Eileen Gunn is surely one of SF's least-prolific good writers, having published all of eleven stories since her debut in 1978. Fortunately, they're all worthwhile, and some are brilliant -- such as the title story, "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" (1988, Hugo nominee), a novel view of the role of bioengineering in future corporate life, guaranteed to bring a smile. Then there's "Green Fire", cowritten with Michael Swanwick, Andy Duncan, and Pat Murphy, which is just terrific: a WW2 pulp burlesque, starring Isaac Asimov and Bob Heinlein, and featuring Tesla superscience, topless pirates, giant plesiosaurs, a kraken -- and a special guest appearance by Lord Quetzalcoatl! Great stuff. SF's best-ever 4-author story!
Her third "A" story, "Nirvana High" (with Leslie What), makes its first appearance here. The special-ed students at Cobain High have, well, *special* talents, and Gunn's sfnal look at high-school life ranks right up there with Suzy McKee Charnas' "B00BS" and Sharon Farber's "The Nostalginauts" . Top-notch story.
"Computer Friendly", a 1990 Hugo nominee, features 9-yr old Elizabeth "Lizardbreath", and how she saved her friends online and learned to spit. Cool, nerdy stuff, if a bit dated now.
And her first sale, "What Are Friends For?" (1978) is still a crackerjack -- I'd never seen it, and I'll bet you'll like it, too. Gunn notes that her check for $51.63, from Ted White's AMAZING, "came in someone else's SASE, with their name crossed out and mine scrawled in... I had hit the big time."
And there's more! Bottom line: 11 stories, 5 "A"s, 6 "B"s -- plus an "ideologically labile" recipe, and cool little Gunnophile goodies from Gibson, Swanwick, and Waldrop. "Open [the book] and be dazzled! -- JP Kelly's blurb, with a coverful of other nice blurbs, from Le Guin, Doctorow, Willis, and many more.
So, you owe it to yourself to check out Eileen Gunn's neat stories. As Michael Swanwick sings,
"Hooray for Eileen and her bully machine...
She's graced with a runcible style...
Lets all celebrate
Before it's too late...
Eileen! -- and her bully machine."