Landis, Geoffrey A. Impact Parameter and Other Quantum Realities. Nov. 2001. 340p. Golden Gryphon, $24.95 (1-930846-06-1).
Here are 16 stories by award-winning hard-science sf writer Landis, who works for NASA, cogently introduced by Joe Haldeman, and informatively discussed in an afterword by their author. Some of the stories are classic cases of a scientific premise turned into a tale. The Hugo-winning "A Walk in the Sun," for instance, takes the protagonist across the moon's surface, for she has to stay in the sun to keep her solar cells charged. "Into the Blue Abyss" works from the proposition that the planet Uranus consists entirely of ocean and has no solid core. Others are more abstruse—"Rorvik's War," for example, with what it does with computer simulations. There is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "The Singular Habit of Wasps," and two extraordinarily powerful pieces with minimal sf content, "Beneath the Stars of Winter" and "Winter Fire." A matter of an author putting his best foot forward, this collection is very good indeed, and not only for hard-science sf fans.