Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review: Years's Best SF #13 Hartwell & Cramer

Year's Best SF #13
David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
EOS science Fiction
pb 496 pp CW 2008

What is it about a story collection that makes them so attractive? Is it the bite sized stories? The eclectic mix of authors and ideas? Maybe a bit of both. When it comes to Years Best whether from Carr, Dozois or Hartwell & Cramer, I know I am going to get an intelligent and professional mix of the best that the field has to offer for the past year. Given that he medium has so many different outlets now, finding the best is no small task as of late. And so it is with the newest issue of YBSF. Hartwell and Cramer must have high fived each other with this issue. The issue is heavily weighted with award winners and nominees alike. Terry Bisson's horribly dysfunctional Pirates of the Somali Coast, Gene Wolfe's chaotic Memorare, Karen Joy Fowler's quiet story Always, Gwyneth Jones inventive twist on ftl The Tomb Wife or Ken MacLeod's pel mel Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? All are winners and likely winners alike. That in and of itself is a grand slam. They could rest on those laurels alone but look as some of the lesser known stories, Tony Ballentine's scary Third Person, James Van Pelts heart breaking How the Music Begins, Kathleen Goonan excellent spin on the hard boiled detective, The Bridge The all add to an excellent mix. To a point that I can honesty say, the book is one that can not easily be put down. I give this collection a very strong recommendation even for some of the glaring misses, but honestly, you can's put them all in, but I would have seen a selection or two from JP Kelly and Cory Doctorow, but that is really minor. If you would like a preview of some of the stories in this collection, the following were read on Beam Me Up ( again, I thank the authors so very much for allowing WRFR and me the chance to host their really great fiction)

Ken MacKeod Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?
Karen Joy Fowler Always
Gwyneth Jones The Tomb Wife

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