From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition. What are the social/religious/environmental/technological implications of living in such a vast society? What happens when expansionist tendencies on a galactic scale come into conflict with the indigenous peoples of other planets, of other races? And what of the issue of communicating across such distances, or the problems caused by relativistic travel? These are just some of the questions and issues that the stories in Federations will take on.
Introduction by John Joseph Adams
Mazer in Prison by Orson Scott Card
Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine
Life-Suspension by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Terra-Exulta by S.L. Gilbow
Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold
Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy by Harry Turtledove
Prisons by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
Different Day by K. Tempest Bradford
Twilight of the Gods by John C. Wright
Warship by George R.R. Martin and George Guthridge
Swanwatch by Yoon Ha Lee
Spirey and the Queen by Alastair Reynolds
Pardon our Conquest by Alan Dean Foster
Symbiont by Robert Silverberg
The Ship Who Returned by Anne McCaffrey
My She by Mary Rosenblum
The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J. Sawyer
The Culture Archivist by Jeremiah Tolbert
The Other Side of Jordan by Allen Steele
Like They Always Been Free by Georgina Li
Eskhara by Trent Hergenrader
One with the Interstellar Group Consciousnesses by James Alan Gardner
Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy by Catherynne M. Valente
“The Ship Who Returned,” which first appeared in the anthology Far Horizons, is a sequel to The Ship Who Sang, part of McCaffrey’s Brain and Brawn Ship series. This story follows Helva, a sentient spaceship with the mind of a human girl, as she deals with the death of her human partner and an emergency return to the planet she had saved years before.
Note: This review is for the short story The Ship Who Returned only. This review will contain serious spoilers for other books in the Brain and Brawn series. Read at your own risk.
I’m a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Brain and Brawn Ship series – well, the ones written by Anne McCaffrey herself, that is. Continue reading