edited by Allan Kaster
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Short novels are movie length narratives that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This collection showcases the best-of-the-best science fiction novellas published in 2017 by current and emerging masters of this vibrant form of story-telling. A very cool heist on Mars pays homage to the classic film, The Italian Job, in “The Martian Job,” by Jaine Fenn. In “The Tale of the Alcubierre Horse,” by Kathleen Ann Goonan, a group of highly gifted children steals a luxury spaceship and kidnaps a physicist for a voyage to a new planet far outside the solar system. A human living in a crowded city on an alien planet risks her life to gather information on enigmatic aliens while also investigating the death of an exterminator in “How Sere Picked Up Her Laundry,” by Alexander Jablokov. In “Proof of Concept,” by Gwyneth Jones, scientists must partner with a reality show to attract funding for an experiment to achieve instantaneous transport from a dying Earth to another planet. A problem with the local birds threatens the rebuilding of Bikini Island as sea-levels rise due to global warming in “The Proving Ground,” by Alec Nevala-Lee. Finally, in “The Speed of Belief,” by Robert Reed, three diplomats are sent by the Great Ship to a planet of intelligent rivers to negotiate for worlds to colonize.