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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection

Overview

The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including:

* Cory Doctorow

? Robert Charles Wilson

? Michael Swanwick

? Ian McDonald

? Benjamin Rosenbaum

? Kage Baker

? Bruce McAllister

? Alastair Reynolds

? Jay Lake

? Ruth Nestvold

? Gregory Benford

? Justin Stanchfield

? Walter Jon Williams

? Greg Van ...

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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection

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Overview

The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including:

* Cory Doctorow

• Robert Charles Wilson

• Michael Swanwick

• Ian McDonald

• Benjamin Rosenbaum

• Kage Baker

• Bruce McAllister

• Alastair Reynolds

• Jay Lake

• Ruth Nestvold

• Gregory Benford

• Justin Stanchfield

• Walter Jon Williams

• Greg Van Eekhout

• Robert Reed

• David D. Levine

• Paul J. McAuley

• Mary Rosenblum

• Daryl Gregory

• Jack Skillingstead

• Paolo Bacigalupi

• Greg Egan

• Elizabeth Bear

• Sarah Monette

• Ken MacLeod

• Stephen Baxter

• Carolyn Ives Gilman

• John Barnes

• A.M. Dellamonica

Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart.

This award-winning collection continues to provide dozens of the best stories of the year, including works by renowned veterans and exciting newcomers, such as Terry Bisson, Greg Egan, Ursula K. Le Guin and Nancy Kress. Rounded out with a long list of honorable mentions, this remains the one book for every sci-fi reader.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Whether you consider this anthology a genre starter kit or a welcome reward for years of SF devotion, Gardner Dozois's yearly compilation fills the reading bill. The 24th installment contains 28 stories by fresh new faces and award-winning masters such as Stephen Baxter, Robert Reed, Michael Swanwick, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear, Ian McDonald, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
From the Publisher
Praise for THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION TWENTY-THIRD ANNUAL COLLECTION:

"For a broad and eclectic overview of SF and its varieties, Dozois's huge anthology remains essential." -Gary K. Wolf, LOCUS Magazine

"Gardner Dozois is of course the granddaddy of the annual anthology...His housebrick of a collection…is the closest thing the field has to a single 'canon-forming' volume." -Strange Horizons magazine

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dozois's Year's Best, like any successful representative of a large constituency, sometimes suffers from blandness and inconsistency. As usual, it's oversized23 stories, nearly 600 pagesand includes a variety of types of SF as well as near-horror, fantasy and humor. Five of the stories are final nominees for Nebulas, and two new ``Hainish'' stories by Ursula LeGuin were nominated for Tiptree Awards; ``The Matter of Segrri'' won. No story here is less than competent and professional; but, with a few exceptions, there is a voiceless sameness in the writing, practically a house style, that over so many pages grows tedious. (Nearly half the stories, by page count, come from the Dozois-edited Asimov's Science Fiction.) A number are flawed (``hard'' SF stories about ``aliens'' that think just like humans) or unremarkable, but these are outweighed by many fine pieces and by standouts such as LeGuin's ``Forgiveness Day,'' perhaps the best story in the book; Eliot Fintushel's ``New Wave''-like ``Ylem''; William Sanders's ``Going After Old Man Alabama'' and Terry Bisson's ``The Hole in the Hole,'' both of which are winning and funny; Katherine Kerr's chilling ``Asylum''; and Michael Bishop's grand and humane ``Cri de Coeur.'' Dozois's intelligently and ably put-together anthology does its stated job as well as any one book or editor could. Even with competition, it would still be the best of the Best. (July)
Publishers Weekly
This annual anthology remains the best one-stop shop for short fiction, and it's a must for fans of literary SF. The notion of intelligence links several stories. Nancy Kress, in "Computer Virus," posits an intelligent computer program trying to save its life, but it does so by risking that of a child. The dense and busy "Lobsters" by Charles Stross considers the implications of denying intelligent uploaded constructs here, of lobsters human rights or autonomy. Michael Blumlein's zany "Know How, Can Do," easily the best story, posits a self-aware worm linked to a human brain, told from the point of view of the worm, "Flowers for Algernon"-style, as it acquires human intelligence, language and emotions. Alternative realities remain a productive theme. In "The Two Dicks," Paul McAuley posits an alternative reality where Philip K. Dick, who in this world wrote mainstream fiction instead of SF, meets Nixon. Ken MacLeod's ambitious, character-driven "The Human Front," set in an alternative reality just a little different from ours, describes a man's growth toward adulthood in a war-torn Britain. Dan Simmons, Alastair Reynolds, Maureen F. McHugh and Paul Di Filippo also contribute especially memorable tales. Although one could quibble with Dozois's choices and there are one or two clunkers in here this anthology is an enjoyable read that overall maintains high standards of quality and variety. It's essential for SF fans who simply don't have time to separate the wheat from the chaff on their own. (July 23) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As in previous volumes in this series, Dozois, who has won the Hugo for Best Editor 11 times, again presents a large helping of stellar short SF. Nine of the 27 stories are, quite appropriately, from his own magazine, Asimov's, which continues to dominate the various genre awards. Dozois also includes four stories each from Fantasy and Science Fiction and the British Interzone. Also represented are Analog, Amazing, Science Fiction Age, and two semi-pro magazines, Absolute Magnitude and the Australian Altair, as well as such original anthologies as Moon Shots, Not of Women Born and the Canadian Tesseracts. Among the high points are two time-travel pieces, Kage Baker's story of San Francisco before the great earthquake, "Son Observe the Time," and Michael Swanwick's pre-historic time-paradox tale, "Scherzo with Tyrannosaurus"; Eleanor Arnason's understated story of alien gender-role reversal, "Dapple"; Kim Stanley Robinson's "A Martian Romance," which is set not in the world of his Mars trilogy but in a subtly alternate universe; and Greg Egan's "Border Guards," hard-SF that imagines a future in which immortality is a given and soccer is played using the principles of quantum physics. Also included is quality fiction by such luminaries of the field as James Patrick Kelly, Frederik Pohl, Ben Bova, Robert Silverberg and Paul McAuley, plus such rising stars as David Marusek, Alastair Reynolds and Sage Walker. As usual, the anthology begins with a detailed survey of the year in SF and ends with a long list of Honorable Mentions. Dozois's annual volume remains a standard by which the field of SF should be judged. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly

Veteran editor Dozois, 15-time Hugo winner, offers 30 stories, several of them Hugo-nominated. The table of contents is dominated by familiar names like Michael Swanwick and Greg Egan, but occasionally leavened with relative newcomers like Hannu Rajaniemi and more obscure authors like James Alan Gardner. Settings range from the present-day (Nancy Kress's "The Erdmann Nexus") to the distant future (Ian McDonald's "The Tear") and alternate history (Aliete de Bodard's "Butterfly, Falling at Dawn"). Similarly the moods range from relatively upbeat (Dominic Green's "Shining Armour") to pessimistic (Swanwick's "From Babel's Fallen Glory We Fled"). In some entries the SF elements appear to be almost an afterthought, but most earn their inclusion. Dozois also provides short biographies, a detailed overview of the year in SF and a lengthy list of honorable mentions. This is a worthy addition to a venerable series. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
From David Marusek's tale of a future where reality's borders collide with the unreal ("The Wedding Album") to Kage Baker's latest novella featuring the time-traveling "Company" ("Son Observe the Time"), the 27 stories in this annual collection bear witness to the vitality of the sf short story. Including tales by Tanith Lee, Frederick Pohl, Hal Clement, Michael Swanwick, and others, this volume displays the best and brightest of the genre to good advantage. Suitable for most sf or short story collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Library Journal
Dozois has again selected the best short sf of 1996 for inclusion in this award-winning anthology series. Among the 27 writers are Gregory Benford, John Kessel, Robert Silverberg, Maureen F. McHugh, Bruce Sterling, Charles Sheffield, and Stephen Baxter, with contributions covering romance, aliens, a high-tech future, the space program, Africa, scientific thriller, hard science, and cyberpunk. Highly recommended for all sf collections.
Kirkus Reviews
As ever, Dozois leads his anthology with a homerun by Ian R. MacLeod and follows it with a second MacLeod, "Isabel of the Fall." Two dozen tales give ballast to this voyage into SF and fantastic realism, including MacLeod's "New Light on the Drake Equation," which takes place perhaps a century from now. The story turns on Tom Kelly, a fading SETI scientist who's on a French hilltop radio-scanning the heavens for First Contact and using as his guide the Drake Equation, which helps map the likely areas an alien culture might try to contact us from. The fallible equation is less certain than he is, but Tom has great assurance about contact-for a number of decades. During them, he's visited by his ex-lover, the star-crossed Terr, a hyperenthusiast who exhausts subjects that interest her and who left Tom to take up flying with wings attached to a newly improved back musculature (Tom took up drinking to pass the time). Aside from descriptions of marvelous scientific advances in personal grooming, little confronts the reader except many pages of fine writing about waiting, waiting, waiting. "Isabel of the Fall" is a future children's story looking back at the urchin Isabel, who was taken into the Dawn Church, became a Dawn singer, and had to climb the minaret daily to clean the great mirrors that collect light from heaven-until she had a great fall . . . Also outstanding: Dan Simmons's "On K2 with Kanakaredes," about a trio of climbers forced to accept the company of a bug-shaped, six-legged alien, Kanakaredes from Aldebaran, when they climb Everest. And not to be missed: Nancy Kress's "Computer Virus"-about a mother whose home is invaded by-well, check the title. True fiction. The pure stuff.
From Barnes & Noble
Presents 23 of the finest science-fiction works of 1995, including stories by such diverse writers as Michael Bishop, Terry Bisson, Greg Egan, Nancy Kress, Ursula K. Le Guin, Maureen F. McHugh, Mike Resnick, and others.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312363352
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Series: Year's Best Science Fiction Series , #24
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 894,408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author

GARDNER DOZOIS has been working in the science fiction field for more than thirty years. For twenty years he was the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction, during which time he received the Hugo Award for Best Editor fifteen times.

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Table of Contents

Summation: 1998 xi
Oceanic 1
Approaching Perimelasma 37
Craphound 56
Jedella Ghost 72
Taklamakan 87
The Island of the Immortals 118
Sea Change, with Monsters 126
Divided By Infinity 161
US 181
The Days of Solomon Gursky 191
The Cuckoo's Boys 234
The Halfway House at the Heart of Darkness 277
The Very Pulse of the Machine 289
Story of Your Life 304
Voivodoi 339
Saddlepoint: Roughneck 349
This Side of Independence 393
Unborn Again 404
Grist 416
La Cenerentola 462
Down in the Dark 476
Free in Asveroth 510
The Dancing Floor 524
The Summer Isles 544
Honorable Mentions: 1998 603
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    still the best

    As always this annual collection is the best science fiction anthology of the year. Besides the strong selection of twenty-eight stories, the Summation 2006 is an interesting article that concludes that 2006 was ¿overall a relatively uneventful year¿. Still in this quiet year, Mr. Dozois references Locus magazine stating that ¿there were 2495 books of interest to the SF field¿ excluding a myriad of Internet options and other tie-ins that would dramatically increase the total. All of the chosen twenty-eight are well written with many of the authors highly regarded like Cory Docterow, Robert Charles Wilson, Kage Baker, Alastair Reynolds, Robert Reed, Greg Egan, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette and Stephen Baxter, etc. The best of the best (at least in my opinion) are 'Riding the Crocodile' by Greg Egan in which two immortals consider boldly conspicuously suicide together Robert Charles Wilson¿s Julian: A Christmas Story as two men meet and struggle to survive a wintry night before traveling different life paths and a tour of Venus in Tin Marsh by Michael Stanwick, who according to Mr. Dozois has been writing for over two decades, but I confess I only read any of his works for the first time recently (see THE DRAGONS OF BABEL). Once gain this is a superb compilation as none of the entries are losers and most are excellent exploring the genre from quantum physics communicating with the dead to outer space and beyond 2006 may have been lacking in innovation, but still with quality tales abound prove to be a great year affirmed by Mr. Dozois¿ latest anthology. ---- Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    As always this is a fascinating anthology as much for those stories selected as the best in 2006 as for the essays starting with the Summation, which though Mr. Dozois opens with a ¿relatively uneventful year¿ he quickly affirms otherwise as the publishing world had radical changes. The stories come from a wide variety of sources that prove how vast the options in the field have become. Some tales by famous authors were originally electronic such as ¿I, Row-Boat by Docterow was an on line entry in Flurb I and ¿The Ile of Dogges¿ by Bear and Monette was on Aeon Seven. Others were typically included in magazines such as ¿Tin Marsh¿ by Swanwick and ¿The Djinn¿s Wife¿ by McDonald both in Asimov¿s Sconce Fiction, and ¿Damascus¿ by Gregory and¿ Okanoggin Falls¿ by Gilman in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Finally, a few were part of what seem like somewhat a dinosaur at least in this anthology: printed books such as ¿Nightingale¿ by Reynolds (see Galactic North). The twenty-eight short stories are solid tales with fan favorites and newcomers included. Each entry is well written and fun to read as the collection covers the gamut of the genre. However, it is Mr. Dozois¿ fabulous ¿Summation¿ that brings together the year in which source diversity keeps expanding making it impossible even for an insomniac lunatic book reviewer to even have heard of some of the tales don¿t even try to ponder how Mr. Dozois finds some of them though all are worthy of inclusion. --- Harriet Klausner

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