Aliens: Recent Encounters

Elizabeth Bear

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 1607013916

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


  • Under the countless billions of stars in the universe, what forms will alien life take? How will they live? And what will happen when we meet them? Aliens: Recent Encounters collects answers to these questions from some of today’s best science fiction writers. From first encounters to life alongside aliens — and stories of the aliens’ own lives — here are many futures: violent and peaceful, star-spanning and personal. Only one thing is certain: alien life will defy our expectations.

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retired now, but you should have seen her. Maybe someday we can go down to the docks and visit. She was so slick, so smart, so . . . gentle. You know about our home-world: it was a lovely place to live, but it was too full. It was called Tenne. So, even though we loved Tenne, we knew we’d need another world soon where we could have our children—” at this point in the story she always touched my nose—“and they could have their children. We spent years with our ship, exploring the darkness, looking

At least, that was how the process was supposed to work. “So it could still be just a trigger fault?” Antonov asked. “The bloom never got started?” “Or the bloom stalled somewhere else in the garden,” my mother said. “Somewhere closer to the centre.” She rocked her head from side to side and shrugged. “Still too early to tell.” The question was a critical one: we could correct a trigger fault by replacing the corrupted expression for triggering the bloom—an uncorrupted copy of the bloom

“Marie: give them a warning shot. Negative baffle.” The dumb guns were ultra low-tech—EM-emission free; little more than a means of launching solid-fuel projectiles down a ceramic barrel. Sylvain took hold of the end of the barrel of her gun and twisted it around, retracting the internal baffles that acted as a silencer. My father wanted her to make some noise. “That won’t work, Grigor Pietrovitch,” Kimonayev put in. “They’re running on a closed command set—that’s why they’re ignoring your

struggled until exhausted, and only then did she breathe. The liquid inside her lungs wasn’t water and it wasn’t quite air either, but it brought her oxygen as well as a peculiar menu of rare sugars and simple lipids that clawed their way into her cells, into her baby-new blood. A tiny ocean covered her as a skin, protecting its sole inhabitant from space and the killing cold. Grams mattered. In the end, single atoms mattered. It was impossible to carry even the basic thoughts of an invaluable

disturbance in my brother’s voice wafts through me like a shiver. Before our attacks on the Lopo, Hava would always draw our positions in the sand, in the earth. We and our soldiers, fifty strong as they once were, and even now when they are twenty, we all gathered around this map of our close futures and Hava would take his finger and trace patterns in the ground. His touch glided through the fine grains like the gods must sift our lives, separating some, pushing others together. We knew at

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