- Series: Year's Best Science Fiction
- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (July 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312324790
- ISBN-13: 978-0312324797
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection (No. 21) Paperback – July 1, 2004
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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."
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.
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 Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
It's All True, John Kessel. 1940's cinema legend wooed by time traveling 2048 talent scout. Sizzling narrative doused by lukewarm ending. B
Rogue Farm, Charles Stoss. Future farmer harassed by bizarre genetically engineered squatter(s?). B
The Ice, Steven Popkes. Does a man's past determine his future? This question takes on new complexity for a clone of Gordie Howe in this richly textured character study. A
Ej-Es, Nancy Kress. For the strangely afflicted colonists on a remote planet, the line is sharp between disease and cure...but which is which? B
The Bellman, John Varley. Serial killer of pregnant women pursued by pregnant cop on the extensively colonized Moon. Gore galore. B
The Bear's Baby, Judith Moffett. Environmentally correct aliens clean up Mother Earth, but play dirty with humans. Snappy narrative, intriguing plot. A
Calling Your Name, Howard Waldrop. Droll widower pops into an alternate reality where everything's the same, except completely different. Comically composed, elegantly ended. A
June Sixteenth at Anna's, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Melancholy widower deteriorates watching his wife in a holographic history. Melancholy. C
The Green Leopard Plague, Walter Jon Williams. Intrepid widower, this one a brilliant academic, postulates a new world order after some mayhem over a breakthrough in bioengineering. Long tunnel, no cheese. C
The Fluted Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi. In a far future fiefdom, servants are cruelly and bizarrely bioengineered at the whim of their lord. One victim plots an escape-of sorts. B
Dead Worlds, Jack Skillingstead. Man sacrifices his life for science, then has a tough life. A poignant and philosophical love story, remarkably compact. A+
King Dragon, Michael Swawnick. Curious mix of SF and fantasy as a downed fighter jet's nasty computer lords it over of a village full of elves. A
Singletons in Love, Paul Melko. Group consciousness makes falling in love problematic for future humans. C
Anomalous Structures of My Dreams, M. Shayne Bell. Stop whining! A hospital patient dying of AIDS gets a roomie who's really sick. B
The Cookie Monster, Vernon Vinge. Zzzz.
Joe Steele, Harry Turtledove. Stalin-type beats FDR in 1932 and all hell breaks loose. B
Birth Days, Geoff Ryman. Recessive homosexuality gene turns out to be dominant. Dubious Darwinian premise merely prop-for-ganda. D
Awake in the Night, John C. Wright. Eons hence, Earth languishes in perpetual darkness, the light of civilization a mere flicker as well. A man battles inscrutable monsters and the very weight of time in this haunting and surreal tale of adventure. A+
The Long Way Home, James Van Pelt. Mankind's recovery from nuclear holocaust takes centuries, and for a few men, so it does also. B
The Eyes of America, Geoffrey A. Landis. Technology and satire rage on when the presidential race pits Thomas Edison and Samuel Clemens against William Jennings Bryan and Nikola Tesla. A+
Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst, Kage Baker. Immortal sales rep for a future corporation does some supernatural horse trading with William Randolph Hearst. B
Night of Time, Robert Reed. Memory retrieval in a far future corner of the Milky Way reveals an alien's fantastic secret. B
Strong Medicine, William Shunn. In this ironic and incisive vignette, a 2037 surgeon contemplates suicide after being rendered obsolete by nanotechnology. Well, almost. A+
Send Me a Mentagram, Dominic Green. Passengers on a 2010 Antarctic cruise ship die suddenly, gruesomely, and mysteriously. Can a maverick doctor figure it out in time? B
And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, Paul Di Filippo. It could happen to you. In the near future, everyday products form creepy wireless networks and harass humans a little and a lot. A+
Flashmen, Terry Dowling. Humans battle inscrutable aliens while readers battle inscrutable lingo-laced narrative. I think there's a good story in here somewhere. C
Dragonhead, Nick DiChario. WARNING. Digital uploading may be hazardous to your health. C
Dear Abbey, Terry Bisson. Two scientists travel to the end of time and bear witness to the ecological sins of man. Well constructed, sweeping and lighthearted novelette aptly closes this volume. A