Welcome to Best SF – reviewing the very best SF short stories since 2000. Use the links below to browse recent reviews and visit the Review Index for over twenty years’ worth of reviews, of SF published from 1950 to date. Or use the search option at the bottom of the page.
Latest updates :
21st September 2021. Whoops, I was a bit previous in my last entry, as I hadn’t in fact quite finished Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2, but that is something I have now done as I have read, an enjoyed, Ken Liu’s ‘Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts’. And FWIW after a couple of month’s with WordPress’s Gutenberg block editor, I’m back using the Classic Editor. How can the WordPress guys and gals get it so so badly wrong??
14th September 2021. Rather surprisingly, as I tend to really like Buckell’s stories, Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell’s ‘The Mighty Slinger’ in Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2, really didn’t do much for me, feeling somewhat sketchy rather than deep. And I’ve finished reading the few outstanding (as in not read) stories in that volume, with Karl Bunker’s ‘They Have All One Breath’ which looks at humanity under a benevolent but ultimately controlling AI.
12th September 2021. Alastair Reynolds’ ‘The Iron Tactician’ in Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2, revisits his epoch- and galaxy-spanning character Merlin, who has some deep space mysteries to resolve in the search for a weapon to defend humanity against an implacable enemy.
10th September 2021. Read and enjoyed Nick Wolven’s ‘Metal Demimonde’ in Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2, just a couple of stories to go before I’ve filled the gap in that volume and time to root out another.
9th September 2021. Read Aliette de Bodard’s ‘Pearl’ in Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2.
6th September 2021. Read Xia Jia’s ‘Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse’ in Neil Clarke’s Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2. It’s poetic and charming.
4th September 2021. Having finished last year’s Year’s Best volumes, and whilst I wait for this year’s Year’s Best volumes, I’m going to read a few stories I never got round to reading in previous year’s Year’s Best volumes. First up is T.R. Napper’s ‘A Strange Loop’ a darkly comic cautionary tale about a man selling his memories to get his wife and daughter back, which was published in Neil Clarke’s ‘The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 2’ way back in 2017. (Spoiler alert : he doesn’t!)
3rd September 2021. An enjoyable read as I get towards finishing Jonathan Strahan’s ‘The Year’s Best Science Fiction Volume 1’, Fonda Lee’s ‘I (28M) created a deepfake girlfriend and now my parents think we’re getting married’ is a plausible, amusing, well handled story of a young man whose initially harmless subterfuge becomes increasingly complicated. Hopefully Lee is touting the story’s film rights. And the final story in the volume is Caroline M. Yoachim’s ‘The Archronology of Love’ which didn’t quite move me as such stories might.
2nd September 2021. Coming towards the end of Jonathan Strahan’s ‘The Year’s Best Science Fiction Volume 1’ and Sofia Rhei’s ‘Secret Stories of Doors’ is a very, very clever piece or writing. Sadly, Greg Egan’s ‘This Is Not The Way Home’ falls quite some what short of what I was looking forward to, and Chinelo Onwualu’s ‘What The Dead Man Said’ has a very interesting setting but the story doesn’t make the most of it, and is in fact a ‘confronting your past and finding closure’ story that has no need for an sfnal setting.
1st September 2021. A counterpoint to the positive take on dealing with eco-catastrophe that Vandana Singh provided in the previous story in Jonathan Strahan’s ‘The Year’s Best Science Fiction Volume 1’ E. Lily Yu’s ‘Green Glass : A Love Story’ is blackly satirical and looks at just how the super-wealthy can rise above the rising sea levels, in a world where sourcing some fresh milk is a trickier ask than sending a rocket to the moon to gather a piece of green glass for a piece of jewelry.