Year’s Best Science Fiction, 14th Annual Collection. Gardner Dozois. 1997


This review has been put together from story summaries written during 1997.

Gregory Benford. Immersion.
Originally in : Science Fiction Age, 1996.

Two scientists travel to Africa for a holiday, including time spent in ‘immersion tanks’ where they are patched into the minds of chimpanzees in the nearby game park.

Michael Swanwick. The Dead.
Originally in : Starlight 1

Zombies look set to become the cheapest of cheap labor, with a major impact on the living.

Nancy Kress. The Flowers of Aulit Prison.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 1996.

Aulit Prison holds those whose actions show that they can not be part of the shared illusion that is reality. But the prison holds a man who has the answer to Pek Bengarin’s questions about her sister.

Tony Daniel. A Dry, Quiet War.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 1996.

A soldier from a war that has been/will be fought in the far, far future comes back home, but finds that the war follows him. An excellent story.

James P. Blaylock. Thirteen Phantasms.
Originally in : Omni Online, October 1996

A pile of old SF magazines in the attic lead to..

Bud Sparhawk. Primrose and Thorn.
Originally in : Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, May 1996.

Sailing in the gas-clouds of Jupiter.

John Kessel. The Miracle of Ivar Avenue.
Originally in : Intersections

Talent scout from the future is a key player in a complex thriller – not so much a whodunit, but a whodidtheydoitto.

Paul Park. The Last Homosexual.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 1996


Ian McDonald. Recording Angel.
Originally in : Interzone February 1996

The Chaga is inexorably crawling across the face of Africa. A newsreporter cum cameraperson flies in.

Published online as a classic reprint by Lightspeed Magazine in June 2011 :

Robert Silverberg. Death Do Us Part.
Originally in : Omni Online, December 1996

A marriage with a wide age gap between the partners – not unknown when mortality lasts several hundred years. But when the junior partner is one of the very few who does suffer from the ageing process…

Jim Cowan The Spade of Reason.
Originally in : Century 4

Caxton, spelt with a 6 in the middle, is about to leave psychiatric hospital following a lifetime obsession with messages hidden in numbers.

Maureen F. McHugh. The Cost to be Wise.
Originally in : Starlight 1

A young girl in a remote settlement which is vistited by offworlders then a group of murderous brigands.

Gregory Feeley. The Weighing of Air.
Originally in : Starlight 1

In Delft, some centuries past, scientific discoveries follow from the development of microscope lenses.

Michael Cassutt. The Longer Voyage.
Originally in : The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1996.

Much-delayed orbiting deep-space mission faces crisis.

Mike Resnick. The Land of Nod.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 1996.

Hopefully the last in the Kirinyaga series.

Gwyneth Jones. Red Sonja and Lessingham in Dreamland.
Originally in : Off Limits: More Tales of Alien Sex.

VR sex, with a dashing hero whose behaviour is far from heroic.

Charles Sheffield. The Lady Vanishes.
Originally in : Science Fiction Age, November 1996

>Scientist discovers means of becoming ‘invisible’.

Robert Reed. Chrysalis.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, November 1996

A generation-ship discovers life on a planet that is anomalous.

Steven Utley. The Wind Over The World.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 1996

Scientists travelling back to prehistoric times lose one of their number en route.

William Barton. Changes.
Originally in : Aboriginal Science Fiction, Summer 1996.

Scenes from a lengthy life that are linked to the space program. Same theme as the author’s ‘In Saturn Time’.

Jonathan Lethem. How We Got in Town and Out Again.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, September 1996.

Post Apocalyptic scenario with public VR show coming into town.

Cherry Wilder. Dr. Tilmann’s Consultant: a Scientific Romance.
Originally in : Omni Online, November 1996.

Pre Great War romance, with a doctor treating a most unusual case.

Damian Broderick. Schrodinger’s Dog.
Originally in : Eidolon 22/23

Set up by the program, Daniel Ng undergoes a passage into the afterlife.

Walter Jon Williams. Foreign Devils.
Originally in : War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches.

HG Wells’ invading Martians in Imperial China.

Stephen Baxter. In the MSOB.
Originally in : Interzone, March 1996.

Geriatric Ex-astronaut.

Tony Daniel. The Robot’s Twilight Companion.
Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 1996

Drilling deep into the Earth’s core against a backdrop of major change.

Gene Wolfe. Counting Cats in Zanzibar.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

One of the first indistinguishable from human robots meets up with one of those who helped create him. She has been on the run for some time and their short lived relationship is doomed.

Bruce Sterling. Bicycle Repairman.
Originally in : Intersections: the Sycamore Hill collection.

Cyberpunk cycle repairman gets involved in political intrigue.

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