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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love these "year's best" anthologies. These collections got me hooked on science fiction in the first place. I vividly remember picking up a Year's Best Science Fiction paperback in a department store when I was in sixth grade and falling in love with the cool cover. I only had a few dollars and, to my figuring, one book with dozens of stories was way better than a book with only one story. I couldn't have been more correct.
Of the 23 short stories included in this anthology, my favorites were "The Juniper Tree," by John Kessel, and Michael Stanwick's "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O." In Kessel's story, Jack Baldwin and his daughter Rosalind move to a colony on the Moon so that Jack can give his daughter—and himself—a more peaceful life. While Jack succeeds in transplanting juniper trees in the low gravity, low moisture environment, his teenage daughter begins to assimilate into a strange, new society where sexuality is far more open than back on Earth. When Jack finds out that a boy has been intimate with his daughter, he overreacts and accidentally kills the boy. What follows is both miraculous and tragic. Stanwick's story is like an episode from The Twilight Zone about two unforgettable characters, Crow and Annie, and their eternal love.
This year's collection definitely measures up to the high standard set by its predecessors. The list of contributors is, as always, impressive -- Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen Baxter, Greg Egan, Peter F. Hamilton, and Paul J. McAuley, to name a few. This edition of The Year's Best Science Fiction will make some great summer reading—the stories can be read in one tanning session outside. (Paul Goat Allen)