Ebb Tides and Other Tales

Mary Soon Lee's second collection, "Ebb Tides and Other Tales," is published by Dark Regions Press. It contains twenty science fiction stories, including "Lifework," which appeared in The Year's Best SF #5; "The Day Before They Came," which was in The Year's Best SF #4; and four new stories.

The cover art for the book, shown to the left, is "Merglenn's Robotics" by AB Word, Copyright 2002.

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Jack McDevitt "Mary Soon Lee gives us a powerful collection of tales about technology, usually gone awry, occasionally --with amusing results-- gone sideways. These are stories about the clash between advanced processes and our best instincts. She leaves us with the conviction that our basic decency will hang on. If only by its fingertips."
Geoffrey A. Landis "Welcome to Mary Soon Lee's world, where the houseplants gossip, your blender can fall in love, and aliens speak in perfect Swahili. Mary writes science fiction in the soft tradition, focused on human emotions and the conflicts of people forced to deal with a world that is not the one they would choose to live in: stories, that is, about real human beings."
E.J. McClure, SFRevu, October 2002 "Lee has clearly mastered the art of the short story. Some of these tales are only a few pages long, but all have a crystal-clear central concept, robust characters, effortlessly natural dialogue, and a clever twist or hook at the end. So go ahead; open Pandora's box! Me, I'm looking for her earlier anthology, Winter Shadows and Other Tales, and eagerly awaiting her next collection." ( Read the complete review from SFRevu.)
Don D'Ammassa, Chronicle, December 2002 "Mary Soon Lee has been very quietly building a substantial body of very good short fiction, with appearances everywhere from Interzone to Fantasy & Science Fiction to Pirate Writings. This is the second collection of her work to appear, both from small presses, and is an even better selection than the first. There are twenty stories here, four of them original to the book, ranging in quality from quietly enjoyable to quite rewarding, particularly "The Day Before They Came," "Luna Incognita," "Assembly Line," and the title story. Her stories are more about the people in them than the science or other fantastic element that invades their lives, and their reactions are therefore more believable and more interesting, and occasionally also quite funny. She has yet to produce a novel or a story so remarkable that it instantly makes her reputation, but the quality of the tales here promises that she's approaching that point very quickly." (From Critical Mass, Chronicle #231, December 2002; this review appears by kind permission of Don D'Ammassa.)
Jim Lee, Scavenger's Newsletter, January 2003 "Yes, it's another gorgeous single author collection from Dark Regions -- and yet another opportunity for me to sing the praises of one of the finest writers around, Mary Soon Lee. This time you get 20 previously uncollected SF stories.... another outstanding effort from this immensely skilled writer." (Excerpt from The Skeptic Tank #93, Scavenger's Newsletter #227, January 2003. Click here to read the full review.)
Chris Markwyn, Tangent Online "Her prose is subtle and precise, and her ability to create rounded characters within the limits of the short story is impressive.... There is a humane conservatism, an awareness of limits, in her fiction that gently deflates the often pretentious follies of transcendence that are littered throughout science fiction. I can only hope that this book will serve to bring this talented writer a wider audience." (The complete review is available at Tangent Online.)
James Michael White, SFReader "Ebb Tides is a collection of twenty short stories by Mary Soon Lee who explores the sociological side of science fiction ... there are hints of Philip K. Dick trickery and Harlan Ellison like fun that are both moving and entertaining." ( Read the complete review from SFReader.)

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Ebb Tide When a new law means that her daughter must be 'upgraded' to a robot, Emma flees to England - Received an Honorable Mention in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror #9.
Luna Classifieds A classifieds column on the Moon.
Silent in the Cities A girl comes of age without ever having met another human.
The Day Before They Came A vignette about a mother preparing for her child's birthday - Included in "The Year's Best SF #4," edited by David Hartwell; short-listed for the British Science Fiction Association awards; and received an Honorable Mention in the Year's Best Science Fiction #16.
Universal Grammar What does a xenolinguist do when the aliens won't speak to her? - A finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and given an Honorable Mention in the Year's Best Science Fiction #15.
Ex Terra, Ex Astris A sequel to 'Universal Grammar': should humanity sign a contract with the secretive aliens?
The Language Trade First time in print - A sequel to 'Ex Terra, Ex Astris': finally the aliens are offering advanced technology, but is it worth the cost?
To the Maxi-Blender 3000, Serial Number 1-498-86 A robot in love.
One Small Step A former radio-astronomer yearns to be part of the team headed to the Moon.
Murder Absolute In a world where murder is legalized, one killer breaks the rules.
1-800-Clone-Me A phone call to a cloning service.
Holly First time in print - Breaking the social taboos, Gillian decides to raise her own child.
Assembly Line Anomalies on the robot assembly line threaten Marianne's job.
Plant Life First time in print - The plants are talking, and someone's out to get them.
PauseTime How convenient it would be to temporarily 'pause' your children? Maybe too convenient.... - Included in Locus's Recommended Short Stories list for 2000, and received an Honorable Mention in the Year's Best Science Fiction #18.
Tranquility A lonely woman is tempted by mood-altering pills.
How the Witnesses Hooked Me First time in print - David's father has aliens as lodgers.
Interior Landscape Richard Thorpe orders an experimental procedure that gives him a limited form of telepathy with his wife.
Luna Incognita A young alien struggles not to let his race down when he arrives at university on the Moon.
Lifework Despite mandatory psychiatric counseling, Kyoko refuses to divorce her husband - Included in "The Year's Best SF #5," edited by David Hartwell, and included in Locus's Recommended Short Stories list for 1999.

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