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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection

de Gardner Dozois (Editor)

Altres autors: Neal Asher (Col·laborador), Stephen Baxter (Col·laborador), Damien Broderick (Col·laborador), Karl Bunker (Col·laborador), Aliette de Bodard (Col·laborador)24 més, Brendan DuBois (Col·laborador), Greg Egan (Col·laborador), Alexander Jablokov (Col·laborador), James Patrick Kelly (Col·laborador), Jake Kerr (Col·laborador), Nancy Kress (Col·laborador), Jay Lake (Col·laborador), Ken Liu (Col·laborador), Ian R. MacLeod (Col·laborador), Paul J. McAuley (Col·laborador), Ian McDonald (Col·laborador), Sandra McDonald (Col·laborador), Sean McMullen (Col·laborador), Sunny Moraine (Col·laborador), Val Nolan (Col·laborador), Robert Reed (Col·laborador), Alastair Reynolds (Col·laborador), Geoff Ryman (Col·laborador), Melissa Scott (Col·laborador), Martin L. Shoemaker (Col·laborador), Allen M. Steele (Col·laborador), Michael Swanwick (Col·laborador), Lavie Tidhar (Col·laborador), Carrie Vaughn (Col·laborador)

Sèrie: Mammoth Book of Best New Science Fiction (27), Dozois Year's Best Science Fiction (31)

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1362153,759 (4.22)4
"In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world in the year's best short stories"--… (més)
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As usual, the only way to review an anthology like this is story by story. Here goes:

1) The Discovered Country--Ian R. MacLeod. 7/10. An interesting take on the afterlife. This theme will bookend nicely with the last story in this book.

2) The Book Seller--Lavie Tidhar 8.5/10. A wonderful story in an great world. I want to read more of the Central Station stories, since the world lends itself easily to evocative, emotional, storytelling.

3) Pathways--Nancy Kress. 10/10. The first of four 10/10s in this anthology, two of them by Ms. Kress. This is not so much a sci-fi story as "Hillbilly elegy" meets Fatal Familial Insomnia. I was so happy to see that disease mentioned, and even though the treatment doesn't exist yet, the story is so well written as makes no difference. Brilliantly done.

4) A heap of broken images--Sunny Moraine. 7/10. A very clear holocaust allegory, but beyond that I'm left wanting by this story.

5) Rock of Ages--Jay Lake. 10/10. A fantastic story about a future where green environmentalism has gotten violent...and the man who resists it, mostly because he can. The writing community will miss you, Mr. Lake. R.I.P.

6) Rosary and Goldenstar--Geoff Ryman. 5/10. The first disappointment in the anthology. An alternate history Shakespeare that offers no hook and no character development. Very meh.

7) Gray Wings--Karl Bunker. 8/10. "Are you an angel, because you fell from heaven" in story form. I liked it.

8) The best we can--Carrie Vaughn. 8.5/10. An all-too-accurate, sometimes painfully accurate, story about what would REALLY happen in the scientific community if proof of alien life were to be found.

9) Transitional Forms--Paul J. McAuley. 6.5/10. Entirely too similar to Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup girl" in dealing with bioengineered and artificial life.

10) Precious Mental--Robert Reed. 7.5/10. I want to rate it higher, and the world seems like it would be amenable to good stories, but this just gets WEIRD at the end. The first half of the story is fine, the other half just gets weird and incomprehensible, at least to me.

11) Martian Blood--Allen M. Steele. 9/10. A story that proves that sometimes, science reveals secrets that are better left hidden.

12) Zero for conduct--Greg Egan. 8/10. Another all-too-accurate story of what would happen to the first person to invent a room-temperature semiconductor, especially if that person happened to be a gifted girl in the Middle East.

13) The Waiting Stars--Aliette De Bodard. 5/10. Ms. Bodard has gotten several stories from the same universe into the year's best anthologies--"The days of the war, as dark as blood, as red as bile" and "Butterfly, falling at dawn", but I've not been able to understand why. Her universe is unfinished, illogical. It's like she ran with the central premise of "Mayan and Chinese empires!" and wrote everything from that....others may like her work, but I am not a fan.

14) A map of mercury--Alastair Reynolds. 7/10. Sometimes artists, in pursuit of art, throw away their humanity, sometimes literally.

15) One--Nancy Kress. 10/10. The second of Ms. Kress' two 10/10 stories in this anthology. A man who begins to develop precognition of a sort has to figure out how to use it...and what to do with it when it starts going away. Ms. Kress likes to write sci-fi centered around the brain, and I love it.

16) Murder on the Aldrin express--Martin L. Shoemaker. 8.5/10. A good old fashioned murder mystery, that just happened to take place on a spaceship.

17) Biographical fragments of the life of Julian Prince-Jake Kerr. 5/10. I never really liked the "fragment" style of writing, and I don't do so here.

18) The Plague--Ken Lui. 10/10. It's three pages long. And yet in those three pages, Liu conveys an entire world with backstory, and three characters interacting. There is nothing better than a good SHORT short story.

19) Fleet--Sandra McDonald. 8/10. A postapocalyptic Guam, with a trans character acting a sentinel for the encroaching outside world.

20) The She-Wolf's Hidden Grin--Michael Swanwick. 6/10. I would have liked to see more of the world, but the story as written is fine. What happened to the aboriginal natives when humans came to the world of the story?

21) Bad day on boscobel--Alexander Jablokov. 8/10. Espionage and political intrigue in a world made up entirely of giant trees.

22) The Irish Astronaut--Val Nolan. 10/10. A highly emotional story of remembrance to fallen explorers. Wonderfully written.

23) The other gun--Neal Asher. 7/10. I wanted to like it more, but though it was fun I never really connected with the characters on any meaningful level.

24) Only Human--Lavie Tidhar. 7/10. Not quite as good as "The Book Seller", also by Lavie Tidhar in this anthology, but still well done.

25) Entangled--Ian R. MacLeod. 8.5/10. In a world where gestalt consciousness is the norm, the abnormal ones are the ones who can't connect to the gestalt. I did NOT expect the ending, though.

26) Earth I--Stephen Baxter. 7/10 A human diaspora among the stars inevitably draws explorers back to where it all began, except they do not find what they expected.

27) Technarion-Sean McMullen. 9.5/10. I'm a sucker for victorian steampunk sci-fi, but this one takes an expected turn. A rather pointed critique about the overbearing role of technology in today's society, and where it came from.

28) Finders--Melissa Scott. 9/10. I really liked this story, about a trio of salvage workers who make an interesting, possibly society-changing, discovery. It had just enough mystery to keep me interested and good pacing.

29) The Queen of Night's Aria--Ian McDonald. 8/10. When the enemy likes your art and takes you hostage, the only thing left to do is perform.

30) Hard Stars--Brendan Dubois. 8.5/10. In a surprising turn of events, the US is hit with drone strikes trained on electronics. A disquieting near sci-fi story but so well written.

31) The Promise of Space--James Patrick Kelly. 7/10. A woman talks to the AI her husband, a space explorer, has been imported into. A sad story.

32) Quicken--Damien Broderick. 4/10. I hate to say it, but the book doesn't close strong. This is apparently an authorized sequel to Silverberg's famous story "Born with the dead", but Broderick is not half the writer Silverberg is, and it shows. He tries to get to fancy, ends up losing the thread of the story around midway through, and never recaptures it, instead attempting to replace plot with weirdness. It doesn't work.

Hope you enjoyed reading these. ( )
  L_Will | May 14, 2018 |
I look forward to July every year because that's the month that The Year's Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois, is released. I have bought this volume every year since the fifth edition, and this year we're up to the "Thirty-first Annual Collection," as the subtitle says, which means I've been reading these anthologies for two and a half decades already. As ever, some readers will prefer some stories contained in the volume more than others, and your taste may not match mine in that regard; but the high quality of the writing is evident throughout. This year the collection includes stories by Ian R. MacLeod, Lavie Tidhar, Nancy Kress, Sunny Moraine, Jay Lake, Geoff Ryman, Karl Bunker, Carrie Vaughn, Paul J. McAuley, Robert Reed, Allen M. Steele, Greg Egan, Aliette de Bodard, Alastair Reynolds, Martin L. Shoemaker, Jake Kerr, Ken Liu, Sandra McDonald, Michael Swanwick, Alexander Jablokov, Val Nolan, Neal Asher, Stephen Baxter, Sean McMullen, Melissa Scott, Ian McDonald, Brendan DuBois, James Patrick Kelly and Damien Broderick; in addition, there is a comprehensive summary of events occurring in and affecting the sf/f world in 2013, and an extensive list of honorable mentions at the end of the book. If you are interested in short-form science fiction, but know little about it, this is the volume with which to start. It will provide you with many happy hours of reading, guaranteed. Recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Jul 30, 2014 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Dozois, GardnerEditorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Asher, NealCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Baxter, StephenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Broderick, DamienCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bunker, KarlCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Bodard, AlietteCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
DuBois, BrendanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Egan, GregCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Jablokov, AlexanderCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kelly, James PatrickCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kerr, JakeCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Kress, NancyCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lake, JayCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Liu, KenCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
MacLeod, Ian R.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
McAuley, Paul J.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
McDonald, IanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
McDonald, SandraCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
McMullen, SeanCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Moraine, SunnyCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Nolan, ValCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Reed, RobertCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Reynolds, AlastairCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ryman, GeoffCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Scott, MelissaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Shoemaker, Martin L.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Steele, Allen M.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Swanwick, MichaelCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Tidhar, LavieCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Vaughn, CarrieCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat

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"In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world in the year's best short stories"--

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