Wow. I bought this book because Ted Chiang mentioned it as an inspiration in an interview. I can certainly see where Chiang got some of his style. This is an amazing book, especially the titular story. Bryant draws beautiful characters who are intimately concerned with pursuing meaning in their own lives, irregardless of the science fiction premise in which they are places. His stories succeed because they are science fiction stories about people. The science seems sound and never forced.
The final story is a poem brilliantly contrasting the lifespan of a human with the infinite expansion and contraction of the universe.
A lovely collection. It's a crime this isn't currently in print.