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Year's Best Sf 15 [Mass Market Paperback]

David Hartwell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 10 2010 Year's Best SF (Science Fiction) (Book 15)

An annual celebration of the finest short form science fiction of the past year, editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer’s Year’s Best science fiction anthologies are widely acclaimed and eagerly awaited—and Year’s Best SF 15 lives up magnificently to its name! Featuring thrilling new tales by such speculative fiction luminaries as Stephen Baxter, Gene Wolfe, Nancy Kress, Geoff Ryman, Bruce Sterling, and a host of others, Year’s Best SF 15 opens the door into a universe of wonders.


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From the Back Cover

Who knows what awaits us tomorrow?

Much of the most innovative and exhilarating work performed in the boundary-less arena of SF is being done in the short form. This year's magnificent harvest—gathered, as always, by acclaimed award-winning editors and anthologists David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer—offers glimpses of worlds and tomorrows that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. Brilliant, bold, unusual, and soaring flights into the hitherto unforeseen yet increasingly possible future, Year's Best SF 15 offers truly breathtaking stories by some of speculative fiction's brightest lights, including:

Stephen Baxter • Nancy Kress • Alastair Reynolds • Geoff Ryman • Bruce Sterling • Peter Watts • Robert Charles Wilson • Gene Wolfe • and others

About the Author

David G. Hartwell is a senior editor of Tor/Forge Books. His doctorate is in Comparative Medieval Literature. He is the proprietor of Dragon Press, publisher and bookseller, which publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction, and the president of David G. Hartwell, Inc. He is the author of Age of Wonders and the editor of many anthologies, including The Dark Descent, The World Treasury of Science Fiction, The Hard SF Renaissance, The Space Opera Renaissance, and a number of Christmas anthologies, among others. Recently he co-edited his fifteenth annual paperback volume of Year's Best SF, and co-edited the ninth Year's Best Fantasy. John Updike, reviewing The World Treasury of Science Fiction in The New Yorker, characterized him as a "loving expert." He is on the board of the IAFA, is co-chairman of the board of the World Fantasy Convention, and an administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. He has won the Eaton Award, the World Fantasy Award, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award forty times to date, winning as Best Editor in 2006, 2008, and 2009.



Kathryn Cramer is a writer and anthologist. She won a World Fantasy Award for best anthology for The Architecture of Fear, co-edited with Peter Pautz; she was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her anthology Walls of Fear. She co-edits anthologies with David G. Hartwell, such as the huge anthologies of hard sf The Ascent of Wonder, The Space Opera Renaissance, and The Hard SF Renaissance, and does the annual Year's Best Fantasy and the Year's Best SF with him. She is an editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction, for which she has been nominated for the Hugo Award seventeen times. Her dark fantasy hypertext, In Small and Large Pieces, was published by Eastgate Systems, Inc. She is employed by Wolfram Research and by L. W. Currey, Inc.


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4.0 out of 5 stars A great selection of short SF stories. April 2 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some excellent stories. There's a lot of value for the book. You can find the specific stories available in the book through the table of contents that can be accessed for free on Amazon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction in a Hard Place: 2009's Best Feb. 20 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed most of the 24 stories in David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's collection of science fiction offerings from 2009. As usual, the introductions were a skillful blend of author bios, web sites, and references to relevant book-length fiction and story collections. My favorite six stories are described below. All six focus more on human beings in difficult circumstances than on traditional SF themes of technology and space exploration.

Robert Charles Wilson's "This Peaceable Land" accompanies a white man and his black employer on their journey through an American South where the Civil War never took place and slavery disappeared gradually as it became economically infeasible. They search for evidence of all those unwanted slaves who also disappeared. And nobody wants to talk about it.

Yoon Ha Lee's "The Unstrung Zither" is superficially about the interrogation of five captured terrorists. On a deeper level it is a different kind of story that progresses toward a harmonious conclusion rather than a logical one.

In Sarah Edwards' "Lady of the White-Spired City" we return with the emperor's emissary to the small village on a backward planet where she once lived with her husband and daughter. It is not possible for her to return home, but perhaps she can make a new one.

Charles Oberndorf's "Another Life" introduces a soldier who is awakened in a new body with memories backed up before he went into action. He can't bring himself to use his ticket home until he finds out how he died. And why he is alone.

Mary Robinette Kowal's "The Consciousness Problem" explores the relationship between a woman, her husband, and his clone. Why we love who we love seems less clear than ever.
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Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction in a Hard Place: 2009's Best June 21 2010
By John M. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed most of the 24 stories in David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's collection of science fiction offerings from 2009. As usual, the introductions were a skillful blend of author bios, web sites, and references to relevant book-length fiction and story collections. My favorite six stories are described below. All six focus more on human beings in difficult circumstances than on traditional SF themes of technology and space exploration.

Robert Charles Wilson's "This Peaceable Land" accompanies a white man and his black employer on their journey through an American South where the Civil War never took place and slavery disappeared gradually as it became economically infeasible. They search for evidence of all those unwanted slaves who also disappeared. And nobody wants to talk about it.

Yoon Ha Lee's "The Unstrung Zither" is superficially about the interrogation of five captured terrorists. On a deeper level it is a different kind of story that progresses toward a harmonious conclusion rather than a logical one.

In Sarah Edwards' "Lady of the White-Spired City" we return with the emperor's emissary to the small village on a backward planet where she once lived with her husband and daughter. It is not possible for her to return home, but perhaps she can make a new one.

Charles Oberndorf's "Another Life" introduces a soldier who is awakened in a new body with memories backed up before he went into action. He can't bring himself to use his ticket home until he finds out how he died. And why he is alone.

Mary Robinette Kowal's "The Consciousness Problem" explores the relationship between a woman, her husband, and his clone. Why we love who we love seems less clear than ever.

Eric James Stone's "Attitude Adjustment" is appropriately described by the editors as "...good old-fashioned problem-solving space SF in the Astounding tradition, done well. It has a touch of the Heinleinesque in its characterization and resolution."

I recommend this collection to all appreciative readers of science fiction. It is a clear success for the contributing authors and for this experienced team of editors.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, as usual July 28 2010
By Frank Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sometimes the things we look forward to in life are the small things that regularly delight and surprise us. Such is one of the events I look forward annually, the publication of The Year's Best SF, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It is one of the earliest (and best) of the prior year anthologies published--early enough to accompany me on my late spring or early summer vacation.

I've been reading science fiction for over 50 years. If you know the field, you will know of these editors. Both have extensive experience, having edited many SF books and written significant essays contributing to the field. They can be counted on to select good stories for you.

The Year's Best SF typically opens with a short intro discussing the previous year in science fiction. Then the book introduces select representative shorter SF works by established regulars or important newly emergent authors with a short bio and comments placing the story in context for you, the reader. This year's (15) work follows that model. Of course, each person's taste will vary; in particular, I enjoyed the stories by Vandana Singh (mathematics, other dimensions), Ian Creasey (effect of physical modification for life on other planets), Alastair Reynolds (effect of changes in an alternate universe), Michael Casutt (what if an Apollo crew had discovered evidence of a prior visit), and Mary Robinette Kowal (clone story set in Korea). But know that you'll seldom find a bad story collected here.

If you want to read some of the best short work from the prior year while learning a bit more about science fiction in the process, this is one of the books you'll want to pick up every year.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of the series May 5 2012
By Branden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this year's edition. Not all the stories were bad, but on average they failed, and many barely qualify for the label of "SF". Here's the stories:

"Infinities" -- supernatural math story about Hindu/Muslim relations in India
"This Peaceable Land; or the Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe" -- pointless alternate history story, not the barest shred of sci-fi
"The Unstrung Zither" -- fantasy story seemingly inspired by the children's show Avatar the Last Airbender
"Black Swan" -- pointless alternate history story in Italy
"Exegesis" -- great but short story about etymology
"Erosion" -- actual science fiction
"Collision" -- I couldn't actually understand what this story was about
"Donovan Sent Us" -- incredibly racist story that seems to propose that the Holocaust was good for the Jews
"The Calculus Plague" -- actual science fiction
"The Island" -- best story of the bunch
"One of Our Bastards is Missing" -- second best story of the bunch
"Lady of the White Spired City" -- actual science fiction
"The Highway Code" -- another great SF story
"On the Destruction of Copenhagen by the War-Machines of the Merfolk" -- this felt like reading some loser's LiveJournal, I hated this
"The Fixation" -- phoned in SF story
"In Their Garden" -- yet another post-apocalyptic story about something
"Blocked" -- political commentary, not SF
"The Last Apostle" -- fun nostalgic NASA-ish story
"Another Life" -- starts off like military SF then takes a turn for male prostitution, don't get me wrong, though: it's a good story
"The Consciousness Problems" -- morality story about clones, really phoned in
"Tempest 43" -- fun story offering subtle commentary on SF trends
"Bespoke" -- Decent story, but is's about time travel, and that genre is worn thin
"Attitude Adjustment" -- bland but classic-style SF story
"Edison's Frankenstein" -- terrible and pointless alternate history with a spice of unobtainium

So I have a really hard time rating a collection of short stories, because the good stories are good and should be read. But unfortunately, this collection both starts and ends with some pointless and forgettable stories, that overall left a very bad impression.

Further, I feel a special need to come back to Gene Wolf's "Donovan Sent Us", the racist and brain-numbingly bad story about an alternate version of WWII. I can't understand why anyone would include this story in any collection, it is offensive, stupid, and even without that, a bad story. Even more, it's not even slightly SF. Characters speak in cartoonish German accents, and the author's treatment of the Holocaust is insulting and racist. This story alone was enough to hurt my overall impression of this collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stocking Stuffer! March 10 2013
By dahens1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This always makes an great stocking stuffer for the SciFi fan in your life! Aways the best authors and very intertaining!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pick another edition Aug. 8 2011
By Read with Speed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Agree with some of the other posts - very disappointed in edition 15. The book hits you with several lackluster stories in a row to start off, making the book more of a chore than a pleasure to read.

Hope they rebounded with edition 16...I've read others and they were generally quite good reads.
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