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Recommended Short Fiction

(From "Distillations", Locus July 1997.)

Robert Reed, "Marrow" (SF Age 7/97) Spectacular tale with an exponentially-increasing time-scale, set aboard the Ship (from last year's "Chrysalis"), which is discovered to contain an inner planet deep within its core.

George Alan, "Fugue" (Spec Lit No. 1) Smooth cyberpunkish tale of two people in a French resort who realize they are being manipulated as assassins; by a student writer who went on to become a hotel middle-manager.

Poul Anderson, "Tyranny" (Free Space, ed. Linaweaver & Kramer; Tor, July) Five conspirators plan to destroy a computer ruling their world; a persuasive lesson in the tradeoff between selfishness and self-restraint necessary for liberty.

Arthur Byron Cover, "The Performance of a Lifetime" (Free Space, ed. Linaweaver & Kramer; Tor, 7/97) Blackly humorous tale of a terrorist who looses plagues upon space habitats as performance art, and lesson in free will.

James P. Hogan, "Madam Butterfly" (Free Space, ed. Linaweaver & Kramer; Tor, 7/97) A flower in a Tokyo office building, an accident among ice miners in the outer solar system, and a for-want-of-a-nail sequence of events that links them.

Brian Stableford, "The Pipes of Pan" (F&SF 6/97) When everyone is immortal, how to let people have children without risking overpopulation? Think of Peter Pan.

John Barnes "Between Shepherds and Kings" (Free Space, ed. Linaweaver and Kramer; Tor, 7/97) Malzbergian tale of a writer planning a story for Free Space who ponders the plausibility of a universe containing capitalism, privateers, and FTL travel.

M. Shayne Bell, "Bright, New Skies" (F&SF 6/97) A Siberian scientist has the key for saving species threatened by an ozone-stripped world drenched in UV, but does it mean changing them into something they're not?

Karen Joy Fowler, "Standing Room Only" (Asimov's 8/97) In Washington, D. C., 1865, the daughter of a boarding house owner thrills to the presence in town of actor John Wilkes Booth.

Geoffrey A. Landis, "Winter Fire" (Asimov's 8/97) A young girl's harrowing account of 22nd century Salzburg in the middle of ethnic war.

Kit Reed, "Rajmahal" (F&SF 6/97) Three points of view of a group of American tourists at a newly refurbished Indian monument.

Robert Reed, "Graffiti" (F&SF 6/97) Well-crafted tale about two high school students who discover the secret of their town -- a sewer wall that depicts crimes in progress -- and try to use it to their advantage.

Robert J. Sawyer, "The Hand You're Dealt" (Free Space, Linaweaver and Kramer, eds.; Tor, 7/97) Clever murder mystery aboard a habitat where everyone is required to have two soothsayings -- readings of their genetic propensities -- in their lives.

© 1997 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.