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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Vol 12)

I recently let my subscription to the magazine of fantasy and science fiction lapse, mostly because they had raised the prices, but also because I decided that it was just easier to get one of the Year's Best collections especially since those would go on sale at the end of the year for $0.99.

My pick this year (simply on the basis of price) was The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, edited by Jonathan Strahan.  I've had good luck with his past editions, and since Gardner Dozois passed away, his "industry standard" collections will no longer compete with Mr. Strahan's.

The book consists of 30 stories, with a fair number of really good ones. Good stories include: Zen and the Art of Starship Mainteneance, Probably Still the Chosen One, A Series of Steaks, Carnival Nine, Eminence, Sidewalks, My English Name, The Secret Life of Bots, The Smoke of Gold is Glory, The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine, An Evening with Severyn Grimes, The Worshipful Society of Glovers, and Belladonna Nights. One of those stories (My English Name) I'd already read in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, but the others were all new to me. I was surprised by the large number of stories from (which is a free webzine) and Clarkesworld (which is a fairly recent new magazine), indicating that the major magazines (Analog, Asimov's and F&SF) aren't a major influence on Strahan, though now I'm suspicious that those stories from were cheaper to reprint than the ones from other magazines.

In any case, a 45% hit rate is pretty decent. Recommended.

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