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The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction (2005)

by Gardner Dozois (Editor)

Other authors: Stephen Baxter (Contributor), Greg Bear (Contributor), Terry Bisson (Contributor), Pat Cadigan (Contributor), Ted Chiang (Contributor)31 more, John Crowley (Contributor), Tony Daniel (Contributor), Greg Egan (Contributor), William Gibson (Contributor), Molly Gloss (Contributor), Eileen Gunn (Contributor), Joe Haldeman (Contributor), James Patrick Kelly (Contributor), John Kessel (Contributor), Nancy Kress (Contributor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Contributor), Ian R. MacLeod (Contributor), David Marusek (Contributor), Paul J. McAuley (Contributor), Ian McDonald (Contributor), Maureen F. McHugh (Contributor), Robert Reed (Contributor), Mike Resnick (Contributor), Geoff Ryman (Contributor), William Sanders (Contributor), Lucius Shepard (Contributor), Robert Silverberg (Contributor), Brian Stableford (Contributor), Bruce Sterling (Contributor), Charles Stross (Contributor), Michael Swanwick (Contributor), Stephen Utley (Contributor), Howard Waldrop (Contributor), Walter Jon Williams (Contributor), Connie Willis (Contributor), Gene Wolfe (Contributor)

Series: The Best of the Best (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3011761,704 (4.04)8
Features the finest science fiction writings from the past two decades of the annual "The Year's Best Science Fiction," including writings from such authors as Greg Bear, Pat Cadigan, Robert Silverberg, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
If you haven't tried any of the anthologies from The Year's Best Science Fiction series, you really should, and this might be a great place to start. For years now, this series has been my traditional birthday gift to-me-from-me-with-love as it's publication in July coincides conveniently with the day. I have discovered numerous new authors through its stories.

The series has been going since 1984 and roughly half of them have won awards. As they should, Gardner Dozois does a magnificent job of editing the series. This particularly special edition is well worth your time if you've any love of short form fiction. It absolutely deserves the title of The Best of the Best. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Mar 13, 2020 |
There are gems here for every science fiction reader. I loved the stories connected to biology, race and gender. Some of the more futuristic stories relating to multiple identities or space/time travel or technology are not to my liking, but that's just personal.

There are Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Theodore Sturgeon award winners scattered throughout. The Best of the Best is great introduction for new science fiction readers or for those looking to survey the breadth of achievement within this genre.

When I consider short stories I love, I consider primarily sticking power. What I mean by this is I can recall at a whim a character or moment of realisation at the core of the story. How and why are often more important than what. It's no coincidence it's often the best written stories that have this knack.

Loved

Blood Music by Greg Bear - Fast-paced short story covering themes such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and consciousness. Cleverly structured to reflect the life cycle of a cell.

Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick - More anthropological study than sf. What happens when an educated man decides to lead a colony steeped in spiritual and pre-modern practices? How does the outside "civilised" world react?

Dinner in Audoghast by Bruce Sterling - A great example of why science fiction shouldn't just be concerned about the future. On the surface, this story is about a conversation among a group of feasting African aristocracy. Its striking ironic significance only comes to light towards the end.

The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang - Beautiful, thought-provoking novella. A moving combination of psychology, linguistics and cultural dynamics. Template for the acclaimed 2016 movie Arrival.

Even the Queen by Connie Willis - Humorous and humanistic. This is the kind of story you can actually imagine playing out in the not-so-distant future. My wife does not read science fiction, the fact she enjoyed this speaks volumes.

None So Blind by Joe Haldeman - Science fiction horror from the author of The Forever War. It's well known that blindness augments other senses. But why is this? And what happens when this knowledge is used for human advancement?

Liked
Coming of Age in Karhide by Ursula K. Le Guin
Bears Discover Fire by Terry Bisson
Tales from the Venia Woods by Robert Silverberg
The Dead by Michael Swanwick
Snow by John Crowley
The Undiscovered by William Sanders
A Dry Quiet War by Tony Daniel
Daddy's World by Walter Jon Williams
The Lincoln Train by Maureen F. McHugh
Salvador by Lucius Shepard
10^16 to 1 by James Patrick Kelly

Undecided
Trinity by Nancy Kress
Roadside Rescue by Pat Cadigan
Recording Angel by Ian McDonald
The Winter Market by William Gibson
The Pure Product by John Kessel
A Cabin on the Coast by Gene Wolfe
People Came from Earth by Stephen Baxter
The Real World by Steven Utley

Loathed
Flying Saucer Rock & Roll by Howard Waldrop
Mortimer Gray's History of Death by Brian Stableford
Have Not Have by Geoff Ryman
Lobsters by Charles Stross
Breathmoss by Ian R. MacLeod
The Wedding Album by David Marusek
Wang's Carpets by Greg Egan
Guest of Honor by Robert Reed
Second Skin by Paul J. McAuley
Stable Strategies for Middle Management by Eileen Gunn
Lambing Season by Molly Gloss ( )
  jigarpatel | Dec 11, 2019 |
This is a large book with a treasure-trove of short fiction. The best part is that there is hardly a dud in the bunch. Some stories appealed more than others but this collection is highly recommended. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jan 4, 2019 |
All star review of the best short sci fi over the last 20 years. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dozois, GardnerEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bisson, TerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadigan, PatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiang, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crowley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniel, TonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Egan, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gloss, MollyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gunn, EileenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haldeman, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kelly, James PatrickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kessel, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kress, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, Ian R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marusek, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McAuley, Paul J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDonald, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McHugh, Maureen F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Resnick, MikeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ryman, GeoffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanders, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, LuciusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stableford, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stross, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swanwick, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Utley, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waldrop, HowardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Walter JonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willis, ConnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, GeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF contains all the stories in The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction plus three more stories. These books should not be combined together.
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