Whether it's coming up hard against the speed of light and, with it, the enormity of the universe, realising that terraforming a distant world is harder and more dangerous than you'd ever thought, or simply realizing that a hitchhiker on a starship consumes fuel and oxygen with tragic results, this exciting and innovative science-fiction anthology collects together stories by some of the biggest names in the field including Stephen Baxter, Charles Stross and Greg Bear.
The universe shifts and changes: suddenly you understand, you get it, and are filled with a sense of wonder. That moment of understanding drives the greatest science-fiction stories and lies at the heart of Engineering Infinity. Whether it's coming up hard against the speed of light and, with it, the enormity of the universe, realising that terraforming a distant world is harder and more dangerous than you'd ever thought, or simply realizing that a hitchhiker on a starship consumes fuel and oxygen with tragic results, it's hard science-fiction where sense of wonder is most often found and where science-fiction's true heart lies. The exciting and innovative science-fiction anthology collects together stories by some of the biggest names in the field including Stephen Baxter, Charles Stross, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Gwyneth Jones.
moss, or lichen. Shards of it clung to his fingers; it smelled odd, but not unpleasant. He sniffed his fingertips and turned pages, painfully happy. Days passed, in a rhythm of light and darkness that belonged to the planet "below." Patrice shuttled between the "station visitors' quarters," where he was the only guest, and the An castle. He didn't dare refuse a summons, although he politely declined all dinner invitations, which made the An laugh. The odd couple showed no interest in
the server was alone. It was born like all servers were, from a tiny seed fired from a darkship exploring the Big Empty, expanding the reach of the Network. Its first sensation was the light from the star it was to make its own, the warm and juicy spectrum that woke up the nanologic inside its protein shell. Reaching out, it deployed its braking sail - miles of molecule-thin wires that it spun rigid - and seized the solar wind to steer itself towards the heat. Later, the server remembered its
per second. On a planetary scale, we'd cross Sol system from Earth orbit to Pluto in less than two weeks. Earth to Luna in under five minutes. So one of the truisms of interstellar travel is that if something goes wrong, it goes wrong in a split instant, too fast to respond to. Except when it doesn't, of course. When the power goes down, I do what anyone in my position would do: I panic and ramp straight from slowtime up to my fastest quicktime setting. The water around me congeals into a
stealing Chinese crack seed from under his Auntie's nose? Out surfing Makaha, rushing shoreward balanced on the lip of a killer wave? On his wedding day? Laughing, echoed his mind in nineteen whispers. He set to getting his strange dharma charges, who called themselves Hanalb, into shape. Sitting before his cave one evening, he went over his usual roster of puzzlement. How did these creatures reproduce? Eggs? Cloning? He had no idea. There were no youngsters. When he asked, he encountered
my trousers. The woman didn't shift her gaze from my face. "Who the hell are you and how did you get -" "Went viral." I clapped my hands and the bedside lamp came on. The woman was medium height, with a dark razor-brush 'do, and looked incontestably Bulgarian: long elegant nose, broad brow, widely spaced eyes. I had fancied to discern the creature in the immature features of the boys Wolf and Chris, but now I found the other half of the taller kid's genome, if not his half-brothers's. Good