ROBERT CHILSON • FREDERICK D. GOTTFRIED • JOSEPH P. MARTINO • ISAAC ASIMOV • JERRY OLTION • TIMOTHY ZAHN • HAYDEN HOWARD • WILLIAM JOHN WATKINS • GRANT D. CHALLIN • BARRY B. LONGYEAR • JOSEPH GREEN • PATRICIA MILTON • THOMAS WYLDE • SHEILA FINCH • EDWARD WELLEN
Down through the years, one of the basic premises of science fiction was that someday humans would leave planet Earth behind and reach for the stars. Now, of course, science fiction has become science fact, yet there still remains much to explore, and, as always, science fiction remains in the forefront of those explorations. The unique and powerful stories included in this special collection are tales of tomorrow’s techonlogy and of the men and women brave enough to pilot us along the unknown pathways to the stars.
This is an unusually weak anthology—the presence of Asimov’s own (and uninteresting) “The Last Shuttle is not a good sign. The problem here is that creating an anthology of "shuttle stories" gives the editors so narrow a scope of action as to be virtually a straitjacket. Thus we have a number of very hard, nuts-and-bolts sf which found in Analog at its worst, a long and more than slightly bizarre story of a space-going circus, and an action-thriller ending the book which has to do with "space shuttles" only in a very vague, deus ex machina way. This is definitely not the best of the "theme" anthologies.