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The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 1

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For the first time ever, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the best science fiction and the best fantasy stories of the year in one volume. More than just two books for the price of one, this book brings together over 200,000 words of the best genre fiction anywhere. Strahan's critical eye and keen editorial instincts have served him well for earlier best For the first time ever, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the best science fiction and the best fantasy stories of the year in one volume. More than just two books for the price of one, this book brings together over 200,000 words of the best genre fiction anywhere. Strahan's critical eye and keen editorial instincts have served him well for earlier best of the year round-ups in the Best Short Novels, Science Fiction: Best of and Fantasy: Best of series, and this is his most impressive effort yet. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.


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For the first time ever, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the best science fiction and the best fantasy stories of the year in one volume. More than just two books for the price of one, this book brings together over 200,000 words of the best genre fiction anywhere. Strahan's critical eye and keen editorial instincts have served him well for earlier best For the first time ever, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the best science fiction and the best fantasy stories of the year in one volume. More than just two books for the price of one, this book brings together over 200,000 words of the best genre fiction anywhere. Strahan's critical eye and keen editorial instincts have served him well for earlier best of the year round-ups in the Best Short Novels, Science Fiction: Best of and Fantasy: Best of series, and this is his most impressive effort yet. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

30 review for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    An interesting collection—in anthologies like this one, a reader will obviously encounter some stories that they enjoy more than others. I do have to say, however, there was only one that I found rather opaque and several that I really, really enjoyed. My favourites: In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages, which I have reviewed separately. I, Row-Boat by Cory Doctorow, a tale of a sentient machine (said row-boat) who ponders Asimovian philosophy and the nature of life. The Night Whiske An interesting collection—in anthologies like this one, a reader will obviously encounter some stories that they enjoy more than others. I do have to say, however, there was only one that I found rather opaque and several that I really, really enjoyed. My favourites: In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages, which I have reviewed separately. I, Row-Boat by Cory Doctorow, a tale of a sentient machine (said row-boat) who ponders Asimovian philosophy and the nature of life. The Night Whiskey by Jeffrey Ford, in which a whiskey distilled from a certain fruit can provide the drinker with a one night encounter with a dead friend or family member. The amount of whiskey is limited & distributed by lottery in the small town where this plant grows. Eight Episodes by Robert Reed, in which a television show of debatable provenance seems to be manipulating people into abandoning space exploration—or is it? D.A. by Connie Willis, which, as the introductions states, hails back to Robert A. Heinlein, but this time with women that I can actually admire. Hectically paced, smart, and funny. A worthwhile read if you enjoy SF/F short stories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    I've been reading Gardner Dozois year's best SF collection for around 15 years, but over the last few I have begun to find Dozois's collection rather tiring. Too few really good stories, too many extremely depressing or just plain boring. I thought I'd try Strahan and now despite the impressive shelf in my library filled with a lovely sequence of Dozois's fat volumes I'm going to switch to Strahan. I enjoy the widening of the range to include fantasy, as much science fiction isn't anything like sc I've been reading Gardner Dozois year's best SF collection for around 15 years, but over the last few I have begun to find Dozois's collection rather tiring. Too few really good stories, too many extremely depressing or just plain boring. I thought I'd try Strahan and now despite the impressive shelf in my library filled with a lovely sequence of Dozois's fat volumes I'm going to switch to Strahan. I enjoy the widening of the range to include fantasy, as much science fiction isn't anything like scientific anyway. And why wouldn't you want, for example, a great Neil Gaiman story in your book? Much better a well written fantasy story than the latest dreadful homage to nuts, bolts, materialism and the heat death of the universe by some "hard SF" writer. And since much of the fantasy in Strahan's volumes is representative of the "new weird" by great authors like Kelly Link, etc., it's fantastic to be able to read the best of those stories as well. My one regret is that not every single one of my absolute favorite stories (sadly, only 2) from Dozois made it over into Strahan. So you can't have your cake and eat it too, I guess, but the hours spent wading through dreck in the Dozois volume weren't worth the one good story Strahan missed anyway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    03 Jan 2009 10 Apr 2016 Oh, my. There are some excellent stories in here. I checked it out to read Willis' "D.A.", which I loved for her faced-paced hecticness. "How To Talk To Girls At Parties" is a re-read for me, but it is still might good. "In The House Of The Seven Librarians" is a story about feral librarians and is a perfect little fairy tale. "Halfway House" was just a bit too opaque for me, I never felt like I quite got it. "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)" was marvelous and satisf 03 Jan 2009 10 Apr 2016 Oh, my. There are some excellent stories in here. I checked it out to read Willis' "D.A.", which I loved for her faced-paced hecticness. "How To Talk To Girls At Parties" is a re-read for me, but it is still might good. "In The House Of The Seven Librarians" is a story about feral librarians and is a perfect little fairy tale. "Halfway House" was just a bit too opaque for me, I never felt like I quite got it. "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)" was marvelous and satisfying. I'm looking forward to the ones I haven't cracked yet. ***

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    • How To Talk To Girls At Parties - Neil Gaiman [**] • El Regalo - Peter S. Beagle [***] • I, Row-Boat - Cory Doctorow [****] • In The House Of The Seven Librarians - Ellen Klages [*] • Another Word For Map Is Faith - Christopher Rowe [*] • Under Hell, Over Heaven - Margo Langanan [***] • Incarnation Day - Walter Jon Williams [****] • The Night Whiskey - Jeffrey Ford [****] • A Siege Of Cranes - Benjamin Rosenbaum [****] • Halfway House - Frances Hardinge [*] • The Bible Repairman - Tim Powers [*] • Yellow • How To Talk To Girls At Parties - Neil Gaiman [**] • El Regalo - Peter S. Beagle [***] • I, Row-Boat - Cory Doctorow [****] • In The House Of The Seven Librarians - Ellen Klages [*] • Another Word For Map Is Faith - Christopher Rowe [*] • Under Hell, Over Heaven - Margo Langanan [***] • Incarnation Day - Walter Jon Williams [****] • The Night Whiskey - Jeffrey Ford [****] • A Siege Of Cranes - Benjamin Rosenbaum [****] • Halfway House - Frances Hardinge [*] • The Bible Repairman - Tim Powers [*] • Yellow Card Man - Paolo Bacigalupi [***] • Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy) - Geoff Ryman [***] • The American Dead - Jay Lake [**] • The Cartesian Theater - Robert Charles Wilson [*****] • Journey Into The Kingdom - M. Rickert [**] • Eight Episodes - Robert Reed [**] • The Wizards of Perfil - Kelly Link [**] • The Saffron Gatherers - Elizabeth Hand [**] • D.A - Connie Willis [***] • Femaville 29 - Paul Di Filippo [**] • Sob In The Silence - Gene Wolfe [*] • The House Beyond Your Sky - Benjamin Rosenbaum [****] • The Djinn's Wife - Ian McDonald [***]

  5. 4 out of 5

    B.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" - Neil Gaiman A quiet glimpse into a typical day for a pair of young teen boys. Quietly unsettling. ---------- "El Regalo" - Peter S. Beagle I don't like the idea of magic without sacrifice--such as feeling weak afterward or something. So this fairytale-type magic in this story didn't do it for me. And it seems like there should be a learning curve involved, but successfully making garbage bags dance and getting the cat to play Monopoly? It seems like it'd be rather "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" - Neil Gaiman A quiet glimpse into a typical day for a pair of young teen boys. Quietly unsettling. ---------- "El Regalo" - Peter S. Beagle I don't like the idea of magic without sacrifice--such as feeling weak afterward or something. So this fairytale-type magic in this story didn't do it for me. And it seems like there should be a learning curve involved, but successfully making garbage bags dance and getting the cat to play Monopoly? It seems like it'd be rather complex for an 8-year-old. Of course this is just my own opinion on how I think magic should work. It's certainly not a representation of the quality of this short story--it's just not my thing :) ---------- "I, Row-Boat" - Cory Doctorow Ok, pun title. Cute. I'm already turned off by the idea of a sentient rowboat and a reef with an Australian accent. I'm not 8. AI is interesting, but this didn't grab me. ---------- "In the House of Seven Librarians" - Ellen Klages I'm a librarian--MLIS and all!--so this should be interesting. "Quietly, without a fuss (they were librarians, after all)..." lol, does Ms Klages know any librarians? Not gonna lie, I'd love to live in a library like that... but it's a good moral that we should experience life for ourselves and not merely through the lenses of books, television, or computers. ---------- "Another Word for Map Is Faith" - Christopher Rowe Two paragraphs in and I'm already liking the writing style. Also, catalpa tree! One of my favorites, thanks to my nonagenarian neighbor's gorgeous catalpa specimen being an important part of my childhood. I digress. I'm not entirely sure what I took from this one. Beautifully written, though. ---------- "Under Hell, Over Heaven" - Margo Lanagan Babies in purgatory is creepily sad, even though I'm not a fan of babies. This one and Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" have been the best in the anthology so far, and even those didn't fully grab me. I hope this anthology starts delivering the goods soon. ---------- "Incarnation Day" - Walter Jon Williams This was wonderful. It took a little bit to get going, but I felt connected with the characters and was delighted by the ending. ---------- "The Night Whiskey" - Jeffrey Ford It was so quirky at the beginning! I was scratching my head, trying to figure out why the drunks were up in trees. I was definitely pulled into the story. This is one of those tales that sticks with you after you're done reading it. ---------- "A Siege of Cranes" - Benjamin Rosenbaum Creepy murderous babies are creepy and murderous. ---------- "Halfway House" - Frances Hardinge Lovely description. A strong sense of place. Poor Ticket--given and taken as an object all her life. Not sure yet where the story is going, though. ---------- "The Bible Repairman" - Tim Powers A lot of brand-name dropping, enough to pull me out of the story. Camels are Toyota are ok on their own, but "Staples compressed air"? Come on. Dodge (after "Staples," they're all going to stick out for me now!) Ooo, keeping a loved one's ghost. Interesting. Budweiser. Sugar Babies. Reese's Pieces. Aside from distracting brand-name dropping (don't do it, kids!), this was quite good. ---------- "Yellow Card Man" - Paolo Bacigalupi Very strong descriptive style without being "purple" or too lyrical for the subject matter. I find myself really rooting for Tranh, poor sod. "Despair is the color of approve burn methane flickering green and gaseous, vinous in the dark. Green used to mean things like coriander and sillk and jade and now all it means to him is bloodthirsty men with patriotic headbands and hungry scavenging nights. The lamps flicker. An entire green city. An entire city of despair." Whew. Gah, the ending! The factory... or the river? Good one! ---------- "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter" - Geoff Ryman An interesting story, but it was TOLD to me rather than SHOWN to me. ---------- "The American Dead" - Jay Lake I'm not sure what to say about this one... ---------- "The Cartesian Theater" - Robert Charles Wilson Interesting concept with the recently deceased. Very nice use of flashbacks to tell the story. ---------- "Journey into the Kingdom" - M. Rickert "People either touched him as if he would break, or hugged him as if he had already broken and only the vigor of the embrace kept him intact." Whew, that one didn't go where I expected! Cool. Very lyrical and dark. Though as a ghost, I'd kick that dude's ass for tying me up and throwing me in the water just to see if he was right. ---------- "Eight Episodes" - Robert Reed Three pages into a 15-page piece and I’m waiting for the story to start. Feels like nothing but tell-don’t-show exposition so far. Exposition is good, but I’ve no idea what it is setting up yet. Page 10 of 15: finally something interesting. “A lie is as good as a truth, if it leads you to enlightenment.” Not horrible, but it was slower than me trying to run the quarter mile. ---------- ”The Saffron Gatherers” – Elizabeth Hand That was… beautiful. Wistful. Sad. ---------- ”D.A.” – Connie Willis This is fun so far. I threw up all the way to the RAH. “Gosh, I didn’t think it was possible to throw up at 4g’s,” the Hyperventilator said. “Maybe you’ll feel better when we go into freefall.” I didn’t. I went through my vomit bag and hers and threw up on the bunk, the walls, the Hyperventilator, and, once we were weightless, on the air in front of me. ^Ha! That made me laugh aloud in the café where I’m reading. Hehehehe, ok, here, the character is trying to learn to navigate weightlessness in space: The second day I sneezed, did a backward triple somersault, and crashed into a bank of equipment… I’m really amused by this story ^_^ ---------- ”Femaville 29" – Paul Di Filippo The narrator is very likable, very sympathetic. ---------- "Sob in the Silence" – Gene Wolfe Oo, this one has done a fine job of catching my attention right away. I love the horror writer. He certainly knows how to set up a mood! Such great atmosphere in this piece. I love the descriptions. ---------- "The House Beyond Your Sky" – Benjamin Rosenbaum Pretty, but I often feel like the author is talking up here, and I am down here. My own failing, not necessarily his. Some parts I have trouble wrapping my head around. But I am entranced by the plot involving the little girl. Eep. Ah, Sophie. ---------- "The Djinn's Wife" – Ian McDonald Beautiful description. Really amazing description. Beautiful and lyrical without being "purple." Some aspects of this remind me of the movie Her, a movie which I highly recommend, by the way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryun

    There are a lot of anthologies that claim to contain the “best” content from a certain time period/genre/author, but Night Shade Books’ THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY OF THE YEAR: VOLUME ONE delivers on the title’s claim in an exquisite fashion. Editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the ultimate mix tape of 2006′s short fiction in these genres, and it reads like a symphony. Anthologies can be piecemeal affairs; readers tend to hopscotch around them, picking and choosing based on the author There are a lot of anthologies that claim to contain the “best” content from a certain time period/genre/author, but Night Shade Books’ THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY OF THE YEAR: VOLUME ONE delivers on the title’s claim in an exquisite fashion. Editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the ultimate mix tape of 2006′s short fiction in these genres, and it reads like a symphony. Anthologies can be piecemeal affairs; readers tend to hopscotch around them, picking and choosing based on the author, the first page, the first sentence or even the title. Here, however, Strahan has paid such meticulous detail to order and rhythm that to do this would be a great disservice to the totality of the book. More: http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/sci-f...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A decent collection of short stories, some better than others.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    A fine kick-off to his then-new series. Notable for containing my favorite Peter S. Beagle story ever, "El Regalo": ""[Angie, age 15] saw [Marvyn, her 8 1/2 yr old brother] on the floor, playing with Milady, the gray, ancient family cat. Nothing unusual about that: Marvyn and Milady had been an item since he was old enough to realize that the cat wasn't something to eat. What halted Angie as though she had walked into a wall was that they were playing Monopoly, and that Milady appeared to be winn A fine kick-off to his then-new series. Notable for containing my favorite Peter S. Beagle story ever, "El Regalo": ""[Angie, age 15] saw [Marvyn, her 8 1/2 yr old brother] on the floor, playing with Milady, the gray, ancient family cat. Nothing unusual about that: Marvyn and Milady had been an item since he was old enough to realize that the cat wasn't something to eat. What halted Angie as though she had walked into a wall was that they were playing Monopoly, and that Milady appeared to be winning. Marvyn had to throw the dice for both Milady and himself, and the old cat was too riddled with arthritis to handle the pastel Monopoly money easily. But she waited her turn, and moved her piece -- she had the silver top hat -- very carefully, as if considering possible options. And she already had a hotel on Park Place." If that doesn't get your juices flowing, you're in the wrong genre, oh gentle reader. The ending isn't quite as classy as the setup and opener, but, overall, a terrific story. Don't miss! More Good Stuff, and some not so good.... TOC: * Introduction — Jonathan Strahan * How To Talk To Girls At Parties — Neil Gaiman. OK. * El Regalo — Peter S. Beagle. 5 stars! * I, Row-boat — Cory Doctorow. Amusing, if a bit facile. * In The House Of The Seven Librarians — Ellen Klages * Another Word For Map Is Faith — Christopher Rowe * Under Hell, Over Heaven — Margo Lanagan * Incarnation Day — Walter Jon Williams * The Night Whiskey — Jeffrey Ford * A Seige Of Cranes — Benjamin Rosenbaum * Halfway House — Frances Hardinge * The Bible Repairman — Tim Powers * Yellow Card Man — Paolo Bacigalupi * Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy) — Geoff Ryman * The American Dead — Jay Lake * The Cartesian Theater — Robert Charles Wilson * Journey Into The Kingdom — M Rickert * Eight Episodes — Robert Reed * The Wizards Of Perfil — Kelly Link * The Saffron Gatherers — Elizabeth Hand * D.A. — Connie Willis * Femaville 29 — Paul Di Filippo. First-rate story. * Sob In The Silence — Gene Wolfe * The House Beyond Your Sky — Benjamin Rosenbaum * The Djinn’s Wife — Ian McDonald

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Bellamy

    A better than average collection. In my experience with ‘best of’ collections, there’s usually a ho-hum quality to 85% of the book, with one or two pretty goods and maybe one great story. This volume is unique in that there are a few virtually unreadable stories that have no business even being at the top of the slush pile… not sure what Strahan was thinking on those, but I’m going to counter my own argument and say I’m glad they’re here! Strahan took chances with his selections, and it shows. R A better than average collection. In my experience with ‘best of’ collections, there’s usually a ho-hum quality to 85% of the book, with one or two pretty goods and maybe one great story. This volume is unique in that there are a few virtually unreadable stories that have no business even being at the top of the slush pile… not sure what Strahan was thinking on those, but I’m going to counter my own argument and say I’m glad they’re here! Strahan took chances with his selections, and it shows. Rather than a book of ho-hum forgettable stories, he’s put together a volume where almost every story was great or just didn’t work for me at all, and I prefer that in a best of collection. Great stories for me were: The House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages– a well written, nostalgic and sweet coming of age tale for anyone that loves books and reading. Yellow Card Man by Paulo Bacigaulpi – haunting image of a sickeningly possible futures. The Wizards of Perfil by Kelly Link – a bit predictable, sure, but how do you not love those characters. The Cartesian Theatre, Femaville 29, and Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter were also marvelous. I lost patience with both Benjamin Rosenbaum stories, but see the potential in A Seige of Cranes. The House Beyond Your Sky was a gobbledygook version of a story we’ve all read countless times before and should have been left out. Nonetheless, one of the better collections I’ve read in a while. On to volume two.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    My rating system is as follows: 0=abandoned, 1=enraging, 2=disappointing, 3=average, 4=good, 5=favorite. * Paolo BACIGALUPI - Yellow Card Man - 3 * Peter S. BEAGLE - El Regalo - 3 * Cory DOCTOROW - I, Row-Boat - 2 * Paul DI FILIPPO - Femaville 29 - 3 * Jeffrey FORD - The Night Whiskey - 3 * Neil GAIMAN - How to Talk to Girls at Parties - 3 * Elizabeth HAND - The Saffron Gatherers - 2 * Frances HARDINGE - Halfway House - 2 * Ellen KLAGES - In the House of the Sevent Librarians - 4 * Jay LAKE - The American My rating system is as follows: 0=abandoned, 1=enraging, 2=disappointing, 3=average, 4=good, 5=favorite. * Paolo BACIGALUPI - Yellow Card Man - 3 * Peter S. BEAGLE - El Regalo - 3 * Cory DOCTOROW - I, Row-Boat - 2 * Paul DI FILIPPO - Femaville 29 - 3 * Jeffrey FORD - The Night Whiskey - 3 * Neil GAIMAN - How to Talk to Girls at Parties - 3 * Elizabeth HAND - The Saffron Gatherers - 2 * Frances HARDINGE - Halfway House - 2 * Ellen KLAGES - In the House of the Sevent Librarians - 4 * Jay LAKE - The American Dead - 2 * Margo LANAGAN - Under Hell, Over Heaven - 2 * Kelly LINK - The Wizards of Perfil - 3 * Ian McDONALD - The Djinn's Wife - 3 * Tim POWERS - The Bible Repairman - 2 * Robert REED - Eight Episodes - 2 * Mary RICKERT - Journey Into the Kingdom - 2 * Benjamin ROSENBAUM - The House Beyond Your Sky - 2 * Benjamin ROSENBAUM - A Siege of Cranes - 2 * Christopher ROWE - Another World for Map Is Faith - 4 * Geoff RYMAN - Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter - 3 * Walter Jon WILLIAMS - Incarnation Day - 4 * Connie WILLIS - D. A. - 4 * Robert Charles WILSON - The Cartesian Theater - 2 * Gene WOLFE - Sob in the Silence - 2

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Replogle

    Just a wonderful set of stories to lose yourself in.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    An excellent mixture of short stories, all different from each other, but all contain a sense of wonder and excitement.

  13. 5 out of 5

    MJ

    Didn't care for this editor's choices. All a little weird and depressing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    A wonderful collection of recent science fiction and fantasy, "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume One" is worth the read. The year in question was 2006, but some of the stories are timeless. Jonathan Strahan has been editing SF&F for a number of years, and his expertise shows. The collection seems to lean toward fantasy, and a couple of the stories I might reclassify as horror, but I won't quibble with good writing and creative stores. Among my favotites were Neil Gaiman's " A wonderful collection of recent science fiction and fantasy, "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume One" is worth the read. The year in question was 2006, but some of the stories are timeless. Jonathan Strahan has been editing SF&F for a number of years, and his expertise shows. The collection seems to lean toward fantasy, and a couple of the stories I might reclassify as horror, but I won't quibble with good writing and creative stores. Among my favotites were Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," in which Gaiman revisits the idea of falling in love with stars, and "El Regalo" by Peter Beagle, in which 12-year old Angie saves her little brother the witch and learns some pretty interesting things about herself. "Incarnation Day" by Walter Jon Williams is a different take on coming of age when you are not exactly the average teenager, and "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter," written by Geoff Ryman is just beautiful. "D.A." By Connie Willis is something of an homage to one of my favorite authors, Robert A. Heinlein, and "Jouney into the Kingdom" but Mary Rickert uses a story of child refugees to remind us that the power to change things often is right in front of us - or in us.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Isabel (kittiwake)

    Sith clicked the phone off. She opened the trunk of the car and tossed the phone into it. Being telephoned by ghosts was so . . . unmodern. How could Cambodia become a number one country if its cell phone network was haunted? As I progressed through the book, I realised that a large number of the stories were to do with death in one form or another. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but was there something about 2006 that inspired authors to write about death and its aftermath, or did the edi Sith clicked the phone off. She opened the trunk of the car and tossed the phone into it. Being telephoned by ghosts was so . . . unmodern. How could Cambodia become a number one country if its cell phone network was haunted? As I progressed through the book, I realised that a large number of the stories were to do with death in one form or another. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but was there something about 2006 that inspired authors to write about death and its aftermath, or did the editor have an affinity for those subjects that predisposed him to choose those stories? After fifteen stories about death in a row, I was thrilled to come across something more light-hearted when I read "D.A." by Connie Willis, but it was straight back to death and destruction for the last few stories. The only two stories that I didn't really enjoy were "A Siege of Cranes" which was quite gruesome (although I liked the jackal-headed men and their quest to perform funeral rites for the dead of the world), and "Sob in the Silence" which I would say was horror rather than fantasy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    I'm generally not impressed by anthologies unless they contain authors I am familiar with. I decided to take a gamble since this was on sale and give it a shot. There were maybe three stories I enjoyed.....yes three...some stories simply made no sense while others took so long to develop I contemplated just skipping over them. One in particular that I actually did skip was called The Wizards of Perfil, in which a young boy was somehow in two places at once. Now this seems interesting enough at f I'm generally not impressed by anthologies unless they contain authors I am familiar with. I decided to take a gamble since this was on sale and give it a shot. There were maybe three stories I enjoyed.....yes three...some stories simply made no sense while others took so long to develop I contemplated just skipping over them. One in particular that I actually did skip was called The Wizards of Perfil, in which a young boy was somehow in two places at once. Now this seems interesting enough at first, until the author neglects to put any break between him being in two places at once. Instead we end up with a smashed together story where he interacts with different characters in two different places at the exact same time, thus confusing the hell out of me. One sentence he's talking to someone the next he's interacting with someone in a different area not even remotely close to the first character he spoke to. What the hell? I think I will stay away from the rest of this anthology series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I read this on my Nook and found that the short form is where it excels. Having several short-story collections with me at all times allows me to pick and choose according to my moods. As for this collection, I found it to be extremely well-rounded. Though there was not much in the way of "hard" sci-fi included, the stories run the gamut from whimsical ("In The House of the Seven Librarians") to serious ("I, Row-boat"), to odd ("Under Hell, Over Heaven"), to somewhat disturbing ("The Night Whiske I read this on my Nook and found that the short form is where it excels. Having several short-story collections with me at all times allows me to pick and choose according to my moods. As for this collection, I found it to be extremely well-rounded. Though there was not much in the way of "hard" sci-fi included, the stories run the gamut from whimsical ("In The House of the Seven Librarians") to serious ("I, Row-boat"), to odd ("Under Hell, Over Heaven"), to somewhat disturbing ("The Night Whiskey"). There's plenty enough variety to please most readers, and the stories range from homages to other styles to completely original (and surprising) styles. I will be seeking out additional Strahan anthologies for my Nook in the future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    KevinS

    This collection was heavily weighted toward fantasy rather than SF so it offered a different mix of stories than Gardner Dozois' annual anthology. The stories were OK but I'd have preferred the balance weighted the other way, so I can't give this book high marks.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I can't just sit and read a collection all at once, so I'm managing about one story a week. So far, they've been quite good, especially the Cory Doctorow story about artificial intelligence. I can't just sit and read a collection all at once, so I'm managing about one story a week. So far, they've been quite good, especially the Cory Doctorow story about artificial intelligence.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    I've read a bunch of Dozois, Gardner "Best of.." collections, and for me his are either really hits or really misses. Strahan's was almost all big hits. Every short story was almost exactly my taste. A great collection. I've read a bunch of Dozois, Gardner "Best of.." collections, and for me his are either really hits or really misses. Strahan's was almost all big hits. Every short story was almost exactly my taste. A great collection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    o

    Some of my favorite stories in the collection were: "In the House of the Seven Librarians" by Ellen Klages "Under Hell, Over Heaven" by Margo Lanagan "Incarnation Day" by Walter John Williams "The Night Whiskey" by Jeffrey Ford "Journey Into the Kingdom" by M.Rickett* *This was, BY FAR, one of the best short stories I've ever read. Simply fantastic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Of the stories in this volume, I strongly recommend: "I, Row Boar" by Cory Doctorow "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter" by Geoff Ryman "The Night Whiskey" by Jeffrey Ford "The Djinn's Wife" by Ian McDonald Like most anthologies, this one contains a wide range of styles and tastes. I spent half a year getting through much of it, and a few days loving some of it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A good solid collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories, with no real clunkers, though there are a few pieces that seem a little slight. It's nice to have a year's best antho that spans both science fiction and fantasy, and that takes a fairly broad definition of both of those genres.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    A very satisfying anthology. There was a bit in the middle where the stories got a bit bogged down and all seemed to be about death and ghosts, but for the most part this was a lovely book for summer reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I'm much more a fan of sci-fi over fantasy so this fantasy heavy collection didn't really grab me. There were some good stories but I really had to pick through the collection to find pieces that were of interest.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rift Vegan

    I had read many of these stories before, since I also read Dozois' Best of series and The Magazine of Fant & Sci Fi. All the stories were good, but none were great. But I'll probably read the next in the series... :) I had read many of these stories before, since I also read Dozois' Best of series and The Magazine of Fant & Sci Fi. All the stories were good, but none were great. But I'll probably read the next in the series... :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    kenneth h. robinson

    A Potpourri of Wonderful Writing A melange of science fiction and fantasy emanates from every writer who contributed. I could not read more than two stories at a time as I needed to decompress.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    Weakest of the anthologies he has published. Apparently he got better with time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year Volume 1 by Jonathan Strahan (2007)

  30. 4 out of 5

    John-mark Collins

    Compilations are great - always keep you interested...

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