Institutions have often utilized science fiction as a method for imagining scientific concepts and new technologies. Everyone from the Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination to the US Army’s Mad Scientist Initiative to the Atlantic Council have generated their own anthologies that serve not only as fun reading for fans, but also as thought-provoking material.
The European Astrobiology Institute joins that group this month with a new anthology called Strangest of All. Best of all, it’s a free download.
The anthology is a collaboration between the EAI and Julie Nováková, a Czech scientist, editor, and science fiction author, and is designed ” to both entertain and educate” in the field of life away from Earth.
The anthology was originally designed to be released for the EAI’s annual conference, BEACON 2020, and features a solid lineup of reprinted short stories, each of which comes with a bit of additional commentary at the end.
- “War, Ice, Egg, Universe” by G. David Nordley
- “Into The Blue Abyss” by Geoffrey A. Landis
- “Backscatter” by Gregory Benford
- “A Jar of Goodwill” by Tobias S. Buckell
- “The Island” by Peter Watts
- “SETI for Profit” by Gregory Benford
- “But, Still, I Smile” by D. A. Xiaolin Spires
- “Martian Fever” by Julie Nováková
In her introduction, Nováková notes that the question of whether life exists away from Earth is a timeless question for humanity, and that science fiction from around the world has focused on it. The purpose of the anthology, she writes, “is to use good science fiction stories to let the reader accessibly learn more about astrobiology.”