The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 1. (ed Neil Clarke, Nightshade Books 2016 )

With David G. Hartwell’s ‘Years Best SF’ ceasing a year or two back, Dozois has had the field to himself in terms of an annual anthology of just SF (obviously excluding the SF&F anthologies).

Neil Clarke and Nightshade have stepped up to the plate to offer an alternative, and on Clarke’s website this summer he posted a list of stories in his anthology, which I’ve taken the liberty of copying below.

By my reckoning I’ve read 15 of the 31 stories. Clarke’s drawn his stories from a relatively conservative range of sources – Asimovs, Analog, Interzone, Clarkesworld and Lightspeed account for half of the stories. As a number of the stories I haven’t read do appear in Dozois’ take on the year, which is on my bookshelves, I’ll pass on buying this book as the bookshelves are already full to bursting, and I’ve already got enough books on them to keep me in reading if I live to 200!

“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds (Interzone, March/April 2015). I was pleased to see Reynolds return to Interzone, where he made some of his early sales. However this non-space opera story didn’t really grab me.

“In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)

“Outsider” by An Owomeyla (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)

“Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie (Future Visions, edited by Microsoft & Melcher Media)

“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper (Mission Tomorrow, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt)

“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, September 2015)

“Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn (The End Has Come, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey). Not a story that really grabbed me from what I recall.

“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz (PM Press). One of the best stories of the year IMHO.

“The Smog Society” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan (Lightspeed, August 2015)

“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin (Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois)

“Damage” by David D. Levine (Tor.com, 1/21/2015). Another story I enjoyed immensely.

“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip, edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell)

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (Uncanny, January/February 2015)

“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald (Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois)

“Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu (Tor.com, 10/17/2015)

“Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson (Asimov’s, August 2015). An unsettling story, but in a good way.

“The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu (The End Has Come, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey). This third and final instalment of a story in the three volume anthology, which I enjoyed.

“Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld, August 2015). Subsequently a Nebula Award nominee, which I enjoyed.

“Cocoons” by Nancy Kress (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan). A ‘neat little story’.

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015). A ‘great read’.

“So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, November 2015)

“No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven (Asimov’s, August 2015). An ‘intriguing love story’.

“Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley (Asimov’s, August 2015). There’s a little bee sting at the end of the story

“Meshed” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, February 2015)

“Empty” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, December 2015). A clever story.

“Calved” by Sam J. Miller (Asimov’s, September 2015). Another ‘really strong’ story from Miller.

“The Audience” by Sean McMullen (Analog, June 2015)

“Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions, edited by Microsoft & Melcher Media)

“Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson (Analog, June 2015)

“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii, Translated by Jim Hubbert (Lightspeed, July 2015)

“The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan). I noted clever, and well written.

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