This issue got caught up in the big revamp of Best SF, and wasn’t reviewed close to the reading of the stories. Time being short, I had planned to give a quick recap on the stories a couple of months later – which would be one way of identifying which stories had more impact at the time of reading. However, I’ve skimmed through the stories, and prompted very few recollections. So, purely for the record, here are the stories in this issue.
Jeff Carlson. A Lovely Little Christmas Fire.
Sara Genge. As Women Fight.
This story was selected in Rich Horton’s ‘The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010’, and I had a read of it again, with all distractions removed, to give it full attention this time round. It’s set on a world in which humans are now some generations past those of their forebears who settled on their planet. Some of them, using the tech left over from the settlers ship engage in ritual fighting between husband and wife, and the winner gets to choose which body they will live in until the next fight. Genge uses this to look at gender roles and how trying to break out of predetermined roles can be an issue, whether there are real differences between people regardless of their gender, and also at child abuse and how this can affect relationships. The story is told in the present tense, which works well, and the different perceptions of two married couples are reflected in the story.
John Shirley. Animus Rights.
Nick Wolven. Angie’s Errand.
Jim Aikin. Leaving the Station.
Benjamin Crowell. A Large Bucket, and Accidental Godlike Mastery of Spacetime.
Mike Resnick. The Bride of Frankenstein.
Brian Stableford. Some Like it Hot.