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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection

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The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and to the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: Daniel Abraham • Eleanor Arnason • Pauolo Bacigalupi • Kage Baker • Stephen Baxter • Terry Bisson • J The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and to the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: Daniel Abraham • Eleanor Arnason • Pauolo Bacigalupi • Kage Baker • Stephen Baxter • Terry Bisson • James L. Cambias • Albert E. Cowdrey • Colin P. Davies • Paul Di Fillipo • Brendan DuBois • Michael F. Flynn • Peter F. Hamilton • M. John Harrison • James Patrick Kelly • Caitlin R. Kiernan • Nancy Kress • Paul Melko • David Moles • Pat Murphy • Robert Reed • Benjamin Rosenbaum • Mary Rosenbaum • Christopher Rowe • William Sanders • Vandana Singh • Vernor Vinge • Walter Jon Williams Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource as well as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart. Cover design by Shea M. Kornblum Cover illustration by Stephan Martiniere Description from back cover Contents xi • Acknowledgments (The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection) • (2005) • essay by Gardner Dozois xiii • Summation: 2004 • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • Inappropriate Behavior • (2004) • novelette by Pat Murphy 27 • Start the Clock • (2004) • shortstory by Benjamin Rosenbaum 42 • The Third Party • (2004) • novelette by David Moles 72 • The Voluntary State • (2004) • novelette by Christopher Rowe 105 • Shiva in Shadow • (2004) • novelette by Nancy Kress 153 • The People of Sand and Slag • (2004) • novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi 172 • The Clapping Hands of God • (2004) • novelette by Michael F. Flynn 214 • Tourism • (2004) • shortstory by M. John Harrison 228 • Scout's Honor • (2004) • shortstory by Terry Bisson 244 • Men Are Trouble • (2004) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 283 • Mother Aegypt • [Company] • (2004) • novella by Kage Baker 348 • Synthetic Serendipity • (2004) • shortstory by Vernor Vinge 366 • Skin Deep • (2004) • shortstory by Mary Rosenblum 389 • Delhi • (2004) • shortstory by Vandana Singh 405 • The Tribes of Bela • [Colonel Kohn] • (2004) • novella by Albert E. Cowdrey 465 • Sitka • (2004) • shortstory by William Sanders 478 • Leviathan Wept • (2004) • shortstory by Daniel Abraham 499 • The Defenders • (2004) • shortstory by Colin P. Davies 504 • Mayflower II • [Xeelee] • (2004) • novella by Stephen Baxter 562 • Riding the White Bull • (2004) • novelette by Caitlín R. Kiernan 588 • Falling Star • (2004) • shortstory by Brendan DuBois 603 • The Dragons of Summer Gulch • (2004) • novelette by Robert Reed 628 • The Ocean of the Blind • (2004) • shortstory by James L. Cambias 649 • The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance • [Hwarhath] • (2004) • novella by Eleanor Arnason 688 • Footvote • (2004) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 706 • Sisyphus and the Stranger • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Di Filippo (aka Sisyphe et l'étranger) 718 • Ten Sigmas • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Melko 726 • Investments • [Dread Empire's Fall] • (2004) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 811 • Honorable Mentions: 2004 • essay by Gardner Dozois


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The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and to the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: Daniel Abraham • Eleanor Arnason • Pauolo Bacigalupi • Kage Baker • Stephen Baxter • Terry Bisson • J The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and to the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: Daniel Abraham • Eleanor Arnason • Pauolo Bacigalupi • Kage Baker • Stephen Baxter • Terry Bisson • James L. Cambias • Albert E. Cowdrey • Colin P. Davies • Paul Di Fillipo • Brendan DuBois • Michael F. Flynn • Peter F. Hamilton • M. John Harrison • James Patrick Kelly • Caitlin R. Kiernan • Nancy Kress • Paul Melko • David Moles • Pat Murphy • Robert Reed • Benjamin Rosenbaum • Mary Rosenbaum • Christopher Rowe • William Sanders • Vandana Singh • Vernor Vinge • Walter Jon Williams Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource as well as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart. Cover design by Shea M. Kornblum Cover illustration by Stephan Martiniere Description from back cover Contents xi • Acknowledgments (The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection) • (2005) • essay by Gardner Dozois xiii • Summation: 2004 • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • Inappropriate Behavior • (2004) • novelette by Pat Murphy 27 • Start the Clock • (2004) • shortstory by Benjamin Rosenbaum 42 • The Third Party • (2004) • novelette by David Moles 72 • The Voluntary State • (2004) • novelette by Christopher Rowe 105 • Shiva in Shadow • (2004) • novelette by Nancy Kress 153 • The People of Sand and Slag • (2004) • novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi 172 • The Clapping Hands of God • (2004) • novelette by Michael F. Flynn 214 • Tourism • (2004) • shortstory by M. John Harrison 228 • Scout's Honor • (2004) • shortstory by Terry Bisson 244 • Men Are Trouble • (2004) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 283 • Mother Aegypt • [Company] • (2004) • novella by Kage Baker 348 • Synthetic Serendipity • (2004) • shortstory by Vernor Vinge 366 • Skin Deep • (2004) • shortstory by Mary Rosenblum 389 • Delhi • (2004) • shortstory by Vandana Singh 405 • The Tribes of Bela • [Colonel Kohn] • (2004) • novella by Albert E. Cowdrey 465 • Sitka • (2004) • shortstory by William Sanders 478 • Leviathan Wept • (2004) • shortstory by Daniel Abraham 499 • The Defenders • (2004) • shortstory by Colin P. Davies 504 • Mayflower II • [Xeelee] • (2004) • novella by Stephen Baxter 562 • Riding the White Bull • (2004) • novelette by Caitlín R. Kiernan 588 • Falling Star • (2004) • shortstory by Brendan DuBois 603 • The Dragons of Summer Gulch • (2004) • novelette by Robert Reed 628 • The Ocean of the Blind • (2004) • shortstory by James L. Cambias 649 • The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance • [Hwarhath] • (2004) • novella by Eleanor Arnason 688 • Footvote • (2004) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 706 • Sisyphus and the Stranger • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Di Filippo (aka Sisyphe et l'étranger) 718 • Ten Sigmas • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Melko 726 • Investments • [Dread Empire's Fall] • (2004) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 811 • Honorable Mentions: 2004 • essay by Gardner Dozois

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    What is there to say about a Dozois collection? Good stories, good way to discover new authors (and publishers...). It's your usual mixed bag of good and great stories, running the gamut to taste. Individual ratings and notes: Includes: (1) "Inappropriate Behaviour" by Pat Murphy: ★★★★ (2) "Start the Clock" by Benjamin Rosenbaum: ★★★★ (3) "The Third Party" by David Moles: ★★★ ➟ ½ extra star for concept. (4) "The Voluntary State" by Christopher Rowe: ★★★ ➟ I think I liked where this was going? (found it What is there to say about a Dozois collection? Good stories, good way to discover new authors (and publishers...). It's your usual mixed bag of good and great stories, running the gamut to taste. Individual ratings and notes: Includes: (1) "Inappropriate Behaviour" by Pat Murphy: ★★★★ (2) "Start the Clock" by Benjamin Rosenbaum: ★★★★ (3) "The Third Party" by David Moles: ★★★ ➟ ½ extra star for concept. (4) "The Voluntary State" by Christopher Rowe: ★★★ ➟ I think I liked where this was going? (found it a little oblique at times) (5) "Shiva in Shadow" by Nancy Kress: ★★★★ ➟ ½ extra star for concept; plus I love Kress' work. (6) "The People of Sand and Slag" by Paolo Bacigalupi: ★★★ ➟ (see also: Wastelands ) (7) "The Clapping Hands of God" by Michael F. Flynn: × ➟ abandoned (8) "Tourism" by M. John Harrison: ★★★★ ➟ I'm a sucker for this style (but having a little trouble unpacking it) (9) "Scout's Honor" by Terry Bisson: ★★★ ➟ ½ extra star for self-parodizing (10) "Men are Trouble" by James Patrick Kelly: ★★★★★ ➟ JPK is great; Chandler-esque scifi also great (11) "Mother Aegypt" by Kage Baker: ★★★ ➟ liked the premise but seemed to drag (12) "Synthetic Serendipity" by Vernor Vinge: ★★ ➟ ½ an extra point for style; excerpt from Rainbow's End? (didn't seem complete; seemed like there was just enough to grab on to but not enough to ride to the finish) (13) "Skin Deep" by Mary Rosenblum: ★★★ ➟ interesting twist on the classic Pygmalion tale; +½ extra point for concept (14) "Delhi" by Vandana Singh: ★★★★★ ➟ interesting and original (15) "The Tribes of Bela" by Albert E. Crowley: ★★★★ ➟ -½ point? (good tale, interesting perspective and presentation... a bit long?; also: did Dozois go nuts w/ the hard-boiled scifi murder mysteries this year or what?) (16) "Sitka" by William Sanders: ★★★★★ ➟ bitchin'! (quantum alt. history) (17) "Leviathan Wept" by Daniel Abraham: ★★★★ (18) "The Defenders" by Colin P. Davies: ★★★ (19) "Mayflower Ⅱ" by Stephen Baxter: ★★★ ➟ ½ extra point for concept and harder science; not a bad space opera but (for me) was missing... something (20) "Riding the White Bull" by Caitlin R. Kiernan: ★★★★★ ➟ great 1st contact story; evocative of William Gibson if he ran more w/ the tropes in "Hinterlands" and less with those of "Johnny Mnemonic", but kept the hard-boiled prose and turned the volume up a bit (but Kiernan brings a good feminine sensibility here, too) (21) "Falling Star" by Brendan DuBois: ★★★ (22) "The Dragons of Summer Gulch" by Robert Reed: × ➟ abandoned (23) "The Ocean of the Blind" by James L. Cambias: ★★★ (24) "The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance" by Eleanor Arnason: × ➟ abandoned (had to get it back to the library before I finished) (25) "Footvote" by Peter F. Hamilton: × ➟ did not read (DNR) (26) "Sisyphus and the Stranger" by Paul Di Filippo: × ➟ DNR (27) "Ten Sigmas" by Paul Melko: × ➟ DNR (28) "Investments" by Walter Jon Williams: × ➟ DNR Average rating: 3.6190 (rounded up to 4 for this review).

  2. 5 out of 5

    pax

    [Commentary on individual stories as I read them] Inappropriate Behavior (novelette) by Pat Murphy That one needs a bit of time to sink in - it's all about failures to communicate on so many different levels, not only the obvious one. Makes me want to read more by Murphy. Start the Clock (shortstory) by Benjamin Rosenbaum That was new and different and making you think. Yes. The Third Party (novelette) by David Moles Ambitious in places but it does not really work. The Voluntary State (novelette) by Ch [Commentary on individual stories as I read them] Inappropriate Behavior (novelette) by Pat Murphy That one needs a bit of time to sink in - it's all about failures to communicate on so many different levels, not only the obvious one. Makes me want to read more by Murphy. Start the Clock (shortstory) by Benjamin Rosenbaum That was new and different and making you think. Yes. The Third Party (novelette) by David Moles Ambitious in places but it does not really work. The Voluntary State (novelette) by Christopher Rowe Too much ... something. Colorful? All over the place? Short? Long? Not sure, but it does not come together in an interesting way. Shiva in Shadow (novelette) by Nancy Kress This was such a frustrating one. I loved the psychological juxtaposition, the exploration of how things stay same and yet are different. But it failed so hard on the hard science, which I could forgive, and on how doing science works - which is something I can't forgive because it just repeats the same old prejudices that annoy me to no end. The People of Sand and Slag (novelette) by Paolo Bacigalupi Not bad. Although once again not truly new or touching. The Clapping Hands of God (novelette) by Michael F. Flynn The resolution of the story is interesting. But ugh, what is in this anthology with the way scientists are represented? Who would send a bunch of such amateurish-behaving anthropologists out? Really?! Tourism (shortstory) by M. John Harrison Weird. I guess the new weird, but definitely not the good weird. Scout's Honor (shortstory) by Terry Bisson And another one with a scientist as a main characters. This time kind of autistic. Only it does not really work. Especially not with the resolution because no way the same person wrote the framing text and the e-mails, because remember - autistic, unable to read other people? Also, timeline problems. Ugh. Stupid. Men Are Trouble (novelette) by James Patrick Kelly Huh ... Not what I expected and really, really good. This was one of those few cases when a female first person narrator is written by a man but still reads like a woman. Respect! Also a fascinating world and a good story. Mother Aegypt • [Company] (novella) by Kage Baker I'm more and more convinced that Kage Baker and I are not going to become friends. (That said, I *am* curious how this fits into her larger time-travel universe. Anybody knowing it in more detail and willing to explain the story to me in that context?) Synthetic Serendipity (shortstory) by Vernor Vinge A little bit positive, a little bit hopeful in there. I liked it. Skin Deep (shortstory) by Mary Rosenblum I read this a while ago and I remember roughly what it was about when I read the last lines but not how it made me feel ... Delhi (shortstory) by Vandana Singh Not the best of Singh's works, but a good one and as always a refreshing view into a different culture (and the more I think about it, the more boring it becomes that it's always London in our stories - why should it be? Why not Delhi?). The Tribes of Bela [Colonel Kohn] (novella) by Albert E. Cowdrey I liked the different voices and some of the worldbuilding (though others were rather hole-y), but overall if left me with the feeling that I've read something similar already. Sitka (shortstory) by William Sanders Alternative histories will almost never ever make me happy (there was one by Greg Egan, but that one was about Turing ...) and silly ones double so. Leviathan Wept (shortstory) by Daniel Abraham Yes! This one! Clever, multi-layered, connecting a very personal catastrophe and the world as a whole, introducing a complex would without over-explaining it and a world that could be very well an extension of our own (and that written in 2004, not in 2018!). Great! OMG, and now I looked it up and that's one of the guys who wrote "The Expanse"?! OK, I have to read/watch the series! 499 • The Defenders • (2004) • shortstory by Colin P. Davies 504 • Mayflower II • [Xeelee] • (2004) • novella by Stephen Baxter 562 • Riding the White Bull • (2004) • novelette by Caitlín R. Kiernan 588 • Falling Star • (2004) • shortstory by Brendan DuBois 603 • The Dragons of Summer Gulch • (2004) • novelette by Robert Reed 628 • The Ocean of the Blind • (2004) • shortstory by James L. Cambias 649 • The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance • [Hwarhath] • (2004) • novella by Eleanor Arnason 688 • Footvote • (2004) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 706 • Sisyphus and the Stranger • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Di Filippo (aka Sisyphe et l'étranger) 718 • Ten Sigmas • (2004) • shortstory by Paul Melko 726 • Investments • [Dread Empire's Fall] • (2004) • novella by Walter Jon Williams

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I picked this book up at Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago, not having read any of this series of collections before. I'm so glad I did. This is a wonderful way to find great short science fiction. I have subscriptions to Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, and Analog, which brings lots of good short SF to my door, but this introduces lots of fiction that I would not be able to find on my own. Some favorites from this collection: "The People of Sand and Slag" by Paolo Bacigalupi, "Scout's I picked this book up at Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago, not having read any of this series of collections before. I'm so glad I did. This is a wonderful way to find great short science fiction. I have subscriptions to Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, and Analog, which brings lots of good short SF to my door, but this introduces lots of fiction that I would not be able to find on my own. Some favorites from this collection: "The People of Sand and Slag" by Paolo Bacigalupi, "Scout's Honor" by Terry Bisson, "Leviathan Wept" by Daniel Abraham, "Shiva in Shadow" by Nancy Kress, "Riding the White Bull" by Caitlin R. Kiernan, "Footvote" by Peter F. Hamilton, and "Mayflower II" by Stephen Baxter. The stories by Bisson, Kress, Kiernan, Hamilton, and Baxter are really fantastic, filled with lovely writing and fascinating ideas. And this particular combination of authors illustrates just what I like about this collection. Bisson and Baxter are familiar names to me and I have other instances of their work already, but the others--Kress, Kiernan, and Hamilton--are new to me. So the collection is extremely useful in introducing new work by familiar authors and in introducing new authors to a broader public (and to me). All of these stories (and the many stories I didn't mention here--there wasn't a single story I didn't enjoy) are well worth reading and worth being singled out for the collection; Bacigalupi and Abraham's stories are ones, however, that deserve special mention. I plan to incorporate both of these stories into my fall literature course. Bacigalupi's story is about human relationships with animals, both sentimental and practical, and Abraham's story is a political thriller about terrorism and religion. Both raise questions I want to address in my class and manage to do so in new (especially to a group of students who don't really read SF) and interesting ways. Since beginning to read this collection, I've bought as many of the others of this series as I've been able to by browsing my local Half Price Books stores. I can't wait to read more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Clearly 2004 must've been one of the best years ever in short science fiction. This is one of the best retrospective anthologies ever, if not one of the best anthologies period. Standouts were the Moles, the Bacigalupi, the Flynn, the Baker, the Baxter, the DuBois, the Reed, the Cambias, the Arnason, the Hamilton, and the Williams. Not only this was the largest number of standouts in any anthology I have read, the remaining stories were of pretty high level, with only one or two under-average ones. Clearly 2004 must've been one of the best years ever in short science fiction. This is one of the best retrospective anthologies ever, if not one of the best anthologies period. Standouts were the Moles, the Bacigalupi, the Flynn, the Baker, the Baxter, the DuBois, the Reed, the Cambias, the Arnason, the Hamilton, and the Williams. Not only this was the largest number of standouts in any anthology I have read, the remaining stories were of pretty high level, with only one or two under-average ones.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Timons Esaias

    These Dozois collections are always solid. Oh, yeah, there are sometimes one, maybe two stories that don't appeal to my taste at all, but they aren't really clunkers. I strongly recommend that someone trying to learn a lot about SF in a short time (especially how to write it) should skip the "greatest novels" list and read a dozen of these annual Year's Best anthologies. I'm catching up on a few that I didn't crack open in the first decade of this century, and the stories in this one are entirel These Dozois collections are always solid. Oh, yeah, there are sometimes one, maybe two stories that don't appeal to my taste at all, but they aren't really clunkers. I strongly recommend that someone trying to learn a lot about SF in a short time (especially how to write it) should skip the "greatest novels" list and read a dozen of these annual Year's Best anthologies. I'm catching up on a few that I didn't crack open in the first decade of this century, and the stories in this one are entirely worth reading, despite having seasoned on my shelf these last thirteen years. I read the parallel David Hartwell collection back when it came out, and a quick check of its Table of Contents shows that only one story, Terry Bisson's "Scout's Honor," shows up in both. The other thing that's clear to me is that there were a lot of solid stories in 2004, but very few especially stood out for me. This is a five-star collection of four-star stories. My favorite in the collection is the "massively parallel human" story by my old critique partner, Paul Melko. ("Ten Sigmas" was written after he escaped my influence, so I can't claim any credit.) This was the one interestingly clever story standout. My second favorite would be Benjamin Rosenbaum's "Start the Clock" story, based on what would be a comic assumption (a disease froze all of humanity in their current state of maturity, producing age cadres everywhere), but which plays straight enough to be intriguing. Christopher Rowe's "The Voluntary State" is clever, Nancy Kress's "Shiva in Shadow" is a good example of the use of overt, but effective, metaphors. There were two "noir" pieces: M. John Harrison's "Tourism" (I called it 'literary noir' in my margin note) and James Patrick Kelly's "Men Are Trouble" (an overt Chandler pastiche (very specifically taken from Trouble Is My Business), with a strong SF premise, being that the aliens have disappeared all the men; so it has a strong parallel to the Rosenbaum premise.). There is interesting worldbuilding work (I suggest it as a study guide) and premise in "Leviathan Wept" by Daniel Abraham. Walter Jon Williams's novella "Investments," which closes the anthology, is the kind of space-business-politics story that I often find boring or only mildly entertaining. Except WJW roped me in from the beginning and kept me entertained to the end. I'm not entirely sure how he managed, but two elements are clear: he makes the stakes important to the characters and to the reader, and then keeps raising them; and the world is different (several alien species, different human culture), and the differences keep being twined into the plot, so the worldbuilding keeps things fresh. Finally, I'll mention Eleanor Arnason's novella "The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance" which purports to be an SF story involving humans, but written by a hostile alien for his home species. My note calls the device "cute," but I mean that as a compliment. One of my favorite SF devices is to remind the reader that aliens are actually alien, and to do it by showing their assumptions and attitudes, rather than by lecturing. This story is full of fine examples. Oh, yeah, and for my students: This was an 8-grimace year (though one was modified enough to have meaning), from the height of popular fiction grimacism.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dion

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Story by story review! 'Inappropriate Behavior' is about communication issues between a high-functioning autistic child, her doctor and a man who needs help. It was told very cleanly and effectively with a good ending. 5/5 Start the Clock: an excellent look at what age means in a society where people can choose to stop aging - at least physically. 5/5 The Third Party: Communism vs Capitalism in outer space! Fairly good. 4/5 The Voluntary State: Absolutely fascinating look at at a slightly-altered w Story by story review! 'Inappropriate Behavior' is about communication issues between a high-functioning autistic child, her doctor and a man who needs help. It was told very cleanly and effectively with a good ending. 5/5 Start the Clock: an excellent look at what age means in a society where people can choose to stop aging - at least physically. 5/5 The Third Party: Communism vs Capitalism in outer space! Fairly good. 4/5 The Voluntary State: Absolutely fascinating look at at a slightly-altered world where cars can feel pain and alligators grow floating babies as lures for unwary, well-meaning humans. Not sure I like the ending, but 4/5 because the world building alone is spectacular. Shiva in Shadow: DIVERSITY AT LAST. Non-white chars! Has polyamory and a woman stuck in the role of doing all the emotional labor though, and of course the red-haired pale skinned dude from Earth is the one that the woman actually loves. And disrespectful treatment towards Hindu gods. I was excited at first but as I read on, I grew increasingly annoyed. 2/5 The People of Sand and Slag: Warnings for animal abuse and animal death. 0/5, skip this story. The Clapping Hands of God: DIVERSE space explorers! Mostly Islamic but also East Asian. Very fitting for a story about conflicting cultures. 5/5 Tourism: Odd and dull. It has a very slow pace, is focused too much on male-female relationships and has a cliche female prostitute character. Little bit of interesting world building so it gets a 1/5. Scout's Honor: Heartbreaking time travel story. 5/5 Men Are Trouble: An all-female planet with queer relationships and racial diversity! All the men got disappeared by devils, women are having virgin births and all together, this is definitely one of the more interesting short stories in the volume. 5/5 Mother Aegypt: Dabbling into Egyptian myth, awesome. Incredibly creative and funny in a grim sort of way. 5/5 Synthetic Serendipity: Already read elsewhere. Genetic engineering in the VR world. 5/5 Skin Deep: Story about a man with a disfigured face getting his face rebuilt. Little bit of a horror story, mentions of male-on-male molestation. 5/5 Delhi: A STORY ABOUT DELHI ahhh yes what bliss! Mentions of attempted molestation and attempted suicide. Time travel and what's worth living for. 5/5 The Tribes of Bela: Murder mystery in space! Discusses natives versus colonists and is an excellent read. Also diversity with the cast and mentions of same-sex pairings. 5/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    A solid collection though not without a few stories that simply didn't work at all for me. While most of the stories were enjoyable, only a few truly stood out as excellent. CONTENTS: Inappropriate Behavior Pat Murphy - 4 stars Start the Clock Benjamin Rosenbaum - 3.5 stars The Third Party David Moles - 3 stars The Voluntary State Christopher Rowe - 2 stars Shiva in Shadow Nancy Kress - 5 stars The People of Sand and Slag Paolo Bacigalupi - 4 stars The Clapping Hands of God Michael F. Flynn - 3.5 s A solid collection though not without a few stories that simply didn't work at all for me. While most of the stories were enjoyable, only a few truly stood out as excellent. CONTENTS: Inappropriate Behavior Pat Murphy - 4 stars Start the Clock Benjamin Rosenbaum - 3.5 stars The Third Party David Moles - 3 stars The Voluntary State Christopher Rowe - 2 stars Shiva in Shadow Nancy Kress - 5 stars The People of Sand and Slag Paolo Bacigalupi - 4 stars The Clapping Hands of God Michael F. Flynn - 3.5 stars Tourism M. John Harrison - 0.5 star Scout's Honor Terry Bisson - 4 stars Men Are Trouble James Patrick Kelly - 3 stars Mother Aegypt Kage Baker - 3 stars Synthetic Serendipity Vernor Vinge - 3 stars Skin Deep Mary Rosenblum - 4 stars Delhi Vandana Singh - 5 stars The Tribes of Bela Albert E. Cowdrey - 4 stars Sitka William Sanders - 3 stars Leviathan Wept Daniel Abraham - 4.5 stars The Defenders Colin P. Davies - 3 stars Mayflower II Stephen Baxter - 5 stars Riding the White Bull Caitlin R. Kiernan - 1/2 star Falling Star Brendan DuBois - 4 stars The Dragons of Summer Gulch Robert Reed - 3.5 stars The Ocean of the Blind James L. Cambias - 4 stars The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fiction Romance Eleanor Arnason - 4 stars Footvote Peter F. Hamilton - 4 stars Sisyphus and the Stranger Paul Di Filippo - 3 stars Ten Sigmas Paul Melko - 4 stars 91 Investments Walter Jon Williams 2 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jdleyba

    There are several stories in this collection that definitely stuck with me, the book opens with a story about a neurodivergent girl who faces a kind of ableism that feels very real even with a sci-fi backdrop. It highlights a certain way neurodivergent and autistic children especially are often dismissed/ignored and I feel like does a good job of representingher as the hero in a world that is not understanding. That story is called "Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy. Also there were several There are several stories in this collection that definitely stuck with me, the book opens with a story about a neurodivergent girl who faces a kind of ableism that feels very real even with a sci-fi backdrop. It highlights a certain way neurodivergent and autistic children especially are often dismissed/ignored and I feel like does a good job of representingher as the hero in a world that is not understanding. That story is called "Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy. Also there were several others that I really liked, I will never stop thinking about "The Dragons of Summer Gulch" as someone who is obsessed with both dragons and archeology the story takes place in a world where dragons have all the fantasy characteristic traits like impenetrable scales or unbreakable teeth but it takes place millenia after they've all gone extinct so archeology is a matter of state security as nations use scale armor and dragonclaw artillery. The last one I'll mention is Investments by Walter Jon Williams which reminds me of the political intrigue in Dune but surprised me with a level of hard sci-fi that I wasn't expecting and thought was really cool. Overall, I definitely would recommend this collection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

    Published in 2005, The Mammoth Book of the Best New SF 18 is an anthology of 28 short stories all originally published in the UK in 2004. Note that this book is published stateside under a different title, as the series has been running for some years longer. The stories vary from an ultra-short 3 pages in length to a more substantial 74 page novella. All are well written, but the inevitable variations in style means that personal tastes will vary.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I just borrowed this for the Walter Jon Williams Praxis story in the collection: Investments. That's a good tail. I can't speak to the rest of this. I just borrowed this for the Walter Jon Williams Praxis story in the collection: Investments. That's a good tail. I can't speak to the rest of this.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Stories that are worth a read: Inappropriate behavior Shiva in shadow The clapping hands of god Mother aegypt Skin deep Delhi The tribes of bela Mayflower II

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dale H

    Another fabulous collection!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elinor

    A good collection

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sorin Craciun

    As usual you find different genre of SF among the included stories in the anthology: 1. Inappropriate Behavior by Pat Murphy: **** 2. Start the Clock by Benjamin Rosenbaum: **** 3. The Third Party by David Moles: *** 4. The Voluntary State by Christopher Rowe: **** 5. Shiva in Shadow by Nancy Kress: **** 6. The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi: **** 7. The Clapping Hands of God by Michael F. Flynn: *** 8. Tourism by M. John Harrison: *** 9. Scout's Honor by Terry Bisson: **** 10. Men are Troubl As usual you find different genre of SF among the included stories in the anthology: 1. Inappropriate Behavior by Pat Murphy: **** 2. Start the Clock by Benjamin Rosenbaum: **** 3. The Third Party by David Moles: *** 4. The Voluntary State by Christopher Rowe: **** 5. Shiva in Shadow by Nancy Kress: **** 6. The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi: **** 7. The Clapping Hands of God by Michael F. Flynn: *** 8. Tourism by M. John Harrison: *** 9. Scout's Honor by Terry Bisson: **** 10. Men are Trouble by James Patrick Kelly: **** 11. Mother Aegypt by Kage Baker: *** 12. Synthetic Serendipity by Vernor Vinge: ** 13. Skin Deep by Mary Rosenblum: *** 14. Delhi by Vandana Singh: **** 15. Falling Star by Brendan DuBois: **** 16. The Tribes of Bela by Albert E. Crowley: **** 17. Sitka by William Sanders: **** 18. Leviathan Wept by Daniel Abraham: **** 19. The Defenders by Colin P. Davies: *** 20. Mayflower by Stephen Baxter: **** 21. Riding the White Bull by Caitlin R. Kiernan: ***** 22. The Dragons of Summer Gulch by Robert Reed: **** 23. The Ocean of the Blind by James L. Cambias: **** 24. The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance by Eleanor Arnason: ***** 25. Footvote by Peter F. Hamilton: *** 26. Sisyphus and the Stranger by Paul Di Filippo: **** 27. Ten Sigmas by Paul Melko: *** 28. Investments by Walter Jon Williams: ****

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    This came out in 2005, the year of the Glasgow Worldcon, and I guess that because I felt I had thoroughly chewed over that year's short fiction in the Hugo process I didn't urgently need to read this. That was wrong: Dozois has as ever pulled together an excellent set of stories, full of variety of approach and length. As noted below, I had read only the few stories which got shortlisted for the major awards, and one other which I had seen in its original anthology. Of the stories new to me, the This came out in 2005, the year of the Glasgow Worldcon, and I guess that because I felt I had thoroughly chewed over that year's short fiction in the Hugo process I didn't urgently need to read this. That was wrong: Dozois has as ever pulled together an excellent set of stories, full of variety of approach and length. As noted below, I had read only the few stories which got shortlisted for the major awards, and one other which I had seen in its original anthology. Of the stories new to me, the standouts were Stephen Baxter's 'Mayflower II' - I often find his prose style annoying but this time it worked - and Walter Jon Williams' 'Investments', a hard sf story with softer edges. But they are all good, and I should get back into the habit of reading the 'Best of the Year' anthologies as soon as they come out. The lack of overlap with the 2005 (and 2006 Nebula) award nominations is striking. Dozois includes three of the Hugo novelette nominees, and three novelettes and one novella which made it to the final Nebula ballots, but not a single winner in any category.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the series the tales have advanced and grown in imagination and detail with our ability to envision greater concepts and possibilities... Rod Serling said, "...fantasy is the impossible made probable. science fiction is the improbable made possible..." and in the pages of these books is the absolute best the vastness of science fiction writing has to offer... sit back, relax, and dream...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

    My fiance recommended that I check out these anthologies of Science Fiction when I was bemoaning the lack of new authors to check out. I am reluctant to spend money (and time) on new authors if I'm not reasonably sure I'm going to enjoy reading it, so I went to the library and checked out this anthology. It was excellent- out of the entire book (which is sizable), there were only 1 or 2 stories that I wasn't crazy about, and a few more that I liked but wasn't a fan of the author's style. I would My fiance recommended that I check out these anthologies of Science Fiction when I was bemoaning the lack of new authors to check out. I am reluctant to spend money (and time) on new authors if I'm not reasonably sure I'm going to enjoy reading it, so I went to the library and checked out this anthology. It was excellent- out of the entire book (which is sizable), there were only 1 or 2 stories that I wasn't crazy about, and a few more that I liked but wasn't a fan of the author's style. I would be willing to believe that Dozois is one of the best editors out there, because his story selection was impeccable. If you like Science Fiction, check these out; look for Dozois as the editor- you won't regret it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lord Humungus

    Almost like the heyday of great SF, this is yet another collection with lots of fantastic stories. There are great pieces by David Moles, Bisson, Albert Cowdrey, Daniel Abraham, Reed, and Paul Melko. Also some good stories by Paty Murphy, Vandana Singh and Colin P Davies. However my favorites include "The Voluntary State" by Christopher Rowe, "Mayflower II" by Stephen Baxter, and the hilarious Company story "Mother Aegypt" by Kage Baker. I loved Kage Baker's story so much, I went and bought sever Almost like the heyday of great SF, this is yet another collection with lots of fantastic stories. There are great pieces by David Moles, Bisson, Albert Cowdrey, Daniel Abraham, Reed, and Paul Melko. Also some good stories by Paty Murphy, Vandana Singh and Colin P Davies. However my favorites include "The Voluntary State" by Christopher Rowe, "Mayflower II" by Stephen Baxter, and the hilarious Company story "Mother Aegypt" by Kage Baker. I loved Kage Baker's story so much, I went and bought several of her collections and even wrote a song about it and sent it to her, fortunately before she passed away prematurely. You can listen to it here: http://chungusmp3.s3.amazonaws.com/Mo...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Daly

    I listened to the audiobook version, read by Madelyn Buzzard. Overall I give it 3/5 stars. I was disappointed with the work in general. I was not fond of the reader, so maybe that cast a shadow over my ratings. There were 5 I liked enough that I would give them 4/5 stars individually: "Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy "Ten Sigmas" by Paul Melko "Men Are Trouble" by James Patrick Kelly "The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance" by Eleanor Arnason "Leviathan Wept" by Daniel Abraham sta I listened to the audiobook version, read by Madelyn Buzzard. Overall I give it 3/5 stars. I was disappointed with the work in general. I was not fond of the reader, so maybe that cast a shadow over my ratings. There were 5 I liked enough that I would give them 4/5 stars individually: "Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy "Ten Sigmas" by Paul Melko "Men Are Trouble" by James Patrick Kelly "The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance" by Eleanor Arnason "Leviathan Wept" by Daniel Abraham started: 2015-07-26.Jul.Sun 23:32:59 finished: 2015-08-30.Aug.Sun 12:54:20 duration: 42h:31m:45s

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    I've read several of these collections and none of them completely disappointed, but this one had by far the highest average quality of stories. Inappropriate behavior is an excellent use of sci-fi as a lens for abnormal but sympathetic characters, House of Sand and Slag is a dark but beautiful story that highlights the importance of empathy in a world where cruelty rules, and oh so many other great stories in this anthology, Id recommend it to anybody that wants a taste of good contemporary sci I've read several of these collections and none of them completely disappointed, but this one had by far the highest average quality of stories. Inappropriate behavior is an excellent use of sci-fi as a lens for abnormal but sympathetic characters, House of Sand and Slag is a dark but beautiful story that highlights the importance of empathy in a world where cruelty rules, and oh so many other great stories in this anthology, Id recommend it to anybody that wants a taste of good contemporary sci-fi, you won't be disappointed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan Carey

    Loaned to me by a friend whose opinion I trust. But this thing is huge! I skipped around in it. That's the upside of collections, I guess. It did remind me of the excitement I had as a teen-ager, waiting for the next edition of the SF magazines to come out. Enough so that I have subscribed to the e-book version of Analog. Loaned to me by a friend whose opinion I trust. But this thing is huge! I skipped around in it. That's the upside of collections, I guess. It did remind me of the excitement I had as a teen-ager, waiting for the next edition of the SF magazines to come out. Enough so that I have subscribed to the e-book version of Analog.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike S

    If you like science fiction you will not be disappointed by this book, there are several really great stories, I looked forward to reading this book during the work week, and reserved 30 to 60 min's per night to it, so I could take my time and really savor it. This is a really great collection. If I ever own a house that has a library I plan on buying every volume in this collection. If you like science fiction you will not be disappointed by this book, there are several really great stories, I looked forward to reading this book during the work week, and reserved 30 to 60 min's per night to it, so I could take my time and really savor it. This is a really great collection. If I ever own a house that has a library I plan on buying every volume in this collection.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Devlin

    If you read one sci-fi book a year, this is the one. Always stories of high caliber with a few tossed in that will keep you thinking weeks later, not to mention the collection is a primer for what science and technology everyone will be talking about five to ten years from now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Dorneman

    Another solid collection from Dozois, although I believe only a few of these stories will stay with me for very long - but I'm sure Paul Melko's "Ten Sigmas," Caitlin Kiernan's "Riding the White Bull," James Patrick Kelly's "Men Are Trouble," and Pat Murphy's "Inappropriate Behavior" all will. Another solid collection from Dozois, although I believe only a few of these stories will stay with me for very long - but I'm sure Paul Melko's "Ten Sigmas," Caitlin Kiernan's "Riding the White Bull," James Patrick Kelly's "Men Are Trouble," and Pat Murphy's "Inappropriate Behavior" all will.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    lots of good stories - some not so short Took about 4 months to read. i started it around Halloween and today is 2/21

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Best so far : The People of Sand and Slag (what a bad title! what a great story!), Bacigalupi 2/28

  27. 5 out of 5

    DeAnne

    Gardener always puts together a good mix of stories, and this one is no exception. Plus, this one has a funny story from my mefi buddy John Aegard...a relatively unknown but wonderful talent.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Best stories: The Tribes of Bela – Albert E Cowdry Mayflower II – Stephen Baxter The Dragons of Summer Gulch – Robert Reed The Garden – Eleanor Arnason Ten Sigmas – Paul Melko

  29. 4 out of 5

    Streator Johnson

    As always, the best annual collection of sci-fi stories anywhere!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Last of the stories I read was, Investments, by Walter John Williams. An excellent novella telling a story of a complex - both socially, and politically - story of business and family.

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