Luminous by Greg Egan is a truly superb collection of sci-fi short stories. Egan confines himself to hard science, and doesn't shy away from giving technical details to his readers. Within that constraint of physics, he is a wellspring of ideas. As Janos said, other writers with such good ideas would make a whole book of them, with Egan they become a short story.

I've also been reading The Biographer's Tale. I remember enjoying Possession and so thought that another A.S. Byatt would be good. The Tale is a rather literary book, about literary people. I kept thinking the protagonist was a woman, even though he was actually a man.

I'm writing to you from France. Stay tuned for a picture story of sludge being excavated!

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