Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Best of British Science Fiction 2021
by Donna Scott (Editor)
No current Talk conversations about this book.
I am rather overdosed at this point on clanking cyborgs, hybrids, blood-soaked implants, bots, replicants and various AI-based entities (T. H. Dray's "Henrietta", Peter Sutton's "The Stone of Sorrow:, Martin Westlake's "Going Home", Michael Crouch's "The Trip", Russell Hemmell's "The Opaque Mirror of Your Face", and others). The ethical issues and dilemmas are challenging, no doubt, though at this point many of them are overdone and overexposed to the point of bring trite. Most of the stories are well-crafted and concise; one or two are somewhat overlong and predictable. I was not familiar ahead of time with any of the authors, but that is not surprising, I suppose, as I am far from being a dedicated SF devotee.
Paul Cornell's "Distribution" is a wonderfully off-kilter post-apocalyptic exploration of personhood, ethics, socialization and evil, with a surprisingly Christian twist.
As in Liz Williams' "Stealthcare", there is a deep thread of melancholy and unease that runs through so many of these.
Same goes for David Cullen's "Down and Out Under the Tannhauser Gate", an unsettling tale with its echoes (some of which I had to google) of Wagner, the Grail legends, George Orwell, Aubrey Beardsley and "Blader Runner".
There are threads of violence, gore and grisly disgust for fleshly and bodily functions (Martin Sktechley's "Bloodbirds", A. N. Myers' "Okamoto's Lens", Ryan Vance's "Love in the Age of Operator Errors", and Leo X. Robertson's semi-humorous "Bar Hopping for Astronauts"
There is some rather bland and predictable time-bending (Keith Brooke & Eric Brown's "Me Two", Gary Couzens' "The End of all our Exploring").
Some near-future solipsistic paranoia, in Aliya Whiteley's "More Sea Creature to See".
Emma Levin's "History of Food Additives" provides some gentle but bitter humour.
Further on: David Cleden's "How Does My Garden Grow", Teika Marija Smits, "Girls' Night Out" and Nick Wood's "A Pall of Moondust" are all brief, well-crafted and striking.
Overall, this is a well-selected and satisfying collection.
I'm sure that it says more about my discernment than about the quality of the writing, but I was baffled by two or three of the stories. I was left wondering what exactly had happened.
On the other hand, the ones I enjoyed the most were: "Down and out under the Tannhauser gate", "Me two" (amazingly imaginative and original), "Bloodbirds" (one of the darker stories), "Stone of sorrow" (heart-breakingly sad), and "Henrietta".
The only story that I could describe as light-hearted is "A history of food additives in 22nd century Britain". All the rest ranged from dark to depressing. No doubt this reflects the atmosphere in which the stories were written.
Editor Donna Scott has scoured magazines, anthologies, webzines and obscure genre corners to discover the very best science fiction stories by British and British-based authors published during 2021. Two dozen stories, varying greatly in subject matter and style, from superb technological mystery to conflict on very alien worlds, from sweet, sad stories symptomatic of the tense times we have lived through to tales optimistic for better times to come, and even a dash of wry humour here and there for good measure. Donna Scott is a director and recent chair of the BSFA, as well as being a distinguished poet, writer, and stand-up comedian. Donna is also a free-lance editor who has worked behind the scenes for a number of major publishers over the course of several years. Contents Introduction - Donna Scott Distribution - Paul Cornell Stealthcare - Liz Williams Down and Out Under the Tannhauser Gate - David Gullen Me Two - Keith Brooke and Eric Brown The Andraiad - Tim Major Bloodbirds - Martin Sketchley Going Home - Martin Westlake Okamoto's Lens - A.N. Myers Love in the Age of Operator Errors - Ryan Vance Stone of Sorrow - Peter Sutton Henrietta - T.H. Dray A History of Food Additives in 22nd Century Britain - Emma Levin The Trip - Michael Crouch The Ghosts of Trees - Fiona Moore The Opaque Mirror of Your Face - Russell Hemmell More Sea Creatures to See - Aliya Whiteley The End of All Our Exploring - Gary Couzens How Does My Garden Grow? - David Cleden Girls' Night Out - Teika Marija Smits Bar Hopping for Astronauts - Leo X. Robertson In Aeturnus - Phillip Irving A Spark in a Flask - Emma Johanna Puranen A Pall of Moondust - Nick Wood About the Authors Acknowledgements
No library descriptions found.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum
Donna Scott's book Best of British Science Fiction 2021 was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Amazon Kindle (0 editions)
Audible (0 editions)
CD Audiobook (0 editions)
Project Gutenberg (0 editions)
Google Books — Loading...
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.
Favourites for me were the stories by Liz Williams, AN Myers, Martin Sketchley and David Cullen. ( )