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Year's Best SF 14 (Year's Best SF Series) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061721743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061721748
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David G. Hartwell is a senior editor of Tor/Forge Books. His doctorate is in Comparative Medieval Literature. He is the proprietor of Dragon Press, publisher and bookseller, which publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction, and the president of David G. Hartwell, Inc. He is the author of Age of Wonders and the editor of many anthologies, including The Dark Descent, The World Treasury of Science Fiction, The Hard SF Renaissance, The Space Opera Renaissance, and a number of Christmas anthologies, among others. Recently he co-edited his fifteenth annual paperback volume of Year's Best SF, and co-edited the ninth Year's Best Fantasy. John Updike, reviewing The World Treasury of Science Fiction in The New Yorker, characterized him as a "loving expert." He is on the board of the IAFA, is co-chairman of the board of the World Fantasy Convention, and an administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. He has won the Eaton Award, the World Fantasy Award, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award forty times to date, winning as Best Editor in 2006, 2008, and 2009.



Kathryn Cramer is a writer, critic, and anthologist, and was coeditor of the Year's Best Fantasy and Year's Best SF series. A consulting editor at Tor Books, she won a World Fantasy Award for her anthology The Architecture of Fear.


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By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read and enjoyed each of the 21 stories in David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's collection from 2008 science fiction stories. The introductions were just the right mix of author bios and pointers to other works. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of web addresses for most authors so I could find out more about them immediately after enjoying one of their stories.

My favorite six stories all had a strong character focus, using future settings and new technologies as background to the concerns of interesting people.

Carolyn Ives Gilman's "Arkfall" is a planetary romance that follows the developing relationships between crewmembers of a living submarine as it drifts through unmapped territory under an alien ocean.

Kathleen Ann Gooman's "Memory Dog" shows how the right dog can be a woman's best friend--and her best link to the past and future.

Alastair Reynolds' "Fury" reminds us that our oldest, darkest debts are sometimes paid by those we hold close.

Jeff VanderMeer's "Fixing Hannover" shows a castaway engineer's value to those who pull him from the sea--and those who come to take him home.

Mary Rickert's "Traitor" and Sue Burke's "Spiders" are each enjoyable on their own, but more so as a contrasting pair. Taking a darker and lighter view, respectively, they illustrate how a child, awash in too much information from the world, can muster the wisdom to focus on what is important. We wonder what becomes of them.

I offer my gratitude for the Kindle version that allowed me to read these stories unobtrusively during a series of boring monologues by the senior executives in my agency. Their collective misunderstanding of the smile on my face during their orations is certain to benefit my career. This collection is worth your time in similar or better circumstances.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 Mar. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first kindle purchase of a book to read for fun. Bad news first. I was disappointed by the following:

1. No index/navigation aid? Really? The only way to see what the stories are like is to shift your way through the whole damn book page by page or rely on shared bookmarks (which skip over sections and stories). This is very poor layout/thinking behind the kindle edition. it would not take a huge effort to fix this, and it should have been done, especially since the kindle edition at present costs more than the paperback.

2. leaving aside the details of the kindle technical issues, the quality of the stories is a bit bleah one of the reviewers on the paperback I think hit the nail on the head when he said that at the risk of sounding misogynist, he thought the stories were a bit bleah because almost half the authors were women and as we know, most SF readers and writers are slightly OCD geeky engineer types, and we don't really want to read about all the mushy feelings and characterisations. We don't give a crap. Give us a stick man with a REALLY COOL hard science on the hyper-luminal drives of the spaceship and we're happy. Several of the stories are quite descriptive and character-filled. Let me put it this way. Same story could have been written in half the space and lost none of the good points. Unless you enjoy two pages of descriptive stuff to describe the changing of seasons and moods (a la Anne Rice) then this is tedious. I prefer Pete Dexter's way of describing change of season. "It was winter."

3. Apart from that, the stories that were NOT over-long and over-descriptive and over-touchy-feely, were also nothing to write home about.

The Good parts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Stories, Helpful Introductions 1 Nov. 2009
By John M. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read and enjoyed each of the 21 stories in David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's collection from 2008 science fiction stories. The introductions were just the right mix of author bios and pointers to other works. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of web addresses for most authors so I could find out more about them immediately after enjoying one of their stories.

My favorite six stories all had a strong character focus, using future settings and new technologies as background to the concerns of interesting people.

Carolyn Ives Gilman's "Arkfall" is a planetary romance that follows the developing relationships between crewmembers of a living submarine as it drifts through unmapped territory under an alien ocean.

Kathleen Ann Gooman's "Memory Dog" shows how the right dog can be a woman's best friend--and her best link to the past and future.

Alastair Reynolds' "Fury" reminds us that our oldest, darkest debts are sometimes paid by those we hold close.

Jeff VanderMeer's "Fixing Hannover" shows a castaway engineer's value to those who pull him from the sea--and those who come to take him home.

Mary Rickert's "Traitor" and Sue Burke's "Spiders" are each enjoyable on their own, but more so as a contrasting pair. Taking a darker and lighter view, respectively, they illustrate how a child, awash in too much information from the world, can muster the wisdom to focus on what is important. We wonder what becomes of them.

I offer my gratitude for the Kindle version that allowed me to read these stories unobtrusively during a series of boring monologues by the senior executives in my agency. Their collective misunderstanding of the smile on my face during their orations is certain to benefit my career. This collection is worth your time in similar or better circumstances.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Excellent collection 28 May 2009
By Jon D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of my complaints with the annual "Year's Best" anthologies is that they usually appear to repeat each other, containing the same stories by the same authors. However, this anthology includes many stories which were overlooked by the other anthologies. Among my favorites which you will only find in this anthology are "Pump Six" by Paolo Bacigalupi, "Oblivion: A Journey" by Vandana Singh, "Fury" by Alastair Reynolds, "The Ships Like Clouds, Risen By Their Rain" by Jason Sanford, and "Mitigation" by Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder.

As for the previous reviewer's complaint about some of the stories being available online, that's true of every "Year's Best" anthology, while the pricing issue is not something to hold against the quality of this anthology.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Reviews should be reviews of the book, not the pricing of some alternative form of the book 11 Jun. 2009
By J P. Rich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Hartwell's and Cramer's latest annual anthology is yet another an example of their consistently excellent taste in science fiction. I personally agree with the immediately preceding choices for the best stories, though there's not one in the book that's short of being very good. At $7.99, this is an incredible value.

If the other "reviewer" has a problem with the e-book pricing, he should take it elsewhere. That "review" should be removed by Amazon, since it significantly lowers the average stars for this book but has zero to do with the quality of the content.
Decent collection of stories 14 May 2014
By dontwannabeageek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I dearly wish that Amazon would provide a table of contents for Kindle ebooks in their on line description in order that I could more easily rate and review the contents; going through and compiling it myself is too onerous. But I digress, as that isn't really germane to this rating/review (are you listening, Amazon?!?!?)

I found many of these stories to be engaging and entertaining, although as with any short story collection, there were those that I considered "clunkers". Overall, it was worth the $6 for the four or five nights' worth of bedtime reading contained herein. As a short story collection, it wasn't a standout, but then they can't all be (and seldom does such come along). I vacillated between a three or four star rating and settled on four as it was better than average but not superb.
blurb is not true 30 Dec. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The description states that the stories are "new" That is simply not true. Here are two examples. One of the stories, Arkfall, was originally published in the September 2008 issue issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science fiction, and nominated for the 2009 Nebula award. Fury was published in the anthology "Deep Navigation". Having said that I did find these 2 stories to be excellent.
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