In Jack Campbell’s New York Times bestselling Lost Fleet series, Campbell’s hero Captain Black Jack Geary explores the furthest reaches of space. Here, Campbell explores what kinds of problems mankind might face as our horizons expand. The third in a series of collections of Campbell’s short stories includes some of Campbell’s favorite stories, and some of his earliest. A brand new author’s note accompanies each story.
“Lady Be Good” is one of Campbell’s most popular stories, winner of Analog Magazine’s “AnLab” reader poll for Best Short Story and cited in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best SF. The Lady Be Good is an old ship, running obscure routes, not all on the right side of the law, with her loyal first officer Kilcannon and reclusive captain. When Kilcannon decides to rescue the survivors of an attack on a Vestral Company ship, a mysterious new passenger thanks him by asking difficult questions about the Lady, with unexpected answers.
In “Kyrie Eleison,” the Verio shipwrecked centuries ago on an out-of-the-way planet, and the descendants of the ship’s survivors have gotten along as well as they can by following the orders that were passed on to them. But those orders weren’t intended to govern life on the planet’s surface, and when the Bellegrange arrives on a rescue mission, her captain will have to reckon with the unexpected social order on the planet.
In “Do No Harm”, a ship is so technologically advanced that it can repair itself--but turning over the keys might not be the best idea. And in “Down the Rabbit Hole,” a series of failed attempts at faster-than-light travel lead to a novel approach: sending an untested Naval captain out in a space ship to see if he can figure out what’s gone wrong.
With eleven stories in all, Ad Astra is the most multi-faceted introduction to the short fiction of Jack Campbell, and an essential complement to his bestselling book-length work.