The Last Science Fiction Writer

by Allen Steele
Release date: December 16, 2008
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, short stories

While The Last Science Fiction Writer consists of stories I wrote during a relatively short period of time, in some ways it also represents a cross-section of my career thus far. "Moreau2" and "High Roller" are later entries in the Near-Space series not included in Sex and Violence in Zero-G; "The War of Dogs and Boids" is a stand-alone episode of the Coyote cycle. "Take Me Back To Old Tennessee" and "Hail to the Chief" are related to one another; "An Incident of the Luncheon of the Boating Party" shares the same background as an earlier story, "...Where Angels Fear to Tread" (along with its novel-length expansion, Chronospace). "World Without End, Amen" is the latest in a loosely-linked series that includes "Agape Among The Robots" and "Jake and the Enemy" (both in my previous collection, American Beauty) while continuing the same thematic concerns of my novel The Jericho Iteration.

Other stories stand on their own. "Escape From Earth" was originally intended to be a young-adult novel until Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois invited me to contribute a novella to an anthology of YA science fiction. "The Teb Hunter" is straight-out satire, a comment on hunters and hunting; "The Last Science Fiction Writer" is much the same, although this time the target is science fiction itself, in particular some of its beloved and well-worn tropes.

— Allen Steele

(updated 2010-09-07)

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