Mission – Tomorrow edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt – anthology review

"Mission - Tomorrow" edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
“Mission – Tomorrow” edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
I last reviewed a Bryan Thomas Schmidt anthology back in July 2014, and it was a good one. For this second one, Schmidt did not disappoint with this exciting collection of adventure stories. While I haven’t heard of some of the authors, none of them disappointed me. Mission – Tomorrow is another strong anthology.

One of my favorite stories was “A Walkabout Amongst The Stars” by Lezli Robyn. Tyrille is the first female Aboriginal astronaut, sent to discover why Voyager I had suddenly come back to like after being turned off for many years. She is smart and witty, and had to make some hard decisions by the end of the story. The way Robyn told the story included gut-wrenching realizations by Tyrille, as well as peaceful acceptance of things beyond her control.

“Ten Days Up” by Curtis C. Chen made me remember of the edge-of-the-seat suspense of the film Gravity. The pacing was fast and exciting, and I was rooting for Kenna the whole time. She was thrown into a very difficult situation due to bad decisions on the part of her crewmate, but is able to work through all the problems thrown at her with the help of the ground controller. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to deal with such a scary situation in space, but Chen brought the situation to life with an interesting character and a believable resolution.

A Mission – Tomorrow throwback to the earlier days of pulp science fiction, Robert Silverberg’s “Sunrise on Mercury” still fits the definition of space adventure nearly 60 years after it was first published. Sure, some of the terminology is quite different from what the space program uses today, but it is still quite believable despite its age. Silverberg is still one of my favorite authors and this story only makes me like him more (I hadn’t actually read this one before).

For cowboy-style adventure in the wilds of the solar system, “Around the NEO in 80 Days” is a great story by Jay Werkheiser. There’s secret plans afoot, corporate espionage, lying, cheating, redemption, and flying by the seat of your pants, all rolled into one story bigger than even Texas can imagine. The final resolution in this story keeps you hooked right tot he very end. I would love to see more adventures with these characters.

There are no bad stories in this collection; I rate all of the stories as four stars or above. Schmidt collected the cream of the crop once again in Mission – Tomorrow. If you like exciting space adventures, this anthology will not disappoint. I highly recommend this anthology to everyone who still looks to the stars.

Release Date: November 3, 2015 (USA)
ISBNs: 1476780948 (9781476780948)
Publisher: Baen Books
Language: English
Contents:
   “Tombaugh Station” by Robin Wayne Bailey
   “Excalibur” by Jack McDevitt
   “The Race For Arcadia” by Alex Shvartsman
   “A Walkabout Amongst The Stars” by Lezli Robyn
   “Sunrise on Mercury” by Robert Silverberg
   “In Panic Town, On The Backward Moon” by Michael F. Flynn
   “The Ultimate Space Race” by Jaleta Clegg
   “Orpheus’ Engines” by Christopher McKitterick
   “Around The NEO in 80 Days” by Jay Werkheiser
   “Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper
   “Airtight” by Michael Capobianco
   “Windshear” by Angus McIntyre
   “On Edge” by Sarah A. Hoyt
   “Tartaros” by Mike Resnick
   “Malf” by David D. Levine
   “Ten Days Up” by Curtis C. Chen
   “The Rabbit Hole” by James E. Gunn
   “Rare (Off) Earth Elements” by Ben Bova
   “Tribute” by Jack Skillingstead

MySF Rating: Four point five stars
Family Friendliness: 100%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief, occasional)
Language: 1 (occasional, mostly mild)
Sexuality: 1 (a couple brief scenes, nothing graphic)
Violence: 1 (some injuries, some death, nothing graphic)

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