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Mass Market Paperback Year's Best SF 10 Book

ISBN: 0060575611

ISBN13: 9780060575618

Year's Best SF 10

(Part of the Year's Best SF (#10) Series and Year's Best SF Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

A banner year for speculative fiction has yielded a crop of superb short form SF. Now the very best to appear over the past twelve months has been amassed into one extraordinary volume by acclaimed editors and anthologists David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, offering bold visions of days to come that are bright, triumphant, breathtaking, and strikingly unique. Once more, celebrated masters of the field join with exciting new voices to sing of explorations...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Stories for Devoted SF Fans

Working my way backward through David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's Best SF series, I have just finished reading The Year's Best SF 10. I enjoyed most of these 23 stories although a couple left me wondering what I had missed. Like the "next" book in the series, The Year's Best SF 11, this one enhances the stories with well-written story introductions that contain author bios, pointers to other works, and author web addresses. Good references along with good reading. My five favorite stories all dealt with a deep love that one character feels for another. This was not a theme of the overall collection, nor a conscious criterion for choosing my top five. I only noticed it after selecting them and mentally reviewing the plotline of each. Bradley Denton's "Sergeant Chip" describes the bond between an intelligence-enhanced dog and his officer-master. When the moral fog of war closes in, Sergeant Chip's devotion is as important as his intelligence in making the right choices clear. Terry Bisson's "Scout's Honor" introduces us to an anthropologist who loves the subject she studies. This unfolding passion occurs along with a story of impending change in her life. It's just a matter of when. Gene Wolf's "Pulp Cover" is a love lost tale about a devoted employee who loses the boss's daughter to a smarter, wealthier, more charming and more handsome suitor. It's understandable that he regards this interloper as an opportunistic monster. It's less understandable that he is chillingly correct. Sean McMullen's "The Cascade" starts off as a one-night stand following a chance meeting between two science enthusiasts in a bar. It becomes something else. Love can mean never saying the most important thing. Brenda Cooper's "Savant Songs" describes an intimate relationship between a brilliant physicist, her devoted graduate assistant, and a customized artificial intelligence program. Sometimes growing knowledge of our selves makes relationships harder rather than easier. Janeen Webb's "Red City" and Steve Tomasula's "The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects" didn't work for me. After I finished each of them, I was left with the feeling of a slow build to an abrupt ending. Both had main characters who achieved interesting insights. But nothing that seemed to justify the long trudge through the story. I'll admit that I just might have missed something in them. The writing, characterization and other elements seemed skillfully done--these are obviously talented authors. The stories just didn't come together. Your mileage may vary. And yes, I read this book on my iPhone Kindle app. It was no less fun than reading other story collections while sardined into a DC metro car or grinning mindlessly through the seventh speaker in some unmemorable government meeting. The iPhone was good cover; the stories were sanity-preserving medication. No complaints.

Not Free SF Reader

In the first volume, Hartwell said that he wouldn't pick Science Fantasy, but here he has a story from a series of explicit science fantasy, in the Jack Vance Dying Earth vein, as they put it here. So with that, and what is in the last volume, appears the range of story here has changed. Cramer's influence, perhaps? Although the Hughes story actually does have a discussion of magic, and how much rubbish that it actually is, or may be, so maybe that is their point, there. Anyway, somehow they have carried the bat. Managed to pull off a selection with no average stories, even if a couple are maybe wavering that way. A very high average of 3.93, leading with a standout, and back-to-back with Utley and McMullen. Twenty-three above average stories and mostly 4 star or better has to be a 5 star anthology. Year's Best SF 10 : Sergeant Chip - Bradley Denton Year's Best SF 10 : The First Commandment - Gregory Benford Year's Best SF 10 : Burning Day - Glenn Grant Year's Best SF 10 : Scout's Honor - Terry Bisson Year's Best SF 10 : Venus Flowers at Night - Pamela Sargent Year's Best SF 10 : Pulp Cover - Gene Wolfe Year's Best SF 10 : The Algorithms for Love - Ken Liu Year's Best SF 10 : Glinky - Ray Vukcevich Year's Best SF 10 : Red City - Janeen Webb Year's Best SF 10 : Act of God - Jack McDevitt Year's Best SF 10 : Wealth - Robert Reed Year's Best SF 10 : Mastermindless - Matthew Hughes Year's Best SF 10 : Time As It Evaporates - Jean-Claude Dunyach Year's Best SF 10 : The Battle of York - James Stoddard Year's Best SF 10 : Loosestrife - Liz Williams Year's Best SF 10 : The Dark Side of Town - James Patrick Kelly Year's Best SF 10 : Invisible Kingdoms - Steven Utley Year's Best SF 10 : The Cascade - Sean McMullen Year's Best SF 10 : Pervert - Charles Coleman Finlay Year's Best SF 10 : The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects - Steve Tomasula Year's Best SF 10 : Strood - Neal Asher Year's Best SF 10 : The Eckener Alternative - James L. Cambias Year's Best SF 10 : Savant Songs - Brenda Cooper Dog's days of war PR betrayal promotion. 4.5 out of 5 Global inventory Australian effects. 4 out of 5 Cogent defense spread. 4 out of 5 Time travel for the NT, low batter means HS. 4 out of 5 Terraforming projections. 4 out of 5 Alien impregnation. 3.5 out of 5 Not smart baby makers. 4 out of 5 Annoying universe jumpers. 3.5 out of 5 Demon wife's timeloop harem deathmatch. 4 out of 5 Cosm creator cleanout. 4 out of 5 AI evolution price. 4 out of 5 Ugly, dumb, financial peril. 3.5 out of 5 Useless prayer time. 4 out of 5 History mix, unmastered. 4 out of 5 Tank kid. 3.5 out of 5 Expensive advice tour. 3.5 out of 5 Paleozic packrat's seamonkeyesque garden's SpokesMom. Not do like this. Mr. Cahill sighed. Youre here to make the arrest of your career, and the best you can come up with is, Not Do Like This. The rhetoric of crime fighting has devolved lamentably since the days

A decent paperback sampling of 2004's more notable short SF

Like volume #6 in this series, I found #10 to be a fairly entertaining collection of short form science fiction, with the stories, "Burning Day", "Venus Flowers at Night", "The Battle of York", and "Strood" standing out especially. Not constrained to any one corner of the SF field, this volume wanders all over, from sociological to hard, from military to dystopic to fantastic. "Red City" especially strikes me as a tale which could just as easily have been classified a fantasy, and save for the mumbo jumbo about the time curve, it is right at the edge of the two genres. Like past volumes, #10 also has a couple of stories which try entirely too hard to be deep. "The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects" tries to be many things at once: hard SF, sociological SF, and Quentin Tarantino movie. Not sure how well it acquits itself in any of these fields. "Savant Song" is the same, only without the action, and served as a rather anticlimactic ending to the book. Still, the enjoyable material outweighed the boring or pretentious material, and if you're wanting to get your feet wet in various writers' mental playgrounds without having to plunge in over your head, I would recommend this book. One warning though: I don't think this is a great book for newcomers to SF. People unfamiliar with the genre, or who are just beginning to graduate to the wider SF realm and move away from the tie-in scene (aka: Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, et al) might find this a slow, somewhat tedious read.

2004 wasn't the best year for SF

Yes, it's another year of "Best of" anthologies, and Year's Best SF 10, edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, covers all the best science fiction stories from 2004. Yes, that's right. I'm a year behind. So sue me. Hartwell & Cramer gives us a wide variety of SF, from the hard stuff (though not much of it is really hard) to some alternate histories and some more character-based stories. In fact, either I'm growing a lot more tolerant or the hard SF was much lighter this time around. Each story was filled with vivid characters and some emotional characteristics, even when the emphasis was on scientific theory (such as the final story in the anthology, Brenda Cooper's "Savant Songs"). All in all, it's not as memorable a book as in year's past, but there is only one story that I couldn't get through. That was Steve Tomasula's "The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects," originally published in Denver Quarterly, an issue filled with "fantastic fiction." While this one definitely falls in that category as far as subject matter, the beginning bored me to tears and I had to move on to the next one. There were definitely some standouts, however. One of the better stories was "Venus Flowers at Night" by Pamela Sargent. Karim al-Anwar is a member of the Council of Mukhtars, the Islamic group that governs most of the Earth in a world where environmental ruin and other factors have brought down most of the West. He's on a tour of North America's Atlantic Federation, ostensibly to show the flag, but he also feels he's been sent away to punish him for his broad theories of terraforming Venus, or perhaps other creative endeavours that they don't want to hear. As he and his wife carry on their tour, he begins to lose himself in virtual recreations of the Venus he has dreamed of, trying desperately to figure out a way to get there, no matter how many generations and technological marvels must be created to facilitate it. As his journey continues, he meets somebody who may be able to help him on his way by approaching the problem from a different angle, enabling his dreams even as he fears he will be put out to pasture by the Council. I began this story with a bit of a chip on my shoulder, not buying into the world Sargent has created at all. However, she won me over as the story went on, creating a loving tribute to what science fiction, used by a creative mind, can inspire people to achieve. While the story isn't high on characterization of anybody but Karim, he is a joy to behold. Creative, visionary, and frustrated by the attitudes of his fellow council-members, his determination shines through in his attempts at a virtual reality reflecting his desires. Some of the transitions from the virtual to the real world are a bit jarring, but otherwise, this is a wonderful tale extolling one of the prime values of science fiction in general. Probably my favourite story in the book, however, and definitely my favourite fro

Has It Really Been Ten Years?

Year's Best SF 10, $7.99 US, will charm readers of the speculative and the fantastic, so I'm pleased to update you on the status of this now decade long series -- which is very capably edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. If you love science fiction, you'll find this anthology stacks up very favorably against the Nebula Awards collection. Each year, Hartwell and Cramer comb five hundred plus nominees (from multiple sources: books, electronic fiction websites, foreign publishers, magazines) and whittle their selections down to somewhere over twenty stories -- filling 500 pages -- that are usually representative of excellence in the genre. They admit to omitting great novellas each year, due to limited space, but that's to be expected. A general survey of current contributors reveals: American, Australian, Canadian, English, and French backgrounds among its authors. Previous versions of this anthology have also featured the work of Argentinian, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Scottish writers. Quite surprisingly, no sci-fi from India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or a number of other English speaking countries, has ever appeared in this series. Readers of this series known that once Hartwell takes a shine to an author, you'll likely be seeing them in subsequent issues of Year's Best. As good as the works of Robert Reed (6 stories in 10 issues) and Gene Wolfe (7 stories in 10 issues) are, the editorial duo should offer "more diverse selection" as the decade rolls onward. Some of the best stories included in Year's Best SF 10 are by female writers -- Pamela Sargent, Janeen Webb, Liz Williams, Brenda Cooper -- but in this genre, based strictly on numbers, male writers continue to deny them equal series representation. Loosestrife, by Brighton author Liz Williams, (set in post-global-warming London) was truly my favorite story in this entire anthology. Burning Day, by Montreal author Glenn Grant, is a perfect marriage of cyberpunk, human prejudice, and the police procedural. Set in a gritty urban landscape riddled by chaos and violence, this graphic story about a terrorist attack -- and the human and android cops that pursue them -- simply sizzles. Buildings that "grew on their own" added just the right touch. Even if you don't care for SF, you'll like smart stories like Mastermindless, by Vancouver Island's Matthew Hughes, which is set in a far future where science indistinguishable from magic, and magic, coexist. The star in this story is one Henghis Hapthorne, freelance discriminator. Written much in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, this story will make you think while you laugh. Standouts like Pulp Cover, by Illinoian Gene Wolf, can't be missed. Ostensibly a yarn told by a furniture salesman that wishes to remain anonymous, this narrative retells the account of the alien abduction of the woman that he'd once hoped to marry -- Mariel -- and her mysterious reappearance on his front doorstep seven years after she
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