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Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction - Another instalment of new SF short stories demonstrating the breadth and depth that the genre has to offer in 2013. This contained some familiar authors but many more that weren't, as it should be with anthologies of this kind.

Of course, with such a diverse range of themes and all new stories, you're never going to like all of them. I don't know if it was just me but I felt that the quality of the stories generally improved as the collection went on.

Environmental catastrophy features features in quite a few stories such as “More” by Nancy Kress, “Shall Inherit” by James Lovegrove, “The Spires of Greme” by Kay Kenyon and “With Fate Conspire” by Vandana Singh. Alien contact is a predominate theme in others such as “Tom” by Paul Cornell, “Feast and Famine” by Adrian Tchaikovsky and “The Circle of Least Confusion” by Martin Sketchley. AI problems are explored in “Ticking” by Allen Steele and “Manmade” by Mercurio D. Rivera while time paradoxes are considered in “The Time Gun” by Nick Harkaway and “With Fate Conspire” by Vandana Singh.

A few stories were particularly relevant to modern day concerns like in “Pearl in the Shell” by Neil Williamson in which music has been completely analysed, classified into it's essential categories and fully copyrighted so that no one bothers trying to write new music any more. In “The First Dance” by Martin McGrath we see the what might happen if there was a facility that could record all your memories to be played back at will...at the right price. And in “Whatever Skin You Wear” by Eugie Foster everyone has become so dependent on being hooked up to the net and hiding behind facades that widespread panic ensures when there is a brief outage of service.

Also worth a mention (but hard to classify) is “The Lighthouse” by Liz Williams which presents a haunting vision of a potential future for humanity and “Bonds” by Robert Reed in which a fraudster who becomes rich after inventing a theory about the interconnectedness of everything turns out to have understood more about the true nature of the universe than anyone suspected.

If you're a fan of SF, you're bound to find something of interest here.