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Twelve Tomorrows
last updated 2021-04-02

by Various Authors (2018)

Autumn before the pandemic my friend Russ rented out Morrocan Hospitality, a restaurant that sadly did not weather the storm of COVID, on two occasions: first for his Birthday and then as a friends-giving of sorts. Tagine after tagine were placed onto the long table, which was formed by combining every surface in the small restaurant into one. Russ, ever generous, flipped the concept of "birthday" and gave each group of diners a different book. For Alejandra and I, it was Twelve Tomorrows.

An annual anthology of (twelve) science fiction short stories, Twelve Tomorrows combines the most recognizable names in "hard" science fiction, often convening around a central theme. This edition had some of my already-favorite writers, like Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, and Nnedi Okorafor, and introduced me to new ones I'm excited to read more of, like Elizabeth Bear and Paul McAuley.

As with any science fiction written even in the near past, there was an eerie prescience. Stories fortold lockdowns and pandemics, concepts of morality and empathy challenged by new techologies like blockchain, and the concentration of global attention on fewer and fewer individuals.

I look forward to reading the other entries in this series.