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Year's Best Science Fiction, The Paperback – 31 Jul 2014

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Griffin; 31st edition (31 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250046211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250046215
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The Dozois annual is as hefty, excellent, and nearly indispensable as ever. - Booklist [One] of the best annuals. --Chicago Tribune

About the Author

GARDNER DOZOIS has been working in the science fiction field for more than thirty years. For twenty years he was the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction,during which he received the Hugo Award for Best Editor fifteen times.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection devoted to what Gardner Dozois considered as best SF published in 2013 is slightly better than the one from 2012, because even if there were more very bad stories (no less than seven), on another hand fifteen are really worth reading (four being very good).

Having now read twenty nine Gardner Dozois yearly collections (from third to thirty first) I couldn't help but notice a steady but regular decline in quality of SF writing, from the 80s to the modern times. OK, granted, this is just one of yearly anthologies amongst many, and yes, it reflects the very personal, subjective taste of the editor, but still, there is a clear trend towards a lesser quality. The main reasons of that, at least in my personal opinion and for my subjective taste, are the following:

- a tendency to run after the developments in the world, rather than trying to anticipate them. Global warming hysteria, fear of nanotechnologies and GMOs and consequences of recent progress in informatics are the best examples of it. Few writers even try to think about something really new - and it seems that even fewer have intellectual capacity of doing it...

- nihilism, pessimism and fear-mongering seem to be the leading motive in recent SF, as there is hardly any joy and exaltation linked usually with new discoveries and opening of new horizons. To the contrary, everything and anything seems to be a threat.

- lack of humour. In this anthology there are at the best two stories, out of thirty two, which contain some humour and wit. The rest is mostly gloom and doom taken DEADLY seriously...

- left winged politics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again Gardener Dozois has edited an excellent anthology, I have bought at least the last 10 annual editions and this one is up there wirh the rest of them. Of course it is nearly impossible that a reader would agree with every choice of story Dozois has made and as usual there are one or 2 that I would have left out and one or 2 I have read in magazines that I feel should have been included but overall the quality is high. Personally I would not much object if the summation of events of the year in Sci Fi were left out but I do usually get this read in the end if only to see who has died and which magazines have prospered and which have died. It is a shame there is no Kindle release at the same time as the paperback release because surely SciFi fans will also be technophiles and would buy it that way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x93542aec) out of 5 stars 59 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93174684) out of 5 stars the best of the annual anthologies as it provides an interesting ... 9 Aug. 2014
By Ronald E. Foore - Published on
Format: Paperback
Being a guy in my 60's I miss the 'golden age' of SF with Heinlein, Asimov, Norton, etc. These stories were OK. I can't put my finger on what seemed to be missing. Maybe some contemporary SF authors are attempting to out-do each other with wild and creative ideas but my sense is that many times this evolves into disjointed and flimsy story lines. First and foremost, remember that you are first writing for a diverse readership so allow the reader to catch up to your ideas. Master the art of writing a novel This series is, in my opinion, the best of the annual anthologies as it provides an interesting and in depth look at all of the past year's obits of writers, awards, and issues pertaining to the genre. If you like SF then this book is a must for your collection.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931746d8) out of 5 stars A Long Month of Dozois 14 Oct. 2014
By John M. Ford - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection contains thirty-two science fiction stories published in 2013 and selected as the best by editor Gardner Dozois. It begins with the usual well-crafted Summation of the significant events and influences of the past year. The Honorable Mentions section at the end of the book is also valuable, giving readers a sense of what other significant fiction saw the light of day in 2013.

The stories are the main thing, though. Here are seven that stood out from the rest:

Paul McAuley's "Transitional Forms" introduces Ray Roberts, who guards the perimeter of a desert "hot zone" that contains mutated--and mutating--organisms. It is crucial that these organisms not be allowed to contaminate the surrounding ecosystem. Roy's job is complicated by organizations who want to obtain a sample and commercialize the mutant forms. One day Roy meets Janine and they end up having some beer.

In Allen Steele's "Martian Blood" a researcher arrives on Mars and arranges to meet some of the natives. He has some theories he has about Martian culture he wants to discuss with the Martians themselves. It makes sense to hire a local guide to help approach the proud and violent Martian tribesmen. Fortunately he finds a guide who grasps the unique nature of his mission.

In Aliette de Bodard's "The Waiting Stars" we join a deep space mission to recover a lost warship and, perhaps, its crew. Mission success is complicated by how embedded one of the warship's crew has become in the culture of her captors.

Nancy Kress's "One" is one of those "inner space" stories. Following his recovery from a serious accident, Zack discovers that he has an unusual mental ability. As the story unfolds, he strives to understand and control it. This makes him somewhat difficult to live with.

Melissa Scott's "Finders" is about a salvage operation in a remote region of our solar system. The Carabossa's crew speculates that a recently-located high-tech artifact has been undervalued by those who discovered it. They take a chance to recover enough advanced technology from it to get them out of debt and allow them to stake out a better future. The odds are good. In the beginning, that is.

Brendan DuBois's "Hard Stars" follows a squad of American security personnel as they seek a safe haven from swarms of lethal drones. Their customary tools are unavailable because of the drones' abilities to detect and destroy any kind of electronic activity. The human element becomes the key to success.

James Patrick Kelly's "The Promise of Space" is my favorite story in this year's collection. It is built from transcripts of an ongoing conversation between a hospital patient and his visitor. It becomes clear that they have a certain shared history.

This is one of those good-but-not-great collections. I doubt this is due to any lessening of the Dozois editorial talent, so I'll conclude that 2013 must have been a thinner-than-usual year for short SF. I'm looking forward to the possibility that 2014 will turn out a little better.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931749b4) out of 5 stars To enjoy this collection more: read Mr. Dozois' intro AFTER you read the story. 18 July 2014
By Pranab Majumder - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Annual collection, I have all of them except the first, and so on. I have finished the first three selections, and the choices are excellent, as usual. (I am partial to hard sci-fi.) You know what this is- buy it, read it.

I write this review to say one thing: To enjoy the stories more, please read Mr. Dozois' short author intro AFTER you read the story. I love him and his choice, but in previous years my enjoyment of the stories was often lessened by his letting the cat out of the bag in those two or three sentences where he talks about the stories.

I will continue to buy these each year. Unconditionally.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931748ac) out of 5 stars What a depressing load of negative energy! 5 April 2015
By Robin Cravey - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a depressing load of negative energy! I remember when science fiction had excitement, discovery, and adventure. This book is about damaged people full of regret and base motives. I couldn't get through half the stories. To be fair, the prose is mostly good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93174abc) out of 5 stars always excellent and Mr 27 Sept. 2014
By Russell Newsom - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this every year; always excellent and Mr. Dozois deserves thanks and praise. Of late however, a problem: needs better copy editing! Some of the manuscript errors reach the point of confusing the reader, rather beyond multiple spellings of character names. The stories are excellent and save me from much searching for gold amidst dross. These are mostly all gold.
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