Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities, edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich

Find this book
(SF Exploration) Stories on the theme of planetary exploration in the near future. (52,377 words; Time: 2h:54m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich, published on by .

Planetary Exploration on a Shoestring

These seven stories look at futures where humanity does serious work in space within the next fifty years or so. In every case, this means making clever use of minimal resources.

Funded by the Center for Science and the Imagination (CSI) at Arizona State University, this volume (Like Hieroglyph before it) is meant “to encourage more creative and ambitious thinking about the future.” It is offered to the public free of charge.

Although there are only seven original SF stories here, there are twelve thoughtful non-fiction essays plus two strong introductions (read Jim Bell’s intro after reading the stories; it contains spoilers). The essays add a lot of value to the stories, so if you’re interested in practical ideas about exploring the solar system in the near future, don’t skip them.

Sort-of Optimistic

Although CSI says they want optimistic views of the future, only three of the stories envision a future that’s better than today’s world, and one is actually a dystopia.

Of the seven stories, we recommend one and recommend against one, which is exactly the distribution we expect to see, hence we called the anthology average overall.


Death on Mars, by Madeline Ashby, introduces us to a crew of four women on Phobos who are remotely running a construction operation to build habitats on the surface for the first Mars mission. They’re a very tight team and not at all prepared to handle a death.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Ed Finn Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB
Joey Eschrich Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Thanks for the heads up! I would not have found this collection without you.

    There is not such a thing as too many space exploration stories :)

    1. I agree! And happy to have been of service to you!