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Year's Best SF 9 Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2004

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Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best SF (Science Fiction) (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006057559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060575595
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,991,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David G. Hartwell is a Senior Editor at Tor/Forge Books. He is the proprietor of Dragon Press, publisher and bookseller, which publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction. He is the author of Age of Wonders and the editor of many anthologies, including The Dark Descent, Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment, The World Treasury of Science Fiction, Northern Stars, The Ascent of Wonder (co-edited with Kathryn Cramer), and a number of Christmas anthologies. Recently he edited his sixth annual paperback volume of Year's Best SF and co-edited the new Year's Best Fantasy. He has won the Eaton Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Science Fiction Chronicle Poll and has been nominated for the Hugo Award twenty-four times to date.

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Customer Reviews

If you like your science fiction in short doses, this is a great anthology.
David Roy
For many years I read the Nebula Award winners as examples of the best science fiction had to offer.
R. Key
There are stories for all tastes, some funny, some tragic, but all of them interesting.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on July 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of these days, Kage Baker is going to get me into trouble. Not personally, of course (having never had the honour of meeting the lady), but her stories. See, the problem is that I'm such a big fan of hers that I now have to track down every thing she has written and at least read it. I happened upon this year's edition of Year's Best SF, the ninth, and saw that she had a story in it. Of course, this meant I had to buy it. However, doing this leaves me at the mercy of the rest of the stories. I'm not a big fan of hard SF stories, and I prefer fantasy to science fiction in any case. Will I have paid a lot of money (especially with Canadian prices) for a book that I only like 20 pages out of 500? Would this be the time that she's cost me more money then I want to spend?
Thankfully, no. While I didn't care for every story in Year's Best SF 9, I did like them well enough to thoroughly recommend the book. At 500 pages, there's a lot of stories in here, varying from hard science fiction to near-future character-driven stories, and everything in between. While Baker's story, "A Night on the Barbary Coast," is among the best stories in the collection, I would have to say that the best is actually John Varley's "In Fading Suns and Dying Moons."
Baker's story is another in the continuing adventures of The Company, where a bunch of immortal cyborgs try to make money for the time-traveling Dr. Zeus Corporation by harvesting soon to be extinct species of plants and animals, as well as other rare items that will eventually disappear. In this story, Joseph needs the botanist Mendoza to help him identify a rare fungus related to a quartz deposit that the Company wants in California.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Key on July 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What I like best about science fiction is its vast facility for plot, setting, tone, and characters--the essences of story-telling. I like my stories far-flung, imaginative, and well-crafted. That's what I like about this book. I virtually never hand out 5-star ratings, but for a good read at a value price, I think this collection's hard to beat... a star in the series and good on its own.

For many years I read the Nebula Award winners as examples of the best science fiction had to offer. Over the past several years, though, I feel like the Nebulas have steadily gone downhill, and I've reluctantly stopped buying those anthologies. I've transferred my annual purchase allegiance to this series, and this is my favorite of the nine hands down.

The tales by Joe Haldeman, John Varley, and Michael Swanwick alone are worth the price, and those in-between don't bore. In addition, Rick Moody's volume-ending novella is one of the best tales to spin off the elusive-reality themes that Philip Dick wove in "Palmer Eldritch" and "Ubik" that I've ever read, and that's high praise for me. Caveats: Not all stories worked for me (true for any anthology). Hartwell emphasizes that his selections are science-based, but hard science isn't a threshold requirement and I think he now simply means he doesn't include Fantasy (one here borders on magic realism). Finally, veteran SF readers will recognize most all the writers... in other words, the authors mostly have been around awhile, and few new or unfamiliar writers made the cut, as usual. But the $8 I spent on this was a bargain, and those who want an entertaining cross-section of the genre with bang for the buck will likely find more than a few stories to like here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on July 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Year's Best SF 9," edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, collects 20 stories into a 500 page anthology. The stories range in length from 6 to 71 pages. Some of the highlights are as follows.

"Amnesty," by Octavia E. Butler: looks at relations between humans and a radically different intelligent species of communal life forms that have invaded Earth. This story deals with issues of power, control, language, and communication; it is as penetrating and thought-provoking as Butler's other great works. "Birth Days," by Geoff Ryman: explores human reproduction, homosexuality, and biological research and experimentation. "Ej-Es," by Nancy Kress: a very moving story about a team investigating a seemingly failed human colony; the story addresses themes of disease, communication, cultural difference, and the human brain. "Rogue Farm," by Charles Stross: a funny tale about a farming couple defending their property against a mutant creature; this story is full of bizarre dialogue and images. "In Fading Suns and Dying Moons," by John Varley: an entomologist is enlisted to discover the meaning behind an invasion of the Earth by weird, butterfly-collecting aliens. This story refers to and cleverly builds on the ideas in the science fiction classic "Flatland."

Also worthy of note--"The Day We Went Though the Transition," by Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero: a time travel story with a Spanish setting. This story also deals with terrorism. "A Night on the Barbary Coast," by Kage Baker: a colorful, highly entertaining tale about a pair of time-traveling cyborgs--who also happen to be father and daughter--on an adventure in 19th century San Francisco. "The Madwoman of Shuttlefield," by Allen M. Steele: a story of life in a human colony on a distant planet.
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