Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. Eighteen stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today. Mike Resnick spins a tale of aliens who find Earth future diverse and surprising as they plan an invasion. Grandmaster Robert Silverberg examines what happens when Jews tired of fighting for their homeland start over on a planet then must deal with a dybbuk (spirit) and aliens who wish to convert to Judaism. Autumn Rachel Dryden has colonists threatened by alien animals which burst out of shells on the ground like piranhas ready to feed on flesh. Jason Sanford has Amish colonists on New Amsterdam finding their settlement and way of life threatened by a comet and the English settlers who want to evacuate them. And a new story from Hugo and Nebula-winner Nancy Kress.
"A fun read, with some solid core SF work...it belongs to the old Pulp Adventure school, where spaceships flit between planets in days and sometimes even hours, and there are lots of exotic alien races to interact with and/or battle with."
—Gardner Dozois, Locus
"There are aliens, religious fanatics, soldiers, and plenty of people just trying to get by in this diverse volume...these are enjoyable tales with serious themes, worth the time spent reading them."
—Karen Burnham, Locus
"The overwhelming majority of stories involve intriguing characters and plots. Some made me cry, others laugh out loud, and I’ve found myself thinking about the tales long after I’ve finished reading. Many of the stories are worth the price of the anthology on their own, especially A Soaring Pillar of Brightness and The Dybbyk of Mazel Tov IV, both of which have engrossing plots; they also address timeless questions that will continue to be asked for as long as humans live and breathe."
"Beyond the Sun mixes courage, redemption, and stark terror in tales of distant worlds. Buckle in."
—Jack McDevitt, author of Firebird
"Jack Williamson used to say that spaceflight was to science fiction what the Trojan war was to the Greeks. In recent years, myth is being replaced by the pragmatic, and this insightful anthology demonstrates that truth."
—James Gunn, SFWA Grandmaster
"The stories in this collection are a multifaceted look at all the things that make space travel and other worlds such fundamental themes in this literature that we all love."
"Thomas Wolfe said, 'You can't go home again,' but in this thoughtful, exciting collection of stories about mankind's push to the stars, we see that we take the attributes with us that make us human. A wonderful collection of space-faring stories that reminds us that all we can depend on when we explore the universe is the unexpected."
—James Van Pelt, author of Summer of the Apocalypse
"This is science fiction doing what only science fiction can do—pushing us out past the warm envelope of our biosphere, exploring our ultimate destiny as a species. A truly phenomenal collection."
—Ted Kosmatka, author of The Prophet of Bones
"I imagine that most people connect the idea of science fiction with space travel more than with any other subset of the genre. This is a collection of new and reprint stories about space travel, with a wide variety of themes, plots, and styles. There are familiar, reliable names like Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, and Nancy Kress, along with several newcomers whose names were unfamiliar to me. There are no bad stories ... I’m a sucker for visits to other planets – the possibilities and mysteries of other worlds were what attracted me to the genre originally. Theme anthologies have pretty much swept the field in recent years, but this one has a theme broad enough."
"Bryan Thomas Schmidt has assembled an anthology of mostly original tales (three reprints) of what it will be like to be a colonist on, or explorer of, other worlds. I’ll not try to give a complete listing of each story in the anthology, since there are 18 of them. I liked almost all of them, and thought many were as good as anything you’d find published in the major short fiction venues...There are major names included here (Rusch, Resnick, Silverberg, Kress) along with a number of up and coming authors. There really wasn’t any discernible difference between the two groups. All of the tales contained herein are polished, professional work...If you like stories of exploration and new planets, then this is one you’ll want to check out."