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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Nineteenth Annual Collection Hardcover – July 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312288786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312288785
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,694,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The critically acclaimed anthology series The Year's Best Science Fiction publishes its astounding 19th volume in 2002. Weighing in at well over 600 pages, this comprehensive volume contains 26 of the best SF stories of 2001 and a knowledgeable, thorough introduction/summation by the editor, 12-time Hugo Award winner Gardner Dozois. The contributors range from veteran greats like Nancy Kress and Michael Swanwick to cult gods like Howard Waldrop and Michael Blumlein to impressive newcomers like Andy Duncan and Charles Stross.

A brief review cannot discuss all the stories, but can only suggest the range of subgenres within. These include the hard SF of Alastair Reynolds's extrasolar murder mystery "Glacial"; the soft SF of Maureen F. McHugh's wise "Interview: On Any Given Day"; the testosterone-drenched adventure SF of Paul Di Filippo's "Neutrino Drag"; the doomed lesbian love in a future so distant it seems like fantasy in Ian R. MacLeod's "Isabel of the Fall"; alternate history about Philip K. Dick and Richard Nixon in Paul McAuley's "The Two Dicks"; the triple-timeline Trojan fantasy of Howard Waldrop and Leigh Kennedy's excellent collaboration, "One-Horse Town"; the scathing satire of Carolyn Ives Gilman's "The Real Thing"; and the high-density postcyberpunk of "Lobsters," in which new author Charles Stross blends bleeding-edge infotech and venture-capital bizbuzz to create the standout SF story of 2001. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This annual anthology remains the best one-stop shop for short fiction, and it's a must for fans of literary SF. The notion of intelligence links several stories. Nancy Kress, in "Computer Virus," posits an intelligent computer program trying to save its life, but it does so by risking that of a child. The dense and busy "Lobsters" by Charles Stross considers the implications of denying intelligent uploaded constructs here, of lobsters human rights or autonomy. Michael Blumlein's zany "Know How, Can Do," easily the best story, posits a self-aware worm linked to a human brain, told from the point of view of the worm, "Flowers for Algernon"-style, as it acquires human intelligence, language and emotions. Alternative realities remain a productive theme. In "The Two Dicks," Paul McAuley posits an alternative reality where Philip K. Dick, who in this world wrote mainstream fiction instead of SF, meets Nixon. Ken MacLeod's ambitious, character-driven "The Human Front," set in an alternative reality just a little different from ours, describes a man's growth toward adulthood in a war-torn Britain. Dan Simmons, Alastair Reynolds, Maureen F. McHugh and Paul Di Filippo also contribute especially memorable tales. Although one could quibble with Dozois's choices and there are one or two clunkers in here this anthology is an enjoyable read that overall maintains high standards of quality and variety. It's essential for SF fans who simply don't have time to separate the wheat from the chaff on their own.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on February 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1. "New Light on the Drake Equations"...How do you take a story about a hermit sitting on a mountain waiting for aliens to contact him, and make it interesting? Not this way. Zzzz
2. "More Adventures on Other Planets"...Depressed and unpleasant scientist gets more depressed and unpleasant on a big virtual reality project. Turn the page, pass the Prozac. D
3. "On K2 with Kankaredes"...Mildly interesting man vs. nature yarn about mountaineers who let a giant alien bug tag along on a tough climb. C
4. Stories 4-8 too silly, confusing, boring, and/or unoriginal for me. Read at your own risk.
5. "The Chief Designer"...More fact than fiction, a mesmerizing and poignant account of the man who launched the Soviet space program. Top-flight character development. A+
6. "Neutrino Drag"...Whimsical, fast paced story set in San Diego features two unforgettable aliens. B
7. "Glacial"...Zillions of worms tunnel innocently through ice on a distant planet...or do they?? Only their mad scientist knows for sure. This one has it all: brilliant concept, solid characters, suspenseful plot. A+
8. "The Days Between"...Nightmarish space travel story marred only by its ultimate pointlessness. C
9. "One-Horse Town"...Well written, snappy, and literally multi-dimensional view of the Trojan War. A
10. "Moby Quilt"...Weird life in an alien ocean. Moves at the speed of mud. "Solaris" it's not. Zzzz
11. "Raven Dream"...Bittersweet, world-within-a-world story of loss and redemption. C
12. "Undone"...Maybe if I were smart enough to follow this convoluted story about time travel and shape shifting...no, I still wouldn't like it. D
13. "The Real Thing"...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Scott on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Gadner Dozois' year-end SF anthologies are always a feast for short fiction lovers. They are packed with some of the very best short SF stories of the previous year. This year's volume is no exception.
My favorite story from this year's collection is "The Chief Designer" by Andy Duncan. It details the secret history behind the Soviet space program. Duncan tells a beautiful and moving story that brought tears to my eyes by its conclusion.
Also of a very high quality are "Isabel of the Fall" by Ian MacLeod, "The Human Front" by Ken MacLeod, "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" by Michael Swanwick, & "One Horse Town" by Howard Waldrop & Leigh Kennedy.
While compiling the list of my favorite stories in this anthology, I realized the futility of the task. This book is packed with well-written and engaging stories. How could I not mention the stories from Robert Reed, James Patrick Kelly, Alastair Reynolds, Ian MacLeod (again), Chris Beckett, Michael Cassutt or Dan Simmons? They are all very good stories that deserve to be acclaimed loudly and enthusiastically.
I noticed an interesting trend in myself while I was reading this volume. I enjoyed almost every single story while reading it in this volume more than when I read them in their original publication. In fact, I actively disliked several of them (the Reed, the Kelly, & the Reynolds) after the first reading. Yet after reading them in this collection, I can see what fantastic stories they are. I think that stories sometimes get lost in their original publication. If a person subscribes to several fiction magazines, the pressure to read each story may cause the reader to read too quickly and skim over a story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By FictionAddiction.NET on September 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For fans of science fiction, The Year's Best Science Fiction - Nineteenth Annual Collection, is a bag of treats. As Jim Hopper of the San Diego Union-Tribune has said, "At list price, it's still the best value for top-notch SF, by the page or by the pound."
Bear in mind, though, that when you buy in bulk, you are bound to get some gristle, fat and bone along with the red meat. Fortunately, (delicately mixing metaphors) the few bad apples do not spoil the rest of the barrel.
These stories cover the full spectrum of science fiction. They range from the comic to the sublime. They cover time periods from tens of millions of years ago to countless years in the future. They range from the Earth to planets orbiting distant stars. They even cross from one parallel universe to another with the greatest of ease. These thought-provoking stories stretch the imagination.
One selection, The Dog Said Bow, Wow, by Michael Swanwick (first appearing in Asimov's Science Fiction October/November, 2001 issue) won the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The plot of this story is a straightforward adventure story, reminiscent of the 1971 Hugo winning novella Ill Met in Lankhmar, by Fritz Leiber.
Set in a distant future where dogs have been modified to gain sentience, speech and the ability to walk upright, one dog, Sir Plus and his sidekick Darger, a human, embark on a swashbuckling adventure. However, lacking the tragic overtones of Ill Met in Lankhmar, which gave that story such depth, The Dog Said Bow, Wow, is light fare in comparison.
In Summation: 2001, Gardner Dozois gives what amounts to a state of the union address for the science fiction publishing world.
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