As the title indicates, I’m trying to identify a science fiction short story “year’s best” type of collection from either the 1980s or early to mid-1990s based on my rather hazy recollections of two of the stories.

The first story takes place on a flat Earth, where a group of teenagers climb over the edge of the Earth in order, with the ostensible goal of getting wishes granted - which they do, just not in the way they expected.

The second story has to do with an Earth leading up to the apocalypse, where the laws of physics have started to break down. One danger people encounter is death by “gravity hammer”, where the force of gravity will suddenly increase instantly and exponentially in random locations, killing anyone who happens to be standing there.

1 Answer 1


The first story sounds like "The Edge of the World" by Michael Swanwick, previously identified as the answer to this question and this one. Quoting from the description in Daphne B's question:

In this story, three kids are going through a wild area, I believe mountainous, in order to find a thing/being that grants wishes. There are two boys and a girl. The older boy is depressed and upset, and doesn't say what his wish would be. The girl says she wants to know what is going on at all times, what is really happening, or something like that. The younger boy seems slightly immature or less intelligent and says he just wants to be happy.

The anthology might be The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventh Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois. If it's not that one, this ISFDB page lists other compilations containing "The Edge of the World".

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