From Publishers Weekly
Australian anthologist Strahan's second annual best of collection is too small to hold all the great speculative stories of 2007, but it provides an excellent sampler, focusing on the recent trend of interstitiality. Kelly Link's The Constable of Abal, which revolves around an unscrupulous fortuneteller and her daughter's search for home, is equal parts fantasy, coming-of-age tale and unconventional ghost story. Ken MacLeod's Jesus Christ, Reanimator, about the inglorious Second Coming of a blogging messiah from outer space, wraps social commentary in sardonic science fiction. Holly Black's poignant The Coat of Stars blends together elements of folklore and urban grit to create an unlikely and deeply moving story about love and loss. If these 24 stories are any indication, SF and fantasy are continuing their evolution—or dissolution, as Strahan calls it—just as they always have: through innovative writers re-examining conventions and redefining boundaries. (May)
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Strahan’s second best-of annual collects such varied voices as Elizabeth Bear, Mike Resnick, and Peter S. Beagle, with the result that all the contents live up to their billing. Wildly different in approach they may be, but they’re equally well realized. From Bruce Sterling’s inspired creation of a postcollapse, street-level economic revolution in “Kiosk” to Theodora Goss’ lovely “Singing of Mount Abora” with its explanation for Coleridge’s unfinished works, these stories provide one thing that short fiction is best at: affording tantalizing glimpses of intriguing worlds and people. There’s a healthy dose of humor here, too, in Charles Stross’s inspired rendering of a postsingularity heir to Bertie Wooster. Strahan has done an admirable job of winnowing a selection of stories by writers both new and firmly entrenched that reminds us of the nearly limitless possibilities encompassed in the phrase science fiction and fantasy. --Regina Schroeder