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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection Paperback – Bargain Price, July 10, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Like a giant sequoia towering over a copse of maple trees, Hugo-winner Dozois's annual shelf-bending collection of the year's best SF continues to overshadow all other anthologies. Highlights include Greg Egan's Riding the Crocodile about two immortals who yearn to do something grand and audacious before they consciously end their lives; Cory Doctorow's I, Row-Boat which chronicles a theological dispute between an artificially intelligent boat and a sentient coral reef; and Alastair Reynolds's Signal to Noise an unexpectedly intimate story about a scientist's attempt to contact his recently deceased wife across quantum realities. This yearly anthology is required reading for every serious SF fan.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In assembling the twenty-fourth edition of this celebrated annual, veteran editor Dozois stuck to the formula he has used for all the previous 23 volumes by picking personal favorites. The lack of any stricter editorial guidelines may be surprising, but Dozois' keen eye for craftsmanship has helped him compile superior collections year in and year out, and it doesn't fail him now. Volume 24 presents more than two-dozen authors expanding on themes ranging from the loss of culture on a postapocalyptic Earth to life on a terraformed Mars. In the opening story, by Cory Doctorow, an AI-enhanced rowboat is unsettled enough by a religion called Asimovism to contemplate electronic suicide. Michael Swanwick's Tin Marsh recounts the fate of two isolated Venusian miners who begin to loathe each other. Other tales describe a human child's alliance with an alien assassin, explore humanity's fate in neighboring universes, and more, much more. Veterans and rising stars alike ensure the continued vitality of a series that is the standard-bearer of sf's leading edge. Hays, Carl --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363354
  • ASIN: B001FOR5AI
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,502,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I, Row Boat," by Cory Doctorow. In this homage to Asimov, a battle of wits between a sentient coral reef and a sentient rowboat raises mind-bending questions about the nature of intelligence in a digitized future. B

"Julian: A Christmas Story," by Robert Charles Wilson. A gloomy future America reverts to 19th century conditions thanks to the excesses of science and the deficiencies of religion. C

"Tin Marsh," by Michael Swanwick. "The Shining" goes to Venus. Two weary prospectors, one well past the end of his rope, battle the elements, each other, and insanity. B

"The Djinn's Wife," by Ian McDonald. Against the exotic backdrop of Delhi, a disastrous romance flares up and out between a famous dancer and a diplomat who happens to be an ethereal artificial intelligence. B+

"The House Beyond Your Sky," by Benjamin Rosenbaum. A haunting glimpse behind the curtain reveals that being the Creator ain't all it's cracked up to be. B

"Where the Golden Apples Grow," by Kage Baker. The stark, inhospitable terrain of Mars almost comes alive as two stranded young colonists struggle to get home. B+

"Kin," by Bruce McAllister. Elegant vignette about a boy and a roach-like alien assassin explores the mysteries of personal relationships and the nature of good and evil. B

"Signal to Noise," by Alastair Reynolds. Albeit touching and romantic, the plot doesn't quite measure up to the fascinating premise of a man who crosses over into a parallel universe to reconnect with his dead wife. B

"The Big Ice," by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold. A frozen ocean of ice plays host to a scorching battle of wits between two politically powerful sibling rivals. B

"Bow Shock," by Gregory Benford.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous review - this is the best Dozois collection in some time. Some of the highlights: "The Djinn's Wife" deals with a future India, where a young superstar marries a man who isn't actually real; Paolo Bacigalupi's "Yellow Card Man" involves a formerly successful Chinese businessman struggling to stay alive in a future Bangkok; "Incarnation Day" by Walter Jon Williams shows us what may happen if adults have the ultimate say on whether or not a child reaches maturity; Robert Charles Wilson's "Julian: A Christmas Story" is my favorite, a story set in the near future with two boys from very different types of families; Robert Reed's "Good Mountain" takes us so far into the future we see a group of people who may literally be outrunning the destruction of the Earth.

Alastair Reynolds has two stories here. "Signal to Noise" is silly and uninteresting, but "Nightingale" is a fantastic space opera with a devestating shot of horror for a finale. John Barnes' "Every Hole is Outlined" ends up being a tender, but odd, love story. There is much to enjoy in this collection. I suggest you get this book and do just that.
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Format: Paperback
A better-than-average edition of this series. Although there was not too much that really amazed me, almost everything in the book was a very good story with nothing I totally disliked.

My favorites:
"The Djinn's Wife" - Ian McDonald
"Incarnation Day" - Walter Jon Williams
"Riding the Crocodile" - Greg Egan

Least favorite:
"The Big Ice" - Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
"Okanoggan Falls" - Carolyn Ives Gilman
"Every Hole Is Outlined" - John Barnes

"I Row-Boat" - Cory Doctorow 4/5
An intelligent rowboat has to deal with a belligerent intelligent coral reef. Humorous post-singularity story.
"Julian: A Christmas Story" - Robert Charles Wilson 3.5/5
Two teens start to learn about the past in a post-apocalyptic future that suppresses knowledge of science.
"Tin Marsh" - Michael Swanwick 4/5
Venus miners get cabin fever. Entertaining action.
"The Djinn's Wife" - Ian McDonald 5/5
An Indian dancer marries an AI. Very good story in an interesting setting.
"The House Beyond Your Sky" - Benjamin Rosenbaum 3/5
A denizen of a house at the end of the universe, interacts with some of the inhabitants. Interesting.
"Where the Golden Apples Grow" - Kage Baker 3.5/5
On Mars, a boy from a farm colony and one who grew up with truckers share an adventure. Fun story.
"Kin" - Bruce McAllister 3/5
A boy hires an alien hitman.
"Signal to Noise" - Alastair Reynolds 4/5
People are able to temporarily switch into the bodies of their doubles in very similar parallel timelines. A man uses this to visit his wife, who just died in his own timeline. Good ideas about identity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These 28 stories from 2006 are well-written, well-chosen and well-documented. The volume begins with a comprehensive summary of important events in the SF genre during 2006. The stories that follow are introduced by concise author bios, descriptions of major publications and intriguing story previews. All as Dozois readers have come to expect.

My six favorite stories are:

Alastair Reynolds' "Signal to Noise" stands out first of all as a story outside his usual high-tech, far-future universe. A near-future researcher sends a colleague to an alternate timeline where his recently-deceased wife is still alive. And their time together is limited.

Robert Reed's "Good Mountain" feels like a darker, more surreal version of a Frank Herbert Dune novel. Our characters flee disaster by riding a giant worm and intrigue against one another as their world warps beyond their experience or understanding.

Mary Rosenblum's "Home Movies" introduces a member of one of the world's newest professions, a trained rememberer who stores experiences to be sold and lost completely to her employer. Until she experiences some things worth remembering.

Greg Egan's "Riding the Crocodile" is space opera at its high-tech, futuristic best. A long-lived couple tire of existence and set themselves a near-impossible task as a culmination of their mortal spans. After much toil, they decide upon an ending.

Ken MacLeod's "The Highway Men" takes us to a bleak future in the United Kingdom filled with conflict and uncertainty--the kind of setting in which men become heroes.

Alastair Reynolds' "Nightingale" smuggles us along as a carefully-picked assault team works to bring a war criminal to justice. Any mission the whole team can walk away from is a success, is it not?

This book is good reading and highly recommended. There are few more rewarding ways to spend your time.
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