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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Included in the 22nd annual Year's Best Science Fiction collection are not only the crème de la crème of short stories from the year 2004 but also an indispensable 30-page summation of the state of science fiction by editor Gardner Dozois, whose expert diagnosis is that the genre is not only in "pretty good shape" but expanding.
Of the 28 stories featured, there is a nice blend of well-known and recently discovered writers. Works from veteran authors include Vernor Vinge's "Synthetic Serendipity," which takes place in a high-tech future and deals with virtual reality, conniving teenage boys, and unlikely friendship; Stephen Baxter's "Mayflower II," a thought-provoking tale of a refugee-turned-deity on a generation starship fated to watch his species slowly devolve; and "Sisyphus and the Stranger" by Paul Di Filippo, an alternate history starring Albert Camus where the French Empire is the world's one and only superpower. Pat Murphy's "Inappropriate Behavior" is a touching story that revolves around a girl with a serious neurological disorder, a self-absorbed psychiatrist, and a castaway close to death. Newcomers with impressive contributions include David Moles, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Vandana Singh, and Daniel Abraham. If you're wondering how Dozois could win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Editor a record 15 times and how the annual Year's Best Science Fiction collection could be honored 14 times with the Locus Award for Year's Best Anthology, just pick up a copy of the latest annual edition. In a word: definitive. Paul Goat Allen