Julie E. Czerneda, editor,
Space Inc.
(DAW, 2003)

Fourteen favorite authors take a look at the future job market in outer space in Space Inc., edited by acclaimed science fiction author Julie E. Czerneda.

Each story is prefaced with a job advertisement that gives the reader a hint of the content. The professions are not necessarily those typical to science fiction and include such occupations as storyteller, porter, librarian, dance instructor, youth chaperone and bartender. The result is 14 stories that take off in all directions, each as wondrous as the last.

In Mindy L. Klasky's "Catalog of Woe," a librarian has to choose between truth and love when some unexpected information is revealed. Ballet dancer Celia Carver faces an unusual challenge in "Dancing in the Dark" by Nancy Kress; she's hired to teach ballet to a group of juvenile aliens. Doranna Durgin's "Feef's House" introduces us to a "duster," a temporary employee who never stays in one place for long -- until now.

A porter with a supervisor who goes strictly by the book is asked to give his all for the company in "Porter's Progress" by Isaac Szpindel, a darkly gripping and suspenseful story. S.M. and Janet Stirling's "Field Trip" is a bit lighter, as a chaperone for a group of teenagers finds she may be out of her league. The book finishes perfectly with Tanya Huff's "I Knew a Guy Once," about a bartender whose experience with guys she once knew serves not only herself but the space station where she works.

These stories and more make this one of the best collections of its kind; there isn't a bad story in the book, and certainly all will serve whatever mood you are in. Make space on your shelf for this exciting anthology.

- Rambles
written by Donna Scanlon
published 17 January 2004

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