By the time I reached the Anatomy Library all the bones had been checked out. At every table, students bent over yawning boxes, assembling feet and arms, scribbling in notebooks, muttering Latin names. Half the chairs were occupied by slouching skeletons, and skulls littered the floor like driftwood. --"The Anatomy Lesson"
For weeks before the mayor put on her startling exhibition, the townspeople had trouble sleeping. At dawn on those restless mornings, when garbage trucks began their growling rounds, damp heads were still flopping on pillows like beached fish, and hands were still plucking at sweaty sheets. --"Ascension"
Keeva heard the eerie whistling and felt the air tingle with their approach moments before she actually spied them. In a straggly V they climbed above the horizon of Aton-17, carving the sky, their wings blazing white as they banked over the ocean. Waves of energy rippled before them, like the advance of a storm. --"The Audubon Effect"
On the morning of his thirteenth birthday, Hoagy Mumford woke to find an eros couch installed in his bedroom. The screen was small, the range of stimulation meager. But the Freud--as his mother called it--or the Orgasm Express--as his friends called it--was versatile enough for a beginner. --"Eros Passage"
On all that forsaken planet, nothing moved but the searchers. Their boat glided through the swampy forest, slipping over mats of water plants, around hummocks smothered in ferns, beneath the arching roots of songtrees. Vines looped from branch to branch, gnarled ropes of lavender, like crude streamers left from a party. Far overhead the canopy of purple leaves formed a lacework roof, admitting needles of daylight. The glassy still water divided at the prow of the boat, gathered at the stern, and in a moment turned again to glass. --"The Land Where Songtrees Grow"
The two brothers landed by parachute on a spongy red turf they would call grass, in a field encircled by thick somber growths they would call trees. They staggered a few paces, drew in the lines of their chutes, and flattened the billowy fabric. Each one checked to see that the other was all right before giving a thumbs-up to the hovering shuttle. The shuttle dropped their pallet of gear, waggled its wings, then swept back up to the warpship in orbit, leaving Graham and Carl alone on Amazon-7. --"Travels in the Interior"
The shamans are dancing, their beads clicking and feathers swaying to a music I cannot hear. I can scarcely hear myself think, they are making such a hullabaloo. Weaving a circle around my console, they laugh, gibber, stamp their feet on the deck, and shout in a babble of languages. A few have been drinking their private brew since we parked in orbit, but most appear to be giddy from the dance itself. How am I supposed to navigate in the midst of this pandemonium? --"Dancing in Dreamtime"
"Although the stories in Scott Russell Sanders's new collection...often portray futuristic worlds, they always hold a mirror to our contemporary society in a way that allows us to see ourselves and our present time more clearly. Wildly imaginative and haunting, these stories are the stuff of dreams, yes, but they also have much to show us about who we are in the here and now." --Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever: A Novel
"Human innovation and destructon are at the center of all these tales, which leave reality in order to return readers to this planet we've ravaged, more awake to ecological catastrophe, and our earth and its people who are ravenous and yearning and not-yet ruined. These fictions both delight and warn." --Erin Stalcup, author of And yet It Moves
"Sanders is the Alice Munro of science fiction, and these quiet, lyrical stories covering his career in the genre offer all the necesssary proof. Highly recommended." --Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge