The Best of Elizabeth Bear by Elizabeth Bear

“A collection with 27 excellent stories showcasing the talent of one of the genre’s most versatile writers. ‘Covenant,’ for example, is a suspenseful story about a serial killer who becomes a victim. The science fiction twist is that he undergoes a voluntary procedure called ‘rightminding,’ which rewires his brain to reduce his psychopathic tendencies. He also becomes a woman in the process—and thus the target of another psychopath. Because the memories of her time as a serial killer remain, she can speculate on what her male abductor might do next, making for a tense story. ‘In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns’ reads like a police procedural locked-room murder mystery in which the victim’s corpse appears to have been turned inside out. But other components in the story elevate it above standard fare, such as the investigator’s tense relationship with her VR-addicted mother, an engineered cat who might be a witness to the crime, a company developing fourth-dimension technology, and the strange behavior of a star in the Andromeda system. Asimovian robots—albeit racier ones than any Asimov ever created—are featured in ‘Dolly,’ a mystery in which a sex robot has been used to kill her owner. Is she the murder weapon or the murderer? Ethical issues are raised in this engaging story, one of the many to be found in this must-have collection” — Kirkus