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Sci-fi at its best.,
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 25 (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
There is a certain joy to be had from reading from a collection of short stories in that you are never quite sure what it is you will get from a tale that is so briefly told , be it sudden quick laughter,a slightly cold shiver of surprise or a moments thoughtful reflection before you move on to sample the next delight.
What you are virtually guaranteed when you read the annual mammoth selection of Gardner Dozois is consistent quality, which is why I have read every volume that has been produced for more years than I care to remember.This one is no exception to that rule and may it long continue well into the future.
Every year he manages to distill into these thick volumes the very best short story science fiction there is to be found in the world and that is no small task ,given the sheer numbers actually out there.What always stands out amongst the huge variety of stories is just how wonderfully different each is,yet the common thread often connecting them isn't so much the science in the fiction but the humanity to be found within the character of the story. And some are as unique and fascinating as the circumstances and futures,the stars and planets that they are found inhabiting.
Yes, there is wonderful inventiveness often at play here and many a thrill that comes from reading a clever sketched future but it is the sheer skill in the writing that impresses time and again, as Dozois picks the very best from the most talented authors of this field and crams as many as he can into this huge volume.And ,as always, this collection has some superb examples of the genre.
My only complaint that I have with the book is that I thought ,for a brief moment after opening up the package ,that somebody had let a can of fizzy drink explode and dry across the cover. It was only the lack of stickiness that made me realise this was actually an intended effect.Such gimmicks are not required. Please don't do it again.