Stellaris: People of the Stars

Baen. Sept. 2019. 320p. ed. by ed. by Les Johnson & Robert E. Hampson. ISBN 9781481484251. pap. $16. SF
Inspired by a gathering of scientists and futurists, this collection of sf stories and essays speculates on how humanity will have to change itself to populate the galaxy and the universe. The conceit that Homo sapiens will need to alter ourselves to become “Homo stellaris” is a fascinating engine, although it leads to some essays that are a bit dry as well as informative; however, “The Future of Intelligent Life in the Cosmos” by Sir Martin Rees invokes that “sense of wonder” that readers look for in good sf and speculation. Standouts include “Nanny” by Les Johnson, “Bridging” by William Ledbetter, and “The Smallest of Things” by Catherine L. Smith, all three of which deftly explore the theme of the consequences of adapting humanity to live in space.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of hard sf who enjoy speculation on human expansion into the galaxy.

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