Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

A spaceship hurdles through space, seeking the perfect planet, and within the ship sleeps the planet’s future population: men, women, and creatures designed to help populate and settle the world to which they fly. Until something goes wrong, and ship goes to war with itself.

Teacher is jerked from dreams of this new world and brought into the harsh reality of ship. He can remember only bits and pieces of his life before awakening. Cold, he runs toward warmth and the mysteries of ship.

This is the best science fiction I have read in years. Bear’s command of Teacher’s story grips the reader from page one and does not let go. The story is dark and haunting, and I loved every page of it.

Science fiction writers sometimes make their tales more about the science and less about the characters. Not Bear. He carefully intertwines all the qualities of science, which makes science fiction fun, yet he never loses Teacher or his bleak story.

Nuanced with lovely prose, Bear reminds us that science without a conscience can be deadly.

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Shadows: Supernatural Tales by Masters of Modern Literature [ed. by Robert Dunbar]

Robert Dunbar, an author of literary horror in his own right, has selected a group of chilling tales by some of the finest authors of dark fiction. Ten creepy tales by classic authors: Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Henry James, E.M. Forster, Willa Cather, M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Oliver Onions, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and D.H. Lawrence are combined into one chilling volume.

I found two of my favorite stories “The Empty House” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” in this collection, and re-discovered “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad.” Well chosen and arranged, the stories build to a wonderful climax at the end.

Prepare to be entertained, because Shadows is a lovely anthology for anyone who loves horror.

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