Rich Horton assembles a mixed best-of-the-year bag containing both science fiction and fantasy. The collection includes nineteen short stories, four novelettes, and five novella-length stories. There is a roughly equal balance between the two genres, with a few stories of uncertain classification.
My tastes run to science fiction, so four of my five favorites are from this group. They are:
Yoon Ha Lee's "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" gets my vote for the best story of the year. A woman guards an ancient weapon that can remove pieces of the past. Large pieces. The dialogue between the two main characters is reminiscent of the book-long bar discussion in The January Dancer
Amal El-Mohtar's "The Green Book" presents excerpts from an unusual book that corresponds with some of its readers. Read it if you love books.
Peter Watts' "The Things" is a retelling of John Carpenter's "The Thing" from the perspective of... well, the thing. That poor thing.
Robert Reed's "Dead Man's Run" is a murder mystery complicated by the continuing existence of the murdered man's backup created to handle routine phone calls. Of course it has all of his friends' cell phone numbers.
Damien Broderick's "Under the Moons of Venus" is easily the strangest science fiction story in the collection. A man tries to follow most of the human race to Venus. But he can't quite find a ride.
This is a reasonably good collection and worth the reader's time and engagement. I'll admit that reading the fantasy stories temporarily pushed me out of my science fiction rut. Not a bad thing, nor unenjoyed.