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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection

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Annually assembling the best science fiction of the year, this series continues to live up to its name with the most original, innovative, and wonderful short fiction published in 1990. A thorough summary of the year in science fiction and a long list of recommended reading round out this volume, rendering it the one book for every reader.


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Annually assembling the best science fiction of the year, this series continues to live up to its name with the most original, innovative, and wonderful short fiction published in 1990. A thorough summary of the year in science fiction and a long list of recommended reading round out this volume, rendering it the one book for every reader.

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jemppu

    One of the best of these collections I've finished yet. The themes of war so prevailing in the earlier volumes have subsided and, at least in this volume, seem to have made notable space for topics of identity instead. Tempted to round up to full 5 - if there ever was a chance to do so for such varied collections. Couple favorites from this volume for one reason or another: James Patrick Kelly's "Mr. Boy" Kate Wilhelm's "And the Angels Sing" Dafydd ab Hugh's "The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Lar One of the best of these collections I've finished yet. The themes of war so prevailing in the earlier volumes have subsided and, at least in this volume, seem to have made notable space for topics of identity instead. Tempted to round up to full 5 - if there ever was a chance to do so for such varied collections. Couple favorites from this volume for one reason or another: James Patrick Kelly's "Mr. Boy" Kate Wilhelm's "And the Angels Sing" Dafydd ab Hugh's "The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, a Squeezed Novel by Mr. Skunk" Greg Egan's "Learning to Be Me"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    I'm continuing my recaps of early Dozois anthols, since I was reminded of one of my highlights this afternoon. Anyway, there are some great and near-great stories here. My highlights, by memory: • Dafydd ab Hugh, "The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, A Squeezed Novel, by Mr. Skunk." I was reminded of this amazing story by reading George Saunder's mediocre (at best) "Fox 8." This is the story he was trying to write. 5+ stars! More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coo... • The Hemingway I'm continuing my recaps of early Dozois anthols, since I was reminded of one of my highlights this afternoon. Anyway, there are some great and near-great stories here. My highlights, by memory: • Dafydd ab Hugh, "The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, A Squeezed Novel, by Mr. Skunk." I was reminded of this amazing story by reading George Saunder's mediocre (at best) "Fox 8." This is the story he was trying to write. 5+ stars! More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coo... • The Hemingway Hoax, novella by Joe Haldeman. Won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1991. His masterpiece, I think. 5+ stars! My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... • "We See Things Differently" by Bruce Sterling. An amazingly prescient story of the then-upcoming clash between political Islam and the West, in what is now an alternate history. One of Sterling's best early stories, 5 stars. http://www.revolutionsf.com/fiction/w... • Bears Discover Fire • short story by Terry Bisson. Won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Sturgeon and other awards. 5 stars. ICYMI: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... And lots more Good Stuff after my four faves. OK, I see a couple of clunkers too. See https://web.archive.org/web/200411280... (scroll down) and http://bestsf.net/years-best-science-... -- for memory-aids and details. Plus -- my favorite cover-art for the series! This Michaael Whelan beauty: http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/f/f6... Links: Learning To Be Me by Greg Egan. Implanted "jewel' for indefinite longevity. 3.8 *, https://books.google.com/books?id=SmC... I'll add more links, if I get the energy to look for them & if I find more.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Farinella

    Mr. boy, the opening story was extremely original and entertaining. Most of the rest I found exceedingly depressing and either totally trite or completely puzzling.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    On the whole a very strong collection, despite a couple of puzzling stinkers. Lots of deep weirdness (I loved The All-consuming) and a couple of English melancholy ruminations from Moorcock and Brunner. Also good were Inertia, Learning To Be Me, Cibola and Hot Sky.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Wilson

    I pick up these collections whenever I come across them; I liked this one better than most of the others I've perused. I could finish most of the stories and even liked a few of them. I pick up these collections whenever I come across them; I liked this one better than most of the others I've perused. I could finish most of the stories and even liked a few of them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel Rich

    Didn't find any stories in here that interested me, and wasn't able to finish any of them. Didn't find any stories in here that interested me, and wasn't able to finish any of them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rishindra Chinta

    I always have a hard time giving stories in these "best of" anthologies star ratings, so I'll just order them from most liked to least liked: "Mr. Boy" by James Patrick Kelly: When I first started this story, it was giving me a headache. Science fiction is about how people will respond to changing technology, but I just had a hard time believing that people would actually use the kind of technology described here even if it were available. One character has herself made into a giant hollow replic I always have a hard time giving stories in these "best of" anthologies star ratings, so I'll just order them from most liked to least liked: "Mr. Boy" by James Patrick Kelly: When I first started this story, it was giving me a headache. Science fiction is about how people will respond to changing technology, but I just had a hard time believing that people would actually use the kind of technology described here even if it were available. One character has herself made into a giant hollow replica of the Statue of Liberty that her son, the main character, lives in, and another character has himself turned into a troodontid dinosaur. The story's partly about the excesses of the rich, but even so. But the more I read, the more I warmed up to it. It does build to a satisfying conclusion. "The Caress" by Greg Egan: From the way this story starts out, I was expecting a stronger plot than it had. But it does have a great conceit, which is that (view spoiler)[there's an artist who wants to replicate paintings with such exact precision that he will genetically engineer humans to look like their subjects and have geographical features featured in them artificially created to match them (hide spoiler)] . I think some images will stay with me. "A Braver Thing" by Charles Sheffield: Is this really science fiction? I guess it's about science. Either way, it's an interesting story about (view spoiler)[a scientist who finds the journals of his more brilliant friend that contain a new and important theory that will help mankind with space travel after his friend commits suicide (hide spoiler)] . I wish the friend character had been explored further, though. And his reason for doing what he does could've been foreshadowed even earlier. But that might've been overbearing, I suppose. And there was one thread that I thought didn't have a good conclusion (or any conclusion): (view spoiler)[the main character's relationship with his friend's mother (hide spoiler)] . "We See Things Differently" by Bruce Sterling: An Arab journalist interviews an American rock star in a world where Soviet Union dissolved after a nuclear bomb destroyed Moscow and America has lost economic power to Europe, Japan, and a new state comprising the Arab countries. There are interesting connections made between America, the Soviet Union, and the Arab Caliphate, but I felt the main character didn't have to be as much of a stereotype as he was (he's not as stereotypical as some other Arab characters that are coming to mind, but still). "The Shobies' Story" by Ursula K. Le Guin: I'm kind of ashamed to admit the only thing by Le Guin I've read is one of her novellas, "Vaster than Empires and More Slow." I haven't read any of her famous novels. I started The Dispossessed recently, but I put it aside; I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Anyway, this story is set in the same universe as that novel, and I guess it's one of those stories that's supposed to mess with you. I'm kind of neutral towards it. I didn't dislike, but didn't really like it either.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the series the tales have advanced and grown in imagination and detail with our ability to envision greater concepts and possibilities... Rod Serling said, "...fantasy is the impossible made probable. science fiction is the improbable made possible..." and in the pages of these books is the absolute best the vastness of science fiction writing has to offer... sit back, relax, and dream...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Groosalugg

    A good, not great collection of sci-fi short stories from the early 90's. Nice variety of topics and writing styles. By far my favorite two were 'The Shobies Story' - Ursula LeGuin and 'The Hemingway Hoax' - Joe Haldeman. Both were truly mind-bending and worth reading the whole thing just for them. The majority of rest of the stories were pretty good too, very few duds. A good, not great collection of sci-fi short stories from the early 90's. Nice variety of topics and writing styles. By far my favorite two were 'The Shobies Story' - Ursula LeGuin and 'The Hemingway Hoax' - Joe Haldeman. Both were truly mind-bending and worth reading the whole thing just for them. The majority of rest of the stories were pretty good too, very few duds.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Devlin

    If you read one sci-fi book a year, this is the one. Always stories of high caliber with a few tossed in that will keep you thinking weeks later, not to mention the collection is a primer for what science and technology everyone will be talking about five to ten years from now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Probably only read nine or ten of the 25 stories before I had to return it to the library. Another 2 to 4 might have been worth giving a chance. I liked OK each of those that I read but probably thoroughly enjoyed only one or two of them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

    1991. No ISBN number ?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Like any collection of stories, you've got the good and the bad. But the good stories in this collection were great. Highly recommended. I already have another of these in line to read soon. Like any collection of stories, you've got the good and the bad. But the good stories in this collection were great. Highly recommended. I already have another of these in line to read soon.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zora

    Includes one of my favorite stories of all times, Molly Gloss's "Personal Silence," and is worth hunting down for at least that story. Includes one of my favorite stories of all times, Molly Gloss's "Personal Silence," and is worth hunting down for at least that story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Timon Karnezos

    Definitely a slump in this series. Nothing in here worth reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Constructionv4

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hanif Payandeh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Morgan W

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Dainton

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Wurtzel

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dante D'Anthony

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Connie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barry Hill

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jmaloney

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Scott Sanicki

  29. 4 out of 5

    Funky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

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