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The future, the past, and life today are boldly imagined and reinvented in the twenty-five stories collected in this showcase anthology. Many of the field's finest practitioners are represented here, along with stories from promising newcomers. A useful list of honorable mentions and Dozois's insightful summation of the year in SF round out this anthology, making it indisp The future, the past, and life today are boldly imagined and reinvented in the twenty-five stories collected in this showcase anthology. Many of the field's finest practitioners are represented here, along with stories from promising newcomers. A useful list of honorable mentions and Dozois's insightful summation of the year in SF round out this anthology, making it indispensable for anyone interested in SF today. Contents xi • Summation: 1993 • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • Papa • (1993) • novelette by Ian R. MacLeod 35 • Sacred Cow • (1993) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 49 • Dancing on Air • (1993) • novella by Nancy Kress 95 • A Visit to the Farside • (1993) • shortstory by Don Webb 107 • Alien Bootlegger • (1993) • novella by Rebecca Ore 179 • Death on the Nile • (1993) • novelette by Connie Willis 200 • Friendship Bridge • (1993) • novelette by Brian W. Aldiss 223 • Into the Miranda Rift • (1993) • novella by G. David Nordley 278 • Mwalimu in the Squared Circle • (1993) • shortstory by Mike Resnick 290 • Guest of Honor • (1993) • novelette by Robert Reed 319 • Love Toys of the Gods • (1993) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 333 • Chaff • (1993) • novelette by Greg Egan 352 • Georgia on My Mind • (1993) • novelette by Charles Sheffield 390 • Cush • (1993) • novelette by Neal Barrett, Jr. 422 • On the Collection of Humans • (1994) • shortfiction by Mark Rich 425 • There and Then • [Silurian Tales] • (1993) • novelette by Steven Utley 461 • The Night We Buried Road Dog • (1993) • novella by Jack Cady 507 • Feedback • (1993) • novelette by Joe Haldeman 529 • Lieserl • (1993) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 545 • Flashback • (1993) • novelette by Dan Simmons 586 • A Child's Christmas in Florida • (1993) • shortstory by William Browning Spencer 592 • Whispers • (1993) • novelette by Maureen F. McHugh and David B. Kisor 612 • Wall, Stone, Craft • (1993) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 683 • Honorable Mentions: 1993 • essay by Gardner Dozois


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The future, the past, and life today are boldly imagined and reinvented in the twenty-five stories collected in this showcase anthology. Many of the field's finest practitioners are represented here, along with stories from promising newcomers. A useful list of honorable mentions and Dozois's insightful summation of the year in SF round out this anthology, making it indisp The future, the past, and life today are boldly imagined and reinvented in the twenty-five stories collected in this showcase anthology. Many of the field's finest practitioners are represented here, along with stories from promising newcomers. A useful list of honorable mentions and Dozois's insightful summation of the year in SF round out this anthology, making it indispensable for anyone interested in SF today. Contents xi • Summation: 1993 • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • Papa • (1993) • novelette by Ian R. MacLeod 35 • Sacred Cow • (1993) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 49 • Dancing on Air • (1993) • novella by Nancy Kress 95 • A Visit to the Farside • (1993) • shortstory by Don Webb 107 • Alien Bootlegger • (1993) • novella by Rebecca Ore 179 • Death on the Nile • (1993) • novelette by Connie Willis 200 • Friendship Bridge • (1993) • novelette by Brian W. Aldiss 223 • Into the Miranda Rift • (1993) • novella by G. David Nordley 278 • Mwalimu in the Squared Circle • (1993) • shortstory by Mike Resnick 290 • Guest of Honor • (1993) • novelette by Robert Reed 319 • Love Toys of the Gods • (1993) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 333 • Chaff • (1993) • novelette by Greg Egan 352 • Georgia on My Mind • (1993) • novelette by Charles Sheffield 390 • Cush • (1993) • novelette by Neal Barrett, Jr. 422 • On the Collection of Humans • (1994) • shortfiction by Mark Rich 425 • There and Then • [Silurian Tales] • (1993) • novelette by Steven Utley 461 • The Night We Buried Road Dog • (1993) • novella by Jack Cady 507 • Feedback • (1993) • novelette by Joe Haldeman 529 • Lieserl • (1993) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 545 • Flashback • (1993) • novelette by Dan Simmons 586 • A Child's Christmas in Florida • (1993) • shortstory by William Browning Spencer 592 • Whispers • (1993) • novelette by Maureen F. McHugh and David B. Kisor 612 • Wall, Stone, Craft • (1993) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 683 • Honorable Mentions: 1993 • essay by Gardner Dozois

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eleventh Annual Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Alkire

    Default rating as I liked some and disliked others

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Finally finished this one - they take a long time, and I have a whole ton of them to get through. But I figured out that the job is made easier if I exclude two of the horrible sub-genres of sf : 1. Alternative history - bah, who cares about this stuff, it's not sf; even if it turns out Hitler was a robot or the Emperor Caligula was a genetically modified ant or if Arkansas was colonised by Charles Dickens. 2. Science fiction comedy stories. They're never very funny. It must be admitted that Gard Finally finished this one - they take a long time, and I have a whole ton of them to get through. But I figured out that the job is made easier if I exclude two of the horrible sub-genres of sf : 1. Alternative history - bah, who cares about this stuff, it's not sf; even if it turns out Hitler was a robot or the Emperor Caligula was a genetically modified ant or if Arkansas was colonised by Charles Dickens. 2. Science fiction comedy stories. They're never very funny. It must be admitted that Gardner Dozois, bless him, had a soft spot for both these types. In this Dozois the best story is Papa by Ian R MacLeod, a real heart-wrencher about growing old in a near future society where there is just too much assistance available from technology. Second best is Flashback by Dan Simmons, all about a near future where they've got this drug called flashback - when you take it your mind inhabits 20 minutes of one of your best ever memories (sex for most people) - everybody is hooked on it, and the story follows a small gang of 15 year-olds who've got themselves a gun in order to do a random murder and then replay the murder via flashback, so they can all appreciate the various details they missed when it was happening in reality. Both these stories are so sharp. That's what I read sf for.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Overall thoughts: A solid collection with some stand-outs and thought-provoking ideas. Some stories are definitely tied to the 90s in their themes and inspirations, though this still works for the most part. Only one story really failed for me. Just 5 of 24 authors were women (another indication of publication era, I suppose) "Papa" - cool future world and some interesting issues raised, a little slow getting there, "Sacred Cow" - clever premise for an alt-future tale. "Dancing on Air" - I enjoyed Overall thoughts: A solid collection with some stand-outs and thought-provoking ideas. Some stories are definitely tied to the 90s in their themes and inspirations, though this still works for the most part. Only one story really failed for me. Just 5 of 24 authors were women (another indication of publication era, I suppose) "Papa" - cool future world and some interesting issues raised, a little slow getting there, "Sacred Cow" - clever premise for an alt-future tale. "Dancing on Air" - I enjoyed this contemporary tale a lot, esp. liked the two narrative viewpoints. "A visit to the Farside" - Cold War flavored tale, with a good twist. “Alien Bootlegger”- What happens when an extraterrestrial tries to set up in the moonshine business? it gets pretty gonzo. Fun characters and I liked how the story was told from multiple points of view. "Death on the Nile" a little gem by Connie Willis. When I finished I had to go back and reread parts and I'm still thinking about it today. "Friendship Bridge" The sci-fi aspect was cool, I kind of wished that was explored more. The end pulled things together a bit clunkily (is that a word?). The story is set in a central Asian country in turmoil, so it both shows its age and is timely, alas. "Into the Miranda Rift - Cavers on Uranus' moon Miranda. A cool, otherworldly setting, a grueling journey. "Mwalimu in the Squared Circle"- meh, not for me. "Guest of Honor" - Interesting future world how people might deal with immortality (resonated at bit with the earlier "Papa"). "Love Toys of the Gods" - Funny and maybe very true consideration of what we'd do if aliens really did visit us. "Chaff" - I liked the concept, a neat consideration of future biotechnology and genetic tinkering but the ending didn't quite pull it all together. "Georgia on My Mind - fun mystery merging sci-fi and history of science. I had a moment when they mentioned the brother of my post doc advisor as head of one of the computing organizations. That was cool. "Cush" - definitely falls in the New Weird category. I liked it a lot, even though I'm not completely sure what happened at the end. "On the Collection of Humans" - very short and nicely done. "There and Then- Time travel to a gentler time, though it seems some problems are timeless. I liked he visit to the (distant) past and enjoyed the perspective of the narrator. "The Night We Buried Road Dog" - this was more of a ghost story or paranormal mystery, bit I liked it and the narrator's voice. “Feedback” Joe Haldeman - Creepy, effective story about future technology, unfortunately the misogyny is a feature, not a bug. Content warning (view spoiler)[2 murders, one by stabbing (hide spoiler)] “Lieserl” - touching, even wonderful, story about how we might use human bioengineering to our benefit in the future, but there’s still a human cost. “Flashback” Dan Simmons - imaginative and depressing, but possibly realistic, dystopia about drugs and the decline of the USA. Digs at Reagan era policies did not go unappreciated. “A child’s Christmas in Florida” - not sure this is sci-fi, or how I’d categorize it, however it did leave me like o.O so that was good. Content warning (view spoiler)[death of small animals (hide spoiler)] “Whispers” - this was a cool medical mystery about a future global plague, I liked the narrative POV, the ending didn’t quite payoff though, needed a bit more something for me, maybe just more concrete resolution (ah well). "Wall, Stone, Craft" - alt-history take on some well known writers of the 19th century and how they might have interacted. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I'd known more about the actual history and knew where this departed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darla Ebert

    Sometimes I think the defintion of "science fiction" is too broad. There should be sub-genres so fans can pick and choose an interest level that will not disappoint. Crudeness, for example, does not qualify a "space story" as "edgy sci fi". It just makes the author look as if he is trying too hard Sometimes I think the defintion of "science fiction" is too broad. There should be sub-genres so fans can pick and choose an interest level that will not disappoint. Crudeness, for example, does not qualify a "space story" as "edgy sci fi". It just makes the author look as if he is trying too hard

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sypes

    Some good good, some bad, nothing particularly memorable. Some left me me wondering why they were in a Sci Fi anthology. Some made me wonder why the author had bothered to include any Sci Fi elements.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Blanchet

    3.5/5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    Here's my review of the individual stories in this collection, using the same number scale as the whole book. My average rating was a little over a 3. Papa - 2 (I admired what it was trying to do, but I just didn't enjoy the story) Sacred Cow - 3 (more of an alternate history at this point) Dancing On Air - 4 (very clever) A Visit To The Farside - 3 Alien Bootlegger - 1 (really tedious) Death On The Nile - 3 (minor Connie Willis, but still Connie Willis) Friendship Bridge - 3 (a sequel to a story I had Here's my review of the individual stories in this collection, using the same number scale as the whole book. My average rating was a little over a 3. Papa - 2 (I admired what it was trying to do, but I just didn't enjoy the story) Sacred Cow - 3 (more of an alternate history at this point) Dancing On Air - 4 (very clever) A Visit To The Farside - 3 Alien Bootlegger - 1 (really tedious) Death On The Nile - 3 (minor Connie Willis, but still Connie Willis) Friendship Bridge - 3 (a sequel to a story I hadn't read, so it lost a little something) Into The Miranda Rift - 5 (a grand adventure, just a blast to read) Mwalimu In The Squared Circle - 2 Guest Of Honor - 3 Love Toys Of The Gods - 4 (lots of fun) Chaff - 3 (great concept, execution a little lacking) Georgia On My Mind - 4 (lots of fun, but falls apart a little at the end) Cush - 3 (a very strange tale) On The Collection Of Humans - 3 (a trifle) There And Then - 3 The Night We Buried Road Dog - 5 (indescribable, sort of magic realist tale that will definitely stick with you later) Feedback - 4 (spooky) Lieserl - 2 (reads like the sketch of a longer story) Flashback - 4 (Dan Simmons tale, quite horrifying) A Child's Christmas In Florida - 2 Whispers - 4 Wall, Stone, Craft - 3 (a nice palate cleanser of an alternate history) As I read these collections from the early '90s, it's funny to see the predictions that didn't pan out and the ones that were way too conservative. Some stories are so dated as to be almost painful to read, but some still have the power to shock or amaze even today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roberts

    Good set of stories. I received this book as a gift in the mid-1990's, and read probably half the stories in '96-97. The rest I meandered through the past few years, just finishing last night. Here's the stories I liked best. I don't have detials on all of them due to the spread-out time frame over which I read them: Wall, Stone, Craft by Walter Jon Williams. Alternate history. Interesting period piece. Dancing on Air by Nancy Kress. Bioenhanced ballerinas. Guest of Honor by Robert Reed. 'Compilatio Good set of stories. I received this book as a gift in the mid-1990's, and read probably half the stories in '96-97. The rest I meandered through the past few years, just finishing last night. Here's the stories I liked best. I don't have detials on all of them due to the spread-out time frame over which I read them: Wall, Stone, Craft by Walter Jon Williams. Alternate history. Interesting period piece. Dancing on Air by Nancy Kress. Bioenhanced ballerinas. Guest of Honor by Robert Reed. 'Compilation' explorer. The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady. This was the last story I read, and man, did it start off hot. The storyline was one I wouldn't normally like -- a bunch of road warriors living in Montana in the early 1960's. But the writing was incredible, the imagery beautiful, even the descriptions of old cars made me interested despite my lack of interest in cars -- it was some of the best *writing* that I've encountered in a while. But the story trailed off a bit at the end, so I bumped the overall story down a notch. Georgia on my Mind by Charles Sheffield. Another good story that petered out at the end. This one was about the Babbage engine. Whispers by Maureen F. McHugh and David B. Kisor. Plague that improves humans. Set in China. Into the Miranda Rift by G. Davidd Nordley. Inside Uranus' moon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I found this book lying in front of the auditorium when I went to see a concert of classical music. Some generous person had decided to liberate the book and had stuck a Post-it note marked "Free" on the cover of the book. I thumbed through the book and found that it contained a story by Connie Willis, as well as stories by Bruce Sterling and Maureen McHugh, authors that have been recommended to me. I finally read some of the stories in this book over the weekend. There were a few gems in here, an I found this book lying in front of the auditorium when I went to see a concert of classical music. Some generous person had decided to liberate the book and had stuck a Post-it note marked "Free" on the cover of the book. I thumbed through the book and found that it contained a story by Connie Willis, as well as stories by Bruce Sterling and Maureen McHugh, authors that have been recommended to me. I finally read some of the stories in this book over the weekend. There were a few gems in here, and some stories that I skipped over because they didn't interest me. I'll probably check out some more of the "Year's best science fiction" anthologies. I like sci-fi, but tend to be really picky about it, which prevents me from reading more of it. This collection introduced me to some new authors.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... in each successive volume in the series the tales have advanced and grown in imagination and detail with our ability to envision greater concepts and possibilities... Rod Serling said, "...fantasy is the impossible made probable. science fiction is the improbable made possible..." and in the pages of these books is the absolute best the vastness of science fiction writing has to offer... sit back, relax, and dream...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Readability 7. Rating 6. Something I had definitely missed – good, creative, mind-stretching science fiction. While I only rate the overall collection a 6, there were stories that clearly rated higher, among them, “Dancing On Air”, “A Visit to the Far Side”, “Into the Miranda Rift”, “Guest of Honor”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “Cush”, and “Lieserl”. One thing this collection reminded me of is the fact that SF cannot be narrowly defined - the range of material in just this book was amazing. I should p Readability 7. Rating 6. Something I had definitely missed – good, creative, mind-stretching science fiction. While I only rate the overall collection a 6, there were stories that clearly rated higher, among them, “Dancing On Air”, “A Visit to the Far Side”, “Into the Miranda Rift”, “Guest of Honor”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “Cush”, and “Lieserl”. One thing this collection reminded me of is the fact that SF cannot be narrowly defined - the range of material in just this book was amazing. I should probably keep an eye out for the “Twelfth Annual”. [As it turns out, I didn't read another until the Thirtieth! But I can still fill in...]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I am a big fan of sci-fi short stories and this book did not disappoint. It has a great variety of stories, writing styles, and settings. My favorites A Visit to the Far Side by Don Webb, Alien Bootlegger by Rebecca Ore, Georgia on My Mind by Charles Sheffield, Cush by Neal Barrett, Jr, and Flashback by Dan Simmons.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lord Humungus

    It's been years, but the stories in here I still remember as good were the pieces by Nancy Kress, Robert Reed, Stephen Baxter, Jack Cady. I still remember Dancing On Air and even made my friend read it as an intro to science fiction. It's been years, but the stories in here I still remember as good were the pieces by Nancy Kress, Robert Reed, Stephen Baxter, Jack Cady. I still remember Dancing On Air and even made my friend read it as an intro to science fiction.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Devlin

    If you read one sci-fi book a year, this is the one. Always stories of high caliber with a few tossed in that will keep you thinking weeks later, not to mention the collection is a primer for what science and technology everyone will be talking about five to ten years from now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Either this year didn't have good SF or they were past their expiration date... Either this year didn't have good SF or they were past their expiration date...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Timon Karnezos

    Sterling's piece in this one was pretty amazing. Sterling's piece in this one was pretty amazing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Connie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrej

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark Catalfano

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lewis

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cyber

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wanessa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison C

  27. 4 out of 5

    J.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Newton

  30. 4 out of 5

    Don

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