Sunday, July 11, 2010

SF/F: The Year’s Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois

Fiction anthologies like The Year’s Best Science Fiction (St. Martin’s Griffin) give readers a unique opportunity. Not only do they skim the top of what is being written by the best writers in their fields, but read in a certain light, they offer a view -- or, at least, the slice of a view -- into what's going on in a certain aspect of fiction writing.

Having read and enjoyed science fiction short stories since childhood, I found this 27th annual collection of The Year’s Best Science Fiction nothing short of revelatory.

Read in isolation, in many ways, the best of what is being written today bears little resemblance to the stories I enjoyed as a child. One could say that the genre, too, has grown up. Those long-ago stories explored more nuts and bolts. Big on robots and space travel, authors then seemed to push to the far points of physical possibility.

These days, though, what's cutting the edge is more ephemeral. For example, in this collection, there is more that could be described as speculation than science and all of it written by the most important names rising through the ranks of the genre today: stories by Robert Charles Wilson, Robert Reed, Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Bear, Vandana Singh, Nicola Griffith and others all contribute to making this one of the SF/F highlights of the year. ◊

David Middleton is a graphic designer and photographer and the art and culture editor of January Magazine.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home