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The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012

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From the publisher's web site: This fourth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Stran From the publisher's web site: This fourth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.


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From the publisher's web site: This fourth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Stran From the publisher's web site: This fourth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aphelia

    I love anthologies like this because they are a great way to find new authors! I bought this mostly for the Neil Gaiman story, which turned out to be disappointingly short, but there were several others I really liked too, especially the last and longest story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5-Star Highlights: 5. The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, For A Little While" by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy):"'I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books? ... I am a practical girl and a life is only so lo I love anthologies like this because they are a great way to find new authors! I bought this mostly for the Neil Gaiman story, which turned out to be disappointingly short, but there were several others I really liked too, especially the last and longest story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5-Star Highlights: 5. The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, For A Little While" by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy):"'I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books? ... I am a practical girl and a life is only so long. It should be spent in as much peace and good eating and good reading as possible and no undue excitement.'" 100 Self-professed Practical Girl Mallow is drawn unwilling into "Politcks" and becomes Queen. Part of a series, I'd love to read more of this world, with its fabulous, fanciful, bizarre imagery! 12. Rampion by Alexandria Duncan (Fantasy): A forbidden love and its terrible cost. 21. A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong by K. J. Parker (Fantasy): A musician and his protégé play a cat-and-mouse game of musical genius, with theft, betrayal, and intrigue. 26. Fields of Gold by Rachel Swirsky (Fantasy): An odd, and strangely affecting, story about the afterlife and the disappointments of life. Quirkily humorous too, in a black way. 29. The Man Who Bridged The Mist by Kij Johnson (Fantasy): The longest story in the collection is also its best. A subtle tale as hazy and hard to define as its namesake mist. A determined architect sets out to build a mechanical bridge over a river of mysterious, magical mist and learns about life, love and loss. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4-Star Honorable Mentions: 1. Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee (Science Fiction): I loved the origami-weapons imagery. 2. The Sandal-Bride by Genevieve Valentine (Fantasy): A spice trader learns to judge true value by more than looks alone. 7. Late Bloomer by Suzy McKee Charnas (Fantasy): Very interesting take on vampires: they aren't able to create after their deaths, so they collect and hoard antiques. 11. Pug by Theodora Goss (Fantasy): An sickly aristocratic lady discovers a door in the hedge but cannot divine its purpose. 13. And Weep Like Alexander by Neil Gaiman (fantasy): A short joke, but a good one. 15. Younger Women by Karen Joy Fowler (Fantasy): For vampires, forever is longer than they might think. 16. Canterbury Hollow by Chris Lawson (Science Fiction): A boy and a girl slated for death on an over-populated planet find each other instead. 19. The Silver Wind by Nina Allen (Fantasy): A different take on time travel. 20. Choose Your Own Adventure by Kat Howard (Fantasy): As the title says. 28. The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu (Fantasy): Intelligent map-making wasps expand their Empire and attempt to colonize the Bees. 5 5-Star reads and 10 4-Star reads. Overall, the collection was almost evenly split into interesting/not interesting to me. But the stories vary widely so there should be something to please everyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Charles Frierman

    A few stories were okay. A lot of them were over-descriptive and very hard to get through with very little reward for doing so. (there is always also the strong possibility that I'm just not on the same level with all these elite thinkers) I got about halfway through and couldn't get motivated to read the rest. Perhaps all the other stories are amazing, or at least down on a level I can appreciate. Maybe one day I'll pick it back up and find out. A few stories were okay. A lot of them were over-descriptive and very hard to get through with very little reward for doing so. (there is always also the strong possibility that I'm just not on the same level with all these elite thinkers) I got about halfway through and couldn't get motivated to read the rest. Perhaps all the other stories are amazing, or at least down on a level I can appreciate. Maybe one day I'll pick it back up and find out.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The stories I really liked were: "The Sighted Watchmaker" by Vylar Kaftan "The Choice" by Paul McAuley "Windows in the World" by Gavin J. Grant "The Summer People" by Kelly Link "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan "Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed "The Last Sophia" by C.S.E. Cooney "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu and of course" The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson So 9 stories out of 29. All in all, interesting to see what was out there from the previous year. The stories I really liked were: "The Sighted Watchmaker" by Vylar Kaftan "The Choice" by Paul McAuley "Windows in the World" by Gavin J. Grant "The Summer People" by Kelly Link "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan "Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed "The Last Sophia" by C.S.E. Cooney "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu and of course" The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson So 9 stories out of 29. All in all, interesting to see what was out there from the previous year.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Some stories were better than others, but overall, it's a solid read. I only skipped one: The Last Sophia, by C.S.E Cooney. It was from the perspective of a woman who was in & out of reality, but the attempt to create that narratively was just confusing. The best of the bunch, in my opinion: "The Man who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson, "Fields of Gold" by Rachel Swirsky, "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu, and "The Adakian Eagle" by Bradley Denton. Some stories were better than others, but overall, it's a solid read. I only skipped one: The Last Sophia, by C.S.E Cooney. It was from the perspective of a woman who was in & out of reality, but the attempt to create that narratively was just confusing. The best of the bunch, in my opinion: "The Man who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson, "Fields of Gold" by Rachel Swirsky, "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu, and "The Adakian Eagle" by Bradley Denton.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pengaween

    Some of these stories were great, some were downright awful, and some were pretty mediocre. I thought the best of the bunch were: The Adakian Eagle The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland Late Bloomer* Rampion Younger Women Canterbury Hollow The Summer People Mulberry Boys* The Silver Wind A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong Woman Leaves Room My Chivalric Fiasco The Last Sophia The Man who Bridged the Mist *Late Bloomer was my favorite, followed by The Mulberry Boys

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Two stories really stand out to me. The rest wasn't that special. And then there were quite a few which seemed totally out of place in a SF&F collection where the fantasy is reduced to the supernatural set into our regular world. Some gems: The Sandal-Bride, The Sighted Watchmaker, The Choice, The Man Who Bridged the Mist. The rest I thought were just alright or less than average. Two stories really stand out to me. The rest wasn't that special. And then there were quite a few which seemed totally out of place in a SF&F collection where the fantasy is reduced to the supernatural set into our regular world. Some gems: The Sandal-Bride, The Sighted Watchmaker, The Choice, The Man Who Bridged the Mist. The rest I thought were just alright or less than average.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Some really great stories here, some not so much. Without being negative and naming the poorer stories (some from inexperienced authors who just haven't found their voice yet) here are the highlights: Late Bloomer Neil Gaiman The adaskian Eagle Birdsong Fields of Gold Some really great stories here, some not so much. Without being negative and naming the poorer stories (some from inexperienced authors who just haven't found their voice yet) here are the highlights: Late Bloomer Neil Gaiman The adaskian Eagle Birdsong Fields of Gold

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I skimmed a few of these, and wasn't caught up. I got this for Valente's Fairyland 0.5 story, and read Neil Gaiman's story as well. Those were great. But all in all it didn't engage me like some other anthologies. I skimmed a few of these, and wasn't caught up. I got this for Valente's Fairyland 0.5 story, and read Neil Gaiman's story as well. Those were great. But all in all it didn't engage me like some other anthologies.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    By and large well-curated. Some standouts are sub-par, one or two very sub-par, but this may have been a bad year for speculative fiction. Nonetheless I would encourage the editor to seriously consider whether stories about hipsters meeting vampires truthfully belong in any serious anthology.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kasten

    Odd mix of stories and styles. I didn't love the majority of them, but yet there were a few that were really great and a couple more that were enjoyable. There were also a bunch that I couldn't even finish. Odd mix of stories and styles. I didn't love the majority of them, but yet there were a few that were really great and a couple more that were enjoyable. There were also a bunch that I couldn't even finish.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richelle

    Surprisingly disappointing. Some of the stories weren't very sci-fi/fantasyish at all. There were a few good stories, but mostly by already established authors I already knew about. Surprisingly disappointing. Some of the stories weren't very sci-fi/fantasyish at all. There were a few good stories, but mostly by already established authors I already knew about.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Turner

    I love short stories, especially science fiction. This one was awesome, I'd recommend this to everyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy. I love short stories, especially science fiction. This one was awesome, I'd recommend this to everyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    Good stories of science fiction and fantasy, as usual.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Barnhart

    4a best of the year book it left things to be desired there was some good stories but I wouldn't think anything works great 4a best of the year book it left things to be desired there was some good stories but I wouldn't think anything works great

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Not sure if it's my poor attention span and distraction causing me issues (read: yeah, it probably is), but I just couldn't get into many of these short stories at all. Not sure if it's my poor attention span and distraction causing me issues (read: yeah, it probably is), but I just couldn't get into many of these short stories at all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tai

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amamur

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michele Cariveau

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mk

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  27. 4 out of 5

    Drew

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Scott Walker

  30. 4 out of 5

    Babs

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