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In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explor In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award-winning authors and masters of the field. With an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation of short stories has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.


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In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explor In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award-winning authors and masters of the field. With an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation of short stories has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Spike Gomes

    Well, the 33rd Annual Collection of The Year's Best Science Fiction finally hit a banner mark for me as reader, a somewhat sad one. This collection, which I have been reading since the Eight Annual Collection when I was in high school, has now disappointed me. It's just so *politicized* in a heavy-handed way, and even worse, it's all pretty much the same political view done multiple times over. Gone are the days when I could expect speculative fiction that takes a Heinleinian social perspective, Well, the 33rd Annual Collection of The Year's Best Science Fiction finally hit a banner mark for me as reader, a somewhat sad one. This collection, which I have been reading since the Eight Annual Collection when I was in high school, has now disappointed me. It's just so *politicized* in a heavy-handed way, and even worse, it's all pretty much the same political view done multiple times over. Gone are the days when I could expect speculative fiction that takes a Heinleinian social perspective, or a gonzo libertarian riff. Now it's all progressive, all the time, and it's not the type in which "Let's take a speculative look at a society/world where sexual mores are very different from our own.", it's the "This is a moral parable of our current situation, in which the forces of goodness (us) are stifled by the antagonistic cardboard cutouts of (them)", or worse, apocalyptic wish fulfillment wank-fests in which those people in fly-over country get what's coming to them for their short-sightedness. Look, I'm willing to read stories by people who believe different things than me, I'm willing to drop my suspension of disbelief and enjoy something as a work of art even if I disagree with the author's priors (heck, how else could I enjoy Harlan Ellison or Samuel Delany otherwise?), but I will not be lectured to, and I will look askance at any story that attempts to hammer some ham-handed political message onto what are apolitical themes, particularly when they are completely gratituious add-ons that impede rather than help the story and obscure the general theme (and there are a couple doozies here, which I won't name. Take your guesses as to which). I mean even Gene Rodenberry would look at some these stories and be like "Whoa, maybe you could be a bit more nuanced here, kiddo." Granted, not all stories are like that, but I'm kind of disappointed in the most of the others as well; there's far too many fantastical retreads of "What if Mars or Venus had a habitable atmosphere."; only one of those was really any good. There were some good ones. "Gypsy" was a good take on the difficulties of interplanetary travel and failed ambitions "The Audience" was old-fashion science fiction done well... and honestly, now that I open the table of contents and reflect on each story, I'd still say that 1/3rd of them are okay to great, and a few of the ones I hated had great ideas or writing chops under the political message that turned me off. It's just... can't we ratchet it back a bit and have some ideological variety at least? 2.5 out of 5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Devlin

    Always real pearls thrown helter skelter throughout this annual tome. The story of a machine caregiver of an Alzheimer victim gaining sentience as it battles to replicate the dying woman's relatives while not causing her grief that lies at the heart of many families is what makes real science fiction great. Another story of a working class father coming to grips with his very limited horizons in a post broken down world and his vain and heartbreaking attempts to bond with his aging, adolescent and Always real pearls thrown helter skelter throughout this annual tome. The story of a machine caregiver of an Alzheimer victim gaining sentience as it battles to replicate the dying woman's relatives while not causing her grief that lies at the heart of many families is what makes real science fiction great. Another story of a working class father coming to grips with his very limited horizons in a post broken down world and his vain and heartbreaking attempts to bond with his aging, adolescent and very different son cuts to the heart of humanity. Here's my criticism, though. Too many of these stories use global warming as a backdrop. I feel I'm being lectured to and that perhaps Dozois is letting his bias leak through the selection process. When the US-Soviets squared off the de-rigeur formulation was post apocalyptic nuclear war but I don't remember those stories having such prevalence in these "Best Of's" These stories that are really warnings of present day sins are just a little above what I call Star Trekitis. Where stories of the far flung future are little more than reasons to hector and polemicize about the failings of humans at the dawn of the 21st century. That ain't what I signed up for and the diatribe disguised as story is not edifying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    I love this anthology series. If you're on the prowl to find some new sci-fi authors or simply enjoy short fiction, this is an excellent place to turn. If you're deeply interested in what's happening in the industry itself, the summation at the beginning gives a nice overview of the past year including other sources for short work. A word of advice if you care about spoilers or allowing stories to unveil themselves in their own time, read the introductory paragraphs after you finish the story. I love this anthology series. If you're on the prowl to find some new sci-fi authors or simply enjoy short fiction, this is an excellent place to turn. If you're deeply interested in what's happening in the industry itself, the summation at the beginning gives a nice overview of the past year including other sources for short work. A word of advice if you care about spoilers or allowing stories to unveil themselves in their own time, read the introductory paragraphs after you finish the story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charles Haywood

    I have read all of the Dozois annual collections. And this one, the thirty-third, is the best. I applaud Dozois’ bold ability to collect stories that, whatever their merits as literature or entertainment, truly show a path forward. A path forward from historical oppression of womyn; of those of color; of gender non-binaries; and of the sexually fluid and/or non-conforming; and towards the world of LGBTQQIP2SAA unshackling, with total autonomic self-actualization free of bigotry and hatred. So ra I have read all of the Dozois annual collections. And this one, the thirty-third, is the best. I applaud Dozois’ bold ability to collect stories that, whatever their merits as literature or entertainment, truly show a path forward. A path forward from historical oppression of womyn; of those of color; of gender non-binaries; and of the sexually fluid and/or non-conforming; and towards the world of LGBTQQIP2SAA unshackling, with total autonomic self-actualization free of bigotry and hatred. So rather than boring the reader of this review with plot summaries, since plot after all doesn’t matter when pursuing social justice, I’ll instead note the individual areas where Dozois’ story choices succeed so well. It does surprise me Dozois took this path. In today’s world, to challenge the dominant structures of patriarchy and heteronormativity, especially in the corporate publishing world, is to court not just rejection, but utter ruin. What a risk Dozois took with zirs career and zirs social acceptance by taking the bold stances ze did! I’m not sure why ze took this chance (perhaps ze has recognized the inevitable Sokolian dialectic of hetero-, homo-, and resultant metonymy), but we’re all the richer for it. Anyway, on to a few of the individual areas of this collection’s stunning success: Deconstructing Gender Conformity. Dozois shows us that in the future, everyone will be anything but cisgender. We all know that so-called human nature is just a stupid construct. These stories make sure the reader knows that the authors know that we know how important it is to know that. Fighting Heteronormativity. While this is the area in which perhaps the most progress has been made in today’s world, Dozois hammers the point home by making sure that we can all envision a future where nearly everybody is non-heteronormative. Yes, there are a few stories where offensive heteronormative activities appear, where individuals actually marry and have children, and no LGBTQQIP2SAA characters appear AT ALL! But mostly, total individualism is shown by total conformity to an ethic of non-heteronormativity. And, the authors aren’t narrowly constrained by their own universes. While some people might say that the spacefaring-yet-ultra-traditional Chinese society depicted in “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” wouldn’t allow the daughter of the Empress to marry a woman, we know better. Or rather, we know that to depict heteronormativity is the essence of hate, so we see that, viewed through the lens of social awareness, there can be no actual contradiction between such a story’s structure and the elements contained in it. Power to Womyn. The selections in this book show us why we should ignore the haters and cis-gender bigots who distract us with their irrelevant arguments, such as that no society in human history has ever been a matriarchy. In the fight against the patriarchy, we know reality is merely a construct. Recognizing this, many of these stories show a world where all leaders are womyn, and most societies depicted are matriarchal, formally or informally. For example, in one story, all men of course take the name of the woman who is dominant over them. Given the total lack of power womyn hold in today’s society, choosing stories with this stance is particularly far-seeing. Calling Out Bigots and Haters. The authors represented here, with heroic insight and originality, directly point out that the future is certain to be dreadful for anyone who retains so-called traditional values. For example, more than one story specifically calls out the redneck bigots who universally populate Texas, casting them as refugees in a future dystopia, thus showing how their current false veneer of hard work and authenticity is merely a sham. Not Flinching From Atheism. We all know that in the future the chains of religion will have fallen from humankind. Sure, bigots tell us that the religious impulse is part of (a fictional) human nature. Fortunately, though, the visionary authors in this collection never fall for that trap, and show us what the future will really look like—total freedom from religion. Saving The Earth. The stories here focus not on silly, original futures, but rather, with laser-like intensity, on the future we all know is inevitable given Republican, conservative, fascist, corporate greed. There is no doubt that a combination of pollution and global warming will result in disaster, and every story in this collection that imagines a dystopia rightly only considers those as the causes. Yes, the narrow-minded might criticize this as a conformist, herd-like view totally lacking in creativity. But those bigoted haters will get theirs in the future—we know that because of the stories in this book! I will admit, the stories do vary in their degree of commitment to social justice. Some place it at the forefront; others less so. But rare is the story that does not show that it, and its author, IS committed, and for that, we should all be grateful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    There are now several "Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year" or "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year" collections published annually. The oldest current series is the one discussed here, edited by Gardner Dozois and published by St. Martin's Griffin. This is the thirty-third entry in this series. There are more stories here than usual that I think are at best mediocre. There are also some stories that I think are outright poor. However, most of the stories are good, and some are ver There are now several "Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year" or "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year" collections published annually. The oldest current series is the one discussed here, edited by Gardner Dozois and published by St. Martin's Griffin. This is the thirty-third entry in this series. There are more stories here than usual that I think are at best mediocre. There are also some stories that I think are outright poor. However, most of the stories are good, and some are very good indeed. My favorites are: "Ruins" - Eleanor Arnason "Gypsy" - Carter Scholz "Rates of Change" - James S. A. Corey (pseudonym for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) "Calved" - Sam J. Miller "Today I Am Paul" - Martin L. Shoemaker "It Takes More Muscles to Frown" - Ned Beauman I haven't been a reader of science fiction on a regular basis for some years now. It is good to see authors included here who were writing back when I was reading science fiction constantly: Carter Scholz, John Kessel, Geoff Ryman, Michael Flynn, Nancy Kress, and others. It is also great to see talented authors new to me: Seanan McGuire, Ned Beauman, Sam J. Miller, Kelly Robson, and many others. Gardner Dozois' "Summation" at the beginning of the book is, as always, thorough and filled with information about the year in science fiction. I do wish that he would vary his format somewhat. Each year's "Summation" looks like every other's, with new names and figures plugged in. Also, I would very much like Dozois to include all of the nominees in his listing of awards toward the end of the summary. It would also be helpful if he briefly explained the meaning of the various awards. I don't think that I have ever mentioned typefaces in a review before, but the two typefaces used at the beginning of each story for the title and author of that story as well as in the running heads at the top of pages are both ugly and not particularly easy to read. The cover is by James Burns. Some points about particular stories: ◾The title of Ann Leckie's story "Another Word for World" seems to me to be a reference to Ursula Le Guin's novella "The Word for World is Forest." I don't see any other connection between the two stories, though. ◾Sam J. Miller's "Calved" is an excellent story with, unfortunately, an ending that is definitely telegraphed. ◾"The Children of Gal" by Allen M. Steele is, from the title on, a fine 1940's science fiction story. I do not mean that to be condescending at all. It is a fine story. I believe that it was meant to be a deliberate reference to old science fiction; I might be wrong. ◾I think that the title of Ned Beauman's "It Takes More Muscles to Frown" is somewhat misleading. That sounds to me like it would be the title of a comic story; it is not. "It Takes More Muscles to Frown" is one story that uses a scientific development that I have not seen before. ◾The three stories "Ruins" by Eleanor Arnason, "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathagan" by Ian MacDonald, and "Planet of Fear" by Paul J. McAuley are all from an anthology titled Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. I have not read that book but the premise must have been to write a story about the Venus described in years of previous science fiction stories, with no reference to any knowledge of the actual planet Venus. An earlier reviewer called "John" gave this book a pithy, hilarious review, saying in its entirety: Venus isn't a tropical jungle. Get over it. ⏹️(view spoiler)[There is very little humor in this book, but there is a passage I love in the story "Billy Tumult" by Nick Harkaway: By the fire you'd see Grendel, crouched in his long coat, roasting fish for his mother for her dinner. On a stout stick you'd see a head that looks a lot like Billy Tumult's. It would be unclear if it's a trophy or a dessert. (hide spoiler)] As always, this volume of Gardner Dozois' annual anthology is very much worth reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Schneider

    I'd like to finish this, probably got through a third of the stories. May adjust my rating if I return to it. I'm making an effort to read a wider range of science fiction, especially hard SF, space opera, anything outside my comfort zone of anthropological planetary romance. I usually find Best Of anthologies a mixed bag. Don't get me wrong, none of these stories was bad by any stretch, but I felt several were held back by slight characters and conservative story arcs. I really look for a short s I'd like to finish this, probably got through a third of the stories. May adjust my rating if I return to it. I'm making an effort to read a wider range of science fiction, especially hard SF, space opera, anything outside my comfort zone of anthropological planetary romance. I usually find Best Of anthologies a mixed bag. Don't get me wrong, none of these stories was bad by any stretch, but I felt several were held back by slight characters and conservative story arcs. I really look for a short story to elicit a strong emotional response and take me somewhere I didn't expect to go. "The Falls: A Luna Story" and "Another Word for World" were two well-told stories that met this criteria. The ones I read that really knocked it out of the park, however, were Gwyneth Jones's "Emergence" and Carter Scholz's "Gypsy." "Emergence" is a challenging work about transhumanism and artificial intelligence. The weird language is just right for a narrative about the boundaries of human experience. What's more, the protagonist goes on a physical and emotional journey that is deeply moving, even though we strain to imagine the characters and the world they inhabit. It's not a perfect story - some of Jones' parallels between transhumanism and the transgender experience fall flat - but it was ambitious and I loved that. Meanwhile, "Gypsy" is the most grimdark antidote to technological optimism I've ever read, a very bleak fable about space travel. It's heavy-handed and emotionally manipulative and I kind of adore Scholz for writing it. As a polemic, it's inherently an imperfect story, but goddamn does it make a contribution to science fiction literature. What I want more of, and didn't find in these stories: aliens! stories set in the far future! general weirdness! If I pick this one up again, we'll see what I get.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alison C

    I don’t read nearly as much science fiction as I used to, my tastes having turned more toward the mystery genre in recent years, but one thing that I always make sure to buy each year is the volume of science fiction short stories and novellas edited by Gardner Dozois. This is the 33rd straight year that he has edited this outstanding anthology, and as always he has chosen some of the best work in the field. As ever with such a collection, my favourites are not necessarily the favourites of othe I don’t read nearly as much science fiction as I used to, my tastes having turned more toward the mystery genre in recent years, but one thing that I always make sure to buy each year is the volume of science fiction short stories and novellas edited by Gardner Dozois. This is the 33rd straight year that he has edited this outstanding anthology, and as always he has chosen some of the best work in the field. As ever with such a collection, my favourites are not necessarily the favourites of others, but anyone who is interested in this genre is going to find at least some stories in this book that they will love. In addition to excellent work by such authors as Nancy Kress, Paolo Bacigalupi, Allen M. Steele, Ian McDonald, Kelly Link, Aliette de Bodard and Eleanor Arnason (to name just a few), Dozois also provides a summation of the previous year in terms of publishing, both with respect to publishing houses, magazines, semi-prozines and sales, as well as an extensive obituary list and a list of “honorable mentions.” If you are interested in speculative fiction in short(ish - some stories here are quite long) form, this is the single most essential volume to read. Very highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    "Another handsome volume, chock full of (mostly) great stories." So says Mark Watson, in his detailed, story-by-story review: http://bestsf.net/the-years-best-scie... His review has links to most of the stories with copies online. Here's a few more: Chaz Brenchley, "The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coat" http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... James S.A. Corey. "Rates of Change": http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... Sam J. Miller. "Calved" http://samjmiller.com/stories/calved/ Ian M "Another handsome volume, chock full of (mostly) great stories." So says Mark Watson, in his detailed, story-by-story review: http://bestsf.net/the-years-best-scie... His review has links to most of the stories with copies online. Here's a few more: Chaz Brenchley, "The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coat" http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... James S.A. Corey. "Rates of Change": http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... Sam J. Miller. "Calved" http://samjmiller.com/stories/calved/ Ian McDonald, "Botanica Veneris" http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/mcdon... Michael F. Flynn, "In Panic Town, on the Backward Moon" http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/flynn... Nick Wolven, "No Placeholder for You, My Love" http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/wolve... Madline Ashby, "A Stopped Clock". http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/ashby... OK, that's all I can find -- besides the ones Mark Watson has already given in his review. Hey, if you want freebies, you gotta do a *little* work....

  9. 5 out of 5

    Johan Haneveld

    This book does honor to its name, being huge, and heavy, and absolutely impressive. And I enjoyed this collection more than part 28, which I read earlier this year. I thought the stories more diverse, this time: more far future speculation, more other worlds (though some of the planetary exploration stories from the 'Old Venus'-collection I had read before - and the best story of that collection (at least in my view) was absent here), and a great sense of exploration. I thought there were no rea This book does honor to its name, being huge, and heavy, and absolutely impressive. And I enjoyed this collection more than part 28, which I read earlier this year. I thought the stories more diverse, this time: more far future speculation, more other worlds (though some of the planetary exploration stories from the 'Old Venus'-collection I had read before - and the best story of that collection (at least in my view) was absent here), and a great sense of exploration. I thought there were no real misfires this time, even though I didn't love every story on display. I think this collection captures the breadth of the field, and I look forward to reading the 30th collection in the series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    A really nice selection of snippets of life, mostly in a slightly dystopian future. I wasn't sure that I would but I really enjoyed this variety of takes on how civilisation might evolve. There's not much room to develop a plot in a short story, but that is not really the point: it's more about painting an image of what life might be like in the future. A really nice selection of snippets of life, mostly in a slightly dystopian future. I wasn't sure that I would but I really enjoyed this variety of takes on how civilisation might evolve. There's not much room to develop a plot in a short story, but that is not really the point: it's more about painting an image of what life might be like in the future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joe Pitkin

    It’s been years since I’ve read a “year’s best” anthology; however, I read this one cover to cover in hopes of learning more about the field I’m writing in. As with any book by a medley of writers, some of these stories spoke to me more than others. There were some good stories from writers I knew about—Kelly Link, James S.A. Corey, and Pablo Bacigalupi all had solid entries—but I was more blown away by several new (to me) writers: Ian McDonald, Gwyneth Jones, Carter Scholtz, Chaz Brenchley, Nic It’s been years since I’ve read a “year’s best” anthology; however, I read this one cover to cover in hopes of learning more about the field I’m writing in. As with any book by a medley of writers, some of these stories spoke to me more than others. There were some good stories from writers I knew about—Kelly Link, James S.A. Corey, and Pablo Bacigalupi all had solid entries—but I was more blown away by several new (to me) writers: Ian McDonald, Gwyneth Jones, Carter Scholtz, Chaz Brenchley, Nick Harkaway, and Kelly Robson. The best of these stories do what I hope (and often fail) to do in my own work, bringing believable characters and well-turned dialogue to stories with the whiz-bang plots and settings of sci-fi. I have such a broad reading appetite, and I’m such a slow reader, that I probably won’t read another best-of anthology in the coming year. However, I have learned a lot about the short sci fi market here, and I do hope to come back to Gardner’s anthology again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anthony A

    As always, the way I rate science fiction anthologies is by rating each story within the anthology and then taking the average. My overall (average) rating for this anthology is a 5.9/10.0. The stories which I enjoyed the most were (my rating, 1 to 10, is in parenthesis): Gypsy by Carter Sholz (10) Excellent story! The Audience by Sean McMullen (9) Rates of Change by James S.A. Corey (8.5) Inhuman Garbage by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (9) Planet of Fear by Paul J. McAuley (8) No Placeholder for You, My Lo As always, the way I rate science fiction anthologies is by rating each story within the anthology and then taking the average. My overall (average) rating for this anthology is a 5.9/10.0. The stories which I enjoyed the most were (my rating, 1 to 10, is in parenthesis): Gypsy by Carter Sholz (10) Excellent story! The Audience by Sean McMullen (9) Rates of Change by James S.A. Corey (8.5) Inhuman Garbage by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (9) Planet of Fear by Paul J. McAuley (8) No Placeholder for You, My Love by Nick Wolven (8) The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard (9) The anthologies by Mr. Dozois have been relatively weak in the last few years. I highly recommend the new anthology by Neil Clarke. Having said that, just as with anything else, people's taste in science fiction can vary from person to person - based on the type of science fiction you like. I love science fiction that takes place in space or on other planets or that include weird or interesting aliens. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lord Humungus

    Dozois pulled together another excellent collection once again -- really, should I be surprised? Sure there were the usual pieces that I feel didn't merit the label "best of science fiction", but there were also lots of good ones and a couple of exceptionals. My head clouded with years of Dozois' carefully selected gems, it's hard to highlight any particular story here or determine if one will stick with me beyond this first reading. I will say there were a couple of stories that invoked the sens Dozois pulled together another excellent collection once again -- really, should I be surprised? Sure there were the usual pieces that I feel didn't merit the label "best of science fiction", but there were also lots of good ones and a couple of exceptionals. My head clouded with years of Dozois' carefully selected gems, it's hard to highlight any particular story here or determine if one will stick with me beyond this first reading. I will say there were a couple of stories that invoked the sense of weird and wonder I used to get reading Omni magazine when I was young, and that's a huge compliment. Probably my favorite tale was Ian McDonald's wonderful fable _Botanica Veneris_... Recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ed Rich

    This edition seemed a bit weaker than previous years. My favorites were: "Gypsy" - Carter Scholz - 4.5/5 "Today I am Paul" - Martin L. Shoemaker - 4/5 "No Placeholder for You, My Love" - Nick Wolven - 4/5 "The Citadel of Weeping Pearls" - Aliette de Bodard - 4.5/5 The rest I'd probably give 2.5 to 3 stars. This edition seemed a bit weaker than previous years. My favorites were: "Gypsy" - Carter Scholz - 4.5/5 "Today I am Paul" - Martin L. Shoemaker - 4/5 "No Placeholder for You, My Love" - Nick Wolven - 4/5 "The Citadel of Weeping Pearls" - Aliette de Bodard - 4.5/5 The rest I'd probably give 2.5 to 3 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Kinda disappointed by this edition. Too much global warning, too much stories about writers who writes about writers. However 3 of the stories are absolute gems. An extra star for the effort of compiling this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    This year's collection didn't feel as strong as last year's, but was still quite enjoyable. I think stories from Old Venus were over-represented in the collection, as those were many of the stories I felt detracted from the collection. This year's collection didn't feel as strong as last year's, but was still quite enjoyable. I think stories from Old Venus were over-represented in the collection, as those were many of the stories I felt detracted from the collection.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter Flom

    Usually my favorite SF annual anthology. Maybe SF is changing, maybe my tastes are changing or maybe Dozois' tastes are changing, but I found fewer stories I really liked in this one than in previous editions. Usually my favorite SF annual anthology. Maybe SF is changing, maybe my tastes are changing or maybe Dozois' tastes are changing, but I found fewer stories I really liked in this one than in previous editions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

    Venus isn't a tropical jungle. Get over it. Venus isn't a tropical jungle. Get over it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jani

    While many short story/novella collection (especially ones collecting a year's best works) are a mixed bag, Gardner Dozois seems to have the talent bring together solid collections. On that note, the 29th collection, gathering stories published in 2015, he has editorialized does not quite reach the pinnacle of some previous ones, but that seems more like the problem of the field than the editors. Approximately 40 stories gathered offer a wide variety of SF (in this instance science fiction mostly While many short story/novella collection (especially ones collecting a year's best works) are a mixed bag, Gardner Dozois seems to have the talent bring together solid collections. On that note, the 29th collection, gathering stories published in 2015, he has editorialized does not quite reach the pinnacle of some previous ones, but that seems more like the problem of the field than the editors. Approximately 40 stories gathered offer a wide variety of SF (in this instance science fiction mostly, as fantasy and horror etc. have fairly small role in this collection) from space opera to detective stories from novellas to a few page short stories. Many of the top names of the business are represented, and indeed they seem to be represented in more volume than before. Or perhaps due to gaining more "experience" in reading SF, I am just more familiar with the genre and do not run into new names as often as I used to. Perhaps this knowledge has also lead to some kind of complacency, as while there were no stories that I disliked, the were less stories that really fascinated me. In addition, more often than not, the stories that stood out were by authors I was familiar with and had liked in the past. That said, the collection certainly re-enforced the certainty that I have to read more of Aliette de Bodard, whose stories here were brilliant, and return back to reading Ian McDonald, John Kessel and Geoff Ryman. However, I would have hoped for more new surprises. There were some new authors and great stories big and small, for example, Gypsy by Carter Scholtz definitely will make me seek more of his work and the touching Today I am Paul by Martin L Shoemaker was simple, yet highly effective. However, one could have hoped for more of stories of their caliber.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Catburglar

    Overall, the title should be The Year’s Worst Science Fiction. I get the impression that although the authors are well-known and have won awards, these stories could not be published elsewhere. I liked: 1. “Gypsy” by Carter Scholz, 2. “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn, 3. “The Audience” by Sean McMullen, 4. “Rates of Change” by James S. A. Corey, 5. “Calved” by Sam J. Miller, 6. “Today I Am Paul” by Martin, L. Shoemaker, 7. “Trapping the Pleistocene” by James Sarafin, 8. “Inhuman Garbage” by Kristine Kath Overall, the title should be The Year’s Worst Science Fiction. I get the impression that although the authors are well-known and have won awards, these stories could not be published elsewhere. I liked: 1. “Gypsy” by Carter Scholz, 2. “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn, 3. “The Audience” by Sean McMullen, 4. “Rates of Change” by James S. A. Corey, 5. “Calved” by Sam J. Miller, 6. “Today I Am Paul” by Martin, L. Shoemaker, 7. “Trapping the Pleistocene” by James Sarafin, 8. “Inhuman Garbage” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 9. “The Daughters of John Demetrius” by Joe Pitkin, 10. “Hello, Hello; Can You Hear Me, Hello” by Seanan McGuire, 11. “No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This is the second volume of stories gathered by Mr. Dozois that I've read in as many years, and once again I'm dazzled. I come away moved by just what remarkable imagination and eloquence there is among authors writing short science fiction today. So many of the stories are astoundingly good, touching on and extrapolating from current issues, such as changes wrought by environmental challenges and social networking. I've again come away with a new list of impressive authors to follow. This is the second volume of stories gathered by Mr. Dozois that I've read in as many years, and once again I'm dazzled. I come away moved by just what remarkable imagination and eloquence there is among authors writing short science fiction today. So many of the stories are astoundingly good, touching on and extrapolating from current issues, such as changes wrought by environmental challenges and social networking. I've again come away with a new list of impressive authors to follow.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawnincognito

    On the whole I always enjoy these Year's Best collections. There are the Usual Suspects like Ian McDonald and Nancy Kress, and some relative new names as well. I don't think every story is great (Gardner Dozois is more a fan of grand space opera than I am), but I find something to enjoy in almost every story he chooses. On the whole I always enjoy these Year's Best collections. There are the Usual Suspects like Ian McDonald and Nancy Kress, and some relative new names as well. I don't think every story is great (Gardner Dozois is more a fan of grand space opera than I am), but I find something to enjoy in almost every story he chooses.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason Bleckly

    As you would expect with such a sizable tome of short stories some are excellent, some are average, and some have no place being in print, let alone a Best Of collection. But Mr Dozois knows his stuff and the good always outweighs the bad in his annual collection.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alison Swearingen

    There were a lot of really interesting and well done short stories in this collection. There were also a few that I skipped because they weren’t my cup of tea. Found some new authors I’d like to read more from in the future.

  25. 5 out of 5

    James Rose

    The best stories in this anthology are "The Falls: A Luna Story" and "Gypsy". The thirty fourth edition of this anthology has a wider range of subjects in its stories. The best stories in this anthology are "The Falls: A Luna Story" and "Gypsy". The thirty fourth edition of this anthology has a wider range of subjects in its stories.

  26. 4 out of 5

    L.J.

    I can't get enough of speculative and science fiction short stories. This anthology does not disappoint. I can't get enough of speculative and science fiction short stories. This anthology does not disappoint.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book just didn't excite me. The stories seemed similar and depressing. And too many in one book. This book just didn't excite me. The stories seemed similar and depressing. And too many in one book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Gatesman

    Really great collection of sci-fi, great for discovering a new author to love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul Brown

    There were a handful of stories I didn't care for, but it was balanced out by stories I thought were great. There were a handful of stories I didn't care for, but it was balanced out by stories I thought were great.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gary Bunker

    A good review of 2017 in Science Fiction, from the great editor Dozois. He will be missed.

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