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2010's Best SF and Then Some,
This review is from: Year's Best SF 16 (Year's Best Science Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer have mined a shifting set of sources--magazines, anthologies, ezines, etc.--for the best 21 science fiction stories of 2010. Their volume has the usual concise introduction and informative author notes. Spoiled over the years, we have come to take them for granted. It's their own fault.
Here are the five stories I liked most:
Benjamin Crowell's "Petopia" features a cute, cuddly little plush toy with enough artificial intelligence to enlighten an innocent child. Then somebody throws it into the trash.
Terry Bisson's "About It" is a first-person account from a janitor who sneaks Bigfoot out of the genetics lab so he can spend his time around the house. Everyone seems so understanding about it.
Cat Sparks' "All the Love in the World" is about the end of the narrator's world. The actual end of global civilization is part of the background.
David Langford's "Graffiti in the Library of Babel" shows humanity's reaction to subtle messages "tagged" into a formerly-secure library. It shares enjoyable elements with Fred Lerner's "Rosetta Stone" in Year's Best SF 5.
Brenda Cooper's "The Hebras and the Demons and the Damned" is about colonists trying to domesticate giraffe-like herbivores on their new planet. If you like this story, you might read The Silver Ship and the Sea and its sequels, which are set on the same planet.
Most of the stories were good or better, but some didn't do it for me. "How to Become a Mars Overlord" by Catherynne Valente is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but goes on too long, leaving a feeling of... too much tongue, maybe. And Paul Park's "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" was just too intricate to be appreciated by my bone-encased brain. It puzzled me instead of entertaining. I wasn't looking for a many-leveled, self-referential puzzle. Sorry.
All-in-all the collection is recommended. Read them all, even the stories I don't recommend. You may see something I missed. I feel my time and money were well spent.