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Galactic Empires Paperback – January 17, 2017
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“Over all this anthology is mostly hits, remarkably few misses. Highly recommended.”―N.K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review
“Ambitious and impressive . . . I can honestly say that it's been a while since I've read a science fiction anthology that is as good and diverse as this one. . . . one of the best and most captivating science fiction anthologies of the year. Highly recommended!”―Risingshadow
“Masterful editor Neil Clarke has assembled an exotic, bountiful treasure chest of reprint tales dedicated to that mode of SF that can arguably be said to constitute the very core of the field, the space opera.” ―Asimov’s
Clarke has assembled a wide range of authors from old masters like Robert Silverberg to more recent talents such as Aliette De Bodard each offering a different take on the central premise. . . There isn’t a bad piece amongst them . . . the Galaxy really is there for the taking.”
Starburst, reviewed by Alister Davison
As editor Clarke points out in his introduction, when most people hear the term galactic empire, they immediately picture Darth Vader and Star Wars. But there is a long history of star-faring empires in the genre, with stories that imagine our human tendencies to explore and conquer among the stars. . . . The stories gathered here, all of which have appeared elsewhere, show the huge range of possibilities of the chosen theme.”
The first must-read anthology of the year, no question, is Neil Clarke’s Galactic Empires, an ambitious (read: huge) collection of SF tales featuring far-flung confederations in the stars. The TOC is a who’s-who of virtually everyone doing important work at short length in science fiction.”
John O’Neil, Black Gate
Neil Clarke is the editor for Clarkesworld Magazine, one of the absolute best short-fiction magazines on the internet, which makes this particular volume a must buy. The other reason to pick this up? The heavy-hitters on the table of contents."
The Verge, "16 science fiction and fantasy novels you don’t want to miss in January"
A superb collection of 22 . . . remarkable stories.”
BestScienceFictionBooks.com, 12 Great New SF Titles to Start 2017”
“Brings together some of the best voices writing in the genre today. . . . a stunning collection of short fiction.”―WorldsInInk
“If you like space operas in small bite sized chunks, then you can’t go wrong with Galactic Empires.”―Amazing Stories
“An engaging anthology with a wide variety of themes and approaches, and that should appeal to science fiction readers of all generations.”―The Future Fire
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A common theme is living beyond the human body, and some of the stories explore what it would be like for couples to be married for thousands, or tens of thousands, of years. Such a couple discover an empire so enormous that they don't even know they are in it in "The Man With the Golden Balloon," by Robert Reed.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "The Impossibles" is about a young lawyer navigating galactic bureaucracy. The Colonel in Robert Silverberg's "The Colonel Returns to the Stars" comes out of retirement to see his beloved empire in a different way. Steve Rasnic Tem shows a world in which the Emperor is so distant, that those on the fringes of the Empire can't be certain he still lives, while they continue to follow orders taken decades ago, in "A Letter From the Emperor."
By far my favorite was the beautiful "Utriusque Cosmi," by Robert Charles Wilson. It's a love story that transcends species and lasts literally to the end of time, and beyond, without for a moment falling into corniness or hyperbole, in which the heroine must make right the past before the universe ends.
Women writers and characters are well represented.
Lots of stories that got me thinking about different ways to see the galaxy, and sci fi, and being human. An excellent, diverse collection.
Your mind is piqued with new ways of thinking and new possibilities. Well done!