Book Review: “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year” ed. by Jonathan Strahan

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume Nine ed. by Jonathan Strahan

As the title suggests, this is the current edition of an annual collection of recent short stories. This volume has quite a few big names and some very good stories.

Being a collection of reprints, everything in the collection appeared elsewhere in 2014 so you may have already read them. (I had read four of the stories in the original publications.)

Overall, this is a worthy group of works. There are a few that I can’t identify as science fiction or fantasy, and a couple of ghost stories that are pretty far from my own tastes.

But there are also some really fine pieces in both ‘science fiction’ and ‘fantasy’ modes, along with some interesting anthropological fantasies and other odd things.

To name a few favorites::

Tough Times All Over by Joe Abercromie

A light little story, with little point and lot’s of character that literally goes nowhere. You want to hear more about these people.

Cimmereria: from the Journal of Imaginary Anthropolgy by Thodore Gass

A little bit of a send up of academic anthropology along with comically realistic contemporary politics.

Caligo Lane by Ellen Klages

Beautiful and charming. A remarkable amount of story in a small package. How well she does it!

THE LONG HAUL from THE ANNALS OF TRANSPRTATION,by Ken Liu

As a closet Helium head, I had no trouble grokking the point of this alternate history.

In the interest of niceness, I’ll not dwell on the ones I didn’t like so much.

In general, Strahan has put together a good collection, though it seems rather inbred containing quite a few stories from his own collections.


  1. Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume Nine. Solaris: Oxford, 2015.

 

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