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Mass Market Paperback Year's Best SF Book

ISBN: 0061056413

ISBN13: 9780061056413

Year's Best SF

(Part of the Year's Best SF (#1) Series and Year's Best SF Series)

WORLD-ALTERING SCIENCE FICTION Tales of wonder and adventure, set on distant planets or in the future of our own Stories that go beyond the limits of Space and Time David G. Hartwell has brought together only the best of this year's new SF from established pros and audacious newcomers, selecting only those that share the universal quality of great science fiction. Our familiar world will look a little less familiar after you read one. Includes storiesby:...


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Not Free SF Reader

Hartwell opens his introduction thus: "SCIENCE FICTION IS ALIVE AND WELL This is the first volume of an annual year's best science fiction anthology, to be published each spring in a widely available mass market edition. In each volume the best science fiction of that year will be represented. Not fantasy. Not science fantasy. Science fiction: This anthology will contain only stories that a chronic reader would recognize as SF. ...Furthermore, the existence of more than one year's best anthology in the SF genre has been good for the field..." Given the 12th volume has just come out this year, looks like he was right. He also mentions that he thought it was a great year for novellas, so there are only 14 stories in this book because of several of the longer variety. The stories begin with the best, James Patrik Kelly's Think Like A Dinosaur. There are a couple here I don't like, and usually in an average number of story anthologies would expect one, but there are no stories that are only ordinary to balance that. Still, only a 3.68 average. A little down for a Year's Best. Close enough though to make it a 4.5, rounding up a little. Year's Best SF 01 : Think Like a Dinosaur - James Patrick Kelly Year's Best SF 01 : Wonders of the Invisible World - Patricia A. McKillip Year's Best SF 01 : Hot Times in Magma City - Robert Silverberg Year's Best SF 01 : Gossamer - Stephen Baxter Year's Best SF 01 : A Worm in the Well - Gregory Benford Year's Best SF 01 : Downloading Midnight - William Browning Spencer Year's Best SF 01 : For White Hill - Joe Haldeman Year's Best SF 01 : In Saturn Time - William Barton Year's Best SF 01 : Coming of Age in Karhide by Sov Thade Tage em Ereb of Rer in Karhide on Gethen - Ursula K. Le Guin Year's Best SF 01 : The Three Descents of Jeremy Baker - Roger Zelazny Year's Best SF 01 : Evolution - Nancy Kress Year's Best SF 01 : The Day the Aliens Came - Robert Sheckley Year's Best SF 01 : Microbe - Joan Slonczewski Year's Best SF 01 : The Ziggurat - Gene Wolfe Lizard people's replication errors multiply. 4.5 out of 5 Not an angel research. 2.5 out of 5 Lava fighters on the rehab. 4 out of 5 Wormhole stuffup surfing webs. 4 out of 5 This wormhole is mine. 4 out of 5 Captain Armageddon abuse source. 3.5 out of 5 Artists try for retro inspiration. 2.5 out of 5 Space program choices. 3.5 out of 5 Puberty gender blues cured by dedicated fracking and food, even if the flavor can be a crapshoot. 4 out of 5 Bound up information. 4 out of 5 Terror disease infighting cure. 3.5 out of 5 Trading with the long way out of towners is quite odd. 4 out of 5 Working on nanotechnology suits to enable people to exist on a rather deadly new planet, after some testing on rats. A field test doesn't go quite as planned, and some interesting biology is found. 4 out of 5 "That rock over there is hollow, and there are strange and wonderful blue-lit rooms inside, where little brown women will try to kill

Great start

The art of the short story is disappearing. It is a joy when a compilation is released and it is very good. This is such a release. Are these the best of the Science Fiction genre for 1995? I don't know, but these stories are wonderfull. When I buy short story anthologies I tend to look for authors I have enjoyed over the years. The true gift is when I find an author I know nothing about or a new and rising author that is going to be fun to follow. This anthology has some of the big names such as Le Guin and Silverberg who both have written execellent stories. The true find for me was Nancy Kress. Her 'Evolution' is about a plague and the ramifications of genetic manipulation. Kress wrote 'An Alien light' in 1988 and I had lost track of her since. She is truly an amazing find. This book is well worth the time.

A good start to a "Best of" series

When David Hartwell started his own annual series of the year's best SF with this volume in the mid nineties, the doorstopper series edited by Gardner Dozois had been running for over a decade. Hartwell made some passing references to other anthologies being unfocused but otherwise he avoided the issue and that begged the question of why this series started and should you buy it instead of or as well as the Dozois book?On the strength of this, the first volume, I am happy to recommend Hartwell's choice to anyone who is into SF in the traditional sense. That does not mean that the contents are old fashioned just that the contents are certainly Science Fiction and not some related genre.The fourteen stories here, all of which were written in 1995, include works by a selection of the best of contemporary SF authors. Writers like Silverberg, Baxter, Benford, Kress, Haldeman, Woolfe, Zelazny and Sheckley rarely disappoint though the last of those is represented here by one of his weaker recent works.The highlights for me were Joe Haldeman's "For White Hill" and Robert Silverberg's "Hot Times in Magma City". The first is a tale of war, art, love and sacrifice set on a ruined Earth in the far future and the second is set in a near future LA beset by volcanic eruptions. The producers of "Volcano" and "Dante's Peak", a pair of similarly themed disaster movies should have studied Silverberg's tale to see how to inject some real humanity into the subject.Like the Silverberg story, William Spencer's "Downloading Midnight", Gene Wolfe's "The Ziggurat" and "Evolution" by Nancy Kress are all set on a contemporary or near future Earth and all three are compelling and rewarding stories.Stephen Baxter's "Gossamer" and Gregory Benford's "A Worm in the Well" demonstrate that the traditional setting of space travel in the Solar System can still give rise to highly enjoyable and original ideas that bring "golden age" styles right up to date.This is not a perfect book, there are still a couple of stories here that left me wondering what the editor was thinking (or smoking) when he included them but on the whole, the book stands as justification for the fact that there is certainly room for another "years's best" series. If you buy Gardner Dozois' books, you should give this volume a go as well.

An extraordinary anthology

This strong anthology proves that there is room in the science fiction market for two Year's Best anthologies. I was slightly surprised by this anthology because I have been underwhelmed by previous editions.This year was a different story. I enjoyed nearly every offering in the book. I was particularly impressed with the stories that Mr. Hartwell culled from unusual sources. Robert Silverberg's 'The Millennial Express' from Playboy magazine was particularly impressive. Robert Reed's story 'Grandma's Jumpman' from Century magazine was above average. I enjoyed the 5 or 6 1-2 page stories from Nature magazine. The stories from David Brin and Dan Simmons stood out from the rest. The anthology also included excellent stories from Howard Waldrop (an amusement-park attraction attains sentience and rebels against its masters) and Ted Chiang (an alternate reality story where Jewish kabbalistic tradition is real and powerful). Brian Stableford's fascinating 'The Last Supper' continues the author's recent exploration of the future of genetics. Not to be overlooked are two award-winning stories, Ursula Le Guin's excellent 'The Birthday of the World' and David Langford's 'Different Kinds of Darkness'. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology. Highly recommended.

wonderful selection of stories

the best thing about this book is the sheer variety of really good stories. no one type of SF dominates the book: cyberpunk, hard Arthur C. Clarke-style (gossamer), far-future space opera all occupy space in this novel. and the stories are all worthy of notice. hartwell edits good anthologies. if you like horror, check out "the dark descent."
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