I will give each story a rating (out of four stars) and offer my thoughts on what did and/or did not work.
1. Jeff Carlson, "A Lovely Little Christmas Fire" (pg. 10-22) ** 1/2
Read 12 Dec. 2009. This is a good, serviceable story with a dash of humour and a sprinkle of hardboiled-detective attitude. The point of view of the main character, Julie Beauchain, feels a bit artificial at times: the narrative is too pointed in ensuring that the reader knows she's black and a woman and hot for her man/partner Highsong. Yet the bringing together of current corporate capitalist greed and US defense/military R&D initiatives in genetically engineered and augmented termites allowed to run amok makes for an intriguingly plausible dystopian America. Tightly paced and plotted; entertaining; engaging main character. For me, though, it ultimately lacks a multilayered substance in its meaning(s), and the writing at times is awkward or a little forced (e.g., "If she was worth her weight, she would've jumped Highsong or at least smooched a bit ..." [p. 18]).
2. Sarah Genge, "As Women Fight"
3. John Shirley, "Animus Rights"
4. Nick Wolven, "Angie's Errand"
5. Jim Aikin, "Leaving the Station"
6. Benjamin Crowell, "A Large Bucket, and Accidental Godlike Mastery of Spacetime"
7. Mike Resnick, "The Bride of Frankenstein"
8. Brian Stableford, "Some Like it Hot"