Year’s Best SF 5. David G. Hartwell. Eos Books 2000


Not a full review, as the story summaries were written before I got into ‘proper’ reviewing mode…

Geoff Ryman. Everywhere.
Originally in Interzone.

Grandad is very old – he can remember the Angel of the North before it was surrounded by the large oak trees. He reflects on the many changes since his youth, in a very human and haunting take on change.

Elisabeth Malartre. Evolution Never Sleeps
Originally in Asimovs, July 1999.

Whilst the Bears are Discovering Fire, the Chipmunks are evolving as well. IMPORTANT: many copies of Hartwell’s #5 missed a last half-page off this story. If your copy doesn’t end with a couple of paragraphs of verse, then you haven’t got the whole story. Elisabeth pointed this out in an issue of Locus, and asked people who wanted the ending to email her at emalartre@aol.com

Kim Stanley Robinson. Sexual Dimorphism.
Originally in Asimovs, June 1999.

On Mars Dr. Andrew Smith’s studies lead to a moving apart with his partner. Swimming gives him an outlet, and the dolphins a way out.

Robert Reed. Game of the Century.
Originally in Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Somewhat clunking story of an NFL where the top players are bio-engineered chimeras. Perhaps a missed opportunity for a more subtle treatment of issues which drug-taking in sport, and issues of race in professional sport, have already hit the headlines.

Michael Bishop. Secrets of the Alien Reliquary.
Originally in Asimovs.

Poetry. Oh dear.

Sarah Zettel. Kinds of Strangers.
Originally in Analog.

The first flight to the asteroid belt has a major disaster and there appears to be no hope of rescue. The strain tells on the crew, who suffer depression, and for some suicide is the only way out. But a solution appears. Hard SF mixed with good characterisation – not something that happens all too often.

Cory Doctorow. Visit the sins.
Originally in Asimovs, June 1999.

Many of the older generation have chosen a surgical option which enables them to drop into maintenance mode for large chunks of the time.

Greg Egan. Border Guards.
Originally in Interzone
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