Year’s Best Science Fiction, 8th Annual Collection. Gardner Dozois. 1991

Story summaries written between 1991 and 1996. Subsequent modifications identified as such.

James Patrick Kelly. Mr. Boy.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, June 1990.

The eponymous hero has been ‘stunted’ ie tweaked to remain physically a teenager. His filthy rich mom has been tweaked to be a scale replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Ursula K. Le Guin. The Shobies’ Story.
Originally in : Universe 1.

Crew of the spaceship Shoby using the new churten drive, which has a strange effect on their perceptions.

Greg Egan. The Caress.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, January 1990.

Cop finds a half-woman/half-leopard chimera, uncannily like the painting ‘The Caress’.

Charles Sheffield. A Braver Thing.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, February 1990.

Physicist about to get Nobel Prize for work carried about by old friend.

Bruce Sterling. We See Things Differently.
Originally in : Semiotext(e) SF, 1990.

Moslem extremist. [14.09.02 – I put this page together three days after the first anniversary of 9/11, and was prompted to read this story again. Plot : a Muslim journalist visits the USA to interview a rising rock star, Tom Boston. Bearing in mind that the story was written in 1989, the backplot is this: Russian has fallen to Afghanistan ‘terrorists’, and the USA has lost its position as a global political power by the arab countries merging, and by the EEC and Japan going their own ways. The Arab visitor sees the future danger the rock star may pose, through rallying the American people. The journalist, safe in his convictions, shares cocaine laced with a carcinogenic chemical with Boston. One of the underlying texts is that even in its reduced position, Americans can still know little about the world beyond their borders, and remain assured that they have a role as the world power, and that the immoral West still assumes the moral high ground.]

Kate Wilhelm. And the Angels Sing.
Omni, April 1990.

Journalist comes across an angel-like alien near to death – offering the chance at the biggest story of all time.

Ian R. MacLeod. Past Magic.
Originally in : Interzone 39, September 1990.

Husband returns to his ex-wife who has had their dead daughter ‘resurrected’ – physically perfect, but with no memories. Can he help?

Terry Bisson. Bears Discover Fire.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, August 1990.

Bears discover fire. But Bisson doesn’t explain whether, having achieved this evolutionary leap, their toiletting behaviours are similarly changed.

Lucius Shepard, Robert Frazier. The All-Consuming.
Originally in : Playboy, June 1990.

Japanese eccentric attempts to eat his way through a steamy and very nasty South American jungle (well, a representative portion of it).

Molly Gloss. Personal Silence.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, January 1990.

A conscientious objector to WWIII takes a vow of silence and sets out on a marathon walk.

John Kessel. Invaders.
Originally in : The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1990.

Pizarro’s conquistadors and the invading Krel are contrasted.

Michael Moorcock. The Cairene Purse.
Originally in : Zenith 2, 1990.

A concerned brother travels to find his sister. She had been scouting for ancient treasures, and found something rather different – aliens, and lurve.

Dafydd ab Hugh. The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, A Squeezed Novel, by Mr. Skunk.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, August 1990.

Stylish Post Holocaust story in which sentient animals now have the edge over the remaining humans.

Ted Chiang. Tower of Babylon.
Originally in : Omni, November 1990.

Hillalum joins the effort to build a tower to the roof of the world, a project many generations in the making.

Alexander Jablokov. The Death Artist.
Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, August 1990.

Far future in which dilettantes use clones to experience a wide range of emotions.

John Brunner. The First since Ancient Persia.
Originally in : Amazing Stories, July 1990.

Scientific goings-on in Latin America which lead to regeneration of tissue and a breed of sterile macho males who are essentially immortal.

Nancy Kress. Inertia.
Originally in : Analog, January 1990.

Inside a disease colony.

Greg Egan. Learning to be me.
Originally in : Interzone 37, July 1990.

Brains are replaced with electronic ones during adolescence to ensure longevity.

Connie Willis. Cibola.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, December 1990.

The Seven Cities of Cibola – Denver, USA.

Jonathan Lethem. Walking the Moons.
Originally in : New Pathways, Novemeber 1990.

VR walk across Jupiter to get in the Guinness Book of Records.

Ian McDonald. Rainmaker Cometh.
Originally in : Other Edens III, 1990.

Very Bradbury-like tale.

Robert Silverberg. Hot Sky.
Originally in : Playboy, February 1990.

The crew of an iceberg trawler find one near San Francisco – and more.

Lewis Shiner. White City.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, June 1990.

An eccentric inventor puts an electrical charge through the upper atmosphere, banishing Night.

Pat Murphy. Love and Sex amongst the Invertebrates.
Originally in : Alien Sex, 1990.

A scientist designs robots to reproduce.

Joe Haldeman. The Hemingway Hoax.
Originally in : Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, April 1990.

Multiple realities that starts out as a literary hoax.

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