website statistics The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020

Availability: Ready to download

The best science fiction and fantasy stories from 2019, guest-edited by author of the mega-best-selling Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon. Today’s readers of science fiction and fantasy have an appetite for stories that address a wide variety of voices, perspectives, and styles. There is an openness to experiment and pushing boundaries, combined with the classic desire to re The best science fiction and fantasy stories from 2019, guest-edited by author of the mega-best-selling Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon. Today’s readers of science fiction and fantasy have an appetite for stories that address a wide variety of voices, perspectives, and styles. There is an openness to experiment and pushing boundaries, combined with the classic desire to read about spaceships and dragons, future technology and ancient magic, and the places where they intersect. Contemporary science fiction and fantasy looks to accomplish the same goal as ever—to illuminate what it means to be human. With a diverse selection of stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and Diana Gabaldon, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 explores the ever-expanding and changing world of SFF today.


Compare

The best science fiction and fantasy stories from 2019, guest-edited by author of the mega-best-selling Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon. Today’s readers of science fiction and fantasy have an appetite for stories that address a wide variety of voices, perspectives, and styles. There is an openness to experiment and pushing boundaries, combined with the classic desire to re The best science fiction and fantasy stories from 2019, guest-edited by author of the mega-best-selling Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon. Today’s readers of science fiction and fantasy have an appetite for stories that address a wide variety of voices, perspectives, and styles. There is an openness to experiment and pushing boundaries, combined with the classic desire to read about spaceships and dragons, future technology and ancient magic, and the places where they intersect. Contemporary science fiction and fantasy looks to accomplish the same goal as ever—to illuminate what it means to be human. With a diverse selection of stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and Diana Gabaldon, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 explores the ever-expanding and changing world of SFF today.

30 review for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020

  1. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    I felt about this one the way I felt about the Karen Joy Fowler one: picking a guest editor who is not necessarily known for their deep engagement with speculative fiction can lead to some interesting inclusions. While I truly loved about ten of the stories in here and found another four or so to be admirable, this collection had the highest rate of stories I very much did not enjoy in any BASFF so far. There were a bunch of new authors to me, which was exciting, but I also find myself growing a I felt about this one the way I felt about the Karen Joy Fowler one: picking a guest editor who is not necessarily known for their deep engagement with speculative fiction can lead to some interesting inclusions. While I truly loved about ten of the stories in here and found another four or so to be admirable, this collection had the highest rate of stories I very much did not enjoy in any BASFF so far. There were a bunch of new authors to me, which was exciting, but I also find myself growing a little weary of JJA's editorial hand on the project. His taste is still sharp but because he functions as an editor on so many other projects, I find it oddly harder to trust that he's bringing an unbiased eye to the 80 stories that he's collecting for the guest editor to then choose from. I realize that this is meant to be the best stories of the year and so it's understandable that we'd expect to see Charlie Jane Anders and E. Lily Yu and N.K. Jemisin (whose story actually didn't make the final cut but was an "Other Notable" this year) and so forth -- but damned if I don't feel like I'm starting to see trends crop up in the stories that are being selected that favor the better-known. I also find it hard to trust a collections' "best" moniker when it doesn't have the big winners of the year included. I realize it's all personal taste and that's part of the bag with Best American and don't get me wrong I'll keep coming back..... I don't know, I feel like this was just a rough one for me as a reader and maybe that's all it was. Highlights include the CJA, the Victor LaValle, the Matthew Baker, the Rion Amilcar Scott, the Caroline M. Yoachim, the Anil Menon, the Rebecca Roanhorse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pearse Anderson

    I ate this shit up, some great work here, with some inclusions I skipped over/didn't connect with. Gabaldon tended to focus on historical fantasy and soft sci-fi, covering topics from haircutting to cannibalism. Great contributor's notes as always. Fav pieces here: Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters by Kelly Barnhill, The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell, Between the Dark and the Dark by Deji Bryce Olukotun, Life Sentence by Matthew Baker, Shape-ups at Delilah’s by Rion Amilcar I ate this shit up, some great work here, with some inclusions I skipped over/didn't connect with. Gabaldon tended to focus on historical fantasy and soft sci-fi, covering topics from haircutting to cannibalism. Great contributor's notes as always. Fav pieces here: Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters by Kelly Barnhill, The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell, Between the Dark and the Dark by Deji Bryce Olukotun, Life Sentence by Matthew Baker, Shape-ups at Delilah’s by Rion Amilcar Scott Pieces I didn't link as much: this collection had a slump at the 75% mark, with the Yu, Menon, and Bear stories IMO. Generally an anthology that filled me with happiness. 7/10ish

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    These particular 'best of' anthologies are fun because the guest editor receives a shortlist of stories stripped of the authors' names, so he or she doesn't know who wrote them or where they were published. This means that sometimes it happens that an author has two stories in the book; this year it's Elizabeth Bear. It also means that sometimes a published source is heavily represented: when Carmen Maria Machado was guest editor it was 'Nightmare' magazine, this year it's the 'New Suns' antholo These particular 'best of' anthologies are fun because the guest editor receives a shortlist of stories stripped of the authors' names, so he or she doesn't know who wrote them or where they were published. This means that sometimes it happens that an author has two stories in the book; this year it's Elizabeth Bear. It also means that sometimes a published source is heavily represented: when Carmen Maria Machado was guest editor it was 'Nightmare' magazine, this year it's the 'New Suns' anthology edited by Nisi Shawl, with three stories, and 'Lightspeed' with four. Guest editor Diana Gabaldon seems to like stories that subvert old tropes, and she doesn't shy away from horror. There are few stories that are funny, although 'Shape-ups at Delilah's' by Rion Amilcar Scott is an exception. It will be interesting to see how many of these stories make the awards lists this year.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    The stories were all over the place. Most were romance-ish.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marlee

    More of a 3 or a 3.5, but the stories I actually enjoyed were so good that I bumped it up a star. Diana Gabaldon was a bizarre choice for guest editor and I found myself questioning a lot of her choices. There's way more emphasis on fairy tales and fantasy-adjacent stories than previous anthologies in this series, as well as authors primarily known for children's work. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it definitely impacted the tone in a way I didn't care for. I also didn't like that Ga More of a 3 or a 3.5, but the stories I actually enjoyed were so good that I bumped it up a star. Diana Gabaldon was a bizarre choice for guest editor and I found myself questioning a lot of her choices. There's way more emphasis on fairy tales and fantasy-adjacent stories than previous anthologies in this series, as well as authors primarily known for children's work. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it definitely impacted the tone in a way I didn't care for. I also didn't like that Gabaldon explicitly mentioned that she was including no "ghost stories or horror." Horror is one of my favorite genres, so I'm a bit biased, but in years past some of the absolute best stories have been darker or horrific in nature. Combined with everything else, it made it seem like the goal was to be tamer than the previous editions. Again, biased, but that shouldn't be the outcome of a genre that is supposed to be subversive. Usually I only highlight my favorites but I tend to forget what my thoughts are as a whole, or what stories were in what volume, so I'm going to briefly cover my opinions on each story. This is mostly for my own reference, although my favorites are asterisked. Enjoy my rambles. 1. Life Sentence by Matthew Baker* -- What a start to the anthology. Part of my disappointment comes from the fact that it started off so strong. This story stuck with me through the whole reading, and continues to do so now that I've finished. It imagines a world post-prison industrial complex in a way that is both cold and haunting. I would have loved a whole novel or short series in this setting. It smoothly combines elements of current cultural discourse and science fiction; the ending chilled me to the bone. 5/5 stars 2. Another Avatar by S.P. Somtow -- Aaaand my excitement already started to decline. The writing wasn't terrible, but it was sarcastic and glib about some things I didn't care for. It was also trying to cram way to much into a ~20 page short story. Maybe it could've worked better as a novel or novella, but as is, it was overcrowded and hard to follow. 2/5 stars 3. Between the Dark and the Dark by Deji Bryce Olukotun -- This one didn't leave a ton of impression. I liked what it was trying to do with the themes of "what is the value of human life" and where do outsiders draw the line with respecting others' culture when it could be harmful. Ultimately the writing just wasn't my thing. 3/5 stars 4. Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters by Kelly Barnhill -- This is the first of the overt fairy tales. I read one of Barnhill's 's middle grade books, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, a few years ago and had similar feelings of disappointment. I love the feminist ideas, but the storytelling is way too blunt and simple for my taste. 2/5 stars 5. Bullet Point by Elizabeth Bear -- This story is a really fun take on the "last person alive at the end of the world" trope. I didn't love everything (the main character asserted her toughness and self-reliability too much; it's great to have strong female characters, but they do also need to show some emotion, especially during the rapture), but the world building is great. I was super invested and had a great time. 4/5 stars 6. The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra's Diary) by Gwendolyn Kiste -- This is a Dracula retelling, and while it's perfectly serviceable, it just wasn't my thing. (This is becoming a common thread lol.) It was a bit hard to follow if you're not intimately familiar with the source material. 2/5 stars 7. The Archronology of Love by Caroline M. Yoachim -- Although not one of my favorites, it's one of the more compelling of the stories. It was harder sci fi than I usually gravitate towards, but the time manipulation stuff was cool and the theme of love lasting beyond our concept of time was sweet. Bonus points for gay and (I think?) casual poly rep. 3/5 stars 8. Shape-ups at Delilah's by Rion Amilcar Scott* -- I'm fairly certain there were references here that I didn't get, but I loved it anyway. This is basically a fantasy about magical female barbers and the power of storytelling through black hair culture and I'm here for it. 5/5 stars 9. The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell* -- Working class protagonist making a living in a far-future New York City? Airspace navigation? Space capitalism? Giant squid aliens tripping balls? Sign me tf up. 5/5 stars 10. The Bookstore at the End of America by Charlie Jane Anders* -- CJA is a national treasure. 5/5 stars 11. Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island by Nibedita Sen -- This was a super weird one. It gets points for the nontraditional execution. Part of the reason why I enjoy these anthologies so much is to get outside my comfort zone and this did the trick. 4/5 stars 12. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh* -- A feminist love story between a Muslim woman and a genderless merperson/bobbit worm. Hello. Hi. Hello. 5/5 stars 13. Sacrid's Pod by Adam-Troy Castro* -- I always like stories about humanity in the face of an unfeeling technology. This was both funny and empowering. 4/5 stars 14. Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan by Christopher Caldwell -- Plus points for adorable, spicy gay interracial relationship, minus points because I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on half the time. 3/5 stars 15. Thoughts and Prayers by Ken Liu -- yeah... I get what this was trying to do. To me, it was heavy-handed enough to be uncomfortable. I admire the effort, but I did not have a good time. 2/5 stars 16. The Time Invariance of Snow by E. Lily Yu -- This is a #MeToo retelling of the Snow Queen, which should be awesome. However, again, the simplistic fairy-tale writing and the really heavy-handed metaphor made this one of my least favorite. The title is awesome though. 1/5 stars 17. The Robots of Eden by Amil Menon -- This is the only story in the book that I didn't finish. I'm sure it's fine, but the writing grated on my nerves and all the elements of the story 5ish pages in were some of my least favorite. It mostly shakes down to personal preference. 1/5 stars 18. Erase, Erase, Erase by Elizabeth Bear -- I think I was just annoyed by the last several stories, but I didn't care much for this one either. The body horror imagery is fantastic, but it does that thing where it tries to speak vaguely so the reader can fill in the blanks and the result is confusion. I *think* I know what was going on? Maybe? Idk. 2/5 stars 19. A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy by Rebecca Roanhorse -- This is also folktale retelling, but done way better. It's updated enough that it stands on its own. Bonus points for more body-horror goodness. 4/5 stars 20. Up From Slavery by Victor LaValle --This has a similar problem as the Somtow story of trying to fit a bit too much into one short story. However, this one was way more enjoyable. There's some really powerful imagery at work here. The connections to the Booker T. Washington autobiography work phenomenally. I kinda wanted this to be a graphic series. 4/5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Edvard

    If this is the best America has to offer then I feel bad for the country, its literary tradition, and its science fiction fanbase. I pride myself on always finishing a book, regardless of whether or not I enjoy it, because a part of me believes that there might still be some redeeming quality nestled away somewhere. Not in this case! It was the first time I had to skip full sections of a book (stories in this case) because they were so unbearable. Any redeeming qualities would have come at the c If this is the best America has to offer then I feel bad for the country, its literary tradition, and its science fiction fanbase. I pride myself on always finishing a book, regardless of whether or not I enjoy it, because a part of me believes that there might still be some redeeming quality nestled away somewhere. Not in this case! It was the first time I had to skip full sections of a book (stories in this case) because they were so unbearable. Any redeeming qualities would have come at the cost of my own sanity. There were two stories in this collection that I thought were gems. I won't mention which ones, so that if an author ever reads this review (unlikely) they can imagine that it was their story. But hint, it wasn't any of the fantasy stories... I will admit that I have a bias as a fan of "harder" sci fi. What I look for is: interesting, and if possible, realistic depictions of technology; moral, ethical, and physical challenges faced by the human race in the future; just generally creative and unique world building. Now of course in a short story it's difficult to lay the groundwork for a really deep premise, and I am taking that into account. But even so, I felt like most of the stories here were just completely devoid of creativity. There was no exploration of the future, It's as if many of the writers just took current political issues and dressed them up in a space suit and called it science fiction. Some of the stories I wouldn't even call sci-fi, as they were just thinly veiled opinion pieces on contemporary society. Where is the forward looking imagination that is supposed to characterize the genre?? It's lazy to just depict the future as the present, and it's arrogant to think that aliens would behave anything like us. Is it the editor's fault? Maybe the poor quality of this volume can be excused by Covid? Perhaps all the good writers were sick or so preoccupied with staying alive that they decided not to write anything in 2020.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Challenging, fun; worth it. I'll remember a few of these for a long time. My highlights: "Life Sentence," by Matthew Baker, has a pretty strong concept which backbones a character study. "Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters," by Kelly Barnhill, is a kind-of fairy tale in which plays with gender politics in a clear repudiation of Trump's America. "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex" by Tobias S. Buckel‪l‬ is a short absurdity.  "Thoughts and Prayers" by Ken Liu has a moderately interesting take on t Challenging, fun; worth it. I'll remember a few of these for a long time. My highlights: "Life Sentence," by Matthew Baker, has a pretty strong concept which backbones a character study. "Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters," by Kelly Barnhill, is a kind-of fairy tale in which plays with gender politics in a clear repudiation of Trump's America. "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex" by Tobias S. Buckel‪l‬ is a short absurdity.  "Thoughts and Prayers" by Ken Liu has a moderately interesting take on the unintended consequences of combating Internet trolls. I didn't love "The Robots of Eden" by Anil Menon when I first read it, but it stuck with me.  It subtly put me on my guard in the opening paragraphs, and that turns out to have been intentional. A couple of stories completely lost me, but my overall impression of the collection is more positive than negative. Worth it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan June

    I read this as part of a reading challenge to move outside of my comfort zone of usual genres. I picked this anthology mainly because Diana Gabaldon, famous for her "Outlander" series, was the guest editor making the final selections for this compendium. There are twenty stories in this volume averaging 20 pages each, ten of each genre - sci-fi or fantasy, but quite frankly I was so out of my comfort zone that I quite often couldn't tell which genre was which. Of the 20 stories there were two that I read this as part of a reading challenge to move outside of my comfort zone of usual genres. I picked this anthology mainly because Diana Gabaldon, famous for her "Outlander" series, was the guest editor making the final selections for this compendium. There are twenty stories in this volume averaging 20 pages each, ten of each genre - sci-fi or fantasy, but quite frankly I was so out of my comfort zone that I quite often couldn't tell which genre was which. Of the 20 stories there were two that I could not read (an element of cannibalism is beyond beyond my comfort zone!), but I did read completely the remaining 18 selections. Of those, there were five stories that I actually liked and I just might pursue other works by Kelly Barnhill, Charlie Jane Anders, Adam-Troy Castro, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Victor LaValle.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I love anthologies like these. Definitely a couple of new authors and online magazines I'm going to have to check out. Life Sentence - 2.5 Another Avatar - 4 (is this a book somewhere? I need more) Between the Dark and the Dark - 4.5 Thirty Three Wicked Daughters - 3.5 Bullet Point - 4 The Eight People Who Murdered Me - 2.5 The Archronology of Love - 4 Shape-ups at Delilah's - 2 The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex -2 The Bookstore at the End of America - 3.5 (I always enjoy Charlie Jane Anders writ I love anthologies like these. Definitely a couple of new authors and online magazines I'm going to have to check out. Life Sentence - 2.5 Another Avatar - 4 (is this a book somewhere? I need more) Between the Dark and the Dark - 4.5 Thirty Three Wicked Daughters - 3.5 Bullet Point - 4 The Eight People Who Murdered Me - 2.5 The Archronology of Love - 4 Shape-ups at Delilah's - 2 The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex -2 The Bookstore at the End of America - 3.5 (I always enjoy Charlie Jane Anders writing) Ten Excerpts... - 2 The Freedom of the Shifting Sea -4 Sacrid's Pod - 5 Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan - 4 Thoughts and Prayers - 5 (Ken Liu is great) Time Invariance of Snow - 2 The Robots of Eden - 3 Erase, Erase, Erase - 3.5 A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy - 3 Up From Slavery - 4

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I needed some pure escapism, and couldn't wait to read this book. There were some stories I loved, but what I found most interesting is the examination and inclusion of very modern issues in almost every story. Two of the most moving stories, for me, dealt with race and slavery, Christopher Caldwell's "Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan" and Victor LaValle's "Up From Slavery" (which ends the collection on with an unforgettable hero/heroes). Several stories had references to gender variants, and o I needed some pure escapism, and couldn't wait to read this book. There were some stories I loved, but what I found most interesting is the examination and inclusion of very modern issues in almost every story. Two of the most moving stories, for me, dealt with race and slavery, Christopher Caldwell's "Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan" and Victor LaValle's "Up From Slavery" (which ends the collection on with an unforgettable hero/heroes). Several stories had references to gender variants, and others had cross-cultural mis-understandings, all of which I love. One of the fantasy inclusions was a story I had previously read in The New Yorker, Rion Amilcar Scott's "Shape-Ups at Delilah's," and it was as delightful the second time as the first. All in all, a great get-away.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Adored 6 out of 20 stories, which isn't a terrible average except for the fact that all 6 occurred in the latter half of the stories. I love the SF&F is not afraid to interact with tropes, classics, fanfiction, etc, but there seemed to be a LOT of adjacent work in here (though one of my absolute favorites, LaValle's "Up from Slavery" is openly Lovecraft). The Best American series also has the boon and burden of an author's notes section at the book's end--some of these were revealing, some of th Adored 6 out of 20 stories, which isn't a terrible average except for the fact that all 6 occurred in the latter half of the stories. I love the SF&F is not afraid to interact with tropes, classics, fanfiction, etc, but there seemed to be a LOT of adjacent work in here (though one of my absolute favorites, LaValle's "Up from Slavery" is openly Lovecraft). The Best American series also has the boon and burden of an author's notes section at the book's end--some of these were revealing, some of these were eye-opening, and some of them made me loathe the story even more. Utterly gobstopped by the following: Thoughts & Prayers - Ken Liu The Freedom of the Shifting Sea - Jaymee Goh The Robots of Eden - Anil Menon

  12. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    Part of my attempt to read and compare all of the best of SF short story collection for 2020. It has been very interesting seeing how much cross over between the collection - and really there hasn't been a lot of stories that have appeared in more than one, and incredibly few in more than two. I guess this proves that the various titles are really influenced by the likes and dislikes of the editor. My favourite stories that only appeared in this collection are from Kelly Barnhill and Adam Troy C Part of my attempt to read and compare all of the best of SF short story collection for 2020. It has been very interesting seeing how much cross over between the collection - and really there hasn't been a lot of stories that have appeared in more than one, and incredibly few in more than two. I guess this proves that the various titles are really influenced by the likes and dislikes of the editor. My favourite stories that only appeared in this collection are from Kelly Barnhill and Adam Troy Castro, and favourite stories that appear in other collections as well are from Charlie Jane Anders and Ken Liu

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Ross

    Overall, a mixed bag, as I suppose nearly any short story collection tends to be. Sacrid's Pod was my favorite - the story of a young woman in a prison cell that gives her everything that she could ever want... except her freedom. Would we make that trade? Many of the stories were just meh. There was also a strong trend of stories wherein there was not a single redeemable male character. I am a fan of feminist literature, and I will even go so far as to say that I think women are, as a whole, be Overall, a mixed bag, as I suppose nearly any short story collection tends to be. Sacrid's Pod was my favorite - the story of a young woman in a prison cell that gives her everything that she could ever want... except her freedom. Would we make that trade? Many of the stories were just meh. There was also a strong trend of stories wherein there was not a single redeemable male character. I am a fan of feminist literature, and I will even go so far as to say that I think women are, as a whole, better people than men (just look at the numbers in violent felons, etc.), but it was so consistent a theme in these stories as to be annoying, even ridiculous.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    A pretty standard series of notable science fiction and fantasy stories from 2020, in the "Best American" anthology. The only story I thought was notable was "Up From Slavery" which seems like the introduction to a cool superhero story, but from searching about I don't see anything forthcoming from Lavalle - though I will now seek out his work. Other than that, there were a lot of solid stories; oh, it also includes the Freedom of the Shifting Sea which is a great story I read sometime before th A pretty standard series of notable science fiction and fantasy stories from 2020, in the "Best American" anthology. The only story I thought was notable was "Up From Slavery" which seems like the introduction to a cool superhero story, but from searching about I don't see anything forthcoming from Lavalle - though I will now seek out his work. Other than that, there were a lot of solid stories; oh, it also includes the Freedom of the Shifting Sea which is a great story I read sometime before this came out.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Monica St. Dennis

    Overall this was a very good collection, and I'm thrilled that it was released as an audiobook. I think Diana Gabaldon and I have very different tastes in short stories, though, because there are a few things included where I've read the collection they came from and didn't think they were the best in that collection. Not a complaint, just interesting. Overall this was a very good collection, and I'm thrilled that it was released as an audiobook. I think Diana Gabaldon and I have very different tastes in short stories, though, because there are a few things included where I've read the collection they came from and didn't think they were the best in that collection. Not a complaint, just interesting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Richardson

    I read this series every year. As they have a different guess author each year, the collection of stories is always diverse. There were a number of real gems. I was gonna list my favorites stories, but then I realized I was listing almost all of them. I also appreciated a very clear intention to include diverse authors and stories featuring persons of color. That said, there were some stories that barely felt science fiction such as “Shape up at Delilah’s”.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    You all know I'm sucker for short stories, so this was a must on my TBR pile. I felt like there was a good variety in this collection, I didn't love them all, however the ones I did love I *really* loved. Some of the standouts for me in this collection were: "Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters", Sacrid's Pod, and Up From Slavery. All phenomenal. You all know I'm sucker for short stories, so this was a must on my TBR pile. I felt like there was a good variety in this collection, I didn't love them all, however the ones I did love I *really* loved. Some of the standouts for me in this collection were: "Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters", Sacrid's Pod, and Up From Slavery. All phenomenal.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karin Schott

    There are so many great short stories in this collection it is hard to chose a favorite. I have enjoyed Rebecca Roanhorse, she has a wonderful story here. I have been meaning to read Charlie Jane Anders. She has a great story about a bookstore at the end of America. I must read more of her. Elizabeth Bear is excellent! OMG..so good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim O'Loughlin

    I liked the 2018 edition a little better, but this one is good as well. This collection picked up steam as it went along. There are some great stories at the end after some opening disappointments. A small gripe: the series editor's own publications get a whole lot of representation here, which seems ethically questionable to me. I liked the 2018 edition a little better, but this one is good as well. This collection picked up steam as it went along. There are some great stories at the end after some opening disappointments. A small gripe: the series editor's own publications get a whole lot of representation here, which seems ethically questionable to me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Bock

    A fascinating selection -- a bit uneven, hence the 4 -- but worth it for a few outstanding short stories. I like sci fi grounded in reality -- including Mathew Baker's LIFE SENTENCE, S.P. Somtow's ANOTHER AVALON, Caroline M. Yoachim's THE ARCHONLOLOGY OF LOVE -- these stories re-ignited my love for speculative fiction. Planning to read more, 2021 but looking toward the future!! --Caroline A fascinating selection -- a bit uneven, hence the 4 -- but worth it for a few outstanding short stories. I like sci fi grounded in reality -- including Mathew Baker's LIFE SENTENCE, S.P. Somtow's ANOTHER AVALON, Caroline M. Yoachim's THE ARCHONLOLOGY OF LOVE -- these stories re-ignited my love for speculative fiction. Planning to read more, 2021 but looking toward the future!! --Caroline

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beau

    Overall a fun read. I'm much more into science fiction than fantasy and started reading this without fully grasping the title and didn't realize it would be half fantasy, but I still enjoyed it. Some of the stories, specifically one with a certain aquatic creature, are "wtf?"-worthy, but the sci-fi is all tons of fun and I enjoyed most of the fantasy too. Overall a fun read. I'm much more into science fiction than fantasy and started reading this without fully grasping the title and didn't realize it would be half fantasy, but I still enjoyed it. Some of the stories, specifically one with a certain aquatic creature, are "wtf?"-worthy, but the sci-fi is all tons of fun and I enjoyed most of the fantasy too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Really enjoyed this whole varied, lightly uneven collection. Good percentage of female writers, LGBTQ representation and writers of different ethnicities made for an exciting read and opened up the imaginative possibilities of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy canon.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Just so-so If this is the best American Science fiction, things have gone downhill. A few of the stories were mildly interesting, but the others got to a point where I began rapidly flipping pages to the next one in hopes of finding one I liked. YMMV

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mrshawn10100

    Lots of interesting stories here. Paid closer attention to the stories near the front, and then got into reading to finish mode. Nice excerpt from the authors in the back, that would have been nice to look at while reading the story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    The two best stories: “Life Sentence,” and “Sacrid’s Pod.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rod Van Meter

    There are some good things in here, but overall I'd rate this as largely forgettable. Some of the best stories were from collections I had already read, such as New Suns. There are some good things in here, but overall I'd rate this as largely forgettable. Some of the best stories were from collections I had already read, such as New Suns.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Catalfano

    I liked "Another Avatar" by S. P. Somtow and "A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy" by Rebecca Roanhorse. I liked "Another Avatar" by S. P. Somtow and "A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy" by Rebecca Roanhorse.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Taracuda

    It really was great reading. Thought provoking, terrifying and exciting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason Walsman

    Some intriguing concepts but few of them are brought home in a satisfying way by the end of the short story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jac

    A very nice collection Surprisingly good collection of short stories. Nice flow throughout the book. I recommend the entire collection. Nicely selected and sequenced.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.