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Around two years ago I purchased a relatively new Sci-Fi anthology (it would have been published in 2016 or 2017,) and then lost the copy. I forgot the title, but I remember a couple of the stories since I had already started reading it. Even if I can't find the whole anthology, the titles of the individual stories would still be great.

  • One story was about some sort of detective/secret agent trying to track down people who use a drug to travel to alternate realities, which is dangerous because it starts messing with the fabric of reality and different realties start to bleed into each other, eventually creating dangerous vortexes, that cause physical harm and damage. If I recall correctly, the drug was called S.

  • Another story involved a near future high school (or maybe it was college) girl who goes from being very successful to getting into trouble and being institutionalized though a series of unfortunate events. First she has to deal with a rival bullying class mate, and her misfortune increases until she accidentally touches or embraces her school counselor, only to get accused of inappropriate contact and possible harassment. The story centers around the fact that everybody has a social score which goes from green (very competent and popular) to red (incompetent and sociopathic,) and the girl starts out being green (she shares that she got the high green rating only by accident when she was younger) and then slides down the ratings until she gets to red.

Can anybody identify the stories or the whole anthology?

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    The Infinite Assassin (1991): The protagonist is a man employed because his self tends to remain consistent across infinite realities in a worlds where a drug called S allows access to these parallel worlds. His job is to track down the few people who do not just dream their alternate lives but drag the rest of us in there with them. – Valorum Aug 1 at 19:30
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    Most recently The Infinite Assassin has been collected in Greg Egan's own anthology "Axiomatic" and "The Mammoth Book of Sci Fi 2002" – Valorum Aug 1 at 19:32
  • Note that Axiomatic was reprinted in 2014. – DavidW Aug 1 at 20:20
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    @Valorum Axiomatic is a collection of Greg Egan stories. It's not an anthology. An anthology is a compilation of different works by different authors. When the works are all by the same author is a collection. Lots of people fail to recognize the distinction. It gives something for grumpy souls like myself to grumble about. You're welcome. – a4android Aug 2 at 2:42
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    Since you've identified the second story yourself, you should add it as an answer, not as an edit to the question – Valorum Sep 4 at 7:32
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The first story is The Infinite Assassin (1991) by Greg Egan.

The protagonist is a man employed because his self tends to remain consistent across infinite realities in a worlds where a drug called S allows access to these parallel worlds. His job is to track down the few people who do not just dream their alternate lives but drag the rest of us in there with them.

Review

Most recently The Infinite Assassin has been collected in Greg Egan's own anthology "Axiomatic".

The second story doesn't appear in any work I can find that contains this first story.

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Since it was deleted out of the question, the querent clarified:

I've located the second story - it is called "Confessions of a Con Girl" by Nick Wolven - from The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Twelve. (ed Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2018).

It's available to read on asimovs.com.

And, as Valorum noted in their answer, the first story is "The Infinite Assassin" (1991) by Greg Egan, with the most common collection it's found in being Axiomatic, although The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction by be readily confused with the aforementioned The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Twelve.

  • I felt it was only fair to allow OP to self-answer... – Valorum Sep 4 at 17:16
  • @Valorum: I forgot to add my usual disclaimer that they were free to grab some or all of it, but since all references are in comments (and even there not by name), I thought it was best to enshrine it in an answer. – FuzzyBoots Sep 4 at 17:40
  • So throat clear Alex Kinman, feel free to poach any or all of my answer for your own. As noted in my reply to Valorum, I wanted to be sure this wasn't lost. – FuzzyBoots Sep 4 at 17:41

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