Here is a superb collection of short science-fiction tales by this genre's contemporary, and emerging, masters.Alien communications are deciphered as Earth is destroyed in "Last Contact" by Stephen Baxter.
A girl auto-asphyxiates to communicate with another world in Elizabeth Bear's "The Something Dreaming Game".
A robot aids a boy's search for a better life in "Far As You Can Go" by Greg van Eekhout.
A girl lives in the shadow of her super-hero grandmother in Carol Emshwiller's "Grandma".
A sheepherder discovers a spaceship wreck in "Lambing Season" by Molly Gloss.
The bright and the blind intersect in Joe Haldeman's Hugo award-winning story, "None So Blind".
A boy hires an assassin to save his sister in "Kin" by Bruce McAllister.
Genetic engineering reaches its ultimate climax in Paul J. McAuley's "Gene Wars".
And future wars require great sacrifices in "Bright Red Star" by Bud Sparhawk.