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The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Two

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To keep up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more—a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Scienc To keep up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more—a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a new yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers. The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor in chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.


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To keep up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more—a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Scienc To keep up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more—a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a new yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers. The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor in chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.

30 review for The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Two

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    A real concerted effort on my part to get through this book without seething with jealousy, so well done to me! ;) Of course that's stupid. The greatness of other authors doesn't infringe upon your greatness; quite the opposite, as evidenced by these stories. You can tell, with many of them, the lineages in which their authors are participating. And there's such a great variety of styles and subjects. This collection allows a multitude of stories to define and question what sci-fi is. I can highly A real concerted effort on my part to get through this book without seething with jealousy, so well done to me! ;) Of course that's stupid. The greatness of other authors doesn't infringe upon your greatness; quite the opposite, as evidenced by these stories. You can tell, with many of them, the lineages in which their authors are participating. And there's such a great variety of styles and subjects. This collection allows a multitude of stories to define and question what sci-fi is. I can highly recommend it and I think it's even better than the last volume! Though that's just my opinion. The last one had too much stuff that bordered on fantasy—I think. I skipped the story if I got a whiff of monarchy, tradition or ceremony. The princess' ship can go careening into the nearest dwarf star: I don't care! Collections like these are never gonna get 5* from their readers, I don't think—it's just in the nature of how they're compiled, an inherent limitation of the task at hand. I appreciate that the book has to represent the broad nature of the sci-fi genre, but in so doing it won't be able to narrow in on the interest of particular readers—but it isn't supposed to. Other anthologies, like Galactic Empires, are available for that purpose. But these are textbooks for sci-fi authors, and just like my university textbooks, I skipped those chapters that weren't relevant. Reconfirms that my taste in sci-fi is soft, near-future, on land, melancholy. Great variety of authors working within these confines, most notably Rich Larson, Sam J Miller and TR Napper. I loved Rich Larson's pair of stories so much that I will do that jakey thing I do where I collect all his free stuff online into one PDF file and turn it into a low-grade chapbook to read on the train! Will happily invest in an actual collection once it exists ;) Check this out if you're looking to find your new favourite contemporary sci-fi authors :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I found these stories very difficult to read. I felt there was too much concentration on making them politically correct and gender bending. There was a complete concentration on artificial intelligence and no real attempt at adventure or discovery. I did not like them at all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Violet Laflamme

    One or two GREAT stories in here, but also several that were so uninteresting I had to skip them. In the end, two stars because of all the content I just couldn't get into. One or two GREAT stories in here, but also several that were so uninteresting I had to skip them. In the end, two stars because of all the content I just couldn't get into.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Grayson

    “The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s, September 2016) 3/5 “Extraction Request” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, January 2016) 2/5 “A Good Home” by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed, June 2016) 4/5 “Prodigal” by Gord Sellar (Analog, December 2016) 4/5 “Ten Days” by Nina Allan (Now We Are Ten, edited by Ian Whates) 5/5 “Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar (Tor.com, April 2016) 2/5 “Panic City” by Madeline Ashby (CyberWorld, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola) 5/5 “Last Gods” by Sam J. Miller (Drowned W “The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s, September 2016) 3/5 “Extraction Request” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, January 2016) 2/5 “A Good Home” by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed, June 2016) 4/5 “Prodigal” by Gord Sellar (Analog, December 2016) 4/5 “Ten Days” by Nina Allan (Now We Are Ten, edited by Ian Whates) 5/5 “Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar (Tor.com, April 2016) 2/5 “Panic City” by Madeline Ashby (CyberWorld, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola) 5/5 “Last Gods” by Sam J. Miller (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathana Strahan) 3/5 “HigherWorks” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Asimov’s, December 2016) 3/5 “A Strange Loop” by T.R. Napper (Interzone, January/February 2016) 4/5 “Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse” by Xia Jia (Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu) 3/5 “Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard (The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe) 3/5 “The Metal Demimonde” by Nick Wolven (Analog, June 2016) 4/5 “The Iron Tactician” by Alastair Reynolds (Newcon Press) 2/5 “The Mighty Slinger” by Tobias S. Buckell and Karen Lord (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan) 4/5 “They All Have One Breath” by Karl Bunker (Asimov’s, December 2016) 5/5 “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, February 2016) 5/5 “And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices” by Margaret Ronald (Clarkesworld, June 2016) 5/5 “The Three Lives of Sonata James” by Lettie Prell (Tor.com, October 2016) 2/5 “The Charge and the Storm” by An Owomoyela (Asimov’s, February 2016) 3/5 “Parables of Infinity” by Robert Reed (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan) 2/5 “Ten Poems for the Mossums, One for the Man” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s, July 2016) 4/5 “You Make Pattaya” by Rich Larson (Interzone, November/December 2016) 3/5 “Number Nine Moon” by Alex Irvine (F&SF, January/February 2016) 2/5 “Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld, June 2016) 5/5 “Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts” by Ken Liu (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathana Strahan) 4/5 “Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld, April 2016) 4/5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anthony A

    This volume was a definite disappointment compared to Volume 1. I spent some time thinking about why that might be and my conclusion is that an editor of a "best of" anthology has to pick from the best short stories for that particular year and it may simply be that there just weren't that many great stories written in 2017. Overall, I gave this volume a 5.6/10.0 (I rate each story individually and then average the scores). There were actually a handful of stories that I did not even finish beca This volume was a definite disappointment compared to Volume 1. I spent some time thinking about why that might be and my conclusion is that an editor of a "best of" anthology has to pick from the best short stories for that particular year and it may simply be that there just weren't that many great stories written in 2017. Overall, I gave this volume a 5.6/10.0 (I rate each story individually and then average the scores). There were actually a handful of stories that I did not even finish because they were so bad. I will say that there are a number of things that really annoy me when reading science fiction: obligatory sex or pornography, obligatory cussing, obligatory homosexuality, and obligatory global warming. That being said, my favorite stories are the following: - Parables of Inifinity by Robert Reed (my favorite author of science fiction short stories) (10/10) - Touring With the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman (8/10). The remaining stories were good (7/10) to average or worse - and not really worth mentioning.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    This was one a very large but very unevenly mixed bag. My favourites were: 1. Extraction Request— Rich Larson; 2. Last Gods— Sam J. Miller; 3. Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse— Xia Jia; 4. Pearl— Aliette de Bodard; 5. The Iron Tactician— Alastair Reynolds; 6. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea— Sarah Pinsker; 7. And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices— Margaret Ronald; 8. Number Nine Moon— Alex Irvine; 9. Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachuset This was one a very large but very unevenly mixed bag. My favourites were: 1. Extraction Request— Rich Larson; 2. Last Gods— Sam J. Miller; 3. Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse— Xia Jia; 4. Pearl— Aliette de Bodard; 5. The Iron Tactician— Alastair Reynolds; 6. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea— Sarah Pinsker; 7. And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices— Margaret Ronald; 8. Number Nine Moon— Alex Irvine; 9. Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts— Ken Liu; 10. Touring with the Alien— Carolyn Ives Gilman. There were too many overlong works which seemed to have forgotten plot and dialogues while trying to emphasise ideas. Nevertheless, if you are in the mood of spending a lot of time with sff, then this massive anthology would be a good choice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donny

    I did skip a couple of stories that didn't quite grab my attention, but that's the beauty of these books, sifting through different takes on ideas until you find something that bit out of the ordinary. Ive actually picked up another short story book after enjoying a couple out of this volume, they're good fillers in between other reads. A book to stash in the car or where ever for those unexpected down times. I did skip a couple of stories that didn't quite grab my attention, but that's the beauty of these books, sifting through different takes on ideas until you find something that bit out of the ordinary. Ive actually picked up another short story book after enjoying a couple out of this volume, they're good fillers in between other reads. A book to stash in the car or where ever for those unexpected down times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Johan

    Started reading December 1st, boring, read something else, picked up this book again, boring, read something else, continued with this book, boring ... repeat ... and now we are December 29th and I am not even halfway through this book. I can't continue with this one, there are so many books on my TBR list. Started reading December 1st, boring, read something else, picked up this book again, boring, read something else, continued with this book, boring ... repeat ... and now we are December 29th and I am not even halfway through this book. I can't continue with this one, there are so many books on my TBR list.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom Currier

    Okay but not great Interesting group of stories, certainly had many similar themes just okay reading though. Nothing that grabbed me or held my undivided attention, some stories dragged a bit

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Lombard

    One of the best collections of sci fi, with a variety of stories by experienced authors. Recommended for anyone who likes sci fi The title says it all. The best ten dollars I ever spent,except on volume one. Lots of great stories. My actual opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I really enjoyed this anthology. The stories really interested me, and it felt like I connected with almost all of them, which is never certain with an anthology. I may have to look into more of what Clarke edits, because this book kept my interest

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thad Ligon

    I read a few stories here and there between reading novels. It took a while to get through this volume. Most of the stories just didnt do it for me, though some were indeed good. Volume 1 was a much better collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darin

    It did take me a while to get through-not it's fault-but it was pretty good. Many on the stores are downers. It did take me a while to get through-not it's fault-but it was pretty good. Many on the stores are downers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynnet

    A good collection. I liked all of them and loved a few of them. I didn't skip any. A good collection. I liked all of them and loved a few of them. I didn't skip any.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack Kelley

    DNF at 23%. Couldn’t get into it. Not the best anthology I’ve read, by far.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    A very fine selection of short stories. Recommended for a good weekend's reading. A very fine selection of short stories. Recommended for a good weekend's reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sebastain Gould

    Pretty Good Collection here - didn't love them all, but liked enough of them that it was enjoyable to read them all anyway :) Makes me want to go find Volume 1.. Pretty Good Collection here - didn't love them all, but liked enough of them that it was enjoyable to read them all anyway :) Makes me want to go find Volume 1..

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul Elessar Caceres

    A wonderful collection of Sci-Fi short stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jay Clement

    55-2021. A big collection of sci-fi short fiction. It was a bit uneven, but the high points were fun. I like to take in one of these from time to time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Flowers4Algernon

    A bit of a mixed bag but then I suppose that’s what it’s meant to be but still highly enjoyable and a great intro to some up and coming writers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew P O'Malley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Garret Fernandez

  24. 4 out of 5

    David

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vari

  26. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Kim Morden

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terje Bless

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jday

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