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The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  376 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Truly successful science fiction does two things: it gives a credible glimpse into the future while entertaining the reader. With this in mind, noted anthologist Jonathan Strahan asked sixteen of today?s most inventive, compelling writers to look past the horizon of the present day. From spaceships, to suburbia, simulated gaming worlds, dealing with cloning, battle tactics ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published July 30th 2009 by Firebird (first published April 17th 2008)
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So what we have here is a collection of 16 short stories connected only by the fact that they're all science fiction. And... that's it. There's no other thematic overlay here. Which was perfectly fine by me, because it was a great lot of stories.

My favorites: Scott Westerfeld's Ass-Hat Magic Spider (the perfect way to open the collection), Neil Gaiman's Orange (told through the answers to questions unrevealed here), Stephen Baxter's Repair Kit (gloriously classic sf), Cory Doctorow's Anda's Game
stephanie cat
Apr 22, 2008 stephanie cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone! Especially so if you like sci-fi, space, or the future.
Shelves: favourites
This collection of sci-fi stories by authors like Scott Westerfeld, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman shows what good science fiction can really be. These stories are brilliant, each with its own perspective and lesson.

Science fiction isn;t about aliens and spaceships. It explores everything that never happened. Some of these stories take place in worlds where you put yourself into your game, or where it won't matter if you die, because they can just re-upload you mind into a different body. Whether r
Aug 14, 2008 Roseann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: librarians, sci-fi readers & l;overs of words & ideas
Recommended to Roseann by: myself
This is one amazing compilation of stories.
I especially loved 'AssHat Magic Spider" by Scott Westerfeld, which is "a homage" to a certain "Charlotte" and I won't spoil it for those of you planning to read it...
I also liked Neil Gaiman's Orange for its "Outer-worldly" excellence. I am looking forward to more compilations of this kind which give uis snippets of shorts from people who usually write longer pieces. The cover art alone pulled me in.
Overall, Bravo!
May 08, 2009 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, anthology
Most of the stories in this collection center around young people, which leaves some reviewers labeling it a 'young adult' anthology. But that's not in editor Strahan's introduction, so I'm loathe to apply a tag with so much baggage attached.

I don't think there's a standout story here, but even the least of the set are readable. Well, my impression of Stephen Baxter wasn't improved by "Repair Kit". Baxter says he was trying for humor in the vein of Robert Sheckley, but he has none of Sheckley's
Robert Runte
Jul 04, 2012 Robert Runte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fully admit that I initially sprang for this anthology entirely on the basis of Stephan Martiniere's cover illustration. It's what SF covers are supposed to look like, and wrapped around a nice hefty volume (530 pages), seemed to hold out the promise of some good old fashion SF. Even the subtitle, "Tales of new Tomorrows" had a nice 1950's ring to it.

I was not disappointed.

Editor Jonathan Strahan has pulled together 16 of the top names in the field, which provides a great sampler of contempor
Mar 13, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
This compilation of short stories all have a sci-fi theme to them. The stories all take place in the future and center around a young character and the problems they face in that time. One story is about a soccer player whose father "kidnaps" and takes to Puerto Rico in order to meet a man who is famous for being abducted by aliens, however, a flue pandemic forces them into isolation where he makes friends with Ticos. At the end, they all finally get to see aliens. Another story is about a girl ...more
Jun 27, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Starry Rift (edited by Jonathan Strahan), but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the collection of James Tiptree Jr. stories by the same name. The storytelling is uneven - Cory Doctorow's "Anda's Game", for instance, verges on a polemic, Jeffrey Ford's "The Dismantled Invention of Fate" fails the coherence test, and Margo Lanagan's "An Honest Day's Work" plods mercilessly. However, Gaiman's "Orange" is a neat one-sided story, and Kelly Link's "The Surfer" is a great character study. I ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2009 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Strahan, Jonathan. ed, 2008. THE STARRY RIFT: TALES OF NEW TOMORROWS. Viking. 530 pages.

The Starry Rift is 'an original science fiction anthology.' Consisting of sixteen short stories (some really more like novellas), it features the work of some favorites new and old--Scott Westerfeld, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Cory Doctorow, Garth Nix, etc.

There's no guaranteeing you'll like all sixteen stories--I sure didn't--but I'd almost guarantee that you'll absolutely love at least one of them. I'd even g
Rebecca Zhang
I saw this book in the Auckland City Libraries last year, and I was planning on reading it for a reading log, but found a better book, and forgot about it. I saw it again this year, and decided I was definitely going to review it this time.
The Starry Rift covers the short story section of the bingo box. I enjoy reading short stories, as they can be quick reads, and be very enjoyable.
I chose the pieces I’m going to comment on here at random – by opening the book randomly, and ended up with Oran
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Dec 03, 2009 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it liked it
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: found on the shelf while looking for something else
This is a cool concept. I couldn't really get into about half of the stories, including some of the ones by authors whose work I'd enjoyed before. The ones I enjoyed:

"Ass-Hat Magic Spider" by Scott Westerfeld (even though it was slightly twee); "The Surfer" by Kelly Link; "Anda's Game" by Cory Doctorow (despite being a bit message-heavy, it was an interesting take on video game war); "The Star Surgeon's Apprentice" by Alistair Reynolds (cool to read that he has a bunch of Word files on his hard
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Christina Tsichlis for

THE STARRY RIFT is truly a collection of stories about today's ideals, dreams, and philosophies. Strahan did an amazing job collecting stories written by modern science fiction masters. The authors write beautifully, uniquely, and intriguingly.

This anthology is masterful in representing different worlds and conceptions of worlds, covering everything from the real world to gaming to dreaming. The exploration of themes in the book cover everythin
Kitty Fogliano
Jul 20, 2014 Kitty Fogliano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of science fiction aimed at a YA audience. Many stories contain more contemporary approaches to the man vs. technology conflict, which will appeal to young people today, yet there still are some hard-core, classically themed stories. The last few stories in the book are not very appealing - I skimmed and didn't finish the last several, but aside from those, the vast majority of stories are fun, fresh and enthralling.
Gabe Poon
Sep 03, 2014 Gabe Poon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows is a collection of excellent science fiction short stories. These stories truely represent real science fiction. The stories have a classic feel to them, with hints of older science fiction woven into the stories. Some newer science fiction contains mostly war, lasers, and aliens. Not this. I would really recommend this anthology.
Shannon Hancock
Nov 13, 2012 Shannon Hancock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking up Poison Ivy's biography on Wikipedia and came across the Nathaniel Hawthorne story Rappacini's Daughter, which was used as inspiration for Poison Ivy's background. I read the wiki article on the story and remembered a short story that I read in The Starry Rift, the one about the Indian princess. It's called The Dust Assassin by Ian McDonald. I don't know if Ian McDonald knew about the Hawthorne story, or knew about the original Indian tale Hawthorne based his story on, but it see ...more
Aug 13, 2008 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like short stories, sci-fi, or speculative fiction
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed this collection of short sci-fi stories. I read it over the course of a month or so, picking it up when I had a bit of time for a story. There's a wide range of styles, from 'old-style' spaceship dramas, to the plight of a genetically-altered-gorilla-boy trying to cling to the shreds of his internet-fame

My favorites in this collection:

-"The Dust Assassin" by Ian McDonald (Mechanical Monkey Bodyguards!)

-"Incomers" by Paul McAuley (A mysterious man on the second largest moon of Saturn...
Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen
More of a wouldn't it be cool if... than hard sci-fi. This collection keeps its stories incredibly self-contained and fully understandable in a sophomoric way, making them seem to take place in little pocket universes, whereas generally sc-fi authors strive to allude to great things just beyond the horizons of their writing, and then go back and write more books about those. Iain Banks is particularly good at this, and i believe that's what makes his expansive culture series constantly interesti ...more
Jasmine Rockwell
Didn't finish it...does that tell you anything? I read only 4 or so of the short stories and skipped about the same number before I quit. The ones I finished I liked, but they weren't enough to outweigh the other ones.
Pete L

Ass-Hat Magic Spider by Scott Westerfeld
short, funny
Cheats by Ann Halam
Orange by Neil Gaiman
a bit clever
The Surfer by Kelly Link
includes good refs to classic SF authors
Repair Kit by Stephen Baxter
The Dismantled Invention of Fate by Jeffrey Ford
Anda’s Game by Cory Doctorow
Sundiver Day by Kathleen Ann Goonan
The Dust Assassin by Ian McDonald
The Star Surgeon’s Apprentice by Alastair Reynolds.
An Honest Day’s Work by Margo Lanagan
Lost Continent by Greg Egan
Incomers by Paul McAuley
Post-Ironic Stress Sy
internat librarian
I like science fiction in small doses. And I like it when the stories can teach me something, either about how science works, or visions of the future, or what it means to be human. This collection meets all those criteria, and even more important, it’s fun to read.

The stories encompass a wide range of settings and circumstance: I especially liked “Sundiver Day,” “The Surfer” and “Pinocchio.”

There are some weak links, though. A few of the storylines seem either obvious or simplistic (“Repair Ki
Jul 23, 2015 Elin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ett sci-fi-uppvaknande. Jag minns till denna dag the Magic Spider och den om killen med de sociala medierna i den odödliga världen.
Mar 29, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
got this for two stories. Gaiman's - 4 stars. Doctorow's - 2 stars, would have been 4 if not so preachy about fat kids.
Pretty decent compilation of sci-fi short stories, including contributions by Scott Westerfeld, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix and Cory Doctorow, among many others. Topics range from video games and virtual reality to adventures in the cities on Saturn's moons to time travel to pandemic flu with bonus aliens. There's also a sci-fi take on vampires and vampire hunters.

As with most short story collections, there were a couple that I really liked and a couple I really didn't, but I was surprised by how man
As always, it's hard to comment on a collection like this as if it were one thing. Overall, I liked it. Some of the stories are very good, none are terrible, some are more or less forgettable.
Notable items include one of Neil Gaiman's weirder works (for him, that's saying something), a vampire story that's actually interesting and unusual, a lot of treatments of virtual reality and the modern digitally interconnected world, and a wonderful piece about life on a moon of Saturn. Worth reading, if
Oct 04, 2008 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid anthology full of mostly familiar names - many are the rising stars of 21st-century sf - but fresh and unfamiliar works, for the most part, stories not overly anthologized elsewhere. Strahan collects more upbeat works than is usual for modern-day sf, and the result is a substantial and entertaining read. Stories I particularly enjoyed here include the lead tale, Scott Westerfeld's "Ass-Hat Magic Spider", Kelly Link's "The Surfer" and Alastair Reynolds' "The Star Surgeon's Apprentice" but ...more
Five stars for the first half, but only 2 for the back half. The story quality really dropped about midway through.
Derrick Armstrong
Jul 12, 2014 Derrick Armstrong rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one was just wierd
freaking crazy ninja man83
The "Starry Rift" is an anthology of many science fiction short stories which is written by jonathon strahan.The book though is not always dealing with space,and things of that sort, that people have come to know,but the stories in the book are very entertaining and are fun to read.The book makes you think what awaits the numerous characters at the end of every story.
The numerous stories in this book are very enjoyable to read.I like the book because you never know what to expect what'll happen
May 31, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a thoroughly entertaining anthology. Nothing really knocked my socks off, but each story was clever, well-written and original. Good stuff.
Dec 08, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This is quite a collection of sci-fi stories for young adults. I like some of the stories better than others, but this is definitely recommended for fans of science fiction. Personally, I'm a bigger fan of novels than short stories, but it gave me some authors to look at. One very cool thing the book does is tell a little bit about each author and what they've written, as well as having the author give some background for why they wrote this particularly story or where the idea came from.
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