"Microbe" was Joan Slonczewski's first published short story. It originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact in the August 1995 issue. It was also reprinted in David G. Hartwell's Year's Best SF, published by HarperPrism in paperback in 1996.
Here's how David G. Hartwell introduced "Microbe":
Joan Slonczewski is a scientist and writer who lives in Gambier, Ohio, and teaches at Kenyon College. Her novels, such as her famous A Door Into Ocean, are informed by Quaker ideals and feminism, as well as by the loving scientific details underpinning the story. This is a rare short story by one of the finest younger SF writers. It is set in the same future universe as the novel mentioned and its sequel, Daughter of Elysium, but in a different place and in the distant future of even that imagined setting. Like the Baxter story ["Gossamer"], it harks back to the fiction of Hal Clement and, in this case, James Blish of "Surface Tension," inventing and solving a clever SF problem posed by a precisely imaged world of wonders. It appeared in Analog.
Here's the complete text of "Microbe."
"The 14 stories in this anthology deliver on all counts, and yet the result is considerably more than just a recycling of old style 'sci-fi' by the old guard.... The basic elements of Golden Age science fiction are represented -- space travel, time travel and alien invasion -- but are treated with originality and a degree of subtlety rarely attempted in the good old days."
--L. R. C. Munro, on the Science Fiction Weekly web site
"Hartwell does a fantastic job of picking stories which are not only worthy of being read, but which are worthy of attaining a more permanent home than last months issue of (your favorite magazine's name here)."
--Steven H. Silver, on the Linköping Science Fiction & Fantasy Archive web site
Last modified: September 7, 2000
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