomly in an alien ship and hoping to find something of monetary value. But what he finds exceeds his wildest dreams... *** "The Ship that Returned" - Anne McCaffrey. Really, more like 2.5. The brain-ship Helva (of 'The Ship Who Sang' series) is experiencing grief after the death of her elderly partner, but finds herself a mission and some coping strategies to help her deal with it. McCaffrey's very old-fashioned ideas regarding interpersonal relationships are very much on display here, but, as with most of her work, the writing style is breezily entertaining. * "The Way of all the Ghosts" - Greg Bear Maybe it was just my state of mind, but this story completely failed to keep my attention. I haven't read any of the associated material, so maybe that has something to do with it. The premise - a team of misfits sent to deal with some kind of problem involving a tube-shaped pocket universe and alternate timestreams - seemed much more interesting than the snoozy actuality. 2.7 rounds up to 3 - LeGuin rescued this book from being a 2.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Fantastic. Some of my favourite series and authors writing shorts in their universe. What else do you want?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    In this collection some of the greats of science fiction and fantasy were asked to revisit worlds and series they established before. They were given a chance to tie up a loose end or pick up an idea that occurred to them years after the series ended. Sometimes it works. Sometimes the old adage holds: Art is doing what you like until it's done and then leaving it alone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This book of science fiction short stories (from 1999) was not quite what I expected. There are many science fiction writers who have created whole new worlds and galaxies and concepts through a series of novels;. This collection consists of stories from those same authors, dealing with some aspect or facet of the worlds they created. Thus, besides being a great read, these stories are a great introduction to those science fiction novel series that I haven’t read yet. In a review of short stories This book of science fiction short stories (from 1999) was not quite what I expected. There are many science fiction writers who have created whole new worlds and galaxies and concepts through a series of novels;. This collection consists of stories from those same authors, dealing with some aspect or facet of the worlds they created. Thus, besides being a great read, these stories are a great introduction to those science fiction novel series that I haven’t read yet. In a review of short stories, I can only note those stories that I myself liked. These include “A Separate War” by Joe Haldeman (based on his series The Forever War), “Investment Counselor” by Orson Scott Card (based on his Ender series), “Getting to Know the Dragon” by Robert Silverberg (based on his Roma Eterna series), ”Orphans of the Helix” by Dan Simmons (based on his series The Hyperion Cantos), and “The Ship That Returned” by Anne McCaffrey (based on her series The Ship Who Sang). All of the stories in this collection were good, in different ways; and I found them to be very good, thought-provoking bed-time reading, one story at a time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brad Guy

    Far Horizons is a collection of SF novellas by 11 different authors, edited by Robert Silverberg. All of the authors are considered Big Names in their field, and each story takes its place within a larger universe created by that author. So for example, Orson Scott Card presents a novella within his Ender Wiggin series, Joe Haldeman within his Forever War, etc. The collection can provide a dual purpose: For those who are not familiar with a given series, it gives a quick and easy jumping off poi Far Horizons is a collection of SF novellas by 11 different authors, edited by Robert Silverberg. All of the authors are considered Big Names in their field, and each story takes its place within a larger universe created by that author. So for example, Orson Scott Card presents a novella within his Ender Wiggin series, Joe Haldeman within his Forever War, etc. The collection can provide a dual purpose: For those who are not familiar with a given series, it gives a quick and easy jumping off point. And if you are familiar with a series, it gives one more taste. In my case it was a little of both. I'd like to give a little capsule review of each of these stories. Ursula Le Guin presents Old Music and the Slave Women, a novella set within her Ekumen novels. In spite of these novel's fame, (The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, etc.) I have not read any of them. Old Music and the Slave Women is about an ambassador for the Ekumen, a galaxy spanning government, to a planet where slavery is still in force. The planet falls into civil war, and our ambassador finds himself kidnapped, tortured, and used by various factions. I found Le Guin's writing to be clear, accessible, and very readable. In spite of the story's grim nature, it left me wanting to read more of her work. I give this story 3 stars. Joe Haldeman gives us A Separate War, which tells the same events in the second half of The Forever War, as told from Marygay Potter's point of view. I've been a fan of Haldeman for decades, and although I haven't read every story in his Forever War series, I felt this was a good addition. I also give this 3 stars. Orson Scott Card presents Investment Counselor, a story of how Ender Wiggin solves his tax woes. If this sounds like the dullest of premises, remember this is Orson Scott Card we're talking about. It takes place shortly after Ender's Game, long before Speaker For the Dead. In the later novels Andrew has a computer based companion named Jane, this is the story of how they met. Compared to the tremendous gravity of Ender's Game, this story is a light romp, much more entertaining than the subject matter would suggest. Again, 3 stars. Temptation, by David Brin, is set in his Uplift universe. It's a story of several uplifted dolphins, stranded on the planet Jijo, taking place some time during the events of the novel Brightness Reef. I like David Brin, but he can be pedantic. This story is a little worse than usual, reading like an elementary school morality play. He presents the dolphins with a choice between a false paradise and a difficult reality. And although Brin tries to make it sound like a difficult choice, the correct path is never in doubt, the illusory paradise never seems like a real threat. For this I can only give 1.5 stars. Robert Silverberg himself presents Getting to Know the Dragon, set within his Roma Eterna series. Of all the series in this collection, this is the only one I knew absolutely nothing about. It is an alternate history in which the Roman empire never fell. This story takes place in what would be the mid-19th century, wherein a Roman nobleman comes across the diary of one of his ancestors from a couple centuries past. His ancestor was a great ruler who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. He commits great deeds, but also terrible atrocities. The protagonist learns that his ancestor was not the mighty hero he once thought. At first I didn't care for the story. It rambles all over the place, introducing and dropping characters and threads for no obvious reason. But in the end Silverberg ties everything together in a marvelous little bow. His writing style is enjoyable enough, still it did not leave me with any desire to read further into this series. 1.5 stars. Orphans of the Helix, set within Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos. I've heard great things about Hyperion, Endymion, and the other books in this series. I've even got a couple of them on the shelf, waiting to be read. So I was excited to read this novella, as an introduction to the series. And the story served its purpose! I now know that I can get rid of those other books without bothering to read them. This was easily the worst story in the collection. A colony ship full of Catholics of various flavors decides to stop at a planetary nebula where they receive a distress call. There they find a civilization of Catholics of a different stripe, living in giant space trees. They are being preyed upon by an alien machine, which autonomously gobbles up their most valuable settlements every few decades. The starship Helix discovers the predatory machine is operating on behalf of an alien society, (not Catholic, for some reason), which lives inside the atmosphere of a nearby red giant star. When the aliens learn what their machine has unintentionally done, they offer to extinguish their entire race. Fortunately it doesn't come to that, and arrangements are made that benefit both parties. I suppose if you liked the Hyperion Cantos, you'll like this story too. I can only give it 1 star. Nancy Kress presents Sleeping Dogs, set within her Sleepless series, (Beggars in Spain, etc). The series explores what happens when genetic engineering produces fundamentally superior humans, set within a remorselessly capitalist society. The gap between haves and have-nots grows exponentially, with dangers to both sides. Sleeping Dogs tells the story of a destitute girl trying to escape her home in Appalachia, and gain revenge upon those whom she believes have harmed her. The story is of course far more complicated than that, but she is too invested in her resentment to see that, and cannot overcome her own grudges. I found Kress to be a brilliant writer, deftly navigating slippery territory. The story could easily have fallen into well worn tropes, Capitalism bad- hard upbringing builds character! But Kress is clever to avoid that, and tells a believable story about how real people might respond to muddy situations. 3.5 stars. Frederik Pohl gives up The Boy Who Would Live Forever, set within his Heechee series. I've read all the books in the series, and thought I had read this story too, happily I had not. It starts in the slums of Istanbul around the same time as the first novel, Gateway. Thanks to relativistic travel, it spans the events of entire series, and ends more or less where the novel Annals of the Heechee ends up. All in the space of about 50 pages. Our protagonist begins homeless and penniless, and ends up wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Which is sort of like the plot of Gateway, but the path between those points is quite different. Pohl has always been one of my favorite authors. This story, written rather late n his career, shows that he never lost his touch. 4 stars. A Hunger For the Infinite, by Gregory Benford, is set in the latter part of his Galactic Center series. I've read the entire series multiple times, and recommend it to anyone who likes hard SF. I'd also read the first part of this story, and was pleased to learn the part I'd read was preamble to a larger story. 30,000 years from now, after humanity has spread to the center of the galaxy, we find ourselves outclassed by mechanical intelligences, billions of years old. Humans are driven from our glittering palaces orbiting the black hole at the center, trapped on planetary surfaces, and hounded nearly to extinction. One of those mechanical life forms, the Mantis, has made a special study of humans, in the same way we study butterflies. The way the Mantis thinks is so different from the way biological life has evolved to think, it cannot grasp our motivations. It does not understand our aversion to pain, our need to reproduce, the way we pare down the input to our senses to that which matters. It devises an experiment in which it pinches off a part of itself and becomes human, riding deep within the mind of a newborn boy. As the boy grows to become a man, then a leader of men, the Mantis quietly learns. When it comes time for the Mantis to harvest this information, the man denies it its reward. 4 stars, and the best story in the book. The Ship That Returned, by Anne McCaffrey, within her Ship Who Sang series. I didn't care for this, but I've never been a big McCaffrey fan. There's a little too much bodice-ripping romance for my taste. Alright, no actual bodices were ripped, but the cardboard characters and trope driven plot were enough to make me consider skipping past it. Helva is the mind of a woman operating a star ship. Her faithful companion of many years, the lecherous Niall Parollan, has recently died of old age. Helva runs a program simulating his presence while she slowly sates her grief over his loss. Meanwhile, as she aimlessly wanders the wild space-lanes, she happens across a fleet of murderous space pirates. The pirates are headed for a pastoral planet of space nuns, (yes, space nuns), intent on rape and pillage. Helva sneaks past them to warn the planet. It turns out the nuns revere Helva as a saint in their canon, due to some good deed she had done on their behalf years ago. When she tries to warn the nuns of the impending pirate invasion, they tell her not to worry. In fact, they spend 15 or 20 pages telling her not to worry. It gets a little tedious. Eventually the space pirates land, and are promptly eaten alive by the planet's native vegetation. Helva speeds off to galactic headquarters to find herself a new boyfriend, the end. 1/2 star. Finally, The Way of All Gosts, by Greg Bear. This is set within his Eon series, sometimes called The Way Series. I've read all three books in the series, Eon several times. The series revolves around a space ship made from a hollowed out asteroid, called Thistledown. Seven vast, consecutive chambers were carved from Thistledown over the course of centuries, each more advanced than the previous one. The seventh isn't a chamber at all, but an anomaly in space and time- a cylinder 50km in diameter and infinitely long. The people of Thistledown travel down this cylinder, the Way, building cities and outposts all along. In the surface of the Way gates may be opened to alternate universes. Most are empty, some lead to strange worlds and abundant resources, others are actively hostile. The Way of All Ghosts is the story of one of those. A gate has been opened into a universe of perfect order. All mathematical "constants" are variables, time, distance, the strong and weak forces, gravity, etc. The universe is self aware of these variables, and has complete knowledge of all their parameters. No time exists, for all time is a single function. When people open a gate into this universe, the universe invades the Way in an attempt to understand this New Thing. Weirdness ensues, as only Greg Bear can write it. It seems like Greg spent some time thinking deeply on the nature of chaos and order, took about a weeks worth of mescaline, then wrote this story. I don't say that as criticism, I really enjoyed this story. 4 stars. There were a couple stinkers in the collection. But because of the preponderance of great stories, I give it 3.5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Novellas and short stories from some of the greatest science fiction 'worlds' of all time. I love some of these worlds, so it is great to revisit them, but unfortunately, it is not a good starting point for the series I'm unfamiliar with - the intro to most gives a synopsis of the plots of the books in the series - including spoilers. I'm bouncing through the book reading stories as the mood hits. (Ones read so far are in bold.) UPDATE: I've decided not to finish the entire book - I don't want to Novellas and short stories from some of the greatest science fiction 'worlds' of all time. I love some of these worlds, so it is great to revisit them, but unfortunately, it is not a good starting point for the series I'm unfamiliar with - the intro to most gives a synopsis of the plots of the books in the series - including spoilers. I'm bouncing through the book reading stories as the mood hits. (Ones read so far are in bold.) UPDATE: I've decided not to finish the entire book - I don't want to read the stories set in the universes that I'd still like to read the series. I don't want spoilers for them. So, I'm marking this as finished and moving on... Contents: The Ekumen: Old music and the slave women / Ursula K. Le Guin The Forever war: A separate war / Joe Haldeman The Ender series: Investment counselor / Orson Scott Card The Uplift universe: Temptation / David Brin Roma Eterna: Getting to know the dragon / Robert Silverberg The Hyperion cantos: Orphans of the helix / Dan Simmons The Sleepless: Sleeping dogs / Nancy Kress Tales of the Heechee: The boy who would live forever / Frederik Pohl The Galactic center series: A hunger for the infinite / Gregory Benford The ship who sang: The ship that returned / Anne McCaffrey The Way: The way of all ghosts / Greg Bear.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fred Hughes

    This is an interesting anthology format that succeeds on all levels of reader appreciation. Bring together a group of well respected Science Fiction authors who have created classic series. But as the editor Robert Silverberg explains it is just not about another story with familiar characters but a story that may have not been told or further and deeper exploration of a character. This is very successfully done by the authors. And the bonus for the reader is that if you have read any of the serie This is an interesting anthology format that succeeds on all levels of reader appreciation. Bring together a group of well respected Science Fiction authors who have created classic series. But as the editor Robert Silverberg explains it is just not about another story with familiar characters but a story that may have not been told or further and deeper exploration of a character. This is very successfully done by the authors. And the bonus for the reader is that if you have read any of the series you are immediately back in the authors world, and more importantly if you haven't read that series you may find that you like what you are reading and a new reading opportunity has been identified for you. Each story has a preamble, written by the author, that details the books in the series and how the current short story fits into that series. Details as follows: Ursula K. Le Guin - The Ekumenical series Joe Haldeman - The Forever War series Orson Scott Card - The Ender series David Brin - The Uplift Universe series Robert Silverberg - The Roma Eterna series Dan Simmons - The Hyperion Cantos series Nancy Kress 0 The Sleepless series Frederik Pohl - Tales of the Heechee series Gregory Benford - The Galactic Center series Anne McCaffrey - The Ship Who Sang series Greg Bear - The Way series Recommended

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meter

    The best story, by Gregory Benford, about the center of the universe and the alien that made art out of mangled, still living, human bodies. Most of the rest were like samples of books that belonged to trilogies, or side stories to them. If you already read these and loved them, then maybe you 'd like this. I think this was the format, but I didn't know what was going on.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Radu Stanculescu

    This is one of the few short-story compilations that I liked, probably also because most of the stories were related to series I've read. It also made me add a couple more series to my to-read list, so it was definitely worth it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cuauhtemoc

    Excellent anthology, with some excellent and some not so bad works. My favorite authors in this work: Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Haldeman and, Dan Simmons.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sainte

    A great collection of sci-fi stories and novellas by some of the best ever sci-fi writers. Now I have to go read all of Ursula LeGuin's books and Robert Silverberg's too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Salamanderinspace

    This is the second anthology I've read by Silverberg. I really didn't like the other--it was called "Legends," a fantasy anthology--but this one had some good stories. I don't know why I keep reading Silverberg; he's a conservative who inherited wealth and was wealthy his whole life, which I was not suprised to find out based on the values/philosophies of his work and the work he selects. Still, overall, I'm glad I picked this one up. In the introduction Silverberg promises an anthology that crac This is the second anthology I've read by Silverberg. I really didn't like the other--it was called "Legends," a fantasy anthology--but this one had some good stories. I don't know why I keep reading Silverberg; he's a conservative who inherited wealth and was wealthy his whole life, which I was not suprised to find out based on the values/philosophies of his work and the work he selects. Still, overall, I'm glad I picked this one up. In the introduction Silverberg promises an anthology that cracks open and develops existing worlds with new turns of plot and character, enriching them and deepening them. He promises real changes and advancements of these stories. I can't evaluate the fulfillment of this promise very well, being only familliar with Leguin's world, of all the ones in the book. It did seem like most of the stories were really integrated into the timelines of the existing books--that is, they don't work as well as stand alone stories as they do additions. There is a little introduction to each story, describing the background, but it's not quite enough to ground you. Old Music and the Slave Women by Ursula K. Leguin - Warnings for torture, slavery, rape. Heavy topics. A pretty dark story overall, but with hopeful notes. I enjoyed it. It wasn't particularly connected to the other Hainish books I've read, being set on a different planet, but it did seem to fit with the world and the tone of the other stories. A Separate War by Joe Haldeman - Very hard to immerse yourself in it if you're not familliar with the worlds/novels from this author. An interesting study in soldiering and the horrors of war; dense worldbuilding. I appreciated some of the stuff he explored with prejudices about sexuality and birth. Temptation by David Brin - What is it with 20th century sci fi and sentient dolphins? Whatever it is, I kind of love it. This story made me happy to be reading sci fi. It's full of wonder. Plotty, clear, with enough description that I sunk totally into the environment of the tale. I'm not sure I agreed with the philosophical biases of the story, but I loved the conversation around them. I considered adding his novels to my tbr but some googling revealed him to be a Politically Opinionated Republican (I think? libertarian? hard to say, but he has a lot of Bad Takes) and I don't have time for that nonsense. Getting to Know the Dragon by Robert Silverberg - Set in a timeline where Rome never fell, this story recounts the adventures of a historian as he discovers some of his country's history. He finds a wealth of bloody imperialism and madness...probably my favorite story by Silverberg I've read, and the most socially conscious. Orphans of the Helix by Dan Simmons - Pretty dense with undecipherable technical jargon. I think it's mostly made-up technical jargon, too. DNF on page 228. Sleeping Dogs by Nancy Kress - The premise to this one was fascinating; what if people could be genetically engineered to not need sleep? Or more specifically, what if dogs could be? I really loved the protagonist. Definitely adding some Nancy Kress to my tbr. The Boy Who Would Live Forever by Frederik Pohl - A beautifully constructed, down-to-earth space adventure. The protagonists are sweet and very human. Adding Frederik Pohl to my tbr. A Hunger for the Infinite by Gregory Benford - Gorey. Horror tropes. DNF at page 354. The Ship That Returned by Anne McCaffrey - Very dense world-building. Probably more enjoyable if you've read the series this is continuing. If you can power through, you'll be rewarded with a well-written story that deals with grief and some aspects of war/invasion. Likable, interesting protagonists. The Way of All Ghosts by Greg Bear - Couldn't get into this one. Dense world-building, technical jargon. Male protagonist. DNF at page 432.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This was a very interesting collection of short stories and novellas, very different in type than any other short story collection I've read before. Each of them were long enough to probably be considered a novella, so that already set it apart from most short story collections. And in particular, every story was part of a larger pre-existing series of science fiction books. For some of these stories that was really great, because I've already ready part or all of the series they pertained to, a This was a very interesting collection of short stories and novellas, very different in type than any other short story collection I've read before. Each of them were long enough to probably be considered a novella, so that already set it apart from most short story collections. And in particular, every story was part of a larger pre-existing series of science fiction books. For some of these stories that was really great, because I've already ready part or all of the series they pertained to, and it gave me a little bit more narrative (sometimes from a different perspective) than already existed within the series. And for the novellas that were part of series I'd never read, they gave me very interesting glimpses into the wider "universes" they were a part of. In a few cases, this made it difficult to engage, as there were plenty of peculiar facts that I didn't have reference to. But in most cases, it wasn't hard to get into it at all and it provided for a very rich background and made me aware of a setting that was much larger than I currently had access to (within the pages of this book). The types of stories were also a very wide range: everything from technology-specific (i.e. idea-driven but also somewhat well-grounded), to nearly fantasy because of the heavily extrapolated abstract concepts, to character- and plot-driven stories, and even one fascinating alternative history story. This provided a variety that was great and refreshing in such a long book. And because each of these novellas come from established authors with established series, almost every single one of them were excellently written with great narrative voice and great vision and insight. This has made me want to begin reading every series that was represented in this book (which I imagine was part of the goal behind this compilation). There was only one exception to this (in my opinion) and that was the story, "Temptation" by David Brin, from the Uplift Universe. This was the singularly worst writing, worst point-of-view, cheesiest/shallowest characters, and bad plot ideas out of the whole set of novellas. I slogged through it but it really didn't get better. I know that David Brin may no focus on this group of characters in any of his other books, and they may very well represent some great writing... but after reading this novella, I'm not even slightly interested in the Uplift Universe series and I imagine I'll probably never even try them out. I'm even hesitant now to read any books he's ever written. But that one was the exception. All the rest were either enjoyable and entertaining or downright fascinating. I would highly recommend this collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    Reading this for me was time traveling. A collection published in 1999 of revisits to worlds originally imagined from 1966 to 1998. The original worlds, where I did visit them, where around the year of publication, so everyone was fresh to me at the time and my reaction was time bound or time reflective. I am not now who I was then. Having said that I found my responses to these re-visits to old landscapes interesting. Le Guin's "Ecumen" is like visiting a different part of a continent, through a Reading this for me was time traveling. A collection published in 1999 of revisits to worlds originally imagined from 1966 to 1998. The original worlds, where I did visit them, where around the year of publication, so everyone was fresh to me at the time and my reaction was time bound or time reflective. I am not now who I was then. Having said that I found my responses to these re-visits to old landscapes interesting. Le Guin's "Ecumen" is like visiting a different part of a continent, through a tale from an out of the way region that adds some illumination to the whole. Haldeman "Forever war" read this serialized in Analog before its publication in 1974. Not the same I think as the final print version, which causes me to think worth a re-read particularly as I enjoyed this side story with its happy ever after ending, which I suspect suggesting the sequels are worth a read worth a read. Orsen Scot Card "Ender" Again read Enders Game as a short story in Analog 1977. Fun space opera, nice moralizing twist. Read the book when published years later and each sequel as published. [Enders Game 1985, Speaker for the dead 1986, Xenocide 1991, Children of the Mind 1996. Why I kept with the series was the development of Ender as a character and the plot development and the fact that Card is a good writer. Have to add I oppose just about everything he stands for in real life so that I like is writing is a surprise to me. The universe is huge with parallel stories of Bean and others [Shadow series which I've also read]. This short story fits in the chronology nicely, simple sweet plot, but Jane does appear like magic which is a bit flimsy. David Brin "Uplift Universe" The 80's was the Brin decade for me. Read everything I could get my hands on. Uplift series was stellar! I'm still waiting for more and this the last published story was supposed to herald another novel and 1 suspect there are enough plot ideas for a trilogy. Robert Silverberg "Roma Eterna". Never read any of this series although Silverberg is an undoubted SF master. An alternative history. This novella reads Ok, pleasant enough and intriguing if one knows enough history to make links. But not enough to compel me to want to read anymore. Why as editor he added this is a mystery to me, suspect he had it hanging around as opposed to writing it specifically for this compilation. Dan Simmons "Hyperion". Started this but truth to tell I don't remember finishing it. Enjoyed the novella here, in and of itself. Nothing to tempt me back to the series. Some authors just don't work for me theme-wise. possibly its the underlying potential for horror his writing has but is absent here. Nancy Kress "Sleepless" Read "Beggers in Spain" as a novella in a "Best of" Hugo or Nebula Awards. Enjoyed was Ok, interesting ideas but I never followed up. The synopsis before "sleeping Dogs" interests me and I may make a point of going back to read. Otherwise this again was just an Ok story. Frederik Pohl "Heechee" Read as they were published. First two excellent but tailed off "Boy" a return to the writing strength of Gateway. Gregory Benford "Galactic Center" Like Brin an essential 80's read. This novella adds to the understanding of the "Mantis" as a key plot character and allows for some speculation on what it means to be human. Anne McCaffrey "The Ship" A YA author at best and she often is. Never read this series other than the original short story in an anthology I think. Nice story. Greg Bear "Way" I like Bear but he often leaves me behind trying to understand the background plot. Remember struggling through Eon and Eternity and only retain a basic memory of the story. Playing with time will do that to one. This novella may draw me back to a re-read. Overall an essential anthology for me and perhaps a gateway for those new to the genre to pick up a taste for some of the great SF of the recent past.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Hurley-Walker

    DNF. I had trouble getting into this because I'm not actually all that excited to read about the not-critical-path adventures of not-critical-path characters set in larger SF universes. In particular, anything set between existing books is just not compelling, because you know who's going to survive to feature in later books. I might come back to this later and try picking out a few specific stories that I'll be more interested in reading. So far le Guin and Card's stories have been tab-A slot-B DNF. I had trouble getting into this because I'm not actually all that excited to read about the not-critical-path adventures of not-critical-path characters set in larger SF universes. In particular, anything set between existing books is just not compelling, because you know who's going to survive to feature in later books. I might come back to this later and try picking out a few specific stories that I'll be more interested in reading. So far le Guin and Card's stories have been tab-A slot-B tedia (plural of tedium) for me, and Brin's dolphin story is just not gripping me enough to continue. They all make me want to go back and read the longer works instead!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rodzilla

    Exceptionally strong entry from Le Guin ( as nearly always) and a weaker entry from Silverberg (the editor) round out a satisfying collection of short stories based on series published by each author. This is 1999, so note the 20 year gap. My take was that this collection functions as an advertisement for the publisher on the back catalog for each of these series. But for the most part, why not? A short story is not demanding of the reader, and most of them I enjoyed. A couple of duds were at le Exceptionally strong entry from Le Guin ( as nearly always) and a weaker entry from Silverberg (the editor) round out a satisfying collection of short stories based on series published by each author. This is 1999, so note the 20 year gap. My take was that this collection functions as an advertisement for the publisher on the back catalog for each of these series. But for the most part, why not? A short story is not demanding of the reader, and most of them I enjoyed. A couple of duds were at least interesting, and none is available elsewhere (to my knowledge). So if you like a handful of these authors, well worth trying to get your hands on this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Whovian

    First and last stories were extremely difficult to follow. Idk if I would have liked them better had I already read Le Guin and Bear? The other stories were pretty good. Bear's story was kind of stomach churning horror, as was a rather similar one by another author. I forget which. The one about machine intelligences. Though that describes two or three of these. All in all I would recommend you only read these if you've read and enjoyed the world each author previously wrote.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Skip Maslan

    Awesome! I bought this book for the one story by Anne McCaffrey about the Ship Who Sang. It was as sad and sweet as I expected and it also brought the story line full circle. I enjoyed the other stories as well as all the authors are ones I have read and enjoyed for years.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    As with all collections of short stories, some were better than others. Overall though, I was a little disappointed. It felt like the majority of these were bleak and depressing. Not futures I'd like to visit at all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Collection of science fiction short stories and novellas from some well-known writers set in the worlds they had created for their previous work. I'm not a super-huge science fiction fan so this was only an ok read for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Bobbitt

    While I enjoyed all of these stories, I don't have the background in any of the worlds but Orson Scott Card's to truly really like any of the other stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    2 stars only bcuz I don't know many of the worlds written in. Good writing! Just not something I particularly like.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tim McKay

    Another great short story from Le Guin.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ian G

    Interesting premise. Established authors each write an original story set in their personal universes. Favourite is Ursula LeGuin (of course). "Old Music and the Slave Women."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Haigh

    As with all anthologies a bit of a curate’s egg. I enjoyed some of the stories and found others dragged.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Far Horizons will be most interesting to fans of certain series. Unfortunately the only series in the lot that I am familiar with is the Ursula K. Le Guin story ("Old Music and the Slave Woman" from the Ekumen books) and even it fell short of expectations. The other stories included are: 2) "A Separate War" by Joe Halderman (an author I haven't read before). This story is a parallel story to his novel The Forever War. It covers the theme of the military being the lesser of the two evils after a li Far Horizons will be most interesting to fans of certain series. Unfortunately the only series in the lot that I am familiar with is the Ursula K. Le Guin story ("Old Music and the Slave Woman" from the Ekumen books) and even it fell short of expectations. The other stories included are: 2) "A Separate War" by Joe Halderman (an author I haven't read before). This story is a parallel story to his novel The Forever War. It covers the theme of the military being the lesser of the two evils after a lifetime of fighting and finding one's home country changed so much as to be unrecognizable and unfriendly. 3) "Investment Counselor" which is part of the Ender Series by Orson Scott Card. This story covers how Ender and Jane met. since I've not read any of the Ender series, the story didn't hold my attention. 4) "Tempation" is story based in the Uplift Universe created by David Brin. My husband likes this series a lot more than I did. 5) "Getting to Know the Dragon" I had hoped to enjoy but I wasn't in the mood for an alternate history story that brings the Roman Empire (minus Christianity) into the present. 6) Orphans of the Helix by Dan Simmons is part of the Hyperion universe. 7) "Sleeping Dogs" by Nancy Kress contiues to explore the aftermath of making a generation of people who don't need to sleep. 8) "The Boy Who Would Live Forever" by Frederick Pohl is another story of the Heechee. 9) "The Ship that Returned" is a short story in my least favorite of Anne McCaffrey's series. 10) "The Way of all the Ghosts" by Greg Bear rounds out the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Ursula K. Le Guin The Ekumen: "Old Music and the Slave Women" 48 pages - unread Joe Haldeman The Forever War: "A Separate War" 36 pages - unread Orson Scott Card The Ender Series: "Investment Counselor" 30 pages - unread David Brin The Uplift Universe: "Temptation" 56 pages - unread Robert Silverberg Roma Eterna: "Getting to Know the Dragon" 32 pages - ** - was a bit bored by it Dan Simmons The Hyperion Cantos: "Orphans of the Helix" 52 pages - *** - Makes me miss the series. Nice story. Nancy Kress The Ursula K. Le Guin The Ekumen: "Old Music and the Slave Women" 48 pages - unread Joe Haldeman The Forever War: "A Separate War" 36 pages - unread Orson Scott Card The Ender Series: "Investment Counselor" 30 pages - unread David Brin The Uplift Universe: "Temptation" 56 pages - unread Robert Silverberg Roma Eterna: "Getting to Know the Dragon" 32 pages - ** - was a bit bored by it Dan Simmons The Hyperion Cantos: "Orphans of the Helix" 52 pages - *** - Makes me miss the series. Nice story. Nancy Kress The Sleepless: "Sleeping Dogs" 36 pages - unread Frederik Pohl Tales of the Heechee: "The Boy Who Would Live Forever" 48 pages - **** - nice tie in Gregory Benford The Galactic Centre Series: "A Hunger for the Infinite" 36 pages - unread Anne McCaffrey The Ship Who Sang: "The Ship That Returned" 40 pages - unread Greg Bear The Way: "The Way of All Ghosts" 65 pages - **** 65 65+48+52+32=197

  28. 4 out of 5

    Icarus

    I bought this book because it contained short stories set in the universes of several series I had read and loved. In addition to enjoying those stories, I used this book as sort of a science fiction education for myself. I tracked down all the books in every other series in this book and read those as well. Thanks to this book, I found tons of other great reading material. Jeers to Silverberg, not merely for including one of his own stories in here, but for including a story that was not based o I bought this book because it contained short stories set in the universes of several series I had read and loved. In addition to enjoying those stories, I used this book as sort of a science fiction education for myself. I tracked down all the books in every other series in this book and read those as well. Thanks to this book, I found tons of other great reading material. Jeers to Silverberg, not merely for including one of his own stories in here, but for including a story that was not based on a series of novels, but on a series of short stories soon to be collected in a single volume. Cute. (This book is much better than the Legends series edited by Silverberg. The writers in here are actually masters of their field, and not merely prolific hacks.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Morris

    Very good to outstanding stories, all set in the various author's universes. Many anthologies produce one or two really good stories, a few good stories, and the rest is filler, but in this one, Silverberg collected stories from top flight authors and didn't let anyone coast on their laurels. I'm sure that any science fiction aficionado will be able to argue that their favorite author of the time should have been included over one of those who actually made it in, but such arguments are both the Very good to outstanding stories, all set in the various author's universes. Many anthologies produce one or two really good stories, a few good stories, and the rest is filler, but in this one, Silverberg collected stories from top flight authors and didn't let anyone coast on their laurels. I'm sure that any science fiction aficionado will be able to argue that their favorite author of the time should have been included over one of those who actually made it in, but such arguments are both the glory of fandom and are an indication of how rich is the field. Few such fans will be able to argue that this isn't a great anthology.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    out of all the stories in this collection i was only bored by one, and absolutely loved three... the rest were fun to read... it has a pretty good variety for an anthology based solely on space fantasy... my favorites were "Old Music and the Slave Woman", "The Boy Who Would Live Forever" and "The Investment Counselor". The latter is by Orson Scott Card and a very cute snapshot from his Ender series. If you've read any of the authors included in this collection (Card, Le Guin, Silverberg, McCaffre out of all the stories in this collection i was only bored by one, and absolutely loved three... the rest were fun to read... it has a pretty good variety for an anthology based solely on space fantasy... my favorites were "Old Music and the Slave Woman", "The Boy Who Would Live Forever" and "The Investment Counselor". The latter is by Orson Scott Card and a very cute snapshot from his Ender series. If you've read any of the authors included in this collection (Card, Le Guin, Silverberg, McCaffrey, etc) I definitely recommend picking it up to read at least a few of the stories.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.