The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection Paperback – 13 Aug 2012
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Praise for "The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection" "This smorgasbord of thought-provoking fiction ensures that any reader will likely find something appealing." --Publishers Weekly"Gardner Dozois's long-running "best of" series is rightly a favorite...The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection, for all its bulk, is charmingly eclectic...Mr. Dozois picks fiction that deserves to be better known to a wide audience." --"The Wall Street Journal"Praise for Gardner Dozois and "The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-sixth Annual Collection" "This is a worthy addition to a venerable series." -"Publishers Weekly""For more than a quarter century, Gardner Dozois's "The Year's Best Science Fiction" has defined the field. It is the most important anthology, not only annually, but overall." --Charles N. Brown, publisher of "Locus Magazine"
About the Author
GARDNER DOZOIS has been working in the science fiction field for more than thirty years. For twenty years he was the editor of "Asimov's Science Fiction," during which he received the Hugo Award for Best Editor fifteen times.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anway, onto the content, which is - after all - what really matters. Gardner Dozois's SF annual collections are a must-read for fans of SF short fiction, a real annual treat. This year is no exception and contains some excellent stories. Ranking each story between 1 (poor) and 5 (outstanding), I rated this year's stories as follows: 4 2-star stories, 10 3-star, 16 4- star and 5 5-star stories. The 5-star stories this year (in my opinion, and of course everyone will have a different set of favourites) were:
"The Beancounter's Cat" by Damien Broderick, the story of a young woman's journey on a space habitat, dressed up partially as a fairy tale.
"The Dala Horse" by Michael Swanwick, again this starts off reading like a fairy tale, but tells the story of a young girl's adventures in a future post-war Scandinavia: very visual
"The Ice Owl" by Carolyn Ives Gilman, the story of a young woman's political awakening on a far-flung planet
"What we found" by Geoff Ryman, a lesson in story telling, you almost don't notice the SF element (or care that it's a small part of the tale)
"A Militant Peace" by David Klecha and Tobias S Buckell - I am always wary of collaborations, but this is a really inventive tale of how North Korea might be invaded peacefully in the future.Read more ›
For this collection Gardner Dozois exceptionally decided against including long novellas, so thanks God in this collection I didn't have to struggle through 70+ pages juggernauts, which this editor likes so much... In many of previous collections those super-sized novellas were usually also the weakest parts of those anthologies, so here their absence is a very welcome thing. This also allowed Gardner Dozois to offer us a record number of stories - 35 (thirty five)!
Five stories can be considered as VERY GOOD: "Martian Heart" by John Barnes, "The Incredible Exploding Man" by Dave Hutchinson, "Dying young" by Peter M. Ball, "Canterbury Hollow" by Chris Lawson and the most impressive of all, "The man who bridged the mist" by Kij Johnson.
For my personal taste there were only five stinkers: "Laika's ghost", "The Copenhagen Interpretation", "Ascension day", "The cold step beyond", "Ants of Flanders".
One story, "Silently and very fast", I was unable to rate, as I couldn't understand anything from it and it tired me so terribly that I decided not to finish it.
Other stories ranged from GOOD (15) to READABLE (9).
A rather welcome thing was the absence of omnipresent gloom and doom, even in tragic stories or those happening in post-apocalyptic societies. It is a somehow surprising thing for a Gardner Dozois collection...
This collection includes also an overview of what happened in SF (largely understood) in 2011 and that section as always is very precious.Read more ›
And then there are the stories. For some reason all of my favorites in this collection featured a strong relationship between two main characters. In some cases it is based on love; in some it is clearly something else. Here are my five favorites.
Carolyn Ives Gilman's "The Ice Owl" passes on what the student Maya learns from her aging tutor, Magister Soren Pregaldin. Some is from his thoughtfully prepared lessons. More is revealed by her clandestine explorations of his rooms while he is away.
Alastair Reynold's "Ascension Day" reminds us of departure's mixed joy and sadness. Captain Lauterecken departs from the planet Rhapsody in his freighter after a ninety-six-year stay. Someone important will not be making the next leg of the journey.
Michael Swanwick's "For I have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Loneliness and I'll Not Be Back Again" is also about a departure. A man visits Ireland a few weeks before leaving Earth forever. He meets Mary with eyes "...as green as water in the well, and as full of dangerous magic."
Yoon Ha Lee's "Ghostweight" is driven by the bond between a living girl and the ghost that accompanies her.Read more ›