I could not put down a story last night before bed. I’ve been taking this anthology slowly: The Hard SF Renaissance (reviewed here). It’s been a long time since I bothered with fiction outside the novels, but I’ve been missing a lot.
Anyway, the story was “Into The Miranda Rift” by G. David Nordley, an author with whom I was unfamiliar. The tale is sort of a “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” but it takes place on the low-gravity moon Miranda (Uranus, not Saturn). My wife would appreciate the love story between the narrator (a writer for a National Geographic-like magazine) and the spelunking expert brought on the trip. The characterization in this story as well as most of the others is superb. Makes me think I need to start going to some writer’s workshops if I’m going to get serious about writing in this vein.
The other two standout stories so far are Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Arthur Sternbach Brings The Curveball to Mars” and Joe Haldeman’s “For White Hill.”
I’d recommend the anthology to anyone with the vaguest interest in SF.