Year's Best SF 16 (Year's Best SF Series) Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Step Into The Future
The finest selections from a banner year for short-form science fiction, Year's Best SF 16 is the boldest, most eye-opening compilation to date from acclaimed, award-winning editors and anthologists David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer—brilliant visions, both dark and hopeful, of what might await humankind over tomorrow's horizon.
About the Author
David G. Hartwell is a senior editor of Tor/Forge Books. His doctorate is in Comparative Medieval Literature. He is the proprietor of Dragon Press, publisher and bookseller, which publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction, and the president of David G. Hartwell, Inc. He is the author of Age of Wonders and the editor of many anthologies, including The Dark Descent, The World Treasury of Science Fiction, The Hard SF Renaissance, The Space Opera Renaissance, and a number of Christmas anthologies, among others. Recently he co-edited his fifteenth annual paperback volume of Year's Best SF, and co-edited the ninth Year's Best Fantasy. John Updike, reviewing The World Treasury of Science Fiction in The New Yorker, characterized him as a "loving expert." He is on the board of the IAFA, is co-chairman of the board of the World Fantasy Convention, and an administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. He has won the Eaton Award, the World Fantasy Award, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award forty times to date, winning as Best Editor in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Kathryn Cramer is a writer, critic, and anthologist, and was coeditor of the Year's Best Fantasy and Year's Best SF series. A consulting editor at Tor Books, she won a World Fantasy Award for her anthology The Architecture of Fear.
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Here are the five stories I liked most:
Benjamin Crowell's "Petopia" features a cute, cuddly little plush toy with enough artificial intelligence to enlighten an innocent child. Then somebody throws it into the trash.
Terry Bisson's "About It" is a first-person account from a janitor who sneaks Bigfoot out of the genetics lab so he can spend his time around the house. Everyone seems so understanding about it.
Cat Sparks' "All the Love in the World" is about the end of the narrator's world. The actual end of global civilization is part of the background.
David Langford's "Graffiti in the Library of Babel" shows humanity's reaction to subtle messages "tagged" into a formerly-secure library. It shares enjoyable elements with Fred Lerner's "Rosetta Stone" in Year's Best SF 5 .
Brenda Cooper's "The Hebras and the Demons and the Damned" is about colonists trying to domesticate giraffe-like herbivores on their new planet. If you like this story, you might read The Silver Ship and the Sea and its sequels, which are set on the same planet.
Most of the stories were good or better, but some didn't do it for me. "How to Become a Mars Overlord" by Catherynne Valente is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but goes on too long, leaving a feeling of... too much tongue, maybe. And Paul Park's "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" was just too intricate to be appreciated by my bone-encased brain. It puzzled me instead of entertaining. I wasn't looking for a many-leveled, self-referential puzzle. Sorry.
All-in-all the collection is recommended. Read them all, even the stories I don't recommend. You may see something I missed. I feel my time and money were well spent.