From Publishers Weekly
With stories that run the gamut from alternate history to strange admixtures of SF and fantasy to bizarrely inexplicable worlds, and with authors ranging from big names to first-timers, Hugo-winner Dozois shows off the dazzling range of the genre in his annual compendium. Several authors deal with the loneliness of humans in the galaxy. In William Barton's "Off on a Starship," young Wally accidentally leaves Earth on an automated spaceship, only to discover that there are no other people out there—and when he finally comes home, it's not as a boy but as a god. Walter Jon Williams's bittersweet "The Green Leopard Plague" explores the economic and social consequences of conquering world hunger. Geoff Ryman's timely "Birth Days" follows a gay researcher as he finds a way to "cure" homosexuality, with unexpected results. Other standout stories include Kage Baker's rollicking "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst," where the Company takes on Hearst, and loses; and Michael Swanwick's fantastic "King Dragon," where the dragon's lackey strikes back. This hefty tome has enough content for a summer of reading, and the range of stories indicates that SF still doesn't know the meaning of the word "boundaries."
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The most prestigious of the several best-of-the-year fantasy and sf anthologies never fails to enchant and to showcase sf's leading edge. In it, high-quality contributions by a generous cross section of veterans, rising stars, and newcomers--29 authors in all-- constitute a balanced mixture of ideas and voices. In William Barton's "Off on a Starship," a 1960s-era adolescent and fan of B-grade space opera is swept onto a bona fide flying saucer, with unexpected results. Newcomer Jack Skillingstead contributes an electrifying tale about an astronaut exploring other worlds by robotic proxy; his emotions are stripped away in the process. The genre's humorous side is represented by Paul Di Filippo's jocular tale of household objects becoming too artificially intelligent for their own good, and Michael Swanwick explores the border between fantasy and sf in "King Dragon," in which dragons rule the skies above England, albeit with a little help from rocket-powered technology. As usual, the ample volume includes summations of the year's sf activities and Dozois' informative story introductions. Indispensable for every library's sf collection. Carl HaysCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved