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on 1 October 2017
A really good selection of Sci Fi stories in one book. Bought as a present for someone who reads a lot of science fiction, I was pleased to hear that the quality of the stories was really good.
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on 3 December 2017
not too bad
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on 2 December 2017
Good read.
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on 9 February 2012
Ian McDonald - A smart, well-mannered uprising of the dead

A 'Facebook for the dead' brews revolution in a near-future Nigeria. Is this the setting for his next novel?

Dave Hutchinson - The incredible exploding man

A journalist and a scientist are involved in an accident at a collider research facility and are 'changed' by the experience.

Paul di Filippo - Sweet spots

Two kids discover a strange way of influencing events and learn more about life in the process.

Ken MacLeod - The best fiction of the year three

In Paris, US ex-pats watch a public demonstration of what appears to be anti-gravity device. But nothing is what it seems...

Tricia Sullivan - The one that got away

Very odd scenario played out on a beach where scavengers look for 'core'. Did not convince...

Stephen Baxter - Rock day

Matt wakes up in a near-future Liverpool to find his father missing, things all running down but his dog is still glad to see him.

Stephen Palmer - Eluna

A obscure locale and overuse of daft names (e.g. exnoo) bothbefuddle but also tease...Promising

Adam Roberts - Did I tell you the trouble with time travel?

A scientist bent on achieving time travel does so at a cost. Very dark.

Lavie Tidhar - The lives and deaths of Che Guevara

While the central conceit is never explained, this story easily achieves critical mass and packs a beautiful final twist.

Jack Skillingstead - Steel lake

Confused story about family relationships and a powerful new drug.

Mike Resnick and Laurie Tom - Mooncakes

Very dull story featuring cakes and space exploration.

Steve Rasnic Tem - At play in the fields

Moving story of an iced medical case being revived after a global collapse.

Ian Watson - How we cam back from Mars

Brilliantly paranoid tale about a Mars mission that is apparently rescued by unseen 'aliens' who supply deli sandwiches...

Pat Cadigan - You never know

Strange things happen in a New York shop when cameras are installed. But even stranger things happen nearby.

Richard Salter - Yestermorrow

The timeline fractures in 2013 causing people to live their lives in a random pattern of days. The hero is trying to catch a murderer. Unconvincing.

Jaine Fenn - Dreaming towers, silent mansions

A team are sent via a one-way portal to another world. But all is not what it seems and things start to unravel.

Keith Brooke and Eric Brown - Eternity's children

A classic story: an old spacer returns to a planet he helped open up, which has a unique alien-sourced product, in this case an immortality treatment...

Alastair Reynolds - For the ages

Starts with the lone narrator burning an indelible message about her expedition, while her oxygen supply runs down. Her tale unpacks a really big idea...

Peter F. Hamilton - Return of the mutant worms

A short story about a short story, told by an ex-SF writer. Very funny.
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on 11 December 2011
Whether you are a newbie to SF, or a hardened consumer, I'd like to recommend this anthology of shorts to you. To mirror Ian Whates' editorial introduction, this collection offers a flavour of the type of SF available nowadays and should, in my opinion, have the reader searching for more from the authors of their favourite stories.
In particular, I enjoyed The Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson for its concept and execution, Steel Lake by Jack Skillingstead for its emotion, and the outrageous, laugh-out-loud Return of the Mutant Worms by Peter F. Hamilton.
Any major quibbles? Not really - out of the nineteen, I found one to be so impenetrable I gave up, and another that I wish I had, but then this anthology is a broad church and you can't please everyone, so I'd suggest buying it and flipping past any that don't do it for you. I was also mildly irked by the problems which prompt the usual SF criticisms: a really clunky info-dump in one and zero characterisation within dialogue in another, whilst a third had the page-checking distraction of an antagonist being one-hundred-and-seventy years older than another character on one page, then having an actual age of one-hundred-and-seventy years further on in the story. But these are minor annoyances when compared to the whole, so do the decent thing and add it to your basket!
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on 3 October 2012
I bought this on the strength of a few reviews but wish I hadn't. It is patchy, half hearted, unimaginative and seems as if the authors (supposively of some reknown) really couldn't be bothered. I wonder if any of them actually got out of bed to write these.
There are about 2 stories that neally make muster in this drab collection and I certainly won't be buying any more in the series nor will I look at the contributing 'authors' individual works again if this is all they can come up with.
It is such a shame that the art of short story writing (which I love with a passion) has obviously completely bypassed this collective.
Save your money.
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on 23 November 2011
Solaris Rising presents nineteen stories of the very highest calibre from some of the most accomplished authors in the genre, proving just how varied and dynamic science fiction can be. From strange goings on in the present to explorations of bizarre futures, from drug-induced tragedy to time-hopping serial killers, from crucial choices in deepest space to a ravaged Earth under alien thrall, from gritty other worlds to surreal other realms, Solaris Rising delivers a broad spectrum of experiences and excitements, showcasing the genre at its very best.

Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction has a very exciting line-up of contributors. It's the perfect way to get a taste of some of today's most exciting SF voices. The only ones from this collection I've read work from before are Eric Brown and Peter F. Hamilton. So for this relative SF newbie this anthology was quite a treat and a great way to expand my acquaintance with today's SF writers.

Before I get to some of the separate stories, I wanted to touch on what reading this anthology made me discover. Thus far the SF I've read has mostly been either military SF or SF with a more Urban flavour, such as Lauren Beukes' Moxyland and Marianne de Pierres' Parrish Plessis series. I've read Eric Brown's Kéthani, Peter F. Hamilton's Misspent Youth and James S.A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes (for which I still need to write a review) and those three would all fit in the more traditional SF category, I think. But what all of the SF I've read has in common, is that it's more about the people than the technology. None of them are what I'd call Hard SF, by which I mean that even a straight up Humanities student such as myself, who doesn't have a lot of natural aptitude for the Sciences, can understand and enjoy it. In reading this anthology that was what became clear to me. I really do prefer the stories that focus more on people, whether people dealing with the future, people interacting with aliens, or people just being people. And I learned that, as the flap text says, SF is a very broad church; there are as many forms as there are stories.

Solaris Rising is a very strong collection of stories. Out of the nineteen of them in the book, there was only one real dud for me. And honestly, I'm still not sure I "get" the story and whether that might not be the reason I didn't like it. The story that has me so confused is Pat Cadigan's You Never Know. I actually still don't know what happened. I know it's about this guy who works in a thrift shop style store, who has a favourite customer visit him almost every day, who gets a camera security system installed and then you've lost me. There's something about wave functions and ... voom ... that went right over my head! Which is a shame, because stylistically, I quite enjoyed Ms Cadigan's writing.

The remaining eighteen stories were very enjoyable, with about six really standing out for me. The first is A Smart-Mannered Uprising of the Dead by Ian McDonald, which is also the first story in the book. The reason the story fascinated me is that it resonated with an article I'd read about mapping the Republic of Letters by Stanford University - which of course now I can't find any more, but here's a link to the project - that referred to said Republic as the Facebook of the Eighteenth Century. So to start off with, there was something outside of the text to hook me into it. But then I discovered that the story was wonderful in and of itself. I loved the idea of the dearly departed still commenting on our lives from their virtual hereafter and taking action to put people in their place. I also liked the final twist, the reveal of what had really happened. This was my first time reading anything by Ian McDonald and it won't be my last!

The second of my favourite stories is Sweet Spots by Paul di Filippo. It's a story about learning that there are consequences to your actions and taking responsibility for your choices. Even if this was a short story, the main character showed real growth and I truly enjoyed this one. Next up is Rock Day by Stephen Baxter. Matt's, the main character's, story is such a sweet, touching story, a boy and his dog. I loved the way this turned out. At first I thought it was a bit like a rapture story with all the people raptured and some people left behind, but the twist it had was masterful and had me sighing in satisfaction. Ian Watson's How We Came Back From Mars was another favourite. I loved the play on the eternal conspiracy theories surrounding the moon landing and the way the crew were both spared and still lost their lives was played out very well. Another well-thought out conceit was the one central to Richard Salter's Yestermorrow, in which each person gets a number of allotted days to live but these days aren't consequential, they jump around in their lives. At first was a little confusing to wrap my head around, but once I got used to the concept, I thought the story was amazing. It was so cleverly done and I loved the interplay between the main character's job - he's a detective solving a case - and what we get to see of his private life, the problems this day-jumping causes in his marriage.

My final favourite is Eternity's Children, a collaboration between Eric Brown and Keith Brooke. I loved this bitter sweet tale of a world about to be left behind, almost a final contact story as it were. Eric Brown is one of the two authors in this anthology I've read before and I expected to enjoy this tale, but it wasn't what I'd expected from having read Kéthani. The latter surely has aliens in it, but they're distant, mysterious beings and the novel is focused on Earth. While this collaboration featured a far flung planet, colonised by humans, where they peacefully co-exist with the native species, even having to go as far as to be adapted to the inimical plant life to survive. It was a beautiful and sad story and I loved the ending.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you're of a mind to dip your toes into Science Fiction, then this is a perfect starting point. At the same time, I think this is also a rewarding read for SF aficionados, if only to be treated to stories by some of their favourites. From Mr Whates' foreword, I gather that this is a reboot of the previous The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction series; hopefully this first volume of the new iteration will be a great success and Solaris will decide to publish more volumes in the future, as I'd certainly be back for more. Solaris Rising is one anthology anyone with an interest in SF shouldn't miss!

This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.
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on 30 January 2015
Bought as a gift. Recipient was pleased.
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on 29 November 2011
Now, in any anthology of short stories, the inevitable question arises: which one was your favourite? The answer has to be "I don't know". The stories are all so gripping, so beautifully crafted... Short story anthologies were how I got into the genre, and this collection really reminds me why. Some of them, like "Point Zero", I really wanted to see expanded into novels. Others, like "Dreaming Towers, Silent Mansions" were perfect as they are.

Short story anthologies are also perfect for dipping into, so I'd recommend this book to anybody who ants a taste of the best science fiction being published today, or anyone who wants to have a look at the genre without too much pressure.
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on 23 March 2014
There is no heart or passion in this collection.

It's s by the numbers assembly of "meh"

By the end I even struggled to remember the few stories I did like.
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