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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Editor extraordinaire Gardner Dozois' annual Year's Best Science Fiction anthology is like the Pro Bowl for writers of short-length sci fi; and, as has come to be expected over the last two decades, the 23rd edition more than adequately measures up to its long list of venerable predecessors. Included within this shelf-bending collection are works from some of the biggest names in the field: Stephen Baxter, Bruce Sterling, Joe Haldeman, Alastair Reynolds, Gene Wolfe, and Harry Turtledove, to name just a few.
Notable selections include "Beyond the Aquila Rift" by Reynolds, about a wayward starship that ends up at a surreal space station 150,000 light years from home, Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold's "The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Back from the Stars," which revolves around a billionaire who bootstraps it to deep space and back (almost), and "The Great Caruso" by Steven Popkes, a speculative gem about a nicotine-addicted woman with a mysterious form of lung cancer.
Also included in Dozois' annual compilation is his in-depth summation of the year in science fiction. Encompassing every aspect of the genre (magazine sales, imprint launches and closures, awards, conferences, related films and television shows, etc.), the 30-page yearly summary is, to some, just as interesting -- and historically significant -- as the collection of elite stories featured afterward. Science fiction fans wondering about the state of the genre should definitely read this anthology, which features not only many of sci-fi's firmly established superstars but also the best and brightest newcomers -- an essential addition to any serious science fiction fan's collection. Paul Goat Allen