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.