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The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Ten

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Jonathan Strahan, the award-winning and much lauded editor of many of genre’s best known anthologies is back with his 10th volume in this fascinating series, featuring the best science fiction and fantasy from 2015. With established names and new talent this diverse and ground-breaking collection will take the reader to the outer-reaches of space and the inner realms of hu Jonathan Strahan, the award-winning and much lauded editor of many of genre’s best known anthologies is back with his 10th volume in this fascinating series, featuring the best science fiction and fantasy from 2015. With established names and new talent this diverse and ground-breaking collection will take the reader to the outer-reaches of space and the inner realms of humanity with stories of fantastical worlds and worlds that may still come to pass. Featuring Paolo Bacigalupi • Elizabeth Bear • Greg Bear • Jeffrey Ford • Neil Gaiman • Nalo Hopkinson • Nisi Shawl • Simon Ings • Gwyneth Jones • Caitlin R. Kiernan • Anne Leckie • Kelly Link • Usman T. Malik • Ian McDonald • Vonda McIntrye • Sam J. Miller • Tamsyn Muir • Robert Reed • Alastair Reynolds • Kim Stanley Robinson • Kelly Robson • Geoff Ryman • Nike Sulway • Catherynne Valente • Genevieve Valentine • Kai Ashante Wilson • Alyssa Wong


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Jonathan Strahan, the award-winning and much lauded editor of many of genre’s best known anthologies is back with his 10th volume in this fascinating series, featuring the best science fiction and fantasy from 2015. With established names and new talent this diverse and ground-breaking collection will take the reader to the outer-reaches of space and the inner realms of hu Jonathan Strahan, the award-winning and much lauded editor of many of genre’s best known anthologies is back with his 10th volume in this fascinating series, featuring the best science fiction and fantasy from 2015. With established names and new talent this diverse and ground-breaking collection will take the reader to the outer-reaches of space and the inner realms of humanity with stories of fantastical worlds and worlds that may still come to pass. Featuring Paolo Bacigalupi • Elizabeth Bear • Greg Bear • Jeffrey Ford • Neil Gaiman • Nalo Hopkinson • Nisi Shawl • Simon Ings • Gwyneth Jones • Caitlin R. Kiernan • Anne Leckie • Kelly Link • Usman T. Malik • Ian McDonald • Vonda McIntrye • Sam J. Miller • Tamsyn Muir • Robert Reed • Alastair Reynolds • Kim Stanley Robinson • Kelly Robson • Geoff Ryman • Nike Sulway • Catherynne Valente • Genevieve Valentine • Kai Ashante Wilson • Alyssa Wong

30 review for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Ten

  1. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    The short story is a companion piece to 'The Water Knife.' To quote Bacigalupi: "Based in the same universe as THE WATER KNIFE. A bit from Maria's perspective, before the novel starts." Here, Maria Villarosa, a young refugee from drought-stricken Texas, is still hopeful. Her father has recently landed a good job working on the Taiyang arcology, and there's the possibility, dangled before them like a cool drink of fresh water, that the position might lead to being able to emigrate to China. If you l The short story is a companion piece to 'The Water Knife.' To quote Bacigalupi: "Based in the same universe as THE WATER KNIFE. A bit from Maria's perspective, before the novel starts." Here, Maria Villarosa, a young refugee from drought-stricken Texas, is still hopeful. Her father has recently landed a good job working on the Taiyang arcology, and there's the possibility, dangled before them like a cool drink of fresh water, that the position might lead to being able to emigrate to China. If you liked the novel, this is a must-read. If you haven't read the novel, this works both as a great introduction to the premise, and as a fully-realized stand-alone story. Like 'The Water Knife,' the story is a terrifyingly believable vision of the near future, and terribly heartbreaking. Great stuff. _____ March 2016: Nominated for Hugo. Merged review: ****“Black Dog”, Neil Gaiman This story features one of the characters from 'American Gods,' but it works perfectly well as a stand-alone - and actually, I liked it better than the novel. Shadow Moon is an American travelling through rural Britain. We know he's suffering after the death of his wife, but other than that small tidbit of information, he's laconic and keeps details about himself close to his chest. He's planning on just passing through one seemingly unremarkable small town, when a medical emergency keeps him in the home of the couple who run the local pub. Soon, he's drawn into an ominous tangle of depression, old secrets and ancient magic. *****“City of Ash”, Paolo Bacigalupi Previously read at: https://medium.com/matter/city-of-ash... The short story is a companion piece to ‘The Water Knife.’ To quote Bacigalupi: “Based in the same universe as THE WATER KNIFE. A bit from Maria’s perspective, before the novel starts.” Here, Maria Villarosa, a young refugee from drought-stricken Texas, is still hopeful. her father has recently landed a good job working on the Taiyang arcology, and there’s the possibility, dangled before them like a cool drink of fresh water, that the position might lead to being able to emigrate to China. If you liked the novel, this is a must-read. If you haven’t read the novel, this works both as a great introduction to the premise, and as a fully-realized stand-alone story. Like ‘The Water Knife,’ the story is a terrifyingly believable vision of the near future, and terribly heartbreaking. Great stuff. ****“Jamaica Ginger”, Nalo Hopkinson & Nisi Shawl Cute and enjoyable steampunk story. The ending wrapped up a bit quickly and felt a bit unrealistically upbeat, but if the story was continued into a novel, I'd definitely read it. Our young heroine is the underpaid worker of a clockwork-manufacturer. Little do his customers know that she's the one that does nearly all of the work, and comes up with all the innovations. Her pay certainly doesn't reflect her contributions. With her Pa ill, her family situation is getting more and more desperate. Will she have to give up on the boy she's sweet on, and become her boss' mistress out of financial considerations? We end on the brink of what is sure to be an adventure. ***“A Murmuration”, Alastair Reynolds This is science fiction, in the sense that it is fiction about science. Specifically, it's about the stresses of cold hard research and the scientific process on the all-too-human people doing that science. The specifics - an investigation into the physics of birds' flock formations - is interesting, but it's mainly an exploration of a mental breakdown. ****“Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’”, Kai Ashante Wilson Available for free, here: http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/new/n... "Kaiju," of course, refers to the Japanese film genre featuring battles between giant monsters. (I used to work at a club where the band "Kaiju Big Battel" played frequently, so I can't see the word without thinking of their shows.) Here we meet a family, one of whom is a Hero, travelling out of humanity's safe dwelling caves to do battle against a destructive alien monster. The story is intercut with a couple of different kinds of texts. Some are notes from a geneticist, talking about the project to change some humans into "heroes" in order to fight the alien menace. The others are like video game strategy notes, talking about how much XP and power a character can get from their companions. The story seems to have been inspired by the idea of "lending strength" to someone, and how one might "take strength" from their family bonds - here the idea is taken quite literally. I liked the story, and thought it got quite a lot of complex and fascinating ideas into a short amount of space. However, I wished that the main narrative had been clear enough to dispense with the need for the 'genetics notes,' and I also thought that the 'video game notes' weakened the story rather than strengthening it. ****“Waters of Versailles”, Kelly Robson Previously read at: http://www.tor.com/2015/06/10/waters-... New author Kelly Robson has been getting quite a bit of buzz for this novella, as well as the short stories which she recently had published, and I think it's very well deserved. This is going to be an author to watch - she's got a way with words! Sylvain is an ingenious man with an eye for the main chance. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead - whether that's a carefully planned seduction or sucking up to a well-placed aristocrat. In this alternate-18th century Versailles, his efforts have so far had good results. Sylvain has introduced the flush toilet - and the associated plumbing - to the court, and his facilities have become the hottest new thing. However, his water lines have a disturbing tendency to spring leaks, and his efforts to keep everything running become more and more frantic. It turns out that Sylvain isn't an engineer or plumber at all. Rather, his entrepreneurial vision depends on magic - and a captive. *****“Capitalism in the 22nd Century, or AIr”, Geoff Ryman Previously read in Horton's 'Year's Best.' The anthology this originally appeared in was dedicated to Samuel Delany, which is why I skipped it – I’ve just never been able to become a fan. I’m not sure how this story relates to Delany, though. Rather, it seems to be a sequel, of sorts, to Ryman’s short story/novel, “Air: Or, Have Not Have.” The novel shows us the inception of a totally wireless Internet. In this story, we jump ahead and see where that innovation has taken the world. The theme: The artificial intelligences that humans create to serve us will eventually become our masters. It’s an arguably over-done theme, but this is a very well-done, excellent iteration of it. Two Brazilian women have scrimped and saved and had irreversible medical procedures done in order to be able to join a secret, illegal colony mission to a distant planet. The story itself follows their frantic, fearful journey to the spacecraft. Along the way, though, we explore power structures, interconnectivity, and cost/benefit relations. The most obvious is that between human and the AI networks that they depend on. The second is more traditional, political power structures, between a dominant economy and the smaller ones surrounding it. And finally, we also find out that the relationship between two individuals that we initially saw as cooperative equals are not quite that, either. Subtle and thought-provoking… I thought it was excellent. ***“Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones In a future where AIs are fully sentient beings, a cop who happens to be one of the oldest born-humans still alive tracks down a petty criminal you happens to be a young AI. But things go unexpectedly wrong, and she must re-evaluate her life expectations. The brief summary makes it sound like a crime story, but it's really more of an exploration of a potential post-humanist society. ****“The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsyn Muir Previously read in Horton's 'Best...' There’s been quite a bit of work coming out lately with Lovecraftian influences updated for a modern setting. For example, Daryl Gregory’s ‘Harrison Squared.’ I think that this story would definitely share an audience with that one. Hester has never been one of the ‘cool’ girls – she’s always been a bit peculiar, and it shows, even though the kids at school might not know that she’s part of an ancient family of seers and chroniclers, and that he life’s destiny is to document the coming of a leviathan horror which will lay waste to the land (including demolishing WalMart.) But when Hester meets a girl named Rainbow who’s a disturbing but alluring combination of trendy and sociopathic – and who may be doomed in the coming upheaval – her objective standpoint as observer and documentarian may change. ***“Dancy vs. the Pterosaur”, Caitlin R. Kiernan I've read more than one of Kiernan's stories featuring Dancy Flammarion, the albino drifter who's guided by an angel to do battle with various supernatural beings. Here, she has a brief encounter with what seems to be a dragon - and also, an encounter with a scientifically-minded young girl with an ambition to become a herpetologist. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was the best of these stories: it was barely the equivalent of a chapter in Dancy's saga; the science-vs.-religion debate didn't really cover any new or interesting angles, and it was missing both climax and resolution. I still really enjoy Kiernan's writing, but didn't find this to be the strongest example of it. *****“Calved”, Sam J. Miller While this story has a future setting, the setting - while extremely well-drawn - is not essential to the plot. It really a story about a father's relationship with his son. The father - the narrator - is forced by poverty to work a job that takes him away from home for months at a time. His now-teen son is growing away from him during those absences, becoming more and more distant. The father wants nothing more than to recapture their closeness - but isn't sure how to go about it. It's heartbreaking - and utterly believable. Reminded me a bit of the excellent Maureen McHugh. ***“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, Elizabeth Bear Previously read in 'Old Venus.' I’m not getting the connection to the David Bowie song referenced in the title… Other than that, this is a pretty good sci-fi adventure. An exo-archaeologist goes on a dangerous solo mission in an attempt to find a lost city: and, in the process, ‘prove’ herself to her over-achieving lover. A fight with alien megafauna features prominently. I loved all the details here – the setting, the ‘throwaway’ details about technology, future social attitudes, plant and animal life. However, the central psychodrama involving the main character and her lover didn’t really grab me. ***“The Machine Starts”, Greg Bear Previously read in 'Future Visions.' Experimental quantum computing leads to unforeseen side effects among the team of physicists working on the project. More ‘cautionary’ than I expected. ****“Blood, Ash, Braids”, Genevieve Valentine Previously read in 'Operation Arcana.' Historically interesting, AND a rousing good tale. A group of Russian WWII fighter pilots, all women, are assigned horribly dangerous missions. A bit of witchcraft may help them stay alive… *****“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers”, Alyssa Wong Yes, the vampire genre has been done to death, but every so often we still get a twist on it that is fresh & original. Here we are given a tale of love and predation among Asian women in present-day New York City. (Bret Easton Ellis meets Amy Tan? ;-) I also think this would appeal to fans of Tanith Lee). I liked the nuanced treatment of relationships between the characters, and the idea that a vampire might be irrevocably affected by the person whose essence they consume. Wong is definitely an author I'll be keeping my eye out for in the future. *****“The Lily and the Horn”, Catherynne Valente Previously read at: http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/podca... In a fairytale-like future, wars were eschewed as pointless, wasteful exercises of violence. Battlefields merely resulted in mass death - why not instead settle conflicts by a contest of poison? Thus began the tradition of wars fought at a dinner table. Of course, human nature being what it is, it wasn't long before these toxic dinners no longer involved merely two rival leaders. Soon, the leaders sent proxies in their stead. Then, many proxies. So - mass death of the innocent is still bound to occur, but some things have changed. Since poison has always been the traditional realm of women, he now have schools where some women train to be well versed in the uses of exotic poisons - and others who become experts in ways of combating poison's effects and knowing the antidotes. In this world, Valente tells us a tragic love story. Lush and lyrical language encases fascinating and well-developed ideas - and a plot which is moving and lovely in itself. Loved it. ***“The Empress in Her Glory”, Robert Reed Our new alien overlords prefer a hands-off approach. To manage affairs on Earth, they quietly select the best candidate: a widow who works at an insurance company, who writes an obscure blog in her spare time. Well-crafted. ***“The Winter Wraith”, Jeffrey Ford While his wife's out of town, a man has the task of dismantling the Christmas tree and putting away the ornaments. It's always more fun putting up the tree than taking it down, but this time the endeavor becomes more difficult - and creepier - than one would expect. The buildup here is done really well, a classic 'home alone' horror scenario with unexplained and threatening noises and clues, as well as a quite humorous aspect... but the ending really just fizzles out. *****“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan”, Ian McDonald Previously read in 'Old Venus.' Ian McDonald has been very hit-or-miss for me. Some of his works I've loved; others have left me cold. But - this one's a hit! A well-known & wealthy artist has embarked on a tour of Venus with her dear companion, ostensibly with the goal of creating artworks inspired by the alien flora. But it gradually becomes clear that the Countess has another agenda: she's trying to find her long-lost brother. Against a fascinating but seemingly-innocent background of lovely flowers emerges a welter of conflicts involving jewel thefts, dynastic marriages, bloody conflicts, power struggles, and the fomenting of revolution. The richly detailed and gorgeous worldbuilding and the compelling characters made me completely forgive the unanswered question the reader's left with. *****“Little Sisters”, Vonda McIntyre Previously read (purchased from Book View Cafe). Boy, did this one squick me out. I think that's why I started out with 4 stars, but after letting it coagulate, I think it deserves 5. The fact that's it's truly disturbing is a good thing. At the outset, we see a soldier, retrieved and brought back home long after a dangerous and successful solo mission. He anticipates congratulations, honor, and tangible reward for his accomplishments... but not everything transpires as he expects. Saying too much would be spoiling the well-crafted way in which McIntyre reveals the deeper aspects of the story, but with lean and concise prose, she conjures a strikingly original alien species with a social agenda, power structure and ideals that a reader is likely to find both troubling and believable. Vonda McIntyre, in my opinion, is an author who has not received the prominence she deserves - and this story shows that she's still at the top of her game. ****“Ghosts of Home”, Sam J. Miller In this alternate reality, it's an accepted fact that every house has its own spirit - a spirit which can manifest in different ways, but which must be propitiated. This hasn't stopped this reality from having a subprime mortgage scandal very similar to our own. Houses are being foreclosed everywhere, inhabitants forced out and whole neighborhoods left vacant. It's our narrator's job (an underpaid, underappreciated job) to go leave offerings to try to calm down the spirits of these empty homes. She's not supposed to actually talk and converse with the spirits... but of course, one day she does - and that's the fulcrum point upon which everything will change. **“The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club”, Nike Sulway Previously read in Horton's 'Year's Best.' Perhaps I’d have appreciated this more if I was more familiar with the work of Karen Joy Fowler? I’m not, so I can’t say how it comments on her oeuvre. As it was, I didn’t really enjoy this story of doomed-to-extinction rhinoceroses puttering about, planning book club meetings, buying things on eBay, checking facebook, and trying to find comfort in each other. Rhinos or no rhinos, this felt like the sort of supposedly-meaningful banal and quotidian chick-lit that I just don’t care for. ***“Oral Argument”, Kim Stanley Robinson Presented as a one-sided conversation. (Is there a specific name for this writing technique? I feel like there is, and that I've forgotten it.) The voice we hear is that of a lawyer/spokesperson who's been subpoenaed by the Supreme Court for questioning regarding a patent case. Apparently, the scientists he's representing discovered a technique allowing humans to photosynthesize. And apparently, this technique has caused quite a lot of chaos in society - or has it really? **“Drones”, Simon Ings Previously read in Horton's 'Best of.' In a near-future where we’ve wiped out the bees, British society has reshaped itself in strange and disturbing forms. Because, oh yes, the bee plague pretty much wiped out women, too… and men have learned to get along (although, arguably, not ‘well’) without bees or females. I liked the dystopic, Handmaid’s-Tale-esque feel to the story, but its intentional opacity didn’t really work that well for me. *****“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn”, Usman T. Malik I'd heard good things about this story before reading it, and it lived up to all of them. Our narrator grew up hearing stories from his grandfather about the dethroned Mughal princess he knew, living in poverty, running a tea shop in Pakistan which has protected by a jinn. Those tales didn't seem significant to him until his grandfather dies, and he goes back to Florida for the funeral, from his job as a professor in the Northeast. Among his grandfather's effects he finds a journal which will lead him to Lahore, in search of a mysterious and secret treasure. The story seamlessly melds Indiana Jones-style adventure with philosophical speculation on the nature of the universe, and with a sharply-drawn, contemporary depiction of the relationships between lovers, communication between generations, and the difficulties of the immigrant experience. Yes, it's a lot to take on in one short story, but it all works perfectly. My one quibble? I've always had a fundamental objection to stories where (view spoiler)[the magical quest object or secret knowledge must be destroyed because it's just too much for humanity to take, too dangerous for the world. I prefer the burden of curatorship or guardianship to the finality of destruction. (hide spoiler)] This story does that with acknowledgement of this problem - but it does it anyway. And I still didn't love that aspect. But I still loved the story. It's amazing. Read it! *****“Another Word for World”, Anne Leckie Previously read in 'Future Visions.' Leckie features a piece of new technology as an intrinsic and essential element to the story, discusses insightfully both the pros and cons of the ramifications of that technology – AND couches the discussion seamlessly within a tense, action-filled plot featuring two well-drawn, believable characters Two ethnic groups, the Gidanta and the Raksamat, are approaching a state of war. Territorial tensions on a coloniz

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    I've been a fan of Strahan's "Year's Best" collections for years. He has a great eye for memorable stories, and the tenth volume is no exception. So what was last year in SFF like? As one might expect, Strahan's introduction included a few mentions of the "Sad Puppies" Hugo controversy, but despite the push for "traditional" SFF of adventurous derring-do, Strahan's collection contains a satisfying variety of thoughtful examinations of social issues as well as a few pure chilling tales and rip-ro I've been a fan of Strahan's "Year's Best" collections for years. He has a great eye for memorable stories, and the tenth volume is no exception. So what was last year in SFF like? As one might expect, Strahan's introduction included a few mentions of the "Sad Puppies" Hugo controversy, but despite the push for "traditional" SFF of adventurous derring-do, Strahan's collection contains a satisfying variety of thoughtful examinations of social issues as well as a few pure chilling tales and rip-roaring adventures. My favourite variety of short story is the one where the twist is like a punch in the gut, and where the story haunts you long after you close the book. "Little Sisters" by Vonda N. Mcintyre is easily one of the most chilling, eerie stories in the entire collection. It is [trigger warning] about rape, and defilement, and child custody, but all in an utterly alien context, and all told from the perspective of a gender and sexuality utterly foreign to our own. Yet the sheer alienness also makes it distressingly, effectively visceral. Equally unique was "Kaiju Maximus: 'So Various, So Beautiful, So New'" by Kai Ashante Williams. It takes place in a future where superhuman Heroes fight endlessly against alien forces, told from the perspective of a camp follower. It's an interesting vision of the superhero dynamic and the ways in which someone with superhuman abilities can all too quickly become inhuman, and it's all the more fascinating because of the underlying gender dynamics: the great Hero is female and the camp follower is male. Alyssa Wong's "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" is one of the most thoroughly creepy short stories I've encountered for a while. It involves vampirelike creatures--possibly Jiangshi, but I'm not sure-- who thrive on the consumption of evil thoughts. They also keep the spares in jars. Totally creepy, but it's also a coming-of-age story about sexuality and mother-daughter relationships. The common theme that stood out most to me was that of emergent consciousness. While the idea certainly has appeared before, this year, it felt almost omnipresent, taking the place of the previous year's focus on surveillance societies. I couldn't help but wonder if AlphaGo and similar breakthroughs influenced the writers or Strahan himself. Apart from the previously-mentioned "Little Sisters," quite a few stories played with the theme of a post-AI-ascended future, including Kelly Link's "The Game of Smash and Recovery", Geoff Ryman's "Capitalism in the 22nd Century or AIR", and Gwyneth Jones' "Emergence". Several explored themes of slavery, agency, and free will in such a future. Most memorably, Nalo Hopkinson and Nisi Shawl's "Jamaica Ginger" is a poignant steampunk story of an alternate nineteenth-century New Orleans. It uses the replacement of Pullman porters with AI robots to draw parallels to racism and slavery, and as I'd recently read a book that dealt with this history, I found the story particularly memorable. Strahan's SFF collections tend to define the genre quite broadly, and quite a few of the stories here could fit quite neatly into the horror genre. Tamsyn Muir's "The Deepwater Bride" is an entertaining take on the coming of a thonic Lovecraftian monster told from a teenage perspective. It boasts one of the best opening lines I've ever encountered: "In the time of our crawling Night Lord's ascendancy, foretold by exodus of starlight into his sucking astral wounds, I turned sixteen and received Barbie's Dream Car." "The Lily and the Horn" by Catherynn M. Valente is perhaps the first Valente story that I thoroughly enjoyed and wins the award as one of the creepiest love stories I've ever read. Lush, lyrical writing introduces us to a world where wars are fought with poison and treachery over the dinner tables. "A Murmuration" by Alastair Reynolds is a brilliant work of psychological horror and a perfect portrait of academic insanity. My favourite quotable quote: "I squeeze our data until it bleeds science." Neil Gaiman's "Black Dog," which opens the collection, combines American Gods-style worldbuilding with an atmospheric and foreboding take on the traditional village ghost story. Not all these horror-type stories worked for me, however: honestly, I wasn't sure what to make of Jeffrey Ford's "The Winter Wraith". A pseudo-horror story about a Christmas tree feels too ridiculous to be intended as anything but silly, but I didn't find it particularly funny, either. Several stories took current political concerns to a possible conclusion. "Oral Argument" by Kim Stanley Robinson is easily my favourite KSR story I've read. Told as excerpts from a court case by an extremely snarky witness, it's short, sweet, and with a vastly entertaining punchline. Paolo Bacigalupi's "City of Ash" is a vignette that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world of extreme water scarcity, possibly the same world as The Water Knife. Sam J. Miller's "Calved" is a poignant story of a father and his estranged son trying to come to terms in an ever-changing, post-US-collapsed world, but it's also about race and acceptance and prejudice and, most of all, entitlement. As the protagonist puts it: "Shielded by willful blindness and complex interlocking institutions of privilege, we mistook our uniqueness for universality." Sam J. Miller's other story in the collection, "The Ghosts of Home," is an imaginative take on the bank foreclosing catastrophe. While I didn't care much for the story's romance, several quotes were satisfyingly memorable: "Agnes had made mistakes before. [...] One thing was always true, though: She knew they were mistakes before she made them. She decided to make a mistake and that's what she did. The hard part was figuring out the right mistake to make." "Another Word for World" by Ann Leckie is a brilliant and amusing examination of language and the way it shapes our preconceptions. Thematically, it reminded me tremendously of C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner. Ian Mcdonald's "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan" is a very direct transference of the late nineteenth century imperialistic mentality to Venus, complete with teeth-grinding jingoism and grating "Great White Hunter"-type adventures. It's fun, but has the sort of jarring disconnect one gets when reading Kipling. A few of the stories didn't fall under any unifying theme. "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" by Elizabeth Bear is a thoroughly enjoyable gem that takes us to a distant planet where a scientist named Dharthi, preoccupied by a one-sided rivalry with her all-too-perfect lover, sets off on a dangerous scientific quest. Not only did the story show off Bear's lushly creative worldbuilding, but it also featured swamp tigers--definitely a win. Genevieve Valentine's "Blood, Ash, Brains" paints a vivid picture of the "Nachthexen" (Night Witches), with a little real witchcraft thrown in for good measure. Greg Bear's "The Machine Starts" is a trippy, brain-bending multiverse jaunt. "The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn" by Usman T Malik is one of the longer stories in the collection and fuses ancient myth with a man's relationship with his cultural history. Strahan continues to demonstrate his gift for creating eclectic, interesting collections that capture the spirit of the year. His collections tend to include many familiar names, but usually include a few new authors as well. If you're looking to widen your SFF perspective, I highly recommend picking up one of Strahan's Year's Best. ~~I received an advanced reader copy of this ebook from the publisher, Rebellion/Solaris, in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!~~ Excerpted from my review on BookLikes, where I also include commentary on literally every single story in the collection.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J.P.

    Another typically hard-hitting short story by the author set in a bleak future but you can see the ending coming from a mile away. If you enjoyed The Water Knife you're bound to like this. You can read it here: https://medium.com/matter/city-of-ash... Another typically hard-hitting short story by the author set in a bleak future but you can see the ending coming from a mile away. If you enjoyed The Water Knife you're bound to like this. You can read it here: https://medium.com/matter/city-of-ash...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Like everyone, I don't have the time I need to be able to keep up with all of the short fiction being published in a year. Thankfully, we have wonderful resources in the many Year's Best anthologies that are published. Jonathan Strahan is an editor whose reading taste I much admire (even when it doesn't mesh with my own), and I look forward to his annual Year's Best offering. This is the tenth volume in the series edited by Strahan. My reading of short fiction for the last year, especially outsid Like everyone, I don't have the time I need to be able to keep up with all of the short fiction being published in a year. Thankfully, we have wonderful resources in the many Year's Best anthologies that are published. Jonathan Strahan is an editor whose reading taste I much admire (even when it doesn't mesh with my own), and I look forward to his annual Year's Best offering. This is the tenth volume in the series edited by Strahan. My reading of short fiction for the last year, especially outside of Australia, has been more than scattershot, and I missed a lot of good fiction. There were more stories in this collection that I'd not read (though many I'd heard chatter about) than those I'd read, which speaks only to my reading habits. Hats off to Strahan and other like editors, who have to wade through oceans of fiction to pick out what they consider the best works of the year. Of especial note in this volume for me were: "Black Dog", by Neil Gaiman, "Dancy vs the Pterosaur" by Caitlin R. Kiernan, "Another Word for World" by Ann Leckie and "Water of Versailles" by Kelly Robson, though honestly, I enjoyed every story and could well see why they were selected for the collection, even when they didn't totally mesh with my own personal taste.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Burgoo

    This is a great overview of short fiction with selections from established authors as well as some up & coming ones. There's a little something for everyone here. A great look at what the year had to offer. http://fedpeaches.blogspot.com/2016/0... This is a great overview of short fiction with selections from established authors as well as some up & coming ones. There's a little something for everyone here. A great look at what the year had to offer. http://fedpeaches.blogspot.com/2016/0...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jaffa Kintigh

    Gathering together some of the best names in science fiction and fantasy, this anthology honors a smattering of the best short stories and novellas that emerged in the previous year. The genres range from historical fiction to futuristic science fantasy, from folklore to urban fantasy. Fully 11 of the 27 tales, I rated 4 or 5-stars. The best of the best are the four that I gave 5-stars: --Sam J. Miller, the sole author with more than one included tale, wrote two of the best tales. "Calved" tells Gathering together some of the best names in science fiction and fantasy, this anthology honors a smattering of the best short stories and novellas that emerged in the previous year. The genres range from historical fiction to futuristic science fantasy, from folklore to urban fantasy. Fully 11 of the 27 tales, I rated 4 or 5-stars. The best of the best are the four that I gave 5-stars: --Sam J. Miller, the sole author with more than one included tale, wrote two of the best tales. "Calved" tells a very human story of an immigrant father trying to understand his culturally savvy and acclimated son set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world. Miller's "Ghosts of Home" depicts a different angle on dysfunctional family dynamics as a mother and daughter find themselves on opposite sides of the American Housing Market Collapse in a supernatural urban fantasy in which the houses have spirits that bond with their owners. --Vonda N. McIntyre's "Little Sisters" is an off-world science fiction that bends gender and sexuality in a brutal dystopian tale of violence and exploitation. --Usman T. Malik's novella, The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn , blends urban fantasy with a supernatural folktale to explore the generational effects of immigration as a Pakistani-American goes in search of the Old World family history that's eluded him. I've rated all of the included stories: Bacigalupi, Paolo--"City of Ash"--4 stars Bear, Elizabeth--"The Heart's Filthy Lesson"--4 stars Ford, Jeffrey--"The Winter Wraith"--4 stars Leckie, Anne--"Another Word for World"--4 stars Muir, Tamsyn--"The Deepwater Bride"--4 stars Robson, Kelly-- Water of Versailles --4 stars Valentine, Genevieve--"Blood, Ash, Braids"--4 stars Bear, Greg--"The Machine Starts"--3 stars Gaiman, Neil--"Black Dog"--3 stars Hopkinson, Nalo & Nisi Shawl--"Jamaica Ginger"--3 stars Ings, Simon--"Drones"--3 stars Kiernan, Caitlin R.--"Dancy vs. the Pterosaur"--3 stars McDonald, Ian--"Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan"--3 stars Sulway, Nike--"The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club"--3 stars Valente, Catherynne M.--"The Lily and the Horn"--3 stars Wilson, Kai Ashante--"Kaiju maximus: 'So Various, So Beautiful, So New'"--3 stars Wong, Alyssa--"Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers"--3 stars Jones, Gwyneth--"Emergence"--2 stars Link, Kelly--"The Game of Smash and Recovery"--2 stars Reed, Robert--"The Empress in Her Glory"--2 stars Reynolds, Alastair--"A Murmuration"--2 stars Robinson, Kim Stanley--"Oral Argument"--2 stars Ryman, Geoff--"Capitalism in the 22nd Century, or A.I.R."--2 stars I received this new anthology from Netgalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Forgoszel

    Mit írhatnék? Szörnyen pocsék válogatás volt. Hatalmas csalódás volt. Az egy-két jólsikerült novellának nem sikerült felhúznia a válogatás egészét. Azon meg, hogy a 2017-es válogatás kint van már augusztusban, no comment. Persze lehet, Jonathan már olvasta a decemberi megjelenéseket is, ki tudja? De nem veszem meg…

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* This is the tenth (yes, tenth!) annual anthology of science fiction and fantasy edited by Jonathan Strahan. I talked about last year’s collection in fairly glowing terms, so this one arrived with some expectations in place. Happily enough, it met – and in the case of some stories, may have surpassed – them. As with last year, this is a diverse collection of material. It opens strongly with a new piece set in Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” world, a blen *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* This is the tenth (yes, tenth!) annual anthology of science fiction and fantasy edited by Jonathan Strahan. I talked about last year’s collection in fairly glowing terms, so this one arrived with some expectations in place. Happily enough, it met – and in the case of some stories, may have surpassed – them. As with last year, this is a diverse collection of material. It opens strongly with a new piece set in Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” world, a blend of modernity and the mystic, the protagonist a liminal figure. The dialogue is familiar, yet quirky, acidly, vulnerably human, the characters mouthing them likewise. Well, perhaps not always human. But this can be contrasted with the fabulously alien “Little Sisters”, Vonda McIntyre’s exploration of a thoroughly alien psychology and physiology. There’s enough there to empathise with, but the core factor is the strangeness, the newly odd becoming familiar. The characters operate in a cultural paradigm entirely different from our own – and that shift is one which makes for an enjoyable read. Then there’s the quieter fantasy of Robson’s “Water of Versailles”, drawing us back in time, lacing the slowly decaying wonder of the Bourbon courts with something a little more magical. It’s a quieter, more reflective piece on humanity, the things we do for advancement, and the decisions we make around what we find important. It sits in contrast to the tone of silence settled over Valente’s “The Lily and the Horn”, which presents a highly personal and highly lethal social engagement, whilst exploring the personal relationships sitting behind it. The subtext, as always with Valente, is entwined through the setting, through the dialogue, through the characters themselves – all making something living, breathing and complex. It’s the same throughout the rest of the collection. There’s something for everyone here, from Alastair Reynolds thoroughly eerie ‘Murmuration’ to Ann Leckie’s “Another Word for World”, a fabulous treatise on shared goals and the role of language. Of course it exists alongside a political backdrop and an assassination attempt. There’s a mixture of tone throughout - from the oppressive strangeness of “The Game of Smash and Recovery” to the sparklingly dark humour and raw truth behind “The Deepwater Bride”. Some of the pieces worked better than others, I thought, but as a whole, the collection has an unimpeachably strong level of quality. It delivers a startling range of science fiction and fantasy, and the stories themselves have a great many interesting things to say – and sprawling variety of ways to say them. On that basis, is this a collection worth reading? Yes, absolutely. There’s fast-paced action in here, enough to keep you turning pages. There’s fully formed characters, human and utterly otherwise. There’s vivid, elegantly crafted worlds, from the familiar to the thoroughly alien. Importantly, it’s also a collection of ideas, an anthology of thought, of exploration – looking at who we are, how we got here, and where we’re going. On that basis, though it does try to be all things to all people, I’d say that on the whole, it succeeds, and does so rather well. SO if you’re looking for an anthology of exciting fiction, from old favourites and different voices, then you could do a lot worse than to spend your time on this. Give it a go.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vijayalakshmi

    As most of you may know, I have a special fondness for science fiction and fantasy. I love that these other worlds allow us to explore the issues and prejudices of our time within a fictional framework. Even when the setting is dystopian, it offers a scenery within which we can strive to find solutions to the problems of today. Where literary fiction serves as a description and exploration of the issues at hand, genre fiction, especially speculative fiction, is an exercise in problem solving. We As most of you may know, I have a special fondness for science fiction and fantasy. I love that these other worlds allow us to explore the issues and prejudices of our time within a fictional framework. Even when the setting is dystopian, it offers a scenery within which we can strive to find solutions to the problems of today. Where literary fiction serves as a description and exploration of the issues at hand, genre fiction, especially speculative fiction, is an exercise in problem solving. We may never find all the answers, but the turning over of questions in the mind is a worthy exercise in itself. The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 10 is an anthology of tales that amaze, excite and kindle thought. The line-up of featured authors is impressive, and they do not disappoint. Compared to previous volumes, the current volume falls a bit short, but it is still very enjoyable. Gaiman’s Baskervillesque Black Dog, is a dark tale that calls up some ancient, pre-historic fears. A Murmuration, by Alastair Reynolds is just as scary. Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson is a strangely tactile experience. Dancy vs the Pterosaur by Caitlin R Kiernan is a scaffold to the evolution vs creationism debate that leaves one wanting more. One of my favourite stories from the collection is Elizabeth Bear’s The Heart’s Filthy Lesson, which is a truly exciting adventure. Greg Bear’s The Machine Starts is a tangled thread that the reader will enjoy unraveling. Alyssa Wong’s Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers is a captivating, edge of the seat experience. The Lily and the Horn is another favourite story set in a fictional world of lords and ladies out to battle. The story I loved the most comes towards the end of the anthology–Usman T Malik’s The Pauper Prince and The Eucalyptus Jinn, which evokes the sights and sounds of Lahore in a manner reminiscent of the Thousand and One Nights. The above mentioned are just a handful of my favourites from amongst many good tales. Travel well through these varied worlds, adventurous reader! The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 10, published by Rebellion, is forthcoming on May 17th 2016. FTC disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for this honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    SF/F has long been my favored genre to read, simply because the options available for telling a good story defy imagination. Being able to create own worlds and creatures, discuss possibilities on distant planets that may or may not even exist...it leaves a reader with boundless opportunities for entertainment and enrichment. And with some of the amazing storytellers that are writing today, readers are luckier than ever. Within the pages of this book are some of those storytellers, with short sto SF/F has long been my favored genre to read, simply because the options available for telling a good story defy imagination. Being able to create own worlds and creatures, discuss possibilities on distant planets that may or may not even exist...it leaves a reader with boundless opportunities for entertainment and enrichment. And with some of the amazing storytellers that are writing today, readers are luckier than ever. Within the pages of this book are some of those storytellers, with short stories that cover the gamut. However, there is a caveat - as with any collection put together with varied artists, some stories will appeal to some more than others. Neil Gaiman? I love him, but others may not. And that's the nature of this kind of volume. I can say without reservations that I enjoyed a majority of the stories. And yes, there were some authors I was unfamiliar with, and I can say I will be looking for more of their work. For that is *also* the nature of a collection like this - the opportunity to broaden one's horizons and find new authors and works to explore. Overall, this was a wonderful group of authors and works, and I can say I would highly recommend it. Mr. Strahan did an excellent job with the compilation, and I look forward to more from him!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    This very short teaser story prequels The Water Knife which is a climatic fiction set some 50 years in Arizona's future. It features the novel's protagonist Maria Villarosa when she was still full of hope, as her father got a job which would give them enough water. The story captures the novel's setting very good - with Phoenix unrelenting heat, drought, Clearsacs, Chinese building corporations, Red Cross water pumps, vertical hydroponic gardens. The refugee situation, or Oklahoma border militia This very short teaser story prequels The Water Knife which is a climatic fiction set some 50 years in Arizona's future. It features the novel's protagonist Maria Villarosa when she was still full of hope, as her father got a job which would give them enough water. The story captures the novel's setting very good - with Phoenix unrelenting heat, drought, Clearsacs, Chinese building corporations, Red Cross water pumps, vertical hydroponic gardens. The refugee situation, or Oklahoma border militias are only lurking at the story's horizon. It is a nice addition for fans of the novel and also a good introduction to the setting. But given its shortness of only five pages, don't expect too much action or character development. I found the ending to be quite predictable. If you liked this, you might want to read Shooting the Apocalypse which is far better than this story. The author also published a story A Hot Day's Night, featuring Charlene and Lucy from the novel.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Note: Received a copy of this book from NetGalley Some of my absolute favourite things to read are science fiction & fantasy short stories so I wasn't surprised that I liked this collection as much as I did. There were some weak ones but I think that's to be expected and really boils down to a matter of personal taste. Some of the ones I loved the most: City of Ash - Paolo Bacigalupi (love love love his work, this was haunting) A Murmuration - Alastair Reynolds (creepy and atmospheric) Waters of Ver Note: Received a copy of this book from NetGalley Some of my absolute favourite things to read are science fiction & fantasy short stories so I wasn't surprised that I liked this collection as much as I did. There were some weak ones but I think that's to be expected and really boils down to a matter of personal taste. Some of the ones I loved the most: City of Ash - Paolo Bacigalupi (love love love his work, this was haunting) A Murmuration - Alastair Reynolds (creepy and atmospheric) Waters of Versaille - Kelly Robson (maybe my favourite from this collection, definitely the one that stuck with me the most) The Deepwater Bride - Tamsyn Muir (a perfect mix of Lovecraft and teenage angst, reminded me of My Best Friend's Exorcism in a way!) Blood, Ash, Braids - Genevieve Valentine (I had heard of the Night Witches before and this is an incredible take on some already incredible women) The Lily and the Horn - Catherynne M. Valente (the art of poisoning as war... rich and beautiful) The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn - Usman T. Malik (enchanting, reads like a fairy tale)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    3.5 Really interesting story set in the same world as The Water Knife. It's not as great as the novel but I would still recommend reading it if you enjoyed TWK. Merged review: Full review available on my blog here: https://thecurioussffreader.wordpress... Does this collection contain the “bestSFF” of the year? I don’t know. Thousands of stories are written every year and you can’t possibly read them all. Do I think that every single story “deserve” a spot on this antholgy? No. Of course they are a f 3.5 Really interesting story set in the same world as The Water Knife. It's not as great as the novel but I would still recommend reading it if you enjoyed TWK. Merged review: Full review available on my blog here: https://thecurioussffreader.wordpress... Does this collection contain the “bestSFF” of the year? I don’t know. Thousands of stories are written every year and you can’t possibly read them all. Do I think that every single story “deserve” a spot on this antholgy? No. Of course they are a few duds, I can’t possibly love them all. Do I think that it is a good Best of the Year anthology? Absolutely. I don’t love all the stories but they all contain interesting themes and reflexions on various different topics such as social issues, family, consciousness, discrimination and they’re all tactful. Yes, I didn’t love all of them but could I have done a better job than Strahan? Nope!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lucardus

    Einige stärkere Stories, aber auch viel Durchschnitt, zu viel, als dass ich glauben kann, dass hier wirklich das Best Of des Jahres 2015 enthalten ist. Ich habe auch das Gefühl, dass manche Namen einfach in jeder Ausgabe vorkommen, obwohl ich nicht nachvollziehen kann, wo die betreffenden Stories herausragend gegenüber dem Rest wären. Das hat wohl auch mit Marketing zu tun, denn manche Namen müssen offenbar auf dem Cover sein, um jenseits des Hardcore-Publikums Leute auf eine solche Anthologie z Einige stärkere Stories, aber auch viel Durchschnitt, zu viel, als dass ich glauben kann, dass hier wirklich das Best Of des Jahres 2015 enthalten ist. Ich habe auch das Gefühl, dass manche Namen einfach in jeder Ausgabe vorkommen, obwohl ich nicht nachvollziehen kann, wo die betreffenden Stories herausragend gegenüber dem Rest wären. Das hat wohl auch mit Marketing zu tun, denn manche Namen müssen offenbar auf dem Cover sein, um jenseits des Hardcore-Publikums Leute auf eine solche Anthologie zu ziehen. Herausragend: Nalo Hopkinson & Nisi Shawl Elizabeth Bear Catherynne Valente Kai Ashante Wilson Vonda McIntyre Ian McDonald

  15. 5 out of 5

    Oriente

    Időben visszafelé haladva abszolválom a magyarul megjelent Strahan-antológiákat, és ezzel a kötettel a rövidke sor végére is értem. Az összehasonlítás gyakorlatilag kikerülhetetlen: A 2016-os antológiát "közepesebbnek" éreztem, mint a 2017-est, abban az értelemben, hogy kevesebb novella került a tetszésindexem két végpontjába. Nagyon rosszat nem is tudnék megnevezni közöttük, viszont kiemelkedőnek is kevesebbet találtam. Ettől függetlenül töretlen lelkesedéssel adózom a puszta jelenségnek, hogy Időben visszafelé haladva abszolválom a magyarul megjelent Strahan-antológiákat, és ezzel a kötettel a rövidke sor végére is értem. Az összehasonlítás gyakorlatilag kikerülhetetlen: A 2016-os antológiát "közepesebbnek" éreztem, mint a 2017-est, abban az értelemben, hogy kevesebb novella került a tetszésindexem két végpontjába. Nagyon rosszat nem is tudnék megnevezni közöttük, viszont kiemelkedőnek is kevesebbet találtam. Ettől függetlenül töretlen lelkesedéssel adózom a puszta jelenségnek, hogy a friss, kortárs SFF novellák legalább egyik válogatása éves rendszerességgel jelenik meg a magyar piacon, állandó eszmecsere- és vitatémát nyújtva a zsáner elkötelezett olvasóinak (például nekem). Arról a nem elhanyagolható tényről nem is beszélve, hogy új szerzők munkáiba, illetve új világokba nyerek így bepillantást. A részletes értékeléstől eltekintek. Csak pár szóval szeretnék megemlékezni azokról a novellákról, amelyek ilyen vagy olyan szempontból telibe találtak. Catherynne M. Valente: Liliom és szarv Színes és fűszeres mint minden Valente, szinte lemászik a szöveg a lapokról. Mindeközben okos és sokrétegű: egyfajta allegória az én olvasatomban a klasszikus nemi szerepek átalakulásáról, és arról hogy az emberi tényező, illetve az együtthatók lényegében változatlanok. Elizabeth Bear: A szív mocskos feladványa Magányos, transzhumán ámokfutás a bizarr vénuszi vegetációban. Klasszikus és új elemek remekül elegyítve, nagyon tetszetős arányokkal tálalva. A kutatási lázban és a túlélés adrenalinlöketeiben tobzódó történet hátterében pedig fokozatosan kibontakoznak egy párkapcsolat fájdalmasan ismerős frusztrációi. Alyssa Wong: Sorvadó anyának éhező leánya Wong megevett reggelire, de utána én émelyegtem. Durván erős képek és áthallások. Lehet az ilyet finomabban és kevésbé cikornyásan is, de nem tudtam kivonni magam a hatása alól. Kelly Robson: Versailles vizei Nagyon szép arányú, szép ívű írás, tökéletes hangulatfestés kiegyensúlyozott ütemben. Ráadásul a főhős tekintetében komplett fejlődésregény egy novellácskába csomagolva. Vonda N. McIntyre: Húgocskák Sokkolt... Nagyjából ennyit tudok hozzáfűzni. :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Letya

    Kedves Jonathan! Elolvastam az antológiát. Nem, nem is ez a jó szó rá. Inkább az, hogy végigszenvedtem a kötetet. Az állítod a címben, hogy "Az év legjobb science fiction és fantasy novellái"...ha ezek voltak a legjobbak, akkor milyen lehetett a többi? Jó, volt benne egy-kettő kiemelkedő, ami tényleg megérdemli a méltatást (Kelly Robson: Versailles vizei, Tamsyn Muir: A mélytenger menyasszonya, Greg Bear: Indul a gép és Kim Stanley Robinson: Felszólalás), de ezek sem tudták feledtetni azokat a mél Kedves Jonathan! Elolvastam az antológiát. Nem, nem is ez a jó szó rá. Inkább az, hogy végigszenvedtem a kötetet. Az állítod a címben, hogy "Az év legjobb science fiction és fantasy novellái"...ha ezek voltak a legjobbak, akkor milyen lehetett a többi? Jó, volt benne egy-kettő kiemelkedő, ami tényleg megérdemli a méltatást (Kelly Robson: Versailles vizei, Tamsyn Muir: A mélytenger menyasszonya, Greg Bear: Indul a gép és Kim Stanley Robinson: Felszólalás), de ezek sem tudták feledtetni azokat a mélyrepüléseket, melyek rendszeresen unalomba fullasztották az olvasást. Volt olyan, melyen háromszor is bealudtam, mire a végére értem. Ezen írásoknál csak egy pozitívumot tudok kiemelni: a fordítók munkáját. Külön dicséretet érdemel Kleinheincz Csilla a Liliom és szarv fordításáért! De elemezzük még egy kicsit a címet..."novellái". Hol voltak itt novellák? Talán ha kettőt találtam az egész kötetben. A többi az inkább elbeszélés volt, vagy éppen kisregénynek beillő hosszúságú eszmefuttatás a semmiről. Ha jól számoltam, akkor 27 "novellát" tartalmaz a kötet. Ha valóban novellák kerültek volna be az antológiába, akkor simán elég lett volna 200-250 oldalas terjedelem. Ehelyett több mint 600 oldalnyi betűvetésen voltam kénytelen átrágni magam. Eléggé szubjektív, hogy kinek mi számít az év legjobbjának, de látom, hogy nekünk nagyon nem hasonlít az ízlésünk. Annyit még elárulnék, hogy itt, ebben a kis országban, simán össze tudnánk szedni mi is 27 novellát egy éves antológiába (ami 250 oldalon is vígan elférne) és sokkal jobb lenne, mint ez (sőt, ha megnézzük az elmúlt pár év termését, nem egy példát is találunk). Pedig az angolszász nyelvterületen azért sokkal több szerző publikál. Két csillagot azért adok, mert sikerült néha belenyúlnod. Valamint felfedeztem magamnak Usman T. Malik-ot, aki előtt még nagy karrier áll. Azért remélem nincs harag. Én nem zárkózom el a 2017-es antológiád elől, hiszen mindenki megérdemel még egy esélyt. De remélem, hogy jövőre sikerül egy kicsit jobb novellákat összeválogatni.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Greaves

    There are twenty seven stories in this book, each one of them a new universe. It took me a month to read them all, which is slow going for me. My only excuse is ... umm ... as a reader, this is embarrassing but *whispers* 'Netflix'. Yes, I got distracted by Stranger Things, Marvel, and The Expanse. Anyway, back to the book. I'm not going to comment on every story, there are 27 of them. 'A Murmuration' by Alistair Reynolds will linger in my imagination for a while. It's not what happens that is s There are twenty seven stories in this book, each one of them a new universe. It took me a month to read them all, which is slow going for me. My only excuse is ... umm ... as a reader, this is embarrassing but *whispers* 'Netflix'. Yes, I got distracted by Stranger Things, Marvel, and The Expanse. Anyway, back to the book. I'm not going to comment on every story, there are 27 of them. 'A Murmuration' by Alistair Reynolds will linger in my imagination for a while. It's not what happens that is so disturbing, it's all the things we're not told. 'Water of Versailles' by Kelly Robson held a strong appeal, with an interesting main character who I'd like to read more about. 'Emergence' by Gwyneth Jones was an absolute pleasure to read. What is life, what is death, when you've lived so long that technology has forgotten how to repair you? Tamsyn Muir's 'The Deepwater Bride' is a lovely piece of classic sf / fantasy, about love and family. Dancy v The Pterosaur is a fun read, and again I'd like to hear more about Dancy and her adventures. Sam J Miller's 'Calved' is a heartbreaking story of baffled fatherhood, set in a dystopian Earth future. I loved Elizabeth Bear's 'The Heart's Filthy Lesson'. It had action, emotion, imagination and love. Greg Bear does what he does so well in 'The Machine Starts'. What happens when technology goes very, very badly wrong. Just edging it as my favourite story of the book is Vonda McIntyre's 'Little Sisters'. It left me wanting so much more. Finally, Ann Leckie's 'Another Word for World' hit me in a soft spot. Although I'm a useless monoglot, I love stories about language, and this one is a good 'un.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lbech

    This the 11th of 13 volumes of Strahan has released so far. It was just as good as good as the others. I have read a few "The Long List" collections, that is, all (?) of the candidates nominated for one of the major awards. Strahan's collections are always better. His collections are always an interesting mix of excellent writing and creative takes on both SciFi and Fantasy. There were more fantasy this year than last, but that's because much of it was very, very good. My only concern is: what a This the 11th of 13 volumes of Strahan has released so far. It was just as good as good as the others. I have read a few "The Long List" collections, that is, all (?) of the candidates nominated for one of the major awards. Strahan's collections are always better. His collections are always an interesting mix of excellent writing and creative takes on both SciFi and Fantasy. There were more fantasy this year than last, but that's because much of it was very, very good. My only concern is: what am I going to read when I've finished the last of his collections? I guess I'll be waiting not so patiently for the next one and reading the Sci-Fan magazines to get the stories as they are published.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne Szlachcic

    This book was a mixed bag ........... some stories were excellent , others not quite up to the mark. But overall I enjoyed the variety of styles/plot lines and the different Authors' characters' development . If you want a taster of the different genres of Sci-Fi this book would be a good place to start This book was a mixed bag ........... some stories were excellent , others not quite up to the mark. But overall I enjoyed the variety of styles/plot lines and the different Authors' characters' development . If you want a taster of the different genres of Sci-Fi this book would be a good place to start

  20. 5 out of 5

    Peter Marendeak

    Számomra igencsak vegyes volt az összkép. 1-2 igazán emlékezetes darab volt, de a másik oldal is képviseltette magát, sőt volt olyan is, amit sehogy nem tudtam értelmezni. A három csillag azért jár, mert nem tudom elhinni, hogy tényleg nem születtek egy év alatt ezeknél jobb novellák.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peter Viera

    Terrible choice of stories The editor picked stories that were hardly science fiction. I read 5 and none held my attention. I was really excited to read this and was very let down

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lin

    Came for the Tamsyn Muir story (the ocean God has come for his bride!) stayed for everything else. Super good collection

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jannelies

    Warning: this is going to be a very personal review. In 1970 I read 2001 and I, Robot and I was immediately hooked. For 35 years, till the Worldcon in Glasgow in 2005, I lived for SF. Of course, I went to school, got a job, got married (twice) and did other things, but there were always Science Fiction books and stories to be read and reviewed, there was always a new issue of the Dutch SF magazine Holland-SF to be edited, there were always (inter)national conventions to be attended. I went to a Warning: this is going to be a very personal review. In 1970 I read 2001 and I, Robot and I was immediately hooked. For 35 years, till the Worldcon in Glasgow in 2005, I lived for SF. Of course, I went to school, got a job, got married (twice) and did other things, but there were always Science Fiction books and stories to be read and reviewed, there was always a new issue of the Dutch SF magazine Holland-SF to be edited, there were always (inter)national conventions to be attended. I went to a couple of Worldcons - including one in The Hague, my hometown by that time - made friends from all over the world and even stayed with Forry Ackerman for a week when he invited me for this 80th birthday. I have pictures of myself with lots of great SF authors, including my favorite, Isaac Asimov. Between cons, I corresponded with my friends (no Internet in those days) and all we talked about was books. I even had, for a few years, a subscription to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction and Analog (a present from a dear friend). But life goes on and I noticed more and more Fantasy was published and less and less of the 'old school' SF, with authors like Asimov, Vance, Heinlein, Brown, Dick and numerous others (and in later years Simon Green, Lois McMaster Bujold and Orson Scott Card to name a few). And although I came to appreciate some Fantasy - I really love Tanith Lee - I couldn't find what I was looking for anymore. Still, I feel fond about the genre and therefore I asked for a copy of this book for a review. Jonathan Strahan is a very good editor and I started reading his lengthy introduction. To my utter surprise there was hardly an author I recognized and the more I read, the more I found out that apparently something serious happened in the SF world, leaving people like me wanting for some 'good old SF' instead of all this 'Fantasy with a small twist of SF'. After reading the whole book (I was glad to see there were still some authors I recognized, like Bear, Reynolds, McIntyre, Reed and Robson) I was left with the feeling that I had been reading one long book from one of maybe two or three authors. All stories looked alike; most stories were not about what SF or even Fantasy used to be, but stories with the main emphasis on relationships. In one story, a woman sets out on her own on Venus (looks a little like SF); figths with an alien life form (looks a little like SF) but all it boiled down to was the constant nagging of her female lover about how much she loved her. Boring... There is a story about a man who comes back from a long journey to try and build up a good relationship with his son. In the end, it all boils down to the fact that the son is afraid his father won't approve of the son having a boyfriend instead of a girl. There is no SF here, this story could have been set everywhere. Earlier this year I read 'The End of the World Running Club' and thát is what I call a very good SF book. Yes, it is about love too... but please read my review here on Goodreads to see the difference between that book and the stories I've just read. So, I'm dissappointed. On the other hand, not really. It's just that I hardly read any SF the past 10 years and this is what happened to the genre. So I just have to try and read some more to find stories and books that are still to my liking. As for the rest: of course this book deserves 4 stars because all authors in this book are good and sometimes very good. Thousands of people will love it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Profundus Librum

    Voltak benne kiválóak és bűn rosszak is, mint minden hasonló válogatásban. :) Nekem túl kevés volt benne a valódi (régimódi) fantasy. Azért így is nagyon bejött pár írás belőle: Tamsyn Muir: A mélytenger menyasszonya Neil Gaiman: Fekete kutya (de ezt már olvashattuk) Sam J. Miller: Jégtömbök Alyssa Wong: Sorvadó anyának éhező leánya Genevieve Valentine: Vér, hamu, fonat Kim Stanley Robinson: Felszólalás Kelly Link: Rombolj és találj Ann Leckie: Más néven a világ

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leah Bayer

    I love anthologies and short story collections. I know many people want to get really invested in a novel, but I've always been a sucker for the shorter format. It's like a rapid-fire burst of cool ideas, especially in the sff genres. And oh boy does this collection deliver on that promise: there's so much going on, so many ideas and concepts that range from pretty hard space opera scifi to new weird bizarreness. Of course no one is ever going to love everything in a collection, and there were a I love anthologies and short story collections. I know many people want to get really invested in a novel, but I've always been a sucker for the shorter format. It's like a rapid-fire burst of cool ideas, especially in the sff genres. And oh boy does this collection deliver on that promise: there's so much going on, so many ideas and concepts that range from pretty hard space opera scifi to new weird bizarreness. Of course no one is ever going to love everything in a collection, and there were a few duds for me. The first few were actually kind of meh (especially "Jamaica Ginger," "A Murmuration," and "Kaiju Maximus") but after that it really picked up speed. We have the magical "Waters of Versailles," the Lovecraftian comedy-horror "The Deepwater Bride," the wonderful scifi exploration tale "The Heart's Filthy Lesson," the utterly and wonderfully bizarre "Little Sisters"... there's just so much good here. My favorite was probably "The Lily and the Horn" though "Dancy vs the Pterosaur" came pretty darn close. I mean, there's a story with sentient rhinocerouses facing an extinction apocalypse. A story where humans learn to photosynthesize (with unexpected results). Sentient ships, sentient houses, giant monsters, explorations on Venus... really, there's a little something for everyone. I do feel like it could have been a little shorter. One story in particular, "The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn" was practically novella-length, and while I enjoyed the concept it was just too damn long. I felt myself having to push through a few stories to get to the good stuff (though of course everyone will have a different idea of "good stuff") but really there's a few in here that could definitely have been cut. [arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    One of the weaker entries of the series thus far, but still rich with excellent stories. Best of the year goes to Catherynne M. Valente's utterly gorgeous "The Lily and the Horn". Other highlights include Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Dancy vs. the Pterosaur" (like Batman v. Superman if it featured Dancy Flammarion and a pterosaur, and was actually good, and... well, nothing at all like Batman v. Superman, really), Tamsyn Muir's "The Deepwater Bride", and Sam J. Miller's "Calved". One of the weaker entries of the series thus far, but still rich with excellent stories. Best of the year goes to Catherynne M. Valente's utterly gorgeous "The Lily and the Horn". Other highlights include Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Dancy vs. the Pterosaur" (like Batman v. Superman if it featured Dancy Flammarion and a pterosaur, and was actually good, and... well, nothing at all like Batman v. Superman, really), Tamsyn Muir's "The Deepwater Bride", and Sam J. Miller's "Calved".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Oliver

    Alas, very weak year for Strahan's normally strong series. A disheartening barrage of so-so stories, even luminaries like Bacigalupi, Gaiman and McDonald disappoint. Few highlights by Usman T. Malik, Kelly Robson, Tamsyn Muir and Catherynne Valente. Honorable mentions go out to the stories by Greg Bear, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Alastair Reynolds and Anne Leckie. Alas, very weak year for Strahan's normally strong series. A disheartening barrage of so-so stories, even luminaries like Bacigalupi, Gaiman and McDonald disappoint. Few highlights by Usman T. Malik, Kelly Robson, Tamsyn Muir and Catherynne Valente. Honorable mentions go out to the stories by Greg Bear, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Alastair Reynolds and Anne Leckie.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bart

    3*

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Briggs

    Similar to "A Hot Day's Night". If you liked Bacigalupi's "The Water Knife", you'll enjoy this short story prequel. Similar to "A Hot Day's Night". If you liked Bacigalupi's "The Water Knife", you'll enjoy this short story prequel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

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