Twenty Six and counting.,
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 26 (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
I used to read alot of short science fiction stories from a great many different sources , but that has gradually withered over time to just this one volume,every autumn for the last twenty six years. And counting.
I have to say they do look impressively imposing when they are all lined up together ,one colorful spine after another and I do occasionally go back and reread some of them,particularly if there is a story that did definitely stand out for me,and there are usually,at the very least, one or two of that very high grade.
But not this year I'm afraid and I can't quite rightly define the why of it.Perhaps there are a few too many tales that dwelt slightly on the macabre side of divide,the Robert Reeds especially,and as such are a touch more depressing than usual, but more unusually I didn't find as much here as I really liked, with the exception of perhaps "Old Paint" and "Nightfall on the peak of Eternal Light." The quality of the writing is as sharp as usual,and the wide variety in the tales, but the bulk of them just seemed to pass me by without much that seemed to deeply entertain me.They were all fairly good but forgettable.I guess it was just one of those unexciting years.
As a total body of work Dozois yearly collections wonderfully illustrate how certain themes and ideas within sci-fi can change and mutate to incorporate many ideas from the real scientific discoveries made in the modern world ,and you can pick out the trends as Gardner Dozois does for us,in each volume.
And so ,on reflection, perhaps that's what the twenty sixth was all about. Steady as she goes and lets keep chugging ahead.