Pulling from the list of her favorite stories for this volume of Fiction River Presents, editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch takes readers on a thrilling journey. From little rovers exploring the planets where humans cannot yet go, to human explorers flung into realms of space/time beyond their knowledge and experience, to aliens who drop in for a visit to Earth for purposes only they can fathom—these travelers entertain, sometimes terrify, and always fascinate.
With this tantalizing volume, Rusch asks the reader, "Wanna go for a ride?"
"Tendrils" by Leigh Saunders
"Moonfall" by Lisa Silverthorne
"The Rock of Kansas" by Eric Kent Edstrom
"Hot Jupiters" by Steven Mohan, Jr.
"Embedded" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
"Ice Dogs" by Kris Austen Radcliffe
"Closing The Big Bang" by Michéle Laframboise
"Time Expressed As An Entrée" by Robert Jeschonek
This anthology provided the inspiration for this entire bundle, and led me to ask the writers in the volume to participate in the bundle. Some couldn't because they didn't have full-length sf novels. Others couldn't because they'd already participated in StoryBundles with their full-length sf novels. If you're a long-time StoryBundle supporter and you find a writer in this volume whose work you enjoy, look through your TBR file on your ereader—you will probably find that writer in your system already. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
"[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today. Check out an issue and see why I say that."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
"… fans of the unconventional will be well satisfied."– Publishers Weekly on Fiction River: Pulse Pounders
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
We were having a meeting at WMG Publishing, talking about what we usually talk about which is schedules and scheduling. Allyson Longueira mentioned that we needed two volumes of Fiction River Presents, only she didn't have time to edit them. Then she mentioned the subjects: space opera and space travelers. And before I knew what I was doing, I said, "I'll do them."
I normally don't volunteer to edit, especially the week before our annual anthology workshop, when I'm reading 1.3 million words to prepare. But I knew, the moment she mentioned the subject matter, what stories I would choose. I figured it wouldn't take me a long time to assemble the anthologies—and it hasn't.
I line edit Fiction River in addition to acting as the series editor, so I read every single story closely, always more than once. The stories we publish in Fiction River hold up to those rereads. But some join that tiny list of favorites I'm constantly assembling in my head.
I knew immediately that I wanted Lisa Silverthorne's "Moonfall," and Eric Kent Edstrom's "Rock of Kansas." Both, weirdly enough, are set on Earth. But we think (Hope? Assume?) space travelers have come here, so I figured that I would subvert the idea that readers might have about…space…travelers.
There are space travelers here. Some are even human. Many are not. And the travelers in the stories aren't always the focus of the story. The destination is. That's why I also had to have Michéle Laframboise's "Closing The Big Bang" in the book. That's the ultimate destination, in my opinion.
I can't travel much anymore, so I choose fiction that will take me on long journeys. These stories have taken me on some of the most memorable journeys of my life. I was able to assemble this book in an afternoon. The thing that took the most time? Remembering which volume the stories were in. And (ahem) rereading the stories yet again.
Because I like them that much.
I hope you will too.
—Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Las Vegas, Nevada
February 23, 2019