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Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of libraria Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of librarians—mysterious curators, heroic bibliognosts, arcane archivists, catalogers of very special collections—and libraries—repositories of arcane wisdom, storehouses of signals from other galaxies, bastions of culture, the last outposts of civilization in a post-apocalyptic world... CONTENTS: “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark (Analog) “All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s) “Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace (Asimov’s) “Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s) “The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s) “Openness” by Alexander Weinstein (Beloit Fiction Journal) “In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders (Bridging Infinity) “Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee (Bridging Infinity) “The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley (Clarkesworld) “Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home” by Genevieve Valentine (Clarkesworld) “Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld) “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson (Clockwork Phoenix 5) “Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts (Crises and Conflicts) “Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia (Interzone) “Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes (Lightspeed) “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell (Lightspeed) “RedKing” by Craig deLancey= Lightspeed “A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt, (Mothershipship Zeta) “Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, (Now We Are Ten) “The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley, (Patreon) “Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan (Strange Horizons) “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez (The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria) “Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley (Tor.com) “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com)


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Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of libraria Portals to all the knowledge in the world, libraries are also created universes of a multitude of imaginations. Librarians guide us to enlightenment as well as serving as the captains, mages, and gatekeepers who open the doors to delight, speculation, wonder, and terror. This captivating compilation of science fiction and fantasy short fiction showcases stories of librarians—mysterious curators, heroic bibliognosts, arcane archivists, catalogers of very special collections—and libraries—repositories of arcane wisdom, storehouses of signals from other galaxies, bastions of culture, the last outposts of civilization in a post-apocalyptic world... CONTENTS: “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark (Analog) “All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s) “Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace (Asimov’s) “Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s) “The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s) “Openness” by Alexander Weinstein (Beloit Fiction Journal) “In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders (Bridging Infinity) “Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee (Bridging Infinity) “The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley (Clarkesworld) “Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home” by Genevieve Valentine (Clarkesworld) “Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld) “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson (Clockwork Phoenix 5) “Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts (Crises and Conflicts) “Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia (Interzone) “Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes (Lightspeed) “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell (Lightspeed) “RedKing” by Craig deLancey= Lightspeed “A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt, (Mothershipship Zeta) “Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, (Now We Are Ten) “The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley, (Patreon) “Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan (Strange Horizons) “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez (The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria) “Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley (Tor.com) “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com)

30 review for The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2017

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    Today, June 21, this Year's Best Of anthology by Rich Horton is published. It is one really large collection featuring 30 stories on 576 pages. This year, it overlaps with Strahan's annual Best Of in only three stories from MacLeod, Valentine, and Miller - so, it would make sense to get them both. I've only read a couple of the stories, but the list of content reads interesting: Contents: “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark (Analog) “All that Robot Shi Today, June 21, this Year's Best Of anthology by Rich Horton is published. It is one really large collection featuring 30 stories on 576 pages. This year, it overlaps with Strahan's annual Best Of in only three stories from MacLeod, Valentine, and Miller - so, it would make sense to get them both. I've only read a couple of the stories, but the list of content reads interesting: Contents: “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark (Analog) “All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s) “Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace (Asimov’s) “Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s) ★★★★ • The Visitor from Taured • SF novelette by Ian R. MacLeod • review “Openness” by Alexander Weinstein (Beloit Fiction Journal) “In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) “Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders (Bridging Infinity) “Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee (Bridging Infinity) “The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley (Clarkesworld) ★★★★+ • Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home • SF short story by Genevieve Valentine • review ★ • Things with Beards • Weird short story by Sam J. Miller • I didn't get at all what this story was about, couldn't get into it “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson (Clockwork Phoenix 5) “Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts (Crises and Conflicts) “Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) “Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia (Interzone) “Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes (Lightspeed) “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell (Lightspeed) “RedKing” by Craig deLancey (Lightspeed) “A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt, (Mothershipship Zeta) “Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, (Now We Are Ten) “The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley, (Patreon) “Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan (Strange Horizons) “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez (The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria) “Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley (Tor.com) “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Drew Montgomery

    A bit late in terms of years, but I got this one as part of a Story Bundle. Anthologies are always hit and miss. You have a collection of stories, typically with a particular theme, though here, the only real theme is science fiction and fantasy. In this review, I try to say something about all of them, but as with any collection like this, the stories range from good to bad to completely forgettable. There’s a wide range of styles and ideas and themes that vary from story to story, and in a way, A bit late in terms of years, but I got this one as part of a Story Bundle. Anthologies are always hit and miss. You have a collection of stories, typically with a particular theme, though here, the only real theme is science fiction and fantasy. In this review, I try to say something about all of them, but as with any collection like this, the stories range from good to bad to completely forgettable. There’s a wide range of styles and ideas and themes that vary from story to story, and in a way, it can be completely jarring because you’re having to constantly shift your approach in reading and thinking about the stories. It does highlight an overall problem in that a collection like this simply doesn’t flow well. Individual stories do, and sometimes you do have a nice transition, though it often feels like accident. It did feel to me that the stories were more sci-fi than fantasy, and the sci-fi trended more toward near future than distant. It also bears mentioning that some stories have major editing errors, which was frustrating to find in works that have been published at least twice. All that said, here are my thoughts on the stories themselves. As I said, some are more forgettable than others, and my reviews reflect that. “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark - I enjoyed this story, one of a woman who leaves behind her world and their traditional practices to pursue a career in space. She is drawn back, however, and is shown a planet that is now a tourist destination, a place where people flock to see a backwards civilization. A great analogy for those in our own time who leave their small towns behind seeking something greater and how things can be so familiar when coming back home. (4 out of 5) “All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson - A post-apocalyptic story told through the eyes of a robot in a sort of robot commune, and his interactions with a lone man that it feels can repair its deceased friend. I found the concept interesting, and the robot’s point of view unique, but it failed to leave a large impact, even reflecting on it days later. (2.5 out of 5) “Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace - This story felt like it belonged in Black Mirror. A high performing hostess at a small town location of a national chain is transferred to San Francisco, where she goes from a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond. It explores the themes of social engineering and the sentience of AI. (3.5 out of 5) “Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer - One of the more entertaining in the Sci-Fi category, the story follows a pilot who grew up a homeless orphan, and who gets caught up in a conspiracy to recruit orphan children to make attacks for an alien terrorist organization. It’s a fairly tight narrative that does wrap up a bit quickly, but still an entertaining read (4 out of 5) The Visitor from Taured by Ian R. MacLeod - A love story told through the eyes of a bibliophile in a world where books have been passed by, and the string theorist she draws in when he learns of the ability for books to look into other worlds. It’s a tragic story, as they become separated by interests and drive and physical distance, and it comes to a fitting (if sad) end. (4 out of 5) “Openness” by Alexander Weinstein - Similar to Project Empathy, Openness tells a story in a future dominated by social media, where you interaction with others only on the web, where you choose which layers they can see. It’s a short, bittersweet story of two lovers, and the experience and heartbreak of opening up too much. (4 out of 5) “In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley - A tale of a companion to a Viking king who seeks out the heir to a former king, exiled with a warrior who supported the wrong side in a rebellion. The story does a good job of worldbuilding, but the narrative itself feels incomplete, even with the revelations at the end. I wanted to like this story more than I did. (3 out of 5) “Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson - I found this story to be incredibly forgettable. I don’t know what it was about the story, but nothing about it drew me in, and I had to reread a good chunk to even remember going through it. (1.5 out of 5) “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford - I found this to be one of the more unique stories in the collection. A post-apocalyptic society where one caste of people travels around and another tends to “grains”, sentient AI that ensure food grows on their homesteads. There is an interesting dynamic between the protagonist and her grains, and the resistance against the rest of the homesteaders. (3.5 out of 5) “Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders - A ne’er-do-well party-happy woman is invited on a pleasure cruise of sorts through the solar system, part of one huge party, and discovers that an AI is running it after all AI was thought to have been wiped out. The story is short and sweet, though it felt like the character development could have been drawn out a bit better, but at the end of the day, the ending is a good tale of what good there is in humanity and how sometimes the most complex solutions can come from the simplest thoughts. (3 out of 5) “Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee - A worker on a six month contract on an isolated space station (my first thought was the moving Moon), who discovers that others are also present on the station. Everything happens rapidly in this one, and it doesn’t feel like much is really explained by the end of it. Not in a make you think kind of way, but more of a “wait, what?” kind of way. (2 out of 5) “The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley - This story wasn’t so much a story as the telling of Heimdallr (the bridgekeeper in Norse mythology) traveling into the solar system after humanity had become extinct and interacting with the beings who remain. There isn’t so much a story as much as some things happen without any real conflict or resolution. The author also chose to use a different pronoun for the god (hse, a gender neutral one, had to look that up). My first inclination was that it was a Norse usage, but I guess it was to imply that as a god, Heimdallr didn’t have a gender. More than anything it just made the story more difficult to read without really adding anything. (0 out of 5) Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home by Genevieve Valentine - A tale told in letters similar to Dracula, where several prisoners are used to test a new video game for the psychological effects. The storytelling mechanic works fairly well, and the underlying themes of the possible dangers of virtual reality and the morality of prisoner experimentation are both relevant in today’s world. (3.5 out of 5) Things with Beards by Sam J. Miller - This story essentially serves as an unofficial prequel to The Thing (the John Carpenter movie), but it doesn’t feel like it adds anything to the lore. It essentially brings the two characters from the end of the movie back and retcons them into being gay, but beyond that, nothing more. I think the biggest travesty is how it tries to tack on to what was a perfect ending to a great movie while doing nothing to add onto the lore. (0 out of 5) “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson - An interesting tale about a man defending a drilling project (saying more will give too much away). The names are a bit distracting and the prose can be a bit confusing at times, but the ending is incredibly satisfying. (3.5 out of 5) “Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts - A story about an interplanetary war in which one side discovers a super weapon. It’s a difficult read because of how the weapon operates, but the idea was very unique and well thought out. (3.5 out of 5) “Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo - Another interesting concept, about self-replicating feral machines that form an ecosystem in a city park and the girl who becomes infatuated with them after one steals her phone. The hypothetical it poses questions how we might see robots in a future where they are everywhere, like squirrels or birds in our own world. (3 out of 5) “The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar - A noir thriller set in an alternative history version of London, now occupied by the Germans, where a German WWII veteran seeks out an old love of his and finds himself in the middle of a plot involving drugs and whores and murder. It’s a well done spin on a classic genre, and the mystery unfolds itself well, told through the eyes of the Gestapo agent tracking the German’s movements. (5 out of 5) “A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley - This story takes place in a Muslim-based fantasy world where duelists fight for the glory of their kingdoms and one kingdom decides to take more extreme measures to win. The story was alright; the final fight scene was fun, but the ending felt a bit out of place. (2.5 out of 5) “Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia - Another story where it feels like nothing much happens. There’s an artificial intelligence that controls humanity’s direction, and the protagonist’s companion seeks out a new home for her people to move to, but at the end of it all, it was all very forgettable. (2 out of 5) “Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes - A very unique story about a marketer who receives a mysterious request from an alien species that wants to exchange their superior technology for something that I won’t give away. A creative look at an aspect of meeting aliens that few consider, and a different kind of invasion story. (4.5 out of 5) “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell - The tale of a boy stuck at a summer camp for several years, seemingly forgotten by everyone. The story has a good sense of humor while maintaining a dark subtext, including an ending that leaves the reader guessing. (4 out of 5) “RedKing” by Craig deLancey - A hacker assists the police in tracking down a computer virus that infects people’s minds and forces them to kill. The story takes a nice twist during the investigation and while it does seem to resolve itself too quickly, it’s still an entertaining story that explores the dangers of integrating computers and minds. (3.5 out of 5) “A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt - In my opinion, the best story of the bunch. The narrator is a blogger in a world filled with monsters and heroes, a person more interested in talking to and telling stories about monsters than killing them. A highly entertaining and humorous read. (5 out of 5) “Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky - A nice little story that follows a theater troupe setting up to perform in a small town. A private showing is scheduled for a woman who cannot leave bed and the orphans she cares for, and it turns dark when a secret about their leader is revealed. A well written, if not necessarily original, story that accomplishes what it sets out to. (3.5 out of 5) “The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley - A story about a witch who is called forth to stop a former lover from recovering artifacts and destroying the world. It felt like the world building could have been explained a bit better, and the relationship feels a bit shallow, leading to a story that I wanted to like, but just felt could have been much better. (2.5 out of 5) “Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan - A nice spin on the Sleeping Beauty trope, where a princess is stuck in a tower spinning a wheel after her parents die, and the boy who tries to rescue her. A well written fairy tale with a satisfying ending with the princess showing the growth she rejected at the beginning. (4 out of 5) “The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez - A world where the experiments at CERN opened portals into other dimensions, allowing mythical creatures to enter ours. A reporter vacationing in England goes along with a ranger to see one that has been injured. A decent story with a world that I feel might have been better explored in a novel. (3 out of 5) “Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley - A tale about a remote town on a distant planet split over a company from Earth reaching out to contact aliens. A good job of world building, with a lot of mystery behind it, though the story felt more like a historically told tale than a narrative. (3.5 out of 5) “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn - A story about a war between people and an army of telepaths and a game of chess between two people on either side. The act of playing against a telepath is interesting, and it’s a nice tale of decency between prisoners of war and captors. (4 out of 5)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Leung

    I found this collection at exactly the right time a year ago shortly after finishing several epic fantasy novels, and it was refreshing to read stories with interesting and varied premises that didn't feel the need to fill hundreds of pages with description and drama. Like any collection, it has its ups and downs, but after reading half of it, I was instantly sucked back into sci-fi short stories. I thought I had found my genre. And then I read a copy of Analog and one of Dozois's anthologies and I found this collection at exactly the right time a year ago shortly after finishing several epic fantasy novels, and it was refreshing to read stories with interesting and varied premises that didn't feel the need to fill hundreds of pages with description and drama. Like any collection, it has its ups and downs, but after reading half of it, I was instantly sucked back into sci-fi short stories. I thought I had found my genre. And then I read a copy of Analog and one of Dozois's anthologies and realized that it wasn't all great. There were short stories that I didn't like, and I wondered if the first half of this book was a fluke. I ended up getting my hands on this collection from the library again, finished the second half, and realized that Horton just happens to find stories that I love. "A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters" was a standout, but I really enjoyed all of it. I don't give out many 5 star ratings, but this collection really did just catch me at the right time, and I'll keep an eye out for more edited by Horton.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    I'm reading this anthology rather haphazardly, trying the first page of each story and reading through only the one that I like. The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar This is an interesting alt history piece. I probably missed some--many--tricks and jokes, but I still like it. Highly recommended if you like WWII history or film noir. That Game We Played During The War by Carrie Vaughn After a few pages, I realized I know this author; she wrote The Best We Can. The same sensitivity and insights. Now I'm reading this anthology rather haphazardly, trying the first page of each story and reading through only the one that I like. The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar This is an interesting alt history piece. I probably missed some--many--tricks and jokes, but I still like it. Highly recommended if you like WWII history or film noir. That Game We Played During The War by Carrie Vaughn After a few pages, I realized I know this author; she wrote The Best We Can. The same sensitivity and insights. Now I remember her name <3 A Non-Hero's Guide To The Road Of Monsters by A.T. Greenblatt A clever take on fantasy tropes. Fun read. There are many "year's best science fiction (& fantasy)" anthologies. I sorta like this series edited by Rich Horton. Gardner Dozois' big book is better known, but it's so hefty (around 40 stories) and the typeset is hard to read (and I wonder if there'd be new ones next year?-- He passed away this year). Best American series (20 stories each year) is good, too, depending on the year's guest editor. (Horton's anthologies feature about 30 stories.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I love "best of the year" anthologies. I don't have the time or money to keep up with all the new material being published in a specific field, such as science fiction and fantasy. These anthologies help me keep connected to developments in the field. Of course, the choices made for each of these is subjective. The opinions of Rich Horton, Jonathan Strahan, Gardner Dozois, and John Joseph Adams, each of whom now edits an annual best of the year collection of new science fiction and/or fantasy st I love "best of the year" anthologies. I don't have the time or money to keep up with all the new material being published in a specific field, such as science fiction and fantasy. These anthologies help me keep connected to developments in the field. Of course, the choices made for each of these is subjective. The opinions of Rich Horton, Jonathan Strahan, Gardner Dozois, and John Joseph Adams, each of whom now edits an annual best of the year collection of new science fiction and/or fantasy stories, are very different from each other and none of them are precisely the same as my opinions. Rich Horton has chosen thirty stories in this year's collection. There are rather more stories that I don't much like here than I usually find in these anthologies. However, there are many stories here that I like very much as well. These are my favorite stories from this anthology: "Fifty Shades of Grays" - Steven Barnes "Lazy Dog Out" - Suzanne Palmer "The Visitor from Taured" - Ian R. MacLeod "A Fine Balance" - Charlotte Ashley "Innumerable Glittering Lights" - Rich Larson "Everybody from Themis Sends Letters Home" - Genevieve Valentine "The Vanishing Kind" - Lavie Tidhar Depending on whether you feel alternative history stories such as "The Vanishing Kind" are science fiction or fantasy, only one or two of my favorites are fantasy; the others are all science fiction. That is not, I think, due to my liking science fiction more than fantasy in general; I think this collection is much stronger in the science fiction selections. I note in passing that in Mr. Horton's introduction to this book, he gets the name of one of these stories wrong. Adam Robert's story is titled "Between Nine and Eleven," not "Now We Are Ten." Some thoughts on specific stories: ⏹️ "Lazy Dog Out" "The Earth dialect a lot of our language grew up from had only twenty-six letters in it, and there was a sentence that used all of them, which was, in translation, 'The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.' You'll have to trust me it's got all the letters in there." Well, no, I don't have to trust you. You left out the "s." To make this work, it has to say "lazy dogs." I don't think that the author, Suzanne Palmer, the editor of Asimov's in which the story first appeared, and Rich Horton, the editor of this book, all missed this, so this "mistake" appears to be deliberate, but why? In any case, this is a very good adventure story. ◾ "The Vanishing Kind" Once you realize that a story has inside references in it, you figure you must be missing some...or a lot. I don't know any German, so any jokes relating to that I definitely missed. The only ones I got are: ▪️ "Frau Blucher?" Gunther suggested. Outside, he thought he heard the neighing of a horse; but it must have been in his imagination. A reference to a running joke in the movie Young Frankenstein ▪️ "She poisoned those boys!... The poor boys in Great Ormond. It's a hospital. For children... She cut [pain medication] with rat poison... Twenty-one children, dead, in agony." I'm not positive but I believe this is intended as a reference to the film The Third Man, in which the character Harry Lime sells fake medication to a hospital and a number of children are injured or killed. ▪️ Blucher's bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road, "formerly owned by a Jew named Marx" A reference to the book and movie 84 Charing Cross Road, about the American author Helen Hanff and her long-distance relationship with the staff of Marks & Co. bookseller at that address ◾ "Innumerable Glittering Lights" The first time that I read this, I missed the point of the title. In retrospect, this seems quite clear; I don't know how I could have failed to understand. I must also note that this is very much the kind of story that first made me love science fiction. ◾ "Red in Tooth and Cog" Good story, even better title. The title is a variation on a phrase by Alfred Lord Tennyson from his poem In Memoriam A. H. H.. ◾ "Openness" This is quite a good story. Rich Horton, editor of this anthology, says that it is his favorite. (view spoiler)[However, years ago I read a story with a very similar ending. It was about two telepaths in our non-telepathic world, one male, one female. They have gone through life hoping to meet another of their own kind. As they get physically nearer, the telepathic connection grows stronger. Finally their minds are open to each other. However, this exposes every nasty secret or part of their character. These are not necessarily large things; rather, "When I was three I ate this disgusting thing. I once kicked my cat so hard it died. I told a friend's secret and ruined her romance." [These aren't examples from the story, just similar items.] They flee from each other in disgust. I think that would be much more likely than the exposure of one terrible secret in "Openness." Unfortunately, I can't remember the title or author of the story. It may not seem that these stories are all that similar, but they are close enough that I could easily anticipate the end of "Openness." (hide spoiler)] Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017 is not the perfect collection of the best such stories of the year but it is certainly worth reading.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barry Martin Vass

    Really great, involving Science Fiction starts with ideas. What will the future bring? How much further will technology advance? How will we as human beings adapt? Rich Horton is a columnist for Locus and Black Gate, reprint editor for Lightspeed, and a technical fellow in software for a major aerospace corporation, and he has culled the major Sci-Fi magazines such as Asimov's, Bridging Infinity, Clakesworld and so on for this collection of short fiction. I think one of my favorites was Suzanne Really great, involving Science Fiction starts with ideas. What will the future bring? How much further will technology advance? How will we as human beings adapt? Rich Horton is a columnist for Locus and Black Gate, reprint editor for Lightspeed, and a technical fellow in software for a major aerospace corporation, and he has culled the major Sci-Fi magazines such as Asimov's, Bridging Infinity, Clakesworld and so on for this collection of short fiction. I think one of my favorites was Suzanne Palmer's Lazy Dog Out, about tugboat operators working a distant world on the edge of the galaxy. But it's her approach that makes this novella so memorable; Palmer uses only nicknames, and her writing is so visceral, so jangled, that you simply can't help but pay attention. Another story, Innumerable Glimmering Lights by Rich Larson, is about a society of squid-like creatures trying to break into another world above them (try making THAT seem entertaining in a traditional format!). In The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar, a murder mystery set in 1950's London, the story is set against a backdrop where Nazi Germany won World War II and England is now an occupied country. This is a great collection of what-if? stories. Remember John Carpenter's 1982 remake of The Thing with Kurt Russell and Keith David? Things with Beards by Sam J. Miller imagines that MacReady and Childs ultimately made it out of McMurdo...but they've been changed. If you're a fan of good, imaginative Sci-Fi, grab this!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    This was definitely an interesting and creative book. It got me thinking and plenty if what if's and 'theories' are running through my head. Which is a train wreck sometimes anyway. ;) Great for passing time story by story. They start you off a little easy then drag in into the depths. Written well on all accounts. Although, I did enjoy some of the stories more than others, I did like the variety and scope. Enjoy. This was definitely an interesting and creative book. It got me thinking and plenty if what if's and 'theories' are running through my head. Which is a train wreck sometimes anyway. ;) Great for passing time story by story. They start you off a little easy then drag in into the depths. Written well on all accounts. Although, I did enjoy some of the stories more than others, I did like the variety and scope. Enjoy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    JJacy1

    Well read I have been reading this series for a while and it is consistently good. No change in that regard which is good. The last tale felt like it dragged on a bit, so I think ending strong would be appreciated in the future. Overall if you like these anthologies you’re going to like this one. If you haven’t read anthologies in the past, this is a fine place to start.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Galarza

    The majority of the stories were amazing. I typically don't read short stories, but this was refreshing. You didn't have to invest that much time into a story, and they moved quickly. There were a few stories I skipped, just because they were not my cup of tea, but overall I would recommend this collection. The majority of the stories were amazing. I typically don't read short stories, but this was refreshing. You didn't have to invest that much time into a story, and they moved quickly. There were a few stories I skipped, just because they were not my cup of tea, but overall I would recommend this collection.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Very nice collection of SF/F short stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Spike Anderson

    Excellent collection

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel C.

    One-time review: Decent if slightly uneven collection; 'All That Robot Shit' was the most fun for me, but 'Everybody From Themis Sends Letters Home' was the real standout here. One-time review: Decent if slightly uneven collection; 'All That Robot Shit' was the most fun for me, but 'Everybody From Themis Sends Letters Home' was the real standout here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Michael Poore

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Mitchell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Mitchell

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peter Caldwell

  18. 5 out of 5

    K

  19. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caty

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bradley A

  22. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mark Schneider

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Higginbottom

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Walker

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cari Lee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sorin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cooke

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