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Science Fiction: The Best of 2002 (Science Fiction: The Best of ... (Quality)) Mass Market Paperback

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: I Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743458168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743458160
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 2.8 x 10.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,353,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naturally the judgments of the casual reader are often attended with sneers of contempt by those in the know. Those in the know, know that Silverberg and Haber are very able editors, writers, and extremely nice people. But about half of these stories are not only among the year's worst, some actually don't make any sense at all. The odd choices are Robert Reed's "Coelacanths" and Orson Scott Card's "Angles." The Reed story is one of those intentionally confusing stories that compels the reader to "figure out" what's going on--as if readers really enjoy doing that, particularly when the reader is never, ever told, even in the end. Were the human beings in the story actually "bacteria" living on the surface of one character's bicuspid? Were they microminiaturized and living in multi-dimensions? I read the story twice and I still never understood where this was taking place or why. The Card story, published on his website (which means it was probably rejected by all other magazines), is part lecture about parallel universes and part story with obscurely elitist overtones. Only the last three pages make any kind of sense whatsoever. (I thought, in structure, "Angles" was trying to do what Harlan Ellison did so expertly in his story "Deathbird" of a decade ago.) Then there's the opening story by Charles Stross called "Tourist," an over-written, hyper-cyberpunk story that must have been included because of Mr. Stross' clear control of the English language. It's also a story that attempts to out-cyber William Gibson. But sparkly, techno-hip lanugage does not necessarily a techno-hip story make.
The truly great stories here are those by Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest, and Geoffrey A. Landis. Indeed, the Landis might even be a classic of a kind. It's an old-fashioned John W. Campbell Jr.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
To avoid differing writing styles, I generally prefer anthologies by a single author rather than these 'Best Of ...' type books. I purchased this because some of the authors count amongst my favorites in the genre. My opinion hasn't changed after reading this.
There are a couple of gems included. However, without going into the details of each story, I was slightly disappointed with the overall quality and consistency of this collection.
Everyone has different preferences, but these are authors that I have *really* enjoyed reading in the past. Having called these the years best is an exaggeration, as I felt at a minimum there had been far better short stories printed in the Analog and Asimov magazines during the year.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2b4966c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0xa2b62654) out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader Aug. 3 2007
By average - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This has the stories and only a really brief intro. The stories average 3.65, so I guess this book you could call a 3.75, and only a pretty standard amount of stories for a year's best.

SF Best of 2002 : Tourist - Charles Stross
SF Best of 2002 : The Long Chase - Geoffrey A. Landis
SF Best of 2002 : Coelacanths - Robert Reed
SF Best of 2002 : Liking What You See: A Documentary
SF Best of 2002 : The Black Abacus - Yoon Ha Lee
SF Best of 2002 : The Discharge [Dream Archipelago] - Christopher Priest
SF Best of 2002 : Aboard the Beatitude - Brian W. Aldiss
SF Best of 2002 : Droplet - Benjamin Rosenbaum
SF Best of 2002 : The War of the Worldviews - James Morrow
SF Best of 2002 : Breathmoss [Ten Thousand and One Worlds] - Ian R. MacLeod
SF Best of 2002 : Angles - Orson Scott Card

Two women and a cat? On top of trying to keep up with everything? That's tough.

5 out of 5

Soldier's marathon space race conversion.

4 out of 5

Life history lesson appearance.

3 out of 5

Beauty software adjustments.4 out of 5

Quantum war captain's legend.

4 out of 5

Archipelago escort-aided AWOL ends in ultrasonic MP inferno.

3 out of 5

Interstellar genocidal military maniac mental case.

3 out of 5

Quantum Girl vs Warboy. Reddish brainball remains.

3 out of 5

Mini-Martian military mayhem managed by middle-aged madmen.

4 out of 5

Aliens, interstellar travel Gateways, all pretty run of the mill, according to girl, but boys are freaks.

3 out of 5

Muon memory slant multiversal emigration confrontation.

4 out of 5

Beauty software adjustments.

4 out of 5
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2b622dc) out of 5 stars Eccentric Choices from Editors Who Should Know Better April 4 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naturally the judgments of the casual reader are often attended with sneers of contempt by those in the know. Those in the know, know that Silverberg and Haber are very able editors, writers, and extremely nice people. But about half of these stories are not only among the year's worst, some actually don't make any sense at all. The odd choices are Robert Reed's "Coelacanths" and Orson Scott Card's "Angles." The Reed story is one of those intentionally confusing stories that compels the reader to "figure out" what's going on--as if readers really enjoy doing that, particularly when the reader is never, ever told, even in the end. Were the human beings in the story actually "bacteria" living on the surface of one character's bicuspid? Were they microminiaturized and living in multi-dimensions? I read the story twice and I still never understood where this was taking place or why. The Card story, published on his website (which means it was probably rejected by all other magazines), is part lecture about parallel universes and part story with obscurely elitist overtones. Only the last three pages make any kind of sense whatsoever. (I thought, in structure, "Angles" was trying to do what Harlan Ellison did so expertly in his story "Deathbird" of a decade ago.) Then there's the opening story by Charles Stross called "Tourist," an over-written, hyper-cyberpunk story that must have been included because of Mr. Stross' clear control of the English language. It's also a story that attempts to out-cyber William Gibson. But sparkly, techno-hip lanugage does not necessarily a techno-hip story make.
The truly great stories here are those by Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest, and Geoffrey A. Landis. Indeed, the Landis might even be a classic of a kind. It's an old-fashioned John W. Campbell Jr. romp about conflicting ideologies regarding individualism and a great chase through relativistic space across the centuries. It's also very economically written and drew me right in.
But overall the anthology is very uneven and inexplicably eccentric. Like all other anthologists, Silverberg and Haber are mostly spotlighting their friends and not looking to publish the ACTUAL best stories of the year. (What a concept!) Card may be the success story of the year (perhaps the decade, and some would say of the century), but his contribution is easily his weakest story here and probably should have remained on his website. It was, however, the reason I bought this anthology in the first place.
I recommend buying any other collection but this, especially if the Landis is in it. Oh, one other thing: Be advised: there are only three SHORT stories in this collection. All others are Novella or Novelette length, a lot less bang for your buck.

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