The 1980 Annual World's Best SF Author:Donald A. Wollheim (Editor) BOOK CLUB EDITION — This year, Donald A. Wollheim has chosen 11 outstanding stories for his annual anthology of the best short science fiction - visions of the future... visions of Utopia... visions of ordinary human beings in extraordinary situations. For example: — "Options" by John Varley. Cleo was a very happy woman. She lover her husband, ... more »her children, her job. She had no complaints about being female, no sexual dissatisfactions - yet the Sunday Supplement article on sex changing started her thinking.
The idea had never interested her before, and she know that her husband was against it. But one afternoon, while wandering through the city's medical district, Cleo stepped into the New Heredity Body Salon on impulse.
The handsome young consultant was most helpful. He stood her in front of a computerized full-length mirror for a simple demonstration of what could be accomplished. And Cleo liked what she saw. She could always revert later, after all - the Change didn't have to be permanent - and there were so many intriguing possibilities...
"The Thaw" by Tanith Lee. Carla Brice meant nothing to her descendant Tacey. But Carla was one of 70 people who, back in 1993, had been victims of terminal diseases, and had opted to undergo cryogenic suspension.
Now, some 200 years later, smack in the middle of the future those people had expected so much from, Carla was going to be defrosted - and the institute had asked Tacey to help her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother to adjuct.
Tacey wasn't keen on the idea at first, but the situation seemed harmless enough...a good deal all around, Tacey thought.
But she was mistaken.
"The Thirteenth Utopia" by Somtow Sucharitkul. The Inquestor was proud of his record; he was truly a master iconoclast, a purger of planets, a transformer of societies. "Every Utopia has its flaw" was his motto, and he had proved it repeatedly throughout his career...intended to prove it again on the planet Shtoma.
First he would impress the inhabitants with the Lie - that their world was being considered for the honor of being named a human sanctuary. Then he would begin his search for their "ideal" society's fatal flaw.
But the Inquestor was in for a surprise, because there was one tiny fact of life on Shtoma he knew nothing about. Well, actually, it wasn't a tiny fact at all...
Also included - stories by George R. R. Martin, Larry Niven and Steve Barnes, Ted Reynolds, Orson Scott Card, Richard Wilson, Connie Wills, Richard Cowper, and Joanna Russ.« less