Fast Forward 1

Lou Anders

409 pp • ISBN: 978-1-59102-486-6
Paperback (6" x 9") • $17
February 2007
Cover Illustration: ©John Picacio

Science Fiction is the genre that looks at the implications of technology on society, which in this age of exponential technological growth makes it the most relevant branch of literature going. This is only the start, and the close of the 21st century will look absolutely nothing like its inception.

It has been said that science fiction is an ongoing dialogue about the future, and the front line of that dialogue is the short story. The field has a long history of producing famous anthologies to showcase its distinguished short fiction, but it has been several years since there has been a prestigious all-original science fiction anthology series.

Fast Forward is offered in the tradition of Damon Knight’s prestigious and influential anthology series, Orbit, and Frederik Pohl’s landmark Star SF. Fast Forward marks the start of a new hard science fiction anthology series, dedicated to presenting the vanguard of the genre and charting the undiscovered country that is the future.

Contributors scheduled for the first volume include: Kage Baker, Paolo Bacigalupi, Tony Ballantyne, Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, A. M. Dellamonica, Paul Di Filippo, Robyn Hitchcock, Louise Marley, Ken MacLeod, Ian McDonald, John Meaney, Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress, Justina Robson, Pamela Sargent, Mary A. Turzillo, Robert Charles Wilson, Gene Wolfe, and George Zebrowski.


"[A] wonderful new sf anthology ... the first installment in a new, annual sf anthology series edited by Lou Anders. Anders is setting out to continue the tradition set in original sf anthology series like Damon Knight's ORBIT, which I was practically weaned on. Volume one has some stupendous stories.... At 400+ pages, there's plenty here for everyone. There is, however, one absolute knock-out story in this that is among the most exciting pieces of fiction I've read in years:
Paul Di Filippo's incredible 'Wikiworld,' a vividly imagined, funny and weird story about a world run on gifts, wikis, rough consensus and running code.
Anders and Di Filippo have put the story online, so you can get an idea of what's in store for you with this excellent volume."

—Cory Doctorow for

"I definitely recommend having a look. In fact, at the moment I would
suggest that anything Pyr puts out is worth a look at,
presuming you like fantasy as well, of course."

—Not Free SF Reader

"…will be an interesting anthology series to watch. It is an ambitious project with a savvy, tasteful editor and could easily become the bedrock publication for Pyr."
—Some Fantastic

"…so good that I suggest Pyr wait a year and republish it with the title Best Science Fiction of 2007. This is an important book that can move science fiction one step closer to the 'literature' shelf, if it so desires....Anders has coaxed such incredible goodness out of these writers that if you only read one or two stories a month, it's better than a year's subscription to most of the genre magazines out there...With a deep bench of talent and a perfectly paced setlist, Lou Anders has made made a book that truly represents its own theme. Fast Forward has the potential to be the future of short-form science fiction."

"More than a score of stories by favorite writers like Justina Robson, Kage Baker and Gene Wolfe. Oh, and don't start on the lovely Rudy-Ruckerian 'WikiWorld' by Paul Di Filippo unless you want to have your head spin several times to giggles and joy."
—San Diego Union-Tribune

"The solid, straightforward storytelling of the 19 stories and two poems that Anders (Futureshocks) gathers for this first in a projected series of all-original SF anthologies speculates on people's efforts to 'make sense of a changing world.' The contributors don't necessarily assume that humans will find it easy or even possible to cope with all the changes around and within them - but they'll try, which is just part of SF's continuing dialogue about the future. The collection's strongest pieces include Robert Charles Wilson's character study of an almost-artist in search of a muse ("YFL-500"), Mary A. Turzillo's dissection of love ("Pride"), Paul Di Filippo's witty extrapolation of electronic consumerism and democracy gone berserk ("Wikiworld") and Ken MacLeod's understated, moving report on the Second Coming ("Jesus Christ, Reanimator"). All the selections in this outstanding volume prompt thoughtful speculation about what kind of tomorrow we're heading toward and what we'll do when we get there."
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Sf anthologies generally trace their roots back to the classic Amazing Stories magazine series, which began in 1926. Having edited a number of sf collections, Anders understands this historical context; his introduction to his fifth anthology is an invitation to the young acolyte reader as well as the grizzled veteran to sit back and enjoy the 'amazing' enlightenment possible in reading sf shorts. The names on the list of contributing authors read much like an all-star roster of current American and British sf writers. From stories by Tony Ballantyne about software and David Hume to the problems associated with raising genetically cloned saber-toothed cats in Mary Turzillo's story 'Pride,' the writers tackle moral, ethical, and philosophical issues. Anders is your guide, and the limits of your imagination determine the level of enjoyment and amount of wisdom to be garnered from this anthology. Recommended for both public and school libraries."
—Library Journal

"Fast Forward 1's been making some noise lately; it marks an attempt to embark on a new hard SF original fiction ongoing anthology, in the tradition of Frederick Pohl's Star SF, and Damon Knight's Orbit. Probably half the stories here would be fitting entries in a 'Year's Best' anthology."
—Ain't It Cool

"Fast Forward 1 marks the beginning of a bold, new, annual science fiction anthology series; bold because it is often said that the number of anthology offerings is already high, yet here it is. This first volume does indeed have some great contenders to add to the sf field, blasting the series off with a promising start. Take that, crowded anthology field! 3 ½ out of 4 stars."

"BookPage Notable Title....One person who has almost single-handedly reignited and redirected the course of the genre is Pyr Editorial Director Lou Anders. In his newest anthology... - a collection of never-before-published stories about humanity's future - he lays down the law in the collection's introduction regarding the mission of science fiction....The 21 stories included in Fast Forward 1 are truly visionary science fiction, harkening back to the days of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein....all are noteworthy in their own right, a rare feat for any anthology. Diverse, entertaining and thought-provoking, this collection offers a wildly imaginative view of what the future might hold.
—BookLetters (from BookPage)

"Like his inspiration sources, Fast Forward 1 is full of cutting edge works by authors who are having a major impact on science fiction today....This collection has a bit of something for everyone. Anders has gathered a truly outstanding set of science fiction, all with images and worlds that are new, different and exciting. It is safe to say that Fast Forward 1, hopefully the first in several such books,
is a worthy successor to the Knight and Pohl series and a book every
science fiction fan will want in their collection."


"Some of my favourite writers are here...along with many other excellent authors. The idea behind Fast Forward is to present a variety of science fiction stories, without imposing a theme. Every story in the book was enjoyable, while a few of them were outstanding....this one is excellent. I look forward to more Fast Forward anthologies." —

"Fast Forward 1 has more than enough original and exciting new stories to make it important reading and worthy of more than a couple more editions to follow."

"From the 1940s through the early 1980s, the anthology of original short stories served as the backbone of the science-fiction field....Fresh ideas and new writers often emerged from these books, which were sold in bookstores and therefore able to reach mass audiences. Recently several new series...have premiered to revive the formerly moribund format. With Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction From the Cutting Edge, acclaimed editor Lou Anders joins the fray. Behind the dazzling John Picacio cover, Fast Forward opens strongly.... "Jesus Christ, Reanimator" by Ken MacLeod, possibly the best short-story title of the decade, posits the inherent conflicts in the Second Coming. In his introduction, Anders states that his goal is to emulate previous groundbreaking science-fiction-anthology series....If successive volumes equal the quality of this excellent debut, Fast Forward will go a long way in achieving Anders' hope and might even inspire a new generation."
—Austin Chronicle

"Most everything is superb here....Anders has done an exemplary job of putting together first rate anthology."
—Green Man Review

"[E]xcellent. I look forward to more Fast Forward anthologies."
—Chronological Dissonance blog

"Lou Anders has edited a couple of first-rate anthologies over the past few years, and with this book he initiates what one hopes will be a series of original anthologies. I enjoyed Fast Forward 1, and I certainly hope it continues for years....First rate work ... well worth reading ... on balance a pretty fine anthology."
—Rich Horton in Locus

"[D]efinitely promising: many first-rate contributors, some striking individual stories....many SF readers will enjoy Fast Forward 1 cover to cover."
—Nick Gevers in Locus

"With Fast Forward 1, Anders has brought together some of the most visionary voices in the genre to postulate on our future, to entertain us with their visions of where our world will be in the proverbial subsequent frames. The
writers are of a varied enough sampling to give something of a state of the genre status, and with the quality of the stories, this state of the genre is good. One of the best things about this anthology is the '1' following Fast Forward, which like the stories contained between the covers, points to something readers of the genre can anticipate every year."


"Presented with a nod towards the old, 'classic' sci-fi anthologies, Anders has assembled a collection of 21 fresh, forward looking views into our future. Some, like Paolo Bacigalupi's 'Small Offerings' are as frankly disturbing as they are thought provoking....Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress team up in 'Solomon's Choice' a stunning collaborative effort where one man must decide what or if the future will hold anything for a branch of humanity's offshoots....Inventive and thought provoking, with solid storylines and imaginative twists, this excellent new sci-fi collection delivers." —

"Lou Anders has a very ambitious goal – to start a new anthology series in the tradition of past landmarks like Damon Knight's Orbit and Frederik Pohl's Star SF. I have not read those series, but it's safe to say that Anders is on the right track with Fast Forward 1.... Anders speaks to science fiction's ability to show us something new, to make us think. He goes on to remind us that so many important people behind advances in our society don't just stand on the shoulders of previous scientists and engineers, but also on the inspiration provided by early science fiction writers. Science fiction is critical thought, it is skepticism, and it is rationalism....Short stories are always difficult for me to review, and collections even more so....Fast Forward 1 is better than most – 7.5 / 10."
—Neth Space blog

"There are two things I need to mention up front: one, I generally read anthologies from front cover to back, and two, I never like every story I come across. Thus, I was surprised when I found myself pleasantly enjoying story after story in Fast Forward 1...a great anthology, filled with numerous and diverse stories...bound to please any fan of science fiction."

"We're living through the Golden Age of the science fiction short story and Lou Anders' Fast Forward 1 is as good a survey of the latest, greatest and best as you could hope to find. Science fiction is not just about the future, it's about passion, about vision, about imagining tomorrow so we better understand today. Fast Forward 1 is a book that meets that challenge, and firmly establishes Anders as one of the brightest and best of the new generation of editors working in science fiction. We're lucky to have him, and to have this book, and I, for one, can't wait to see Fast Forward 2. Fast Forward 1 is a definite contender for best anthology of the year."
—Jonathan Strahan, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year

"Lou Anders is an accomplished anthologist, adept at choosing themes likely to encourage originality of concept from his writers."
—Nick Gevers, Locus

"Lou Anders is establishing a reputation as one of the most interesting editors of original anthologies."
—Rich Horton, Locus

"Such a bargain! Yes, this is yet another New-Science-Fiction-by-Sort-of-New-Writers anthology series, and yes, we can pile these up and use them as one of those new-fangled orbital elevators that will be the de rigueur cool tech for SF novels for the next umpty-ump months....There are a lot of the unusual suspects here, you know, must-buy, to-die-for names – including, but not limited to, Justina Robson, Elizabeth Bear, Tony Ballantyne, Robert Charles Wilson, Ken Macleod and Ian McDonald – but also some real you'd-never-expect 'em gems like Robyn Hitchock, everybody's favorite really weird musician."
—The Agony Column