Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mission: Tomorrow, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Find this book
(Hard SF) These 19 stories explore the question "What will space travel look like in an age no longer dominated by NASA." Authors examine expanded roles for corporations, private citizens, and other governments. (95,451 words; Time: 5h:18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"Mission: Tomorrow," edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, published on by .

A Hard SF Anthology with Good Stories

Although the description talks about increasing roles for other actors, most of the stories look at futures where NASA is irrelevant--not just not-dominant. In six of the stories, private companies have replaced governments in space. Six more focus on individuals making big differences, although they don't all eliminate government entirely. One focuses on Russia, one focuses on China, and the other two are hard to classify. It's a good enough mix.

Of the 17 original works, we gave three of them four stars or more, which near the average average (2.6). We gave six of them two stars or fewer, which is also average (5.92).

From the subject matter, you'd expect all the stories to be hard SF, but only ten of them met our definition of hard SF. However, these include all of the recommended stories.

Specific Recommendations

Malf, by David D. Levine, tells how a young man, Jorge, who is only three days away from making his fortune by delivering a processed asteroid to Earth, tries to cope with a host of last-minute problems.

In Rare (Off) Earth Elements (A Sam Gunn Tale), by Ben Bova, a patriotic young taikonaut, Song-li arrives at near-Earth asteroid 94-12 to claim it for China, but she find the notorious Sam Gunn is already there. She knows his reputation and is determined not to be corrupted, but we pretty much know how that's going to go. What's interesting is watching how it goes.

Tribute, by Jack Skillingstead is probably the strongest story in the volume. Karie's brother died in Martian orbit, and NASA died with him. She wants to see regular missions to Mars and a permanent Mars base, but she's had trouble getting anyone interested. Now she's got and offer of major corporate support, but there are strings attached.

Other Reviews: Search Web,

Dynamic Table Features

  • Rate & flag stories with next to each story title. Your ratings carry over to all RSR pages with dynamic tables
  • Navigate big tables with . Click ↻Mobile View if the full size page is hard to read on a small screen or window. Click to minimize/maximize the gray command box.
  • Change table groupings with . Changing the grouping to Publication is useful if you're a magazine subscriber. Grouping New Writer stories by Score could help prioritize your reading.
  • Highlight stories with . An orange highlight occurs if a yellow highlight intersects an existing red highlight.
  • See your ratings with . They're grouped by Category to simplify Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and magazine-specific nominations.
  • Backup your ratings with . Do this regularly, and definitely prior to clearing your browser cache so you can restore your ratings afterwards. It updates the URL with your data, which can be saved in your browser as a date/time stamped bookmark. If your browser replicates bookmarks across platforms, access the bookmark from another device to transfer your ratings. Repeat after you use each device.

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Thanks for the review. I've been looking for more books within our solar system, without aliens or FTL travel.

    This sounds like it should fit my needs.