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Oak
September 22nd, 2011, 08:39 PM
I'd like to identify this anthology, OR the names/authors of any of these three stories. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

I'm not 100% sure all three of these were collected in the same volume, but I think the were.

This volume was published in paperback some time before mid-1987. It could have been several years earlier.

From memory (of rather questionable accuracy):

Story No. 1. This is a longish story, probably a novella or novelette. It focuses on a single family, but it is about an event occurring worldwide. Adult human males start becoming super-aggressive and angry at their females (and maybe at their children), and gradually kill them off, believing they are fully justified in doing so for some perceived bad thing the other family members did. It may be that "angels" are also suggesting to them that they kill their families. The mother of the family on which the story is focused escapes to some isolated place, maybe in South America. It turns out aliens have been releasing a pheromone that causes the aggression. The story ends as the woman watches one of the angels/aliens looking over the landscape, much as a real estate agent might admire some prime real estate. I think the last sentence of the story is even something like, 'it looked like a real estate agent.' [ETA - Triptee story -- see below.]

Story No. 2. There is a group of humans (maybe 40 or 50 or more) on an interstellar space ship. They have no idea why they are on it or how they got there -- a situation that causes some distress to them. Nobody can explain anything to them. It might be that they do not even know they are on a space ship. I don't recall if they were all the same age. Ever since they were infants, once every year (maybe more frequently) a certain boy -- whom they never see except during this brief period each year -- comes out of a chamber, where he is kept in suspended animation the rest of the time, and visits among them for a brief period. Except for the boy, the people grow up, interact, mate, argue, and fight with each other, and grow old, and eventually die. The boy, who is also growing up but at a much slower pace, comes out periodically (in some automated manner over which he also has no control and no understanding), and observes this behavior. It turns out the boy is being groomed to be the leader of a colony of humans once the ship arrives at its destination planet where a new civilization will be started. The humans who will settle the planet have all (if I recall correctly) been kept in suspended animation, and the humans who have been living their lives on the space ship -- who all die off before actual arrival -- were there only for the purpose of educating the future leader about human behavior.

No. 3. Some horribly mutated or deformed, and lonely, adult female human or half-human is stationed on a dark, isolated outpost planet -- perhaps a way station of some kind -- as a caretaker of some sort. A man arrives at the planet to check on things, or to pick up supplies, or something. Somehow the female captures the man and forces him to sleep with her. And maybe she kills him, but I can't remember it well enough.

Thanks!

ETA: The first one story is The Screwfly Solution, by Racoona Sheldon, who was better known as James Tiptree, Jr., and whose real name was Alice Sheldon. The Screwfly Solution was winner of the 1978 Nebula Award for best novelette. Wikipedia has a nice synopsis of this story.

Zeratul
September 23rd, 2011, 07:11 PM
Unfortunately I recognise only the Tiptree story, which you have already have figured out.

But this link might be helpful - http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?189597

All of the anthologies in which The Screwfly Solution has appeared are listed, with their publication dates.

Oak
September 24th, 2011, 04:31 PM
Thanks, I can tell that will be helpful. I clicked on a couple of the volumes listed and looked at the contents. None of the story titles, or authors, were ones I recognized as obviously the two other stories, but I will look some more when I have time (and maybe look for some of these volumes at the local library). Thanks again.