Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction

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An assassin tries to calculate the value of pi for a rival king. Stem cells change the way baseball is played. Allergy-fighting tattoos may have unintended side effects. A man resurrects Shakespeare through an emergent AI. A rover on Titan goes rogue. Romeo and Juliet mine for ice in space. The SETI project has an unexpected encounter.

Most short story collections are hit-or-miss, offering some gems and some stinkers. It’s very rare for a collection to really shine, to maintain a high level of excellence while still offering a sense of variety. Carbide Tipped Pens, however, effortlessly threads the needle and delivers one standout sci-fi story after another.

I’ve read dozens of sci-fi collections, and this is the first I can remember where so many stories just knocked it out of the park. This is sci-fi at its finest, embracing both complex, challenging science and heartfelt storytelling to show us new possibilities, to reframe our current triumphs and tragedies with a futuristic perspective. The imagination and spirit of humanity are both present in spades here.

I sincerely hope that Bova and Choi collaborate again soon. What a treat it would be for genre fans.


Reviewed By:

Author Ben Bova and Eric Choi, Editors
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Tor Books
Publish Date 2014-Dec-02
ISBN 9780765334305
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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