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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection Paperback – June 23, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (June 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312336608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312336608
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The latest in Dozois's definitive, must-read short story anthology series takes the pulse of science fiction today, revealing it to be a genre of breathtaking scope and imagination. Classic SF situations take on a new twist: observation/first-contact stories "The Ocean of the Blind" by James L. Cambias and standout "The Clapping Hands of God" by Michael F. Flynn follow humans as they disastrously make contact with alien species that they cannot comprehend; in Stephen Baxter's generation-starship story, "Mayflower II," someone has to stay awake to tend the humans throughout the millennia of travel; and in the postapocalyptic world of Brendan Dubois's "Falling Star" we mourn the loss of our civilization. Several stories first appeared online, including Christopher Rowe's Hugo nominee, "The Voluntary State," which outrageously plays with Tennessee icons, and Vernor Vinge's "Synthetic Serendipity," about boys' virtual reality games. A comprehensive summation of the field and a list of honorable mentions make this book indispensable as a reference volume. The range of stories and styles means there's something here for everyone.
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

Dozois' yearly anthology always satisfies connoisseurs of short sf and showcases the best stylists and tale-tellers in the genre. As Dozois says in his introductory "Summation 2004," although sf periodicals took a downturn last year, expanding Web and book markets proved fertile for newcomers. Hence, this year's edition features a generous sampling of sf neophytes and rising stars, such as Benjamin Rosenbaum, David Moles, and Christopher Rowe. Joining them are the usual seasoned veterans, from Nancy Kress and Vernor Vinge to Pat Murphy and Terry Bisson. Outstanding entries include Michael Flynn's "The Clapping Hands of God," wherein a group of interstellar explorers discovers a world that resembles paradise until they become entangled in the natives' seasonal warfare; hard sf master Stephen Baxter's "Mayflower II," which eavesdrops on the birth of a new civilization aboard a generation starship; and Kage Baker's wry "Mother Aegypt," about a time-traveling con artist in premodern Europe. An indispensable and entertaining omnibus for every sf collection. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I live near Basel, Switzerland, with where I work as a computer programmer half the week and am pounded on by my children, Aviva and Noah, the other half. We bake a lot of pies while dancing to Laurie Berkner and They Might Be Giants. Often my wife Esther comes home and eats the pies with us.

Then sometimes I sneak away and write things.

My stories have been published in F&SF, Harper's, Asimov's, McSweeney's, Strange Horizons, and Nature; translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish; turned into conceptual art ( and short films ("The Orange", which won Best Animated Short at SXSW); and nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, BSFA, Locus, and Sturgeon Awards.

You can find out more (including a lot of free stories) at

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Gardner Dozois routinely edits the best collection of the years short SF.
E. N Ritchie
As always the anthology provides readers with insight into what is happening in scientific fictional accounts on the accord of what is actual realism.
Cornelius Johnson
Most of the other stories in this volume were also quite good, or at least readable.
David Roy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on December 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Another year, and another set of "Year's Best" anthologies. While I've always enjoyed David Hartwell's anthologies, last year was the first time that I read the more venerable one edited by Gardner Dozois. However, I enjoyed last year's so much that I just had to check out this year's, the 22nd annual edition. As was last year's, it is an imposing book, with twenty-nine stories in it, all from acclaimed science fiction authors. Unfortunately, I find this year's edition not quite as good as last year's. There were a few stories in it that just didn't do anything for me. On the other hand, there were definitely some stand-outs.

In a rarity for me, some of my favourite stories in the book were more on the hard science side than is usual for my taste. There is Stephen Baxter's excellent "Mayflower II," which deals with a generation ship on a trip to the far reaches of the galaxy and beyond, and what happens in the meantime. On the very edge of the solar system, there is a colony that has hidden itself away the alien Qax who had conquered the Earth. Now, the Coalition of Interim Governance has freed Earth, and is on its way to the colony. Five generation ships are dispatched to save as many of the colony's citizens as possible. On Rusel's ship, the "Pharaoh" of the ship has decided that they are going to journey all the way across the galaxy, a trip that will take many thousands of years. The story is Rusel's, and how he becomes virtually immortal, and how the citizens of the ship begin to devolve as time goes on. It's a truly horrifying story in a way, demonstrating what isolated societies can become over time. For a while, I was beginning to get bored with the story, as it's not really my favourite type of story and it was quite long.
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61 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A hard edition to rate. There's an awful lot of gloom and doom, but the atmosphere and characters are generally vivid and plots tight with unambiguous endings.

"Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy. Spot the looney! A mental patient must overcome her sane doctor to save a shipwrecked anthropologist. B

"Start the Clock" by Benjamin Rosenbaum. In a future USA where reality, time and the Internet freely mingle, some kids never grow up-literally. C

"The Third Party" by David Moles. Planet resembling early 20th century Earth beset by space faring capitalists and socialist missionaries, with the hero getting caught in the crossfire big time. Stunning characters and atmosphere. A

"The Voluntary State" by Christopher Rowe. Life on this chaotic alternate Earth is only slightly less perplexing to the characters than to me. D

"Shiva in Shadow" by Nancy Kress. The shadowy nether regions of their own minds prove more baffling and dangerous than even the anomalous black hole being explored by two space scientists and a ship captain. Brilliant juxtaposition of infinite space and interior man. A+

"The People of Sand and Slag" by Paolo Bacigalupi. Bioengineered super humans render the animal kingdom obsolete, but a surprising visitor disturbs their illusions of grandeur. Poignantly asks, will science make us more than men, or less? A

"The Clapping Hands of God" by Michael F. Flynn. Scientists travel through wormhole to secretly observe a planet inhabited by gentle humanoids, yet danger fills the air. The artfully drawn aliens are fascinating. A

"Tourism" by M. John Harrison. Gritty lowlifes hang out in a seamy otherworld bar with nothing much to do but generate more atmosphere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Choire on March 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Seriously, this is the worst formatted Kindle book I've ever seen in my life. You could give my cat a scanner and a copy of Stanza and he could do a better job. This is just a quick $9.99 for an existing product for the publisher--and they SHOULD put out all the backlist in ebook, and I'm GLAD they're doing so--but good grief, try a little?

How angry and unsupervised are the interns manning the OCR machine?

Anyway. I will continue to buy all the books in this very good series, because I appreciate the hard work that goes into the editorial product, but I'm not happy about the fact that the publisher doesn't care about me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim G. on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A nice collection, 4+ stars on the stories...but a very poor ebook conversion. The least the publisher could do is to provide a useful table of contents. This one is terribly mangled and nearly unusable. It bears little resemblance to a list of titles and authors, and contains a vast number of subtitles of sections within stories, but with no distinction between real story titles. Apparently an unsupervised computer program created it.

The text is also rife with typographical errors. Apparently this text was scanned from a hard copy without benefit of either spell check or human review. Shamefully lazy effort by the publisher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
Either Year of Grace 2004 was an excellent time for Sci-Fi or Gardner Dozois was particularly inspired for this selection - whatever the reason this 22nd yearly selection is absolutely REMARKABLE! After reading now all Dozois yearly collections from third to twenty second (and not sparing harsh criticism when I considered it was due) I am confident to say, that this one is amongst the best ever, on the same stellar level as the third and sixth anthologies.

As all those Gardner Dozois anthologies this book begins with a very complete analysis of what happened in the SF field in 2004. At the end as usual there is a long list of "Honorable mentions" - short stories considered by the editor as good, but which for lack of place (and it is already a HUGE book) couldn't be included.

Good writing and originality of plots but also successful revisiting of some old themes, like "space opera", are the main assets of this excellent anthology - to the greatest delight of the reader in this book the degree of unnecessary weirdness, which damaged so many previous Dozois collections, is kept at the minimum level. And this is a GREAT thing!

Below, my more detailed impressions, with some LIMITED SPOILERS.
"Inappropriate Behavior" by Pat Murphy - EXTRAORDINARY! The first and already the SECOND BEST STORY IN THE COLLECTION! I will absolutely not reveal any details here - you deserve to discover the whole thing by yourself. Let me just tell you, that this story, unlike most of recent SF, is on the same high level of quality as things from Golden Age of Sci-Fi, with the greatest care given to the storytelling and mixing real science, good character development, drama and suspense (I got really involved in this one!
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