About Best SF

Welcome to Best SF – reviewing SF short stories since April 16th 2000.

My initial focus when setting up the site was to build on work I had been doing for some years in collecting the various ‘Year’s Best SF’ anthologies going back to the 1950s. I quickly moved on to reading a lot of magazine and anthology SF and started reviewing those issues and stories as well.

However, once I swopped commuting on the train (many many hours a week to read) to commuting by car (didn’t get the hang of listening to audio versions of stories whilst driving), the amount of reading I was doing reduced dramatically.

mwIn 2016 I happily took a redundancy option from the Day Jobbe, in what amounted to a form of early retirement, but my plans of spending hours each day in a chair catching up on my SF reading backlog, somehow didn’t work out. I’ve been and gone and set up a nano-brewery (Watsons Brewery), alongside running another website (Essex Days Out), cycling, walking the dog, gardening, and any number of other things (does this make me a Renaissance Man, or dilettante?).

With so many other things to do, sitting down and reading just isn’t something I find I can do any more, as I find I’m always popping up out of the chair and ‘doing stuff’. So I’ve finally bitten the bullet and decided to rein back on Best SF, and I’ve rejigged the website to focus once again just on the Year’s Best SF aspect, with the plan to just read and review/summarise the few dozen stories that appear in these anthologies each year, and to work my way through a hundred or so previously published anthologies dating back to the mid-1950s which currently sit unread on my bookshelves. I’m also downsizing my substantial book collection, so browse through what’s on offer and get in touch if you have a gap in your collection!


Mark Watson