As short fiction is a sizable part of one of my day jobs, I like to keep an eye on any interesting anthologies that come out. This one got my attention this week.
Firstly, this has the sort of table of contents that makes anyone stand up and take notice. Elizabeth Bear, Ann Leckie, Nancy Kress, Jack McDevitt and Seanan Mcguire are always worth reading and there’s a ton of other big and, crucially, relevant names in there too. Plus a short graphic novel from Blue Delliquanti and Michele Rosenthal and gorgeous art by Joey Camacho.
Then there’s just how this anthology came about. Microsoft let these authors into their labs and showed them what’s next. Then asked them to write about it. There’s an element of self-interest there, certainly, but there’s also a willingness to engage that you don’t often see from monolithic corporations. This is one of the biggest, most iconic companies on the planet handing their toys to some of the best authors and asking them to come up with new ways to play with them. That’s a pretty gutsy play, not to mention one that makes for interesting fiction.
So, go grab a copy and see what it’s like. Because when the future’s free why would you not?