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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection
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Gardner Dozois presents his picks of the best science fiction from 2010. His review of the field notes the flood of e-books, reported by some publishers to exceed sales of paper books. Dozois remains a believer in the future of print science fiction. His review of book and printed magazine sales in 2010 offers supporting evidence. The main attraction, of course, is a set of thirty-three carefully-selected stories, each preceded by a concise, well-written introduction to the author and related work.

My five favorites are:

Robert Reed's "A History of Terraforming" follows a planetary engineer from his formative experiences in childhood through a career of increasing challenges. The journey is richer than its ending.

Ian Macleod's "Re-Crossing the Styx" introduces a future in which the wealthy can afford to prolong their lives indefinitely. With the daily help of someone they are sure they can trust.

Joe Haldeman's "Sleeping Dogs" follows a war veteran returning to a far-away battlefield to uncover a truth no longer available in his memory. Can this piece of the past be allowed into his present?

Yoon Ha Lee's "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" gets my vote for the best story in the collection. A woman guards an ancient weapon that can remove pieces of the past. Large pieces. The dialogue between the two main characters is reminiscent of the book-long bar discussion in The January Dancer.

Pat Cadigan's "The Taste of Night" reminds us that the remaining senses sharpen to compensate when one sense is lost. How might this work when a new sense is emerging?

This collection is recommended. All of the stories are clearly science fiction, although they cover a lot of ground from traditional space opera to the future of an alternate history. Only a couple of them are overly preachy about current social issues. Fewer than usual--just three--also appear in David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's Year's Best SF 16. The investment of your money and time is well-returned. Enjoy!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon October 25, 2011
I look forward every year to the publication of the long-running anthology series, "The Year's Best Science Fiction," edited by Gardner Dozois; this year it's up to the 28th edition, and I'm pleased to note that it's still going strong. As always with such anthologies, different readers will prefer different stories, but no one can deny the quality of the work throughout. This crop includes short stories and novellas by Allen M. Steele, the late great Kage Baker, Eleanor Arnason, Joe Haldeman, Cory Doctorow, Naomi Novik, David Moles, Michael Swanwick, Alastair Reynolds and Robert Reed, among others; I particularly liked the Steele, Baker, Haldeman, Swanwick and Arnason stories, but no doubt other readers will prefer other stories. If you're interested in science/speculative fiction (as it's more often being called these days), particularly in short form, this is an invaluable book. Dozois also gives us a comprehensive Summation at the beginning of the book, which tracks the state of the sf field in books, art, film and television, and a lengthy Honorable Mention list at the end, which helpfully includes the magazines or anthologies or websites where those stories were originally published so that the interested reader can track them down him- or herself. Very highly recommended; if you read only one anthology of science fiction tales, make it this one!
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