More Human Than Human: Stories of Androids, Robots, and Manufactured Humanity

Start Publishing LLC
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The idea of creating an artificial human is an old one. One of the earliest science-fictional novels, Frankenstein, concerned itself primarily with the hubris of creation, and one’s relationship to one’s creator. Later versions of this “artificial human” story (and indeed later adaptations of Frankenstein) changed the focus to more modernist questions… What is the nature of humanity? What does it mean to be human? These stories continued through the golden age of science fiction with Isaac Asimov’s I Robot story cycle, and then through post-modern iterations from new wave writers like Philip K. Dick. Today, this compelling science fiction trope persists in mass media narratives like Westworld and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, as well as twenty-first century science fiction novels like Charles Stross’s Saturn's Children and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. The short stories in More Human than Human demonstrate the depth and breadth of artificial humanity in contemporary science fiction. Issues of passing . . . of what it is to be human . . . of autonomy and slavery and oppression, and yes, the hubris of creation; these ideas have fascinated us for at least two hundred years, and this selection of stories demonstrates why it is such an alluring and recurring conceit.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Start Publishing LLC
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Published on
Nov 7, 2017
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9781597806183
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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As Earth dies, an architect is commissioned to remote build a monument on Mars from the remains of a failed colony; a man who has transferred his consciousness into a humanoid robot discovers he’s missing thirty percent of his memories, and tries to discover why; bored with life in the underground colony of an alien world, a few risk life inside one of the “whales” floating in the planet’s atmosphere; an apprentice librarian searching through centuries of SETI messages from alien civilizations makes an ominous discovery; a ship in crisis pulls a veteran multibot out from storage with an unusual assignment: pest control; the dead are given a second shot at life, in exchange for a five-year term in a zombie military program. For decades, science fiction has compelled us to imagine futures both inspiring and cautionary. Whether it’s a warning message from a survey ship, a harrowing journey to a new world, or the adventures of well-meaning AI, science fiction inspires the imagination and delivers a lens through which we can view ourselves and the world around us. With The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Three, award-winning editor Neil Clarke provides a year-in-review and twenty-seven of the best stories published by both new and established authors in 2017.


Table of Contents

Introduction: The State of Short SF Field in 2017

A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad

Holdfast by Alastair Reynolds

Every Hour of Light and Dark by Nancy Kress

The Last Novelist, or a Dead Lizard in the Yard by Matthew Kressel

Shikasta by Vandana Singh

Wind Will Rove by Sarah Pinsker

Focus by Gord Sellar

The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata

Shadows of Eternity by Gregory Benford

The Worldless by Indrapramit Das

Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship by Rachel Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Belly Up by Maggie Clark

Uncanny Valley by Greg Egan

We Who Live in the Heart by Kelly Robson

A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World by A.C. Wise

Meridian by Karin Lowachee

The Tale of the Alcubierre Horse by Kathleen Ann Goonan

Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee

In Everlasting Wisdom by Aliette de Bodard

The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon by Finbarr O’Reilly

The Speed of Belief by Robert Reed

Death on Mars by Madeline Ashby

An Evening with Severyn Grimes by Rich Larson

ZeroS by Peter Watts

The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer

Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance by Tobias S. Buckell

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Recommended Reading
Neil Clarke, publisher of the award-winning Clarkesworld magazine, presents a collection of thought-provoking and galaxy-spanning array of galactic short science fiction.

From E. E. "Doc" Smith’s Lensman, to George Lucas’ Star Wars, the politics and process of Empire have been a major subject of science fiction’s galaxy-spanning fictions. The idiom of the Galactic Empire allows science fiction writers to ask (and answer) questions that are shorn of contemporary political ideologies and allegiances. This simple narrative slight of hand allows readers and writers to see questions and answers from new and different perspectives.

The stories in this book do just that. What social, political, and economic issues do the organizing structure of “empire” address? Often the size, shape, and fates of empires are determined not only by individuals, but by geography, natural forces, and technology. As the speed of travel and rates of effective communication increase, so too does the size and reach of an Imperial bureaucracy.Sic itur ad astra—“Thus one journeys to the stars.”

At the beginning of the twentieth century, writers such as Kipling and Twain were at the forefront of these kinds of narrative observations, but as the century drew to a close, it was writers like Iain M. Banks who helped make science fiction relevant. That tradition continues today, with award-winning writers like Ann Leckie, whose 2013 debut novel Ancillary Justice hinges upon questions of imperialism and empire.

Here then is a diverse collection of stories that asks the questions that science fiction asks best. Empire: How? Why? And to what effect?

Table of Contents:
- “Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley
- “Night’s Slow Poison” by Ann Leckie
- “All the Painted Stars” by Gwendolyn Clare
- “Firstborn” by Brandon Sanderson
- “Riding the Crocodile” by Greg Egan
- “The Lost Princess Man” by John Barnes
- “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard
- “Alien Archeology” by Neal Asher
- “The Muse of Empires Lost” by Paul Berger
- “Ghostweight” by Yoon Ha Lee
- “A Cold Heart” by Tobias S. Buckell
- “The Colonel Returns to the Stars” by Robert Silverberg
- “The Impossibles” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- “Utriusque Cosmi” by Robert Charles Wilson
- “Section Seven” by John G. Hemry
- “The Invisible Empire of Ascending Light” by Ken Scholes
- “The Man with the Golden Balloon” by Robert Reed
- “Looking Through Lace” by Ruth Nestvold
- “A Letter from the Emperor” by Steve Rasnic Tem
- “The Wayfarer’s Advice” by Melinda M. Snodgrass
- “Seven Years from Home” by Naomi Novik
- “Verthandi’s Ring” by Ian McDonald
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