From Publishers Weekly
The 18 Locus Award–winning novelettes and short stories selected for this solid anthology by Brown, the longtime editor/publisher of the influential SF/fantasy news magazine, and Strahan, the mag'sreviews editor, show how SF and fantasy have matured from the 1970s to the present. Standouts include Harlan Ellison's nostalgic tale of unchanging age, "Jeffty Is Five"; Octavia E. Butler's boundary-stretching "Bloodchild," in which an intelligent alien race uses human beings both as pets and as repositories for their grubs; John Kessel's poignant, semi-autobiographical "Buffalo," about a meeting of Kessel's blue-collar father with his idol, H.G. Wells, in 1934; and Neil Gaiman's wistful homage to Ray Bradbury, "October in the Chair." Gene Wolfe's "The Death of Doctor Island" and Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Day Before the Revolution" are also fine stories, but others don't succeed as well. The youngster who wants to fly the space-lanes in James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Only Neat Thing to Do" inevitably reflects the larger-than-life heroics of earlier genre fiction. Connie Willis's "Even the Queen" tries to be both feminist and humorous, but comes off as a sitcom pilot, while Bruce Sterling's "Maneki Neko" is too cute by a Pokémon and a half. The volume concludes with a list of previous winners in a wide range of categories.
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–This outstanding anthology presents "the best of the best," culled from 30 years of awards. It includes many of the now-classic stories that have become emblematic of major developments in the genre, such as James Tiptree, Jr.'s "The Only Neat Thing to Do" (still a must-read for any serious teenage science-fiction reader) and Terry Bisson's remarkable "Bears Discover Fire." The most recent awards present the brilliant new writer Ted Chiang and the popular and critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman. Other masters of science fiction and fantasy short fiction represented here: Gene Wolf, Ursula K. LeGuin, Harlan Ellison, John Varley, George R.R. Martin, Joanna Russ, Octavia E. Butler, Pat Murphy, Lucius Shepard, Connie Willis, John Kessel, John Crowley, Bruce Sterling, and Greg Egan. A brief introduction to the author's career precedes each story. Whether readers are catching up on legendary science fiction and fantasy, becoming reacquainted with old favorites, or grazing the field in hopes of discovering new ones, this anthology delivers some of the finest science fiction and fantasy ever written.–Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA