A human detective and their partner, an enhanced chimpanzee, investigate a strange murder on the subway . . . a smart home goes into lockdown, turning a man’s own home into his prison . . . at a robot factory, something has caused the machines to attempt to escape . . . mysterious seeds raining down from deep space could be the first sign of an alien invasion . . . a woman seeks to restore a broken AI, hoping it can help return humanity to better days . . .
For decades, science fiction has compelled us to imagine futures both inspiring and cautionary. Whether it’s a warning message from a survey ship, a harrowing journey to a new world, or the adventures of well-meaning AI, science fiction inspires the imagination and delivers a lens through which we can view ourselves and the world around us. With The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four, award-winning editor Neil Clarke provides a year-in-review and twenty-nine of the best stories published by both new and established authors in 2018.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A State of Short SF Field in 2018
When We Were Starless—Simone Heller
All the Time We’ve Left to Spend—Alyssa Wong
Domestic Violence—Madeline Ashby
Ten Landscapes of Nili Fossae—Ian McDonald
Prophet of the Roads—Naomi Kritzer
Traces of Us—Vanessa Fogg
Theories of Flight—Linda Nagata
Lab B–15—Nick Wolven
Sour Milk Girls—Erin Roberts
Mother Tongues—S. Qiouyi Lu
Singles’ Day—Samantha Murray
Nine Last Days on Planet Earth—Daryl Gregory
The Buried Giant—Lavie Tidhar
The Anchorite Wakes—R.S.A. Garcia
Entropy War—Yoon Ha Lee
An Equation of State—Robert Reed
Quantifying Trust—John Chu
Hard Mary—Sofia Samatar
Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling—L.X. Beckett
Okay, Glory—Elizabeth Bear
Heavy Lifting—A.T. Greenblatt
Lions and Gazelles—Hannu Rajaniemi
Different Seas—Alastair Reynolds
Among the Water Buffaloes, a Tiger’s Steps—Aliette de Bodard
Byzantine Empathy—Ken Liu
Meat and Salt and Sparks—Rich Larson
Umbernight—Carolyn Ives Gilman
2018 Recommended Reading List
About the Author
Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld and Forever Magazine and owner of Wyrm Publishing, and a six-time Hugo Award Nominee for Best Editor (short form). He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Read an Excerpt
From Hugo Award-winning editor Neil Clarke, the best science fiction stories of the year are collected in a single hardcover volume.
Keeping up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more—a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy Award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers.
The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.