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Science Fiction: The Best of 2003 (Science Fiction: The Best of ... (Quality)) Mass Market Paperback – 19 Apr 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: ibooks Inc (19 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074347919X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743479196
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,435,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

George R. R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Poul Andersen, Harry Turtledove, Terry Pratchett, Robin Hobb, Ursula Le Guin, Orson Scott Card, Terri Windling.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

I think that there's something in here for every science-fiction reader, regardless of their preferred sub-genre. I could not get past the first few pages of: "Confessions of Uni" by Ursula K. Le Guin; "Jon" by George Sanders; "The Take of the Golden Eagle" by David D. Levine; and "Flowers from Alice" by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross because these stories all seemed to be more "hard science fiction" and as such, weren't really my bag.

However, the opening story "The Fluted Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi is v. moving and concerns themes of genetic manipulation and needless surgery, the commoditisation of human beings and the constant need for entertainment. Characterisation was strong and the ending was effective.

"A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman is a v. entertaining take on the world of Sherlock Holmes. As with all Gaiman stories, there is a neat twist in the end and the undertones of the world that he creates is chilling.

"Bernado's House" by James Patrick Kelly is a solid story that revolves around an anthropomorphised house, it's relationship with its owner (which brings a whole new meaning to "a warm welcome") and its subsequent relationship with a young girl.

"The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge is an interesting look at notions of reality, with a nod towards The Matrix film series. The notion of people becoming computer programs and forced to run on loops is well drawn out and the idea of putting in 'bugs' that help the characters to become self-aware is v. well handled.

"Legions in Time" by Michael Swanwick was not a story that I particularly enjoyed.
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Great Collection - Some classics in here.

But then anything edited by Jonathan Strahan is good!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good stories. 23 May 2004
By Armando L. Franco Carrillo - Published on Amazon.com
The book contains several stories. Rated in the Amazon system of stars (from one to five: "I hate it", "I don't like it", "It's ok", "I like it" and "I love it").
A Study in Emerald, by Neil Gaiman: A clever Victorian era detective follows a criminal mind that matches his own. ****.
Flowers from Alice, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross: Inviting his first love to his weeding brings several headaches to a man. **.
The tale of the Golden Eagle, by David D. Levine: What was once the brain of a starship becomes a legend. ****
Bernardo's house, by James Patrick Kelly: A very special house longes for his owner to return. ****
Confusions of Uñi, by Ursula K. Le Guin: A visit to Uñi takes unexpected twists for a very cautious man. ***
Jon, by George Saunders: A boy is torn between his home and his beloved. **
The Cookie Monster, by Vernor Vinge: A girl looking for a mail abuser finds discovers her world is not what it seems. *****
Legions in Time, by Michael Swanwick: Wishing to get even with her commanding employer, a woman places herself in an evolutionary war. *****
The Chop Line, Stephen Baxter: A young woman has to confront her older self on a battle for the future of mankind. ****
Calling your name, Howard Waldrop: After an electrical shock, a man tries to understand a world that is not what he recalls. ***
The Empire of Ice Cream, by Jeffrey Ford: A gifted boy finds a friend in bowl of ice cream. *****
Bumship, by Susan Mosser: A disgruntled employee gives an interview to an influential reporter. ****
Only Partly Here, by Lucius Shepard: A worker at ground-zero tries to make sense of what the wreckage is about. **
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent anthology 16 July 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Science Fiction: The Best of 2003 is an excellent anthology with most of the stories of above average quality. The best include "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman, a clever pastiche of both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft, "The Empire of Ice Cream" by Jeffrey Ford about a man suffering from the strange disease synesthesia and "The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge about new hires at a large technology firm who realize there's more to their jobs than meets the eye. The collection also features good stories by David D. Levine, James Patrick Kelly and Michael Swanwick. The stories are written in a wide variety of styles with diverse themes. Science fiction fans should find several stories that they will enjoy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader 9 Jan. 2008
By average - Published on Amazon.com
This almost gets there. An average of 3.86 is not quite enough, with not much else here to get a score of 5, pretty close a 4.75 you could call this one though.

Only one story here I thought was average, and actually something different here, the best stories are the meat in the middle, not the first couple of the last couple, if you are looking for somewhere to start.

Still, a fine year's best anthology, and well worth getting.

SF Best of 2003 : A Study in Emerald - Neil Gaiman
SF Best of 2003 : The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
SF Best of 2003 : Flowers from Alice - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
SF Best of 2003 : The Tale of the Golden Eagle - David D Levine
SF Best of 2003 : Bernardos House - James Patrick Kelly
SF Best of 2003 : Confusions of Uni - Ursula K. Le Guin
SF Best of 2003 : Jon - George Saunders
SF Best of 2003 : The Cookie Monster - Vernor Vinge
SF Best of 2003 : Legions in Time - Michael Swanwick
SF Best of 2003 : The Chop Line - Stephen Baxter
SF Best of 2003 : Calling Your Name - Howard Waldrop
SF Best of 2003 : The Empire of Ice Cream - Jeffrey Ford
SF Best of 2003 : Bumpship - Susan Mosser
SF Best of 2003 : Only Partly Here - Lucius Shepard

Old One vaudeville and some monstrous advertising.

4 out of 5

Pufnstuf probably wouldn't stand for this.

3.5 out of 5

Post-human furniture with passions.

4 out of 5

Human-bird shipbrain swap.

4 out of 5

Architecture s3xware's new girl.

4 out of 5

Interplanary virtual reality craft.

4 out of 5

Segregated Privacy Tarp trademark.

3 out of 5

Upload iteration revenge.

4 out of 5

Slave escape chronowar torpedo overrun takedown homage revolution.

4.5 out of 5

Future war info can hurt your brain :
"Me? Sir--" I took a breath. "You want me to prosecute myself. For a crime, an alleged crime anyhow, I won't commit for twenty-four years? Is there any part of that I misunderstood?"

4.5 out of 5

Wrong president.

4 out of 5

Synesthesia vision desserted.

3.5 out of 5

Corporate volunteer bad atmosphere economics.

3.5 out of 5

Annoyingly vague vaguely ghostly woman.

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories that stick in your mind 2 April 2004
By Shimmertje - Published on Amazon.com
I usually find that I have one or two favourites out of an anthology but this was different - I liked most of the stories in this book.
The subjects range from time travel to space opera to cyberpunk, sort of, but they are all the kind that you will remember for a long while.
Be prepared for bittersweet endings.
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