Life Beyond Us: An Original Anthology of SF Stories and Science EssaysThis week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Julie Novakova and Susan Forest, two of the driving forces behind Life Beyond Us: An Original Anthology of SF Stories and Science Essays.

About Life Beyond Us: An Original Anthology of SF Stories and Science Essays: How would first contact—on earth, in space, on another planet—transform our understandings of technology, philosophy, and what it means to be human? What kind of cognitive dissonance would society experience, if we discovered a previously unrecognized sentience on Earth?

What would life be like if it originated in a frigid ocean beneath an impenetrable shell of ice? Or on a world whose haze obscures any view of the universe beyond? Or on an unfathomable scale in the depths of space?

Life—beyond us.

Dive in as the European Astrobiology Institute presents fifty-four original SF Stories and Science Essays on life, from microbial to macro, from automatic to sagacious. Each speculative story is followed by a professional essay illuminating the scientific underpinnings of the story and providing a new window into the cutting-edge knowledge about exploration for life in the universe.

SF STORIES BY: Eugen Bacon, Gregory Benford, Renan Bernardo, Jana Bianchi, Tobias S. Buckell, Eric Choi, Julie E. Czerneda, Tessa Fisher, Simone Heller, Valentin D. Ivanov, Mary Robinette Kowal, Lisa Jenny Krieg (translated by Simone Heller), Geoffrey A. Landis, Rich Larson, Liu Yang (translated by Ladon Gao), Lucie Luka?ovi?ová, Premee Mohamed, G. David Nordley, Malka Older, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Tomáš Petrásek, Brian Rappatta, Arula Ratnakar, D.A. Xiaolin Spires, Bogi Takács, Peter Watts, and B. Zelkovich.

SCIENCE ESSAYS BY: Jacques Arnould, William Bains, José A. Caballero, Dimitra Demertzi, Martina Dimoska, Tessa Fisher, Dennis Höning, Valentin D. Ivanov, Fabian Klenner, Nina Kopacz, Geoffrey A. Landis, Natuschka Lee, Ania Losiak, Stephen Francis Mann, Connor Martini, Tony Milligan, Philippe Nauny, Julie Nováková, Erik Persson, Tomáš Petrásek, Joanna Piotrowska, Giovanni Poggiali, Amedeo Romagnolo, Stefano Sandrelli, Floris van der Tak, Jan Toman, Sheri Wells-Jensen, and Raymond M. Wheeler.

Introduction by Stephen Baxter
Foreword by Julie Nováková
Afterwords by Wolf D. Geppert; Lucas K. Law & Susan Forest

About Julie Novakova: Julie Novakova (*1991) is an award-winning Czech author of science fiction and detective stories. She published seven novels, one anthology, one story collection and over thirty short pieces in Czech. Her work in English has appeared in Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Analog and elsewhere, and has been reprinted e.g. in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019. Some of her works have been translated into Chinese, Romanian, Estonian, Filipino, German, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Portuguese, and she acts as a translator of Czech stories into English (in, Strange Horizons, F&SF). She edited an anthology of Czech speculative fiction in translation, titled Dreams From Beyond, an anthology of astrobiological SF stories Strangest of All (for the European Astrobiology Institute), and co-edited a book of European SF in Filipino translation, titled Haka, together with the former Czech ambassador in the Philippines, Jaroslav Olša, Jr. Most recently, she has co-edited an anthology titled Life Beyond Us (upcoming in April 2023), taking the readers on a journey through space, time and strange life in 27 SF stories accompanied by 27 science essays.

Julie is a recipient of the European fandom’s Encouragement Award and multiple Czech national genre awards. She’s also active in science outreach, education and nonfiction writing, and leads the outreach working group of the European Astrobiology Institute. She is a PhD candidate in evolutionary biology at the Charles University and likes to write popular science articles about fields ranging from behavioral science to planetary dynamics for Clarkesworld, Analog and other media. She is a member of the XPRIZE Sci-fi Advisory Council.

About Susan Forest: Susan Forest writes science fiction, fantasy and horror, and is the author of Aurora Award-winning Bursts of Fire (2019) and Flights of Marigold, (2020).

Susan’s short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and OnSPEC Magazine, among others. Her collection of short fiction, Immunity to Strange Tales, was published by Five Rivers Press, and her nonfiction has appeared in Legacy Magazine, Alberta Views Magazine, and several blogs. Her short stories, “The Only Road,” “Back,” “Turning It Off,” “The Gift,” and “For a Rich Man to Enter” were finalists for the Prix Aurora Award, and her novella, Lucy, won the Galaxy Project, juried by Robert Silverberg, David Drake and Barry Malzburg.

The third novel of her seven-volume Addicted to Heaven series, Gathering of Ghosts (forthcoming, 2023), confronts issues of addictions in an epic fantasy world of intrigue and betrayal. She is currently working on Book 4 of the series, Rivers of Ivy, and an Alberta Foundation for the Arts-funded standalone fantasy thriller, The Shadow Spy’s Wife.

Susan is a painter and visual artist whose landscapes have been displayed as part of the Stampede Western Showcase in Calgary, Alberta.

This week’s picks:


© 2023 Patrick Hester

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