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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Ninth Annual Collection Paperback – June 15, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While generally sound, this collection is badly in need of a trimming. It is hard to see, for example, why Dozois thought to include Geoffrey A. Landis's uninspired throwback to the time when manned lunar landings were still the stuff of science fiction. And Dozois's breathless introductions to these 28 stories are annoying distractions. Still, there is more than enough material here with real merit. Outstanding are Nancy Kress's story about children genetically altered to require no sleep and Connie Willis's chillingly restrained tale of an ancient evil haunting the rubble-strewn streets of World War II London. Gregory Benford finds a new world at the intersection of particle physics and Eastern mysticism. Unsurprisingly, computers appear frequently in these pages but, in what may be a telling example of the late Isaac Asimov's benign influence, they pose no threat to humans--none, that is, beyond their ability to capture our sympathy, as they do in Chris Beckett's tale of an Italian macchina , or robot, and our love, as illustrated by Mark L. Van Name and Pat Murphy's customized Home Information and Appliance Network.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This collection of 28 stories by sf's cream of the crop testifies to the healthy state of the genre. From William Gibson's future look at the homeless ("Skinner's Room") to Kristine Kathryn Rusch's tribute to Civil War photographer Mathew Brady ("The Gallery of His Dream"), Dozois's choices exhibit the varied interests of their authors. Including an informative summary of sf publishing in 1991 and an appendix of recommended reading, this volume is a good choice for libraries interested in keeping abreast of sf short fiction.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 9 edition (June 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312078919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312078911
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,519,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on June 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Most of the rising costs of books comes from the truly horrendous system of distribution and marketing, as inefficient a system as it is possible to imagine" so says the editor in 1991. In 1992, no sign of book publishing slowing down, it seemed.

A postage hike helped to kill all sorts of magazines.

SF book numbers continued to rise in general, however.

Not a good year for original anthologies, apparently.

However, he apparently liked Peter McNamara and Margaret Winch's Alien Shores, an Australian anthology that is a mixture, and also mentions Mortal Fire, by Terry Dowling and Van Ikin, and Paul Collins' Metaworlds.

A somewhat similar in quality to the year before anthology, average higher at 3.68, and no dodguy story. Which means on adjusted score, this book is better, with Egan's 'The Moat' as the standout.

Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Living Will - Alexander Jablokov
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : A Just and Lasting Peace - Lois Tilton
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Skinner's Room - William Gibson
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Prayers on the Wind - Walter Jon Williams
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Blood Sisters - Greg Egan
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : The Dark - Karen Joy Fowler
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Marnie - Ian R. MacLeod
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : A Tip on a Turtle - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best Science Fiction 09 : Ubermensch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darth Maciek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this ninth yearly collection Gardner Dozois selected stories published in 1991, which he considered as the best or most important for this year. The anthology includes as always a overview of what happened in SF (largely understood) in 1991 and at the end there is also the very useful section of "honorable mentions" - stories which couldn't be published in this collection, but which were also of good quality.

As in previous year collection, this time the quality of many of the stories was not so great - which is a pity, because some stories are simply EXCELLENT! The general mood of almost all of them is rather grim and depressing. It seems that for almost all the modern SF writers any kind of new discoveries and technologies can bring only more problems and disasters - there is hardly anything optimistic in scientific progress, including the advances in medicine!

Another, even more surprising thing is that in a year when the most powerful totalitarian empire in history of humanity (Soviet Union) was crumbling and finally collapsed nobody amongst the contributors saw any reason to be happy about it. To the contrary, one of them immediately imagined that collapse of USSR was a bad thing because then evil Americans will invade Eastern Europe...

Finally, as in all Gardner Dozois yearly anthologies, many of the stories are not exactly SF - some of them are rather alternate history, modern fantastic (stories about vampires, ghosts, demons, etc) or simply "classical" literature with some vague fantastic elements (magic realism).
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Kettlewell on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
SF has come a long way.

The closest comparison I can perhaps find in my personal library is The Giant Book of Science Fiction Stories (Edited by Martin Greenberg) - 101 50s-70s magazine SF stories - and the difference is chalk and cheese. This may be an unfair comparison: Dozois' collections' stories are generally a few thousand words longer, however they add more than quantity. They still all have that key short SF story element, a novel `What if?' idea - but the way they realise these ideas is much more impressive than the bare bones of their predecessors. Maybe Greenberg was filling up space (although there are some excellent stories within the deluge), but Dozois was picking the cream from 1991. I could pick out some favourites, but each of these stories are undeniably well written. They all have individual recognisable characters - rather than stock ones. They can write potent settings, can pace a story. Alas these virtues are more the exception than the rule in much earlier fiction I've read. Maybe SF hasn't come a long way, rather I'm just fortunate to have found a good filter in Dozois which I didn't find in Greenberg.

You could validly look at a collection like this as a sampler to suggest whose novels might be worth seeking out. However I found myself really relishing the short story format again - rather I'm pleased that this is the 9th in a series, and I'll be seeking out other collections. If they're of this calibre - and this impressive consistency - I'm in for some excellent reading.
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