Monday, March 31, 2008

Gardner Dozois (Ed)'s "The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection" (2008): Annotated table of contents

Cover image of the science fiction anthology book titled The Years Best Science Fiction - Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection, 2008 edition, edited by Gardner DozoisWhile Mr Dozois posted the ToC below more than 2 months back, & I'd seen it the day after he posted it, I've been postponing this note because I was hoping to read a few more of the stories from this list (my current read count is a third of the list). But at the moment, I'm focused on classics & this list is a bit low on my reading priorities.
Note: Dozois' ToC link above no longer loads as of late June 2008!

Since I've been tracking Dozois anthologies for a while, am making this post now for completeness' sake.

Where I have posted a review of an individual story, link on story title takes you there. My rating is in brackets. If I'm aware a story is available online, I also provide the download link.

Table of contents (32 stories, best first).

  1. [novelette] Ted Chiang's "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" (A); download; as a short book by Subterranean Press, July 2007; fantasy: Four time travel folktales - told in the style of (I think) Arabian Nights. Added to my best of the year 2007 list.
  2. [novelette] Greg Egan's "Glory" (A); download; Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan (Eds)' "The New Space Opera", HarperCollins/Eos, 2007; science fiction: Two humans of far future have traveled to an alien world in a far away star system to make first contact. Extremely interesting interstellar travel arrangements. Added to my best of the year 2007 list.
  3. [ss] Elizabeth Bear's "Tideline" (A); download; Asimov's, June 2007; science fiction: A sentimental robot teaches life skills to an urchin. Added to my best of the year 2007 list.
  4. [ss] Greg Egan's "Steve Fever" (A); download; MIT Technology Review, November/December 2007; science fiction: An autonomous self-replicating robot swarm is on an impossible mission - to resurrect its dead creator!
  5. [novelette] Alastair Reynolds' "The Sledge-maker’s Daughter" (A); download; Interzone #209 (April 2007); science fiction: A victim of sexual assault gets a weapon to punish her oppressor.
  6. [novelette] David Moles' "Finisterra" (B); download; F&SF, December 2007; science fiction: Description of a criminal gang on an artificial world.
  7. [ss] Stephen Baxter's "Last Contact" (B); George Mann (Ed)'s "The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction" (2007); science fiction: A description of apocalypse.
  8. [novella] Bruce Sterling's "Kiosk" (B); download; F&SF, January 2007; science fiction: Consumers win a fight to get material copying machines legalized - after a violent revolution.
  9. [novelette] Chris Roberson's "The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small" (B); Asimov's, July 2007; non-genre: Story of the early days of European Renaissance, but set in China instead.
  10. [novelette] Kristine Kathyrn Rusch's "Craters" (B); download; Future Weapons of War/Baen, March 2007: A collection of two unnamed stories - first one very dark - on terrorism & war.
  11. [novelette] James Van Pelt's "Of Late I Dreamt of Venus" (B); download; Eric T Reynolds (Ed)'s "Visual Journeys" (anthology), 2007; science fiction: A very rich woman has decided to terrafarm Venus, & make it better than earth. Story is about her 1000 year adventure - where most of the time she's in hibernation, along with her lover - waking up every few hundred years to review progress!
  12. [novelette] Justin Stanchfield's "Beyond the Wall" (B); download; Eric T Reynolds (Ed)'s "Ruins: Extraterrestrial" (anthology), 2007; science fiction: Description of a very old enigmatic building of alien origin on Titan, a moon of Saturn.
  13. [novella] Neal Asher's "Alien Archaeology" (B); Asimov's, June 2007; science fiction: A robber is chased to recover the loot, & to punish.
  14. [ss] Robert Reed's "Roxie" (C); Asimov's, July 2007; non-genre: Joys & sorrows of owning a dog. It's actually a well written story if you are into dogs - not generally my taste.
  15. [ts] Tom Purdom's "The Mists of Time" (C); download; Asimov's, August 2007; non-genre: In first of the two parts of this very tiny story, a century or two ago, an American slaveship is carrying 500 Africans kidnapped & to be sold to slavery. It's being chased by a British government ship that is primarily concerned with the Pound value of the slaves. In an unnecessary additional second part, story is given science fictional flavor by adding 2 time traveling observers watch the slaver ship & British chasers!
  16. Ken MacLeod's "Lighting Out"; Ian Whates (Ed)'s "disLocations", 2007: Not read.
  17. John Barnes' "The Ocean is a Snowflake, Four Billion Miles Away"; Jim Baen's Universe, August 2007: Not read.
  18. Gweyneth Jones' "Saving Tiamaat": Not read.
  19. Ian McDonald's "Verthandi's Ring"; Gardner Dozois & Strahan (Eds)' "The New Space Opera", 2007. Not read.
  20. Una McCormack's "Sea Change"; Foundation, #100 (2007, month?) Not read.
  21. Robert Silverberg's "Against the Current"; F&SF, October/November 2007: Not read.
  22. [ss] Ian McDonald's "Sanjeev and Robotwallah": Not read.
  23. Michael Swanwick's "The Skysailor's Tale"; Michael Swanwick's "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" (collection), 2007: Not read.
  24. [novella] Vandana Singh's "Of Love and Other Monsters"; as a book by Aqueduct Press, 2007: Not read.
  25. [novelette] Kage Baker's "Hellfire at Twilight"; Kage Baker's "Gods & Pawns" (collection), 2007: Not read.
  26. Brian Stableford's "The Immortals of Atlantis"; Ian Whates (Ed)'s "disLocations", 2007: Not read.
  27. Pat Cadigan's "Nothing Personal"; Mike Resnick (Ed)'s "Alien Crimes", 2007: Not read.
  28. [ss] Keith Brooke's "The Accord"; "The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction", February 2007; this short story to be released in March 2009 in novel length under the same title: Not read.
  29. Nancy Kress' "Laws of Survival"; Jim Baen's Universe, December 2007: Not read.
  30. Ted Kosmatka's "The Prophet of Flores"; Asimov's, Sep 2007: Not read.
  31. Benjamin Rosenbaum & David Ackert's "Stray"; F&SF, December 2007: Not read.
  32. Gregory Benford's "Dark Heaven"; Mike Resnick (Ed)'s "Alien Crimes" (anthology), 2007: Not read.

Fact sheet.

Editor: Gardner Dozois
First published: To be published sometime in July 2008. Released.
Related: Gardner Dozois' "Year's Best" & "Best of Best" anthology series.


ss = short story.
ts = tiny story (flash fiction).


Rusty said...

This looks like a good collection - do you know when it will be published?

I have read some of these stories, and I generally agree with your ratings - except for "The Sledge-maker’s Daughter" While I usually enjoy Alastair Reynolds stories, I thought this one was just too blah. However, I thought "Tideline" was good and "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" was excellent!

Of those you haven't read yet, I have read "Beyond the Wall" by Justin Stanchfield. I thought it was a good story about a security team chasing a pirate ship onto one of the moons of Saturn. You can read my brief review on my blog.

Tinkoo said...

Rusty: This book normally comes out in July (see "Fact sheet" above). Follow the link to original post of Dozois for several hundred pages worth of discussion.

I'm not really an Alastair Reynolds fan - this is only my second story by him. Position in my list is only relative other stories. You think some of those below it ought to be above this?

I've had somewhat mixed feelings about Tideline. It ended up in my best of year list because it came at a time when I'd read dozens of hopeless new stories, & too many fantasies among them - I was happy to have found just one scifi story that wasn't bad!