Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year Eighth Annual Collection. ed. Dozois 1979

John Varley. The Persistence of Vision.
Originally in : Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1978

During a slight economic downturn, the protagonist hits the road. He finds himself living in a community of deaf-blind people, but it is he who is cut off, not they. He tears himself away from the community, painfully, only to regret it.

Isaac Asimov. Found!
Originally in : Omni October 1978

The three computers in orbit around the Earth are threatened by a tiny metal-eating virus. Two trouble-shooters are sent out to solve the problem, which they of course manage to do. Not a great deal different from a lot of Asimov’s early fiction really – like the one about the two spacemen who travel around the sun and get alternately baked and then frozen because they didn’t read the mimeographed instructions before lift-off and didn’t spot the thermostat control.

Christoper Priest. Whores.
Originally in : New Dimensions 8

One from the author’s Dream Archipelago series. A war vet with sick leave and gas-induced perception nightmares tries to find solace and freedom in the pleasures of the flesh.

Bernard Deitchman. Cousins.
Originally in : Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1978

Prehistory yarn, with competing variants of Home Erectus, some with decidedly odd attributes.

Joan D. Vinge. View from a Height.
Originally in : Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact June 1978

Emmylou is approaching 1,000 astronomical units into her flight. Chosen for the mission due to her being born with no immunity to diseases, the news of a cure for the disease causes her to review the nature of her solitude.

Thomas M. Disch. Mutability.
Originally in : Anticipations, 1978


Phyllis Eisenstein. Lost and Found.
Originally in : Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact October 1978

Time travelling celebrity seekers cause problems.

Michael Bishop. Old Folks at Home.
Originally in : Universe 8

Against a background of domed cities, in the author’s UrNU series, a new member joins an intimate group of residents of a retirement home.

James P. Girard. September Song.
Originally in : Penthouse, September 1978

An alien hunter hops around the 50s, 60s and 70s, finding, in the process, a lot more about himself. Notable for some extremely unpleasantly graphic, and unnecessary, depictions of sexual violence.

Gregory Benford. In Alien Flesh.
Originally in : The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1978

Reginri went off-world in search of work, and found himself carrying out experiments attempting to communicate with huge whale-like intelligent creatures. The work involved climbing into the creatures, and once inside he finds out more than he anticipated.

Gene Wolfe. Seven American Nights.
Originally in : Orbit 20

A Moslem visitor to the ruined USA finds himself becoming intimately involved with the dust, decay and depravity to which that bastion of western civilisation has descended.

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