New Skies, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor, 2003)

From Tor comes this reprint anthology, containing seventeen young adult-aimed science fiction stories published within the last two decades. It’s an odd mix, eclectic and almost intellectual in natural, spanning the variety of talent and style. Philip K Dick is here, as are Orson Scott Card, and Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Steven Gould, Will Shetterly, Jane Yolen, and Spider Robinson, and more still. For the most part, these are authors you won’t have seen in the Young Adult section of the bookstores; they either don’t write short stories very often, or don’t aim for young adults, or are too unrepentantly science fiction to make the break out of one section and into the more catch-all section of the store aimed at the teen audience. On the other hand, this means that even the most voracious of readers is bound to find stories they’ve overlooked, and authors they’ve never considered before. New Skies may be even “your mileage may vary” more than most anthologies due to the wide variety of writing styles and authorial voices represented, but by that same token, it’s definitely worth looking at. There are, in the grand scheme of things, not enough anthologies aimed at the young adult sf/fantasy reader, so this comes as a welcome offering.

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