From Publishers Weekly
Although Dozois ( Geodesic Dreams ) has assembled a collection of 24 very good stories and enhances it with a useful list of runner-up titles, one suspects these tales betray Dozois's idiosyncratic taste more than they represent "the year's best." Consider Ian R. MacLeod's alternative speculation on the Beatles. "Never quite made it to the very top," says one woman in this story, which finds an unemployed, 50-year-old John Lennon smoking, drinking and picking the fluff off his feet, while Paul, George, Ringo and Stuart Sutcliffe--who never did make it to the top--are still plugging along. It may be entertaining to Beatles fans, but not much more than that. Frederick Pohl describes how "vid" superstar Rafiel Gutmaker-Fensterborn, a mortal in a largely immortal society, give his final performance (in a tap-dance version of Oedipus Rex ) and finally evades oblivion the old-fashioned way: parenthood. Nancy Kress gives a grim picture of the near future in which gene scans for potential disease can be used to deny people employment and health insurance and doctors who dare treat the uninsurables can endanger their own lucrative careers and risk becoming professional outcasts.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
As the number of entries dwindles (28 last time, 24 this), the average length increases; here, take out the two novellas previously published as independent hardcovers (Michael Swanwick's Griffin's Egg and Frederik Pohl's Outnumbering the Dead) and the short-story version of Arthur C. Clarke's latest novel, The Hammer of Gold (p. 492), and 1992's Best SF begins to look decidedly hyperbolic. Still, veteran Kate Wilhelm's sharp, affecting tale of a lonely man helping a mutant child evade capture by predatory government agents is a standout. Again, Connie Willis not only writes a story about menstruation but succeeds in making it funny. Similarly amusing is Terry Bisson's foray into art and time travel. On the other side of the coin, Ian R. MacLeod weighs in with a creepy, unpleasantly fascinating future coming-of-age yarn; Joe Haldeman encounters some horrible Vietnam corpses; Nancy Kress portrays a grim future US with genetic screening and without medical insurance. And Tom Maddox writes tellingly of how real science is done or, rather, distorted by scientists. Also on the agenda, with less variety than usual: alternate worlds, time travel, computer personalities, art history and ecology, a spiritual crisis, labor camps, future grunge, artificial intelligence, literary figures, celebrities, names, and technology. Finally, a disappointing entry in a hitherto superlative series. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.