At its best, science fiction presents us not just with a vision of the future, but with more understanding of ourselves and how to get to that future. It presents us with ways to think about relationships and people. And this time, it's about the shapes of relationships.
In these eight stories, we run the gamut. Whether a shipboard fantasy about a captain that turns into more or the new fiancé meeting the former spouse, people remain people, with loves and confusion.
Sometimes the love lies very close to jealousy and hatred, as in "Bodies!" Sometimes, it grows out of an unpleasant necessity, such as "Similar Species" and "Expectations." Occasionally, it is the mother of creativity and invention, as in "Tether," or just food for a species that feeds on emotions, from "A Very Emotional Scene." And sometimes, it can leave people wondering if it was real or not, as it does in "Wide Awake."
Love and sex are two very powerful drives and in these futures, they propel us far beyond our own world.