- Series: Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: PRIME BOOKS LLC (June 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607012561
- ISBN-13: 978-1607012566
- Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 5.8 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011 Edition Paperback – June 5, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
My tastes run to science fiction, so four of my five favorites are from this group. They are:
Yoon Ha Lee's "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" gets my vote for the best story of the year. A woman guards an ancient weapon that can remove pieces of the past. Large pieces. The dialogue between the two main characters is reminiscent of the book-long bar discussion in The January Dancer.
Amal El-Mohtar's "The Green Book" presents excerpts from an unusual book that corresponds with some of its readers. Read it if you love books.
Peter Watts' "The Things" is a retelling of John Carpenter's "The Thing" from the perspective of... well, the thing. That poor thing.
Robert Reed's "Dead Man's Run" is a murder mystery complicated by the continuing existence of the murdered man's backup created to handle routine phone calls. Of course it has all of his friends' cell phone numbers.
Damien Broderick's "Under the Moons of Venus" is easily the strangest science fiction story in the collection. A man tries to follow most of the human race to Venus. But he can't quite find a ride.
This is a reasonably good collection and worth the reader's time and engagement. I'll admit that reading the fantasy stories temporarily pushed me out of my science fiction rut. Not a bad thing, nor unenjoyed.
I had a few problems with this work, all relatively small but enough to cost it a star. First, I read other "Best of" anthologies, and some of the stories in this one, I've run across before. I don't like buying the same stories over and over again; this is a waste of my money and reading time. Second, one of the drawbacks in an anthology is the very variety I was extolling above. You need an author introduction to each piece, and a story introduction, so you can tell what the story is about and its style, so you can find one you want to read that day. Other anthologies do this, and you can accordingly go through and read the intros to each piece to get a feel for what is where. With this collection there are no intros (there are author bios in the back, not with their stories, which I found annoying), and I found the best approach was simply to flip to page one and start reading straight through. The pleasure in this approach is never knowing what you'll get and enjoying each piece as it comes. The annoyance is having to read each story to know what it's about, so you can't pick pieces to suit your mood for that day. You just have to take your chances. Since it's not much work to provide a couple of sentences summarizing each piece, I would rather the editor do that and let me choose what to read when I want to read it.Read more ›
This is a *big* anthology, with more than two dozen pieces, including a number of novellas and novelettes, about evenly divided between science fiction and fantasy. I didn't like all the stories-- in fact, I probably liked less than half-- but I still give this book four stars, because it does contain some excellent stories. On the science fiction side, I liked Geoffrey Landis's "The Sultan of the Clouds," an old-fashioned SF tale at heart, for all its modern stylings; "Stereogram of the Gray Fort, in the Days of Its Glory," by Paul M. Berger, a seemingly-conventional story with a real sting in its tail; and the genuinely odd "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon," by Elizabeth Hand. Peter Watts' "The Things" is a re-telling of John Campbell's "Who Goes There?" (the basis for the movie "The Thing" and its re-makes), this time told from the alien's perspective; the idea sounds cutesy, but the execution is flawless. I bet Campbell would have liked it. Robert Reed's "Dead Man's Run" is a bit overlong, but is a fascinating murder mystery which makes clever use of believable AI technology.
On the fantasy side, I enjoyed "Amor Vincit Omnia," by K.J.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable collection. It is very large and covers a great deal of territory. Some I loved, some weren't to taste but the vast majority were solid, even if they weren't to my... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I feel like quality story telling was sacrificed in order for the stories to be "deep" but instead seem indulgent.Published 11 months ago by Jonathan
I do love Sci Fi, but I found the first two stories in the book to be overly complicated and difficult to understand. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Burning down the house
It has taken me some time to read through this collection, although thoroughly enjoyable I needed to step back at times and put it down so as to digest what I had read, and to get... Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by boofhd
If you're like me, you read annual "best of" collections because you want to get a sense of what is going on in your favorite genre(s) - Who are the hot new... Read more
I get my wife one every Christmas.
Always something she looks forward to.
This is my "go-to" gift when I'm not sure what else she likes!
Some of the stories are excellent, but more are only OK. I think I was expecting a better choice of stories. That is just my taste, though, other people may love all the stories.Published on December 2, 2012 by whalsey
The majority of the short stories are excellent but with few exceptions the longer stories seemed achingly overlong and under edited. Read morePublished on November 4, 2012 by AmyCQ