Year's Best SF 7

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Once again, the year's finest flights of speculative imagination are gathered in one extraordinary volume, compiled by acclaimed editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell. From some of the most renowned visionaries of contemporary SF — as well as new writers who are already making an indelible mark — comes an all-new compendium of unparalleled tales of the possible that will enthrall, astonish, terrify, and elate. Stories of strange worlds and mind-boggling futures, of awesome discoveries and apocalyptic ...

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Overview

Once again, the year's finest flights of speculative imagination are gathered in one extraordinary volume, compiled by acclaimed editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell. From some of the most renowned visionaries of contemporary SF — as well as new writers who are already making an indelible mark — comes an all-new compendium of unparalleled tales of the possible that will enthrall, astonish, terrify, and elate. Stories of strange worlds and mind-boggling futures, of awesome discoveries and apocalyptic disasters, of universes light years distant and deep within the human consciousness, are collected here as SF's brightest lights shine more radiantly than ever before.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - William J. White
The fourteen stories in this anthology include works by such luminaries as Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Benford, Joe Haldeman, Robert Silverberg, and Robert Sheckley as well as tales from popular "newcomers" like Stephen Baxter and Nancy Kress. All are thoughtful, well-constructed, and readable. My own favorites included Baxter's very hard SF tale of two space travelers marooned on Pluto after their wormhole "malfunctions;" Haldeman's story of a romance among artists competing in a contest sponsored by an Earth depopulated by an alien attack; and, of course, Gene Wolfe's strange and disturbing story Ziggurat, in which a divorced entrepreneur in an isolated cabin in the woods has a series of strange encounters with time travelers whose vehicle has broken down on a nearby lake. The stories represent a variety of subgenres within the field of science fiction. There is cyberpunk, as in William Browning Spencer's Downloading Midnight; time travel, from Wolfe and McKillip; an allohistorical "what if" story from William Barton that describes an alternate NASA space program; and, of course, hard science fiction from Baxter and Benford. Le Guin returns to the planet Winter, the setting of her classic novel, Left Hand of Darkness (Ace, 1969), in Coming of Age in Karhide. For the most part, this is mature and literate science fiction gathered from a variety of subgenres and publications that should appeal to most science fiction readers. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J S (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
VOYA - Vicky Burkholder
Each year thousands of science fiction authors submit their stories to magazines, but only a small fraction of those will ever see publication. No matter what the size of that fraction is, editors of "Best of" anthologies have to sift through hundreds of stories from dozens of magazines to find those gems they deem the best. Dozois and Hartwell have done just that in these two volumes. Hartwell's third "best of" anthology contains twenty-two stories from such authors as Gregory Benford, Greg Egan, Robert Silverberg, Terry Bisson, and others. According to Hartwell, "It is the intention of this...series to focus entirely on science fiction"; fantasy, horror, and other genres are not covered here. This in no way limits the scope of the stories, however, which includes everything from biologic warfare from unexpected sources (The Mendelian Lamp Case by Paul Levinson) to time travel (The Nostalginauts by S. N. Dyer) to what happens when mankind's life span reaches immortality (The Pipes of Pan by Brian Stableford). Each story is prefaced by a short introduction that highlights the author, where the story was published, and the theme. One of the best introductions is found in The Petting Zoo, by Gene Wolfe, a story about a young boy who brings a dinosaur to life with unexpected consequences. Hartwell's introduction says it all: "...what might it mean if the dinosaurs came back as Barney?" Dozois presents a similar scenario with his fifteenth volume of best stories. His collection consists of twenty-eight stories, five of which are duplicated in Hartwell's book. One plus of Dozois's book is its listing of 275 honorable mentions at the end. Like Hartwell's collection, this book contains only science fiction stories and authors like Silverberg, Egan, Stableford, Ian McDonald, and James Patrick Kelly. Steamship Soldier on the Information Front by Nancy Kress takes "a critical look at the high pressure, high-tech, high-bit-rate lifestyle...a warning that no matter how fast you run, there's always something just a little bit faster coming up behind you." Like many science fiction stories, it is a commentary on today's society couched in futuristic terms. If your library has previous volumes of these series, these are must buys. If not, start with these and know that you have the best of the best in science fiction. If budgets are extremely tight and only one volume is possible, choose Dozois only because of his extensive honorable mention listing. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection and Year's Best SF 3. VOYA Codes: 5Q 2P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
KLIATT
There's something for everything in this collection of 24 short stories and one narrative poem. You'll never look at a chipmunk in the same way after reading Elizabeth Malatre's "Evolution Never Sleeps." "Game of the Century" by Robert Reed is a football story with a twist. The highly recruited college players are part human, part animal: a result in genetic alteration. How would some space aliens classify library books? That's the question in Fred Lerner's "Rosetta Stone." An abandoned underground city is discovered on the moon. In it is a library full of books in English. Could their arrangement be a clue as to what aliens want to know about Earth? Most of these stories will give the reader food for thought. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, HarperCollins/Eos, 494p, 18cm, $6.99. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Susan E. Chmurynsky; Media Spec., E. Kentwood Freshman Campus, Kentwood, MI, November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061061431
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/1902
  • Series: Year's Best SF Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

David G. Hartwell is a senior editor of Tor/Forge Books. His doctorate is in Comparative Medieval Literature. He is the proprietor of Dragon Press, publisher and bookseller, which publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction, and the president of David G. Hartwell, Inc. He is the author of Age of Wonders and the editor of many anthologies, including The Dark Descent, The World Treasury of Science Fiction, The Hard SF Renaissance, The Space Opera Renaissance, and a number of Christmas anthologies, among others. Recently he co-edited his fifteenth annual paperback volume of Year's Best SF, and co-edited the ninth Year's Best Fantasy. John Updike, reviewing The World Treasury of Science Fiction in The New Yorker, characterized him as a "loving expert." He is on the board of the IAFA, is co-chairman of the board of the World Fantasy Convention, and an administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. He has won the Eaton Award, the World Fantasy Award, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award forty times to date, winning as Best Editor in 2006, 2008, and 2009.

Kathryn Cramer is a writer and anthologist. She won a World Fantasy Award for best anthology for The Architecture of Fear, co-edited with Peter Pautz; she was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her anthology Walls of Fear. She co-edits anthologies with David G. Hartwell, such as the huge anthologies of hard sf The Ascent of Wonder, The Space Opera Renaissance, and The Hard SF Renaissance, and does the annual Year's Best Fantasy and the Year's Best SF with him. She is an editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction, for which she has been nominated for the Hugo Award seventeen times. Her dark fantasy hypertext, In Small and Large Pieces, was published by Eastgate Systems, Inc. She is employed by Wolfram Research and by L. W. Currey, Inc.

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Read an Excerpt

Year's Best SF 7

Computer Virus

by Nancy Kress

"It's out!" someone said, a tech probably, although later McTaggart could never remember who spoke first. "It's out!"

"It can't be!" someone else cried, and then the whole room was roiling, running, frantic with activity that never left the workstations. Running in place.



"It's not supposed to be this way," Elya blurted. Instantly she regretted it. The hard, flat eyes of her sister-in-law Cassie met hers, and Elya flinched away from that look.

"And how is it supposed to be, Elya?" Cassie said. "Tell me."

"I'm sorry. I only meant that...that no matter how much you loved Vlad, mourning gets...lighter. Not lighter, but less...withdrawn. Cass, you can't just wall up yourself and the kids in this place! For one thing, it's not good for them. You'll make them terrified to face real life."

"I hope so," Cassie said, "for their sake. Now let me show you the rest of the castle."

Cassie was being ironic, Elya thought miserably, but "castle" was still the right word. Fortress, keep, bastion...Elya hated it. Vlad would have hated it. And now she'd provoked Cassie to exaggerate every protective, self-sufficient, isolating feature of the multi-million dollar pile that had cost Cass every penny she had, including the future income from the lucrative patents that had gotten Vlad murdered.

"This is the kitchen," Cassie said. "House, do we have any milk?"

"Yes," said the impersonal voice of the house system. At least Cassie hadn't named it, or given it one of those annoying visual avatars. The roomscreen remained blank. "There is one carton of soymilkand one of cow milk on the third shelf."

"It reads the active tags on the cartons," Cassie said. "House, how many of Donnie's allergy pills are left in the master-bath medicine cabinet?"

"Sixty pills remain," House said, "and three more refills on the prescription."

"Donnie's allergic to ragweed, and it's mid-August," Cassie said.

"Well, he isn't going to smell any ragweed inside this mausoleum," Elya retorted, and immediately winced at her choice of words. But Cassie didn't react. She walked on through the house, unstoppable, narrating in that hard, flat voice she had developed since Vlad's death.

"All the appliances communicate with House through narrow-band wireless radio frequencies. House reaches the Internet the same way. All electricity comes from a generator in the basement, with massive geothermal feeds and storage capacitors. In fact, there are two generators, one for backup. I'm not willing to use battery back-up, for the obvious reason."

It wasn't obvious to Elya. She must have looked bewildered because Cassie added, "Batteries can only back-up for a limited time. Redundant generators are more reliable."

"Oh."

"The only actual cables coming into the house are the VNM fiber-optic cables I need for computing power. If they cut those, we'll still be fully functional."

If who cuts those? Elya thought, but she already knew the answer. Except that it didn't make sense. Vlad had been killed by econuts because his work was—had been—so controversial. Cassie and the kids weren't likely to be a target now that Vlad was dead. Elya didn't say this. She trailed behind Cassie through the living room, bedrooms, hallways. Every one had a roomscreen for House, even the hallways, and multiple sensors in the ceilings to detect and identify intruders. Elya had had to pocket an emitter at the front door, presumably so House wouldn't...do what? What did it do if there was an intruder? She was afraid to ask.

"Come downstairs," Cassie said, leading the way through an e-locked door (of course) down a long flight of steps. "The computer uses three-dimensional laser microprocessors with optical transistors. It can manage twenty million billion calculations per second."

Startled, Elya said, "What on earth do you need that sort of power for?"

"I'll show you." They approached another door, reinforced steel from the look of it. "Open," Cassie said, and it swung inward. Elya stared at a windowless, fully equipped genetics lab.

"Oh, no, Cassie...you're not going to work here, too!"

"Yes, I am. I resigned from MedGene last week. I'm a consultant now."

Elya gazed helplessly at the lab, which seemed to be a mixture of shining new equipment plus Vlad's old stuff from his auxiliary home lab. Vlad's refrigerator and storage cabinet, his centrifuge, were all these things really used in common between Vlad's work in ecoremediation and Cassie's in medical genetics? Must be. The old refrigerator had a new dent in its side, probably the result of a badly programmed 'bot belonging to the moving company. Elya recognized a new gene synthesizer, gleaming expensively, along with othermachines that she, not a scientist, couldn't identify. Through a half-open door, she saw a small bathroom. It all must have cost enormously. Cassie had better work hard as a consultant.

And now she could do so without ever leaving this self-imposed prison. Design her medical micros, send the data encrypted over the Net to the client. If it weren't for Jane and Donnie...Elya grasped at this. These were Janey and Donnie, and Janey would need to be picked up at school very shortly now. At least the kids would get Cassie out of this place periodically.

Cassie was still defining her imprisonment, in that brittle voice. "There's a Faraday cage around the entire house, of course, embedded in the walls. No EMP can take us out. The walls are reinforced foamcast concrete, the windows virtually unbreakable polymers. We have enough food stored for a year. The water supply is from a well under the house, part of the geothermal system. It's cool, sweet water. Want a glass?"

"No," Elya said. "Cassie...you act..."

Year's Best SF 7. Copyright © by David G. Hartwell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Nitro

    "Woooo."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Carmel Apple

    How do you get to the rainbow factory?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Shadow vs Rainbows part 1!

    Jackson:Welcome ponies of all kind to the first battle. Who de we have DeathStriker?
    <p>DeathStriker:We have the owners for the first brawl! Jhony vs RainbowDash (they signed a peace treaty the two factories but this is going on). Omg the ainties are fighting.
    <p>READY
    <p>GO
    <p>Rainbowdash flys right at Jhony but he jukes her and blasts fire at her body and pushes her back. Jhony hops onto a cloud,but Rainbowdash moves the cloud from under him and zooms up.
    <p>Jhony:Here we go again.
    <p>DeathStriker:Whispers to Jackson. "Who do you bet on?"
    <p>A loud boom and Rainbowdash zooms with high speed. Jhony makes half a force feild before they both collide with rainbows and shadows surrounding them.
    <p>Jackson:Who won? Cough cough.
    <p>DeathStriker:Clears the smoke. "Its a tie!"
    <p>Jackson:Pokes them both with sticks. "Cr<_>ap we should get help."
    <p>DS:Calls 311
    <p>Jackson:Well when we fix the arena and help the leaders,we will have our next battle at our next res. HOOT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2014

    PART THREE IS AT RES 5

    Yep

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2002

    RIGHT SERIES WRONG YEAR

    This is one my favorite Short SF Book I have bought it every year since they started. It has awesome stories and writers... I think the reviewers have mistaken the year for this new release. They are actually talking about the previous one not this one which has stories such as the "The Dog said Bow Wow", "Resurrection", "Computer Virus", "The Glacial" <-- this is one is Kool...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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