Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jonathan Strahan (Ed)'s "Best SF and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 3" (anthology): Annotated table of contents & review

This is a couple of weeks old. I'd missed it because it appeared during Bombay terrorist attacks.

This one is due March 2009, & collects another "best of" list of short fiction first published during 2008.

I haven't yet read many stories from the list; will fill out as I read. Where I'm aware of an online version of a story, I provide the link. Links on author name leads to other works by the author. Link on publisher name leads to more works from publisher. My rating for read stories is in brackets. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on title goes there.

Table of contents (28 stories, best first, unread last).

  1. [ss] Ted Chiang's "Exhalation" (A); download text/MP3; Jonathan Strahan (Ed)'s "Eclipse Two: New Science Fiction and Fantasy": A "man"'s quest for knowledge in an unusual universe reveals something unexpected & alarming. Included in my "best of 2008" list.
  2. [novelette] Greg Egan's "Crystal Nights" (A); download text from publisher's site, or podcast at Transmission from Beyond (includes downloabable MP3 audio); Interzone, #215 (April 2008): A retelling of Theodore Sturgeon's "Microcosmic God". A man creates a fast-evolving micro-cosmos as a computer simulation, but things aren't quite under control...
  3. Holly Phillips' "The Small Door" (A); download; Fantasy Magazine, July 2008; fantasy: A teenage girl solves the mystery of what happens to the small animals that enter a neighbor's house & are never seen again. Fantasy part is actually limited; meat of the story is in its non-genre part (which is most of the text).
  4. John Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus" (B); online in collection "The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories"; F&SF, January 2008: Description of life in England of a few centuries back.
  5. Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler" (B); download; Lou Anders (Ed)'s "Fast Forward 2": A Vietnamese immigrant to US is working for a near-future newsroom, & is not quite cut out for the job.
  6. Kij Johnson's "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" (B); download; Asimov's, July 2008; fantasy: A bunch of monkeys can vanish at will, & later return.
  7. Megan McCarron's "The Magician's House" (B); download part 1 & part 2; as two part serial in Strange Horizons, 14 & 21 July 2008; non-genre: A teenage girl gets into a sexual relation with an older married man.
  8. Rachel Swirsky's "Marry the Sun" (B); download; Fantasy Magazine, June 2008; fantasy: Attempt of the Sun-god Helios to marry a mortal woman fails.
  9. Elizabeth Bear's "Shoggoths in Bloom" (B); download; Asimov's, March 2008: In 1938, a US man has stumbled upon a still-living sea-based bioslave, artificially engineered by a lost civilization dating from pre-dinosaur age!! He's going to use it against Germans in the coming war.

    Story has parts dealing with black man, white man tensions that readers outside US may not find interesting. They also happen to be irrelevant to the story.
  10. [ss] Mary Rickert's "Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter's Personal Account" (C); download text/MP3; F&SF, October/November 2008; horror: Talibanization of the US. A dystopia where Homeland Security hunts & publicly executes any woman who's ever had an abortion. These executions are very common & regular - & the events are treated as entertainment!
  11. Peter S Beagle's "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel"; Strange Roads: Not read.
  12. Jeff VanderMeer's "Fixing Hanover"; Extraordinary Engines: Not read.
  13. Ian McDonald's "The Dust Assassin"; The Starry Rift: Not read.
  14. Holly Black's "Virgin"; Magic in the Mirrorstone: Not read.
  15. Paul McAuley's "The Thought War"; Postscripts, #15: Not read.
  16. Garth Nix's "Beyond the Sea Gates of the Scholar Pirates of Sarskoe"; Fast Ships, Black Sails: Not read.
  17. Stephen Baxter's "Turing's Apples"; Eclipse 2: Not read.
  18. Stephen King's "The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates"; F&SF, October/November 2008: Not read.
  19. Robert Reed's "Five Thrillers"; F&SF, April 2008: Not read.
  20. Joan Aiken's "Goblin Music"; The Serial Garden: Not read.
  21. Margo Lanagan's "Machine Maid"; Extraordinary Engines: Not read.
  22. Ted Kosmatka's "The Art of Alchemy"; F&SF, June 2008: Not read.
  23. Hannu Rajaniemi's "His Master's Voice"; Interzone, #218: Not read.
  24. Maureen McHugh's "Special Economics"; The Del Rey Book of SFF: Not read.
  25. Michael Swanwick's "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled..."; Asimov's, February 2008: Not read.
  26. [ss] Michael Swanwick's "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled..."; download; Asimov's, February 2008: Not read & likely will not read. I just don't seem to have Swanwick recepters.
  27. Rick Bowes' "If Angels Fight"; F&SF, February 2008: Not read.
  28. Ken Scholes' "The Doom of Love in Small Spaces"; Realms of Fantasy, April 2008: Not read.
  29. Kelly Link's "Pretty Monsters"; Pretty Monsters: Not read.
[via Torque Control]

Fact sheet.

First published: To be published March 2009.


  1. Other volumes of this anthology series: Vol 5 (2011), Vol 4 (2010).
  2. My best of the year 2008 selections (some online).
  3. Rich Horton (Ed)'s "Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2009 Edition": Stories first published during 2008, both online & offline publishers included.
  4. Rich Horton (Ed)'s "Unplugged: The Best of Online Fiction": Stories first published online during 2008. By both by free fiction publishers & paid ones.
  5. "Best new stories of 2008" thread at Asimov's Forum.
  6. Collections & anthologies.
  7. "Best of" lists.