For years, "The Year's Best Science Fiction" has been the most widely read short science fiction anthology of its kind. Now, after twenty-one annual collections, comes the ultimate in science fiction anthologies, "The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction," in which legendary editor Gardner Dozois selects the very best short stories for this landmark collection. Some notable stories include: "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula K. Le Guin. Coming of age is a difficult passage for any adolescent, ...
For years, "The Year's Best Science Fiction" has been the most widely read short science fiction anthology of its kind. Now, after twenty-one annual collections, comes the ultimate in science fiction anthologies, "The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction," in which legendary editor Gardner Dozois selects the very best short stories for this landmark collection. Some notable stories include: "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula K. Le Guin. Coming of age is a difficult passage for any adolescent, but couple that with the potential to be either sex and you've got a dilemma of seismic proportion. Bringing readers back to the world of her classic and best known novel, "The Left Hand of Darkness," Le Guin creates a compelling and evocative story of transition. "The Winter Market" by William Gibson. Called the SF Timothy Leary of our times, Gibson returns to the subject that made him a cultural icon, cyberpunk. People who know what they want are often lauded and honored in this society. But when those people start using others to get it, beware! "Trinity" by Nancy Kress. People have searched for God since the dawn of time, but not until the new millennium did they think to find this celestial being through technology. Since soon after the series began, Kress has been an annual and esteemed contributor to "The Year's Best Science Fiction." Contributors include: * Stephen Baxter * Greg Bear * William Bigson * Terry Bisson * Pat Cadigan * Ted Chiang * John Crowley * Tony Daniel * Greg Egan * Molly Gloss * Eileen Gunn * Joe Haldeman * James Patrick Kelly * John Kessel * Nancy Kress * Ursula K. Le Guin * Ian R. MacLeod * David Marusek * Paul McAuley * Ian McDonald * Maureen F. McHugh * Robert Reed * Mike Resnick * Geoff Ryman * William Sander * Lucius Shepard * Robert Silverberg * Brian Stableford * Bruce Sterling * Charles Stross * Michael Swanwick * Steven Utley * Howard Waldrop * Walter Jon Williams * Connie Willis * Gene Wolfe With work spanning two decades, "The Best of the Best" stands as one of the ultimate science fiction anthologies ever published.
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By its title, this book contains the best of the sci-fi stories from editor Gardner Dozois' series, "The Year's Best Science Fiction." These selections are drawn from the YBSF Volume 1, published in 1984 (& containing stories from 1983) through Volume 20, published in 2003 (& containing stories from 2002). If you think that sci-fi is nothing but tales of monsters, machines, one-dimensional heroes & cardboard villains, & endless chase scenes & too much derring-do, give this book a try. There's more depth & variety to sci-fi than you may expect! Stories can be about anything, from day-to-day contemporary life on earth & elsewhere, to alternate realities, to medical & scientific marvels, to a universe-altering cataclysm a million years from now in the post-human future. The variety is endlessly fascinating! YBSF is a wonderfully entertaining series, full of top-notch sci-fi stories, & in this book, "The Best of the Best," Dozois has intended to select the cream of the crop. Most of the stories have solid plot lines and interesting, well-developed main characters, & in most of them, their authors have created a believable, functioning reality. For the most part, I agree with Dozois' selections, from the superb & tongue-in-cheek stories such as "Bears Discover Fire" (by Terry Bisson), "Even the Queen" (by Connie Willis), "None So Blind" (by Joe Haldeman), & my personal laugh-out-loud favorite, "The Undiscovered," an alternate history tale of Shakespeare by William Sanders. Some stories portray small-village life in other human cultures with great depth & sensitivity, such as the wonderful "Kirinyaga" (by Mike Resnick), set in a future utopian Africa; & "Have Not Have" (by Geoff Ryman), set in a Chinese village in the not-too-distant future. There are alternate reality stories such as the Civil War-era "The Lincoln Train" (by Maureen McHugh). Other stories posit all-too-plausible genetic experimentation, such as the excellent "Blood Music" (by Greg Bear). An odd, chilling, & thought-provoking tale, "The Dead," by Michael Swanwick, describes future biological techniques that create robot-like zombies from human corpses, thereby costing most low-skilled human workers their jobs. I would argue that some other stories from the YBSF series should have been included in this anthology. I missed a great favorite of mine, "Yeyuka" (by Greg Egan); also "The Monkey Treatment" (by George R. R. Martin); plus another wry & witty story by William Sanders, "Going After Old Man Alabama." However, the variety in the stories included in this anthology should enable most sci-fi readers to find it enjoyable. And if you find several of the stories thought-provoking as well (which I did), so much the better!
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