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A Hard and Crunchy SF Collection

A word from author Michèle Laframboise

At last, something for the Hard-SF lovers to seek your teeth in!

I grew up on a steady diet of watching Star Trek (the original series) and reading the Isaac Asimov books stacked on my father’s bookshelves, which made me hungry for chunky bits of science fiction. I didn’t know then that I would become a SF writer myself.

The five stories making this collection have all received accolades for their voice and ambition, especially Cousin Entropy, tackling the heat death of the Universe with touches of humor. I wrote the stories in French and translated three into English myself. For the other two, I received help for the translation, by Sheryl Curtis and N. M. R. Roshak. I am indebted to them, and any remaining errors are solely mine.

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As a long-time science fiction fan, I like trying to see through other species’s senses. Thinking Inside the Box first appeared in Compelling Science Fiction, in June 2017.  The French version has been published by the magazine Géante Rouge no 23 in 2015.

The climatic impact of pollution runs its course unchecked in Ice Monarch, published in Abyss&Apex 67 (2018). The first French version won the 2010 Solaris Prize, the 2012 Galaxies Réchauffement 2050 Jury’s choice, then was translated in Russian for the 45th issue of the SF magazine Supernovia. This is the most dystopian story of the collection, but also the most poetic.

Closing the Big Bang deals with stellar-sized entertainment in a space-roaming bar. Discover the warped ways the ultra-rich amuse themselves… First published in Fiction River 21: Tavern Tales (2017), it had been re-printed in two anthologies.

Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus, published in the Tesseracts 10 anthology in 2006, tackles a population imbalance on Mars and fat-shaming with humor. It is one of my first-ever published SF short-stories in English, translated by Sheryl Curtis, but still its message of inclusivity and acceptation remains actual.

Cousin Entropy, translated from the French by N.R.M. Roshak, is a short and crunchy SF story set far, far in the heat death of the universe. Is there any hope left for the post-humans clinging to our Galaxy’s black hole? And what if we just learn to really listen? Check the answer in this most warped of all SF stories!

—Michèle Laframboise, Mississauga, January 3rd, 2022

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