The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 2 (ed Neil Clarke, Night Shade Books 2017)

Previously I’ve bought all the various Year’s Best SF and Best SF&F volumes (and the Nebula Awards volume), but due to space constraints, and the realisation that I’ve got books on my shelves I bought 45 years ago, I’ve decided now to limit by collection building to the venerable Dozois annual collection and the Nebula Awards collection (as I’ve got a complete run of 50 years worth of those and stopping collecting that volume was a step too far).

So, in advance of publication and without having to wait for the volume thudding onto my doormat (or in fact being handed over by the postman as the package was too big to go through the letterbox), here is a listing of what is in Neil Clarke’s second take on the best of the year, a handy counterpoint to Dozois volume, now that the other long-standing SF-only collection, from David G. Hartwell is, like the editor of that series, is sadly no longer with us.

You can further support Clarke by not only buying the book, but buying the book from one of the links on his website to give him the additional benefit of an affiliate link!

“The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s, September 2016)
– I haven’t been reading Asimovs of late – partly as I moved from a print subscription to a digital subscription and just haven’t got into the habit of reading on the Amazon Kindle. And, truth be told, the few Asimovs stories I have read haven’t really grabbed me.

“Extraction Request” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, January 2016)
– I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Larson’s stories recently, but this one passed me by. It’s online here.

“A Good Home” by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed, June 2016)
– Online more details

“Prodigal” by Gord Sellar (Analog, December 2016)
– It’s a long while since I’ve read Analog. Despite the new editor, it doesn’t seem *that* different in terms of the authors writing for it. Mind you, if it became less Analog-y, the publishers would probably see an Analog/Asimovs merger an obvious thing to do.

“Ten Days” by Nina Allan (Now We Are Ten, edited by Ian Whates)

“Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar (Tor.com, April 2016)
– “..a well written, subtle bit of writing..” I noted in my review

“Panic City” by Madeline Ashby (CyberWorld, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola)

“Last Gods” by Sam J. Miller (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
– Another author I’ve been impressed with of late.

“HigherWorks” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Asimov’s, December 2016)

“A Strange Loop” by T.R. Napper (Interzone, January/February 2016)

“Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse” by Xia Jia (Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu)

“Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard (The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)

“The Metal Demimonde” by Nick Wolven (Analog, June 2016)

“The Iron Tactician” by Alastair Reynolds (Newcon Press)

“The Mighty Slinger” by Tobias S. Buckell and Karen Lord (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan)

“They All Have One Breath” by Karl Bunker (Asimov’s, December 2016)

“Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, February 2016)
– A post-Collapse story – “a look at just how tenuous fame and wealth can be…” – online here.

“And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices” by Margaret Ronald (Clarkesworld, June 2016)
– I was impressed with “..it’s structure, mix of human and societal analysis, and an altogether different type of First Contact..” – online here

“The Three Lives of Sonata James” by Lettie Prell (Tor.com, October 2016)

“The Charge and the Storm” by An Owomoyela (Asimov’s, February 2016)

“Parables of Infinity” by Robert Reed (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan)

“Ten Poems for the Mossums, One for the Man” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s, July 2016)

“You Make Pattaya” by Rich Larson (Interzone, November/December 2016)

“Number Nine Moon” by Alex Irvine (F&SF, January/February 2016)
– “..humanity pulling in on itself, a turtle withdrawing it’s head into it’s shell (Irvine’s imagery), and it’s a good read…” – Best SF Review

“Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld, June 2016)
– “..another strong story from Miller..” Best SF review

“Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts” by Ken Liu (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathan Strahan)

“Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld, April 2016)
– “..a tour de force..” Best SF Review

Hmm, having written this up, I’m now wondering if I should really buy the volume…

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