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Year's Best SF 6 Mass Market Paperback – May 17 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; Reissue edition (May 17 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061020559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061020551
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,077,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

David Hartwell's guiding principle for his annual science fiction anthologies is that the stories be clearly science fiction--not fantasy, horror, or postmodern. As always, for the 2001 edition he has chosen stories representing the best of the SF field, along with several short pieces published in Nature magazine as part of a millennium celebration.

Don't miss Tananarive Due's "Patient Zero," which assumes Greg Egan's frequent spotlight on medical SF (this year Egan covers philosophy vs. science in his alternate history "Oracle"); Stephen Dedman's detective story about amputation, "The Devotee"; Stephen Baxter's hard SF "Sheena 5," which is about an enhanced squid and her mission; Ursula K. LeGuin's anthropological tale "The Birthday of the World"; or Nancy Kress's succinct, pithy "To Cuddle Amy."

2001 Hugo Award nominees include "Seventy-Two Letters" by Ted Chiang, "Oracle" by Greg Egan, and short story winner "Different Kinds of Darkness" by David Langford. --Bonnie Bouman

Review

"Impressive." -- -- Locus

"The finest modern science fiction writing." -- -- Pittsburgh Tribune

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This strong anthology proves that there is room in the science fiction market for two Year's Best anthologies. I was slightly surprised by this anthology because I have been underwhelmed by previous editions.
This year was a different story. I enjoyed nearly every offering in the book. I was particularly impressed with the stories that Mr. Hartwell culled from unusual sources. Robert Silverberg's 'The Millennial Express' from Playboy magazine was particularly impressive. Robert Reed's story 'Grandma's Jumpman' from Century magazine was above average. I enjoyed the 5 or 6 1-2 page stories from Nature magazine. The stories from David Brin and Dan Simmons stood out from the rest.
The anthology also included excellent stories from Howard Waldrop (an amusement-park attraction attains sentience and rebels against its masters) and Ted Chiang (an alternate reality story where Jewish kabbalistic tradition is real and powerful). Brian Stableford's fascinating 'The Last Supper' continues the author's recent exploration of the future of genetics.
Not to be overlooked are two award-winning stories, Ursula Le Guin's excellent 'The Birthday of the World' and David Langford's 'Different Kinds of Darkness'. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology. Highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book didn't quite do it for me, I'm afraid. The main problem with the book was the overabundance of two-page short shorts (most culled from Nature). These things are worth reading, I suppose, and they're not as bad as Analog's Probability Zero pieces, but do they really belong in a Year's Best anthology? Ford's "In the Days of the Comet" and Kress's "To Cuddle Amy" could have been worthy of an inclusion here, had they been fleshed out a little more. With the advent of Internet -only fiction, short-shorts have become more and more popular as e-zines attempt to appeal to the average short-attention-span Web surfer. Call me old-fashioned, but I'll take a big fat novella any day.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa409bb4c) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40b41a4) out of 5 stars An extraordinary anthology Nov. 7 2001
By Michael Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This strong anthology proves that there is room in the science fiction market for two Year's Best anthologies. I was slightly surprised by this anthology because I have been underwhelmed by previous editions.
This year was a different story. I enjoyed nearly every offering in the book. I was particularly impressed with the stories that Mr. Hartwell culled from unusual sources. Robert Silverberg's 'The Millennial Express' from Playboy magazine was particularly impressive. Robert Reed's story 'Grandma's Jumpman' from Century magazine was above average. I enjoyed the 5 or 6 1-2 page stories from Nature magazine. The stories from David Brin and Dan Simmons stood out from the rest.
The anthology also included excellent stories from Howard Waldrop (an amusement-park attraction attains sentience and rebels against its masters) and Ted Chiang (an alternate reality story where Jewish kabbalistic tradition is real and powerful). Brian Stableford's fascinating 'The Last Supper' continues the author's recent exploration of the future of genetics.
Not to be overlooked are two award-winning stories, Ursula Le Guin's excellent 'The Birthday of the World' and David Langford's 'Different Kinds of Darkness'. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40faeac) out of 5 stars Nice, thick volume featuring some pretty profound speculative stories! July 6 2006
By Brad Torgersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I actually thought the last story was the best one of all. "72 Letters" is a provoking piece of steampunk/alternative history which turns biology on its ear and introduces God as a substrate of 19th century physics and engineering. By rights, "72 Letters" should be classified as Hard Fantasy, given its fantastical premise combined with a rigorous setting and well-thought-out exploration of the Golem myth. The subject of the story, far more than its characters, grew more fascinating with each page, and when I closed the back cover of the book I thought, wow, that was a hell of a way to end the volume! Terrific!

Other standout stories that I enjoyed were, "Patient Zero", "Different Kinds of Darkness", "The Birthday of the World", "Sheena 5", "Grandma's Jumpman", and "Built Upon the Sands of Time."

Both well-established and famous writers (such as Ursula K. Leguin) and relatively obscure names cohabitate between the covers of this book, and like others in the series, #6 offers a decent sampling of SF from all over the map: sociological, hard, bio/eco, dystopia, etc.

Note: not necessarily a great book for people new to the SF field, or who are seeking light fare. Several of the stories in this volume, like "Patient Zero", are downright depressing, and a story like "Reef" is so obviously on the cutting edge of hard SF, a reader more familiar with mainstream fiction or franchise SF material (Star Trek, Star Wars) might be offput.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40fb4d4) out of 5 stars 2001 edition not up to par Aug. 10 2001
By Chris Dodson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book didn't quite do it for me, I'm afraid. The main problem with the book was the overabundance of two-page short shorts (most culled from Nature). These things are worth reading, I suppose, and they're not as bad as Analog's Probability Zero pieces, but do they really belong in a Year's Best anthology? Ford's "In the Days of the Comet" and Kress's "To Cuddle Amy" could have been worthy of an inclusion here, had they been fleshed out a little more. With the advent of Internet -only fiction, short-shorts have become more and more popular as e-zines attempt to appeal to the average short-attention-span Web surfer. Call me old-fashioned, but I'll take a big fat novella any day.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb480cf60) out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader Jan. 27 2008
By average - Published on Amazon.com
A brief, global overview is given of short SF publications. In this anthology, though, the editor has perhaps made it tough for himself with so many short shorts, even if some are good, as I am guessing some people won't rate those as highly.

There are a couple of stories I didn't like at all here. As a result, only a 3.67 story average for this volume, definitely low for a Year's Best. That makes the book with a couple of average, and a couple of below average, a 4.22 adjusted.

It would be pretty churlish to say that the intro and story notes (complete with links etc. where relevant) weren't worth a few 0.01s to bump the book to closer to 4.5 than 4.0, though, I think. Of course, it is only low for a Year's Best anthology, it is still around 0.25 per piece higher than your garden variety book.

Year's Best SF 06 : Reef - Paul J. McAuley
Year's Best SF 06 : Reality Check - David Brin
Year's Best SF 06 : The Millennium Express - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best SF 06 : Patient Zero - Tananarive Due
Year's Best SF 06 : The Oort Crowd - Ken MacLeod
Year's Best SF 06 : The Thing About Benny - M. Shayne Bell
Year's Best SF 06 : The Last Supper - Brian Stableford
Year's Best SF 06 : Tuberculosis Bacteria Join UN - Joan Slonczewski
Year's Best SF 06 : Our Mortal Span - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best SF 06 : Different Kinds of Darkness - David Langford
Year's Best SF 06 : New Ice Age or Just Cold Feet? - Norman Spinrad
Year's Best SF 06 : The Devotee - Stephen Dedman
Year's Best SF 06 : The Marriage of Sky and Sea - Chris Beckett
Year's Best SF 06 : In the Days of the Comet - John M. Ford
Year's Best SF 06 : The Birthday of the World - Ursula K. Le Guin
Year's Best SF 06 : Oracle - Greg Egan
Year's Best SF 06 : To Cuddle Amy - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 06 : Steppenpferd - Brian W. Aldiss
Year's Best SF 06 : Sheena 5 - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 06 : The Fire Eggs - Darrell Schweitzer
Year's Best SF 06 : The New Horla - Robert Sheckley
Year's Best SF 06 : Madame Bovary C'est Moi - Dan Simmons
Year's Best SF 06 : Grandma's Jumpman - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 06 : Bordeaux Mixture - Charles Dexter Ward
Year's Best SF 06 : The Dryad's Wedding - Robert Charles Wilson
Year's Best SF 06 : Built Upon the Sands of Time - Michael F. Flynn
Year's Best SF 06 : Seventy-two Letters - Ted Chiang

24 hour deep sea proxy people.

4 out of 5

Satire. Fermi paradox and boring immortality, what to do?

3.5 out of 5

Famous architectural blow up.

4 out of 5

Immune boy runs out of caretakers.

4.5 out of 5

Cometary minds.

3.5 out of 5

Botany with Abba overload.

3.5 out of 5

Fancy food crime.

3 out of 5

Slonczewski's stories are hard sf, biology style.

To quote : "in 2441, investigators at the Howard Hughes Martian Microbial Institute hit upon the idea of building computational macromolecules into the genomes of pathogens known for their ability to infiltrate the human system."

Then the rest has a rather wry tone, and the title pretty much says it all.

4 out of 5

Trollbot tale.

3.5 out of 5

Mathwar chipkid rebels.

4 out of 5

Heat groaner.

3.5 out of 5

Amputee pr0n is real, but fast full-grown clones are a big, big fib.

4 out of 5

Clancy verbal overflow.

3 out of 5

Hard prion message.

4 out of 5

Conquering godhood changes.

3.5 out of 5

In a reality where a man, similar to Alan Turing is working for the government in rather more unpleasant circumstances is visited by a reality hopping android woman things change rapidly. A man somewhat similar to C. S. Lewis has problems coping and believing.

4 out of 5

Daughter do over.

4 out of 5

Hideous belief spread.

2.5 out of 5

Space squid species survival supply scenario spawning unexpected.

4.5 out of 5

Multiple cackleberry changes minimal.

3.5 out of 5

Killed the monster. I think.

2.5 out of 5

Popular novel universes.

4 out of 5

War remnants harvest.

4 out of 5

GM success.

3.5 out of 5

Humantown Bios absorption.

4 out of 5

Quantum pub realities.

3 out of 5

Foetal experiment orders named.

3.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40aec60) out of 5 stars A mixed bag Sept. 26 2011
By Lynn Bodoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed some stories in this anthology, while I disliked others. I think that the common denominator of the stories that I don't like is that they simply stop, without any sort of real ending. Some authors simply can't write endings, and some editors will let them get away with it instead of sending the story back and asking for a rewrite.

I put this item on my wishlist because the Amazon review said that Hartwell insisted on science fiction in his SF anthologies, which is a sentiment that I can agree with. But I want the stories to work as stories as well as be SF, that is, I want the stories to engage me. About half of these stories didn't. I've been reading SF for four and a half decades. My grandfather allowed me to read his back issues of Analog and his paperback library of classic SF (he didn't care for fantasy) before I needed two digits to express my age. I like fantasy very much, but I also love science fiction, and it seems that there's really not much pure SF on the market these days. So while I admire one of Hartwell's goals, I think that he just doesn't have the same tastes as I do when it comes to SF. I want a completed story, not something that might have been a random portion of a book.

I doubt that I will buy other anthologies from this series, unless the editor changes, or unless there's a story that I particularly want.


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