Hot Best Seller

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2011

Availability: Ready to download

This third volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Carol Emshwiller, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Paul Park, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and ot This third volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Carol Emshwiller, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Paul Park, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow. Content "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" by Yoon Ha Lee "Amor Vincit Omnia" by K. J. Parker ""The Green Book" by Amal El-Mohtar "The Other Graces" by Alice Sola Kim "The Sultan of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis "The Magician and the Made and Other Stories" by Christie Yant "A Letter from the Emperor" by Steve Rasnic Tem "Holdfast" by Matthew Johnson "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro "Merrythoughts" by Bill Kte'pi "The Red Bride" by Samantha Henderson "Ghost Doing the Orange Dance" by Paul Park "Bloodsport" by Gene Wolfe "No Time like the Present" by Carol Emshwiller "Braiding The Ghosts" by C. S. E. Cooney "The Thing about Cassandra" by Neil Gaiman "The Interior of Bumblethorn's Coat" by Willow Fagan "The Things" by Peter Watts "Stereogram Of the Gray Fort In the Days of Her Glory" by Paul M. Berger "Amor Fugit" by Alexandra Duncan "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" by Charlie Jane Anders "The Word of Azrael" by Matthew David Sturridge "Under the Moons of Venus" by Damien Broderick "Abandonware" by An Omowoyela "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand


Compare

This third volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Carol Emshwiller, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Paul Park, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and ot This third volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Carol Emshwiller, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Paul Park, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, Strange Horizons, Subterranean, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow. Content "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" by Yoon Ha Lee "Amor Vincit Omnia" by K. J. Parker ""The Green Book" by Amal El-Mohtar "The Other Graces" by Alice Sola Kim "The Sultan of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis "The Magician and the Made and Other Stories" by Christie Yant "A Letter from the Emperor" by Steve Rasnic Tem "Holdfast" by Matthew Johnson "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro "Merrythoughts" by Bill Kte'pi "The Red Bride" by Samantha Henderson "Ghost Doing the Orange Dance" by Paul Park "Bloodsport" by Gene Wolfe "No Time like the Present" by Carol Emshwiller "Braiding The Ghosts" by C. S. E. Cooney "The Thing about Cassandra" by Neil Gaiman "The Interior of Bumblethorn's Coat" by Willow Fagan "The Things" by Peter Watts "Stereogram Of the Gray Fort In the Days of Her Glory" by Paul M. Berger "Amor Fugit" by Alexandra Duncan "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" by Charlie Jane Anders "The Word of Azrael" by Matthew David Sturridge "Under the Moons of Venus" by Damien Broderick "Abandonware" by An Omowoyela "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2011

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    A solid, interesting collection. While there were no stories here that totally blew me away, there were no complete duds, either. All of the stories were well-written and at least somewhat interesting, many were thoroughly enjoyable, and there were a few that weren't as enjoyable but were particularly memorable and thought-provoking. My favorites I've marked below with an asterisk. A few quick words about each story, keyed to the author's last name: Lee: inventive sci-fi story that felt more like A solid, interesting collection. While there were no stories here that totally blew me away, there were no complete duds, either. All of the stories were well-written and at least somewhat interesting, many were thoroughly enjoyable, and there were a few that weren't as enjoyable but were particularly memorable and thought-provoking. My favorites I've marked below with an asterisk. A few quick words about each story, keyed to the author's last name: Lee: inventive sci-fi story that felt more like fantasy Parker: I liked the magic system and investigative approach, but gender dynamic was uncomfortable El-Mohtar: rather unique dark fantasy about a rather unique green book Kim: strong "literary" fiction with a significant speculative element Landis: loved the descriptions of the setting...good plot and characters, too Yant: interesting fairy-tale story with a metafictional element Tem: I was glad for an interstellar story, but ultimately not that memorable Johnson: that's different: a High Fantasy about regular people living regular lives Yu: an excellent "what if" story, with interesting social commentary Swirsky: didn't care for the character, but what a sweeping, inventive story... Castro: I didn't like this one as a story, but it definitely got me thinking Kte'pi: a superhero tale with good characterization, but overall this wasn't very memorable Henderson: nice blend of fantasy and sci-fi tropes, well-done moral ambiguity Park: the most memorable and thought-provoking of the collection, although flawed as a story Wolfe: this one didn't really resonate *Emshwiller: great voice, interesting setup, thought-provoking *Cooney: creepy and engrossing! Gaiman: kept me guessing...enjoyable read Fagan: certainly original and unique, but the plot I found a little lacking Watts: got a little monotonous/repetitive, but overall a strong sci-fi/horror tale Berger: strong characterization and setting, wished it had a better plot Duncan: enjoyable, bittersweet romantic fantasy Reed: I liked the mystery and sci-fi elements, but too much running for my taste *Anders: intriguing, comical first contact story Surridge: amazingly creative, with a style reminiscent (or derivative) of Lord Dunsany** Broderick: well-executed unreliable narrator, great concept, not sure about some of the dialog *Omowoyela: probably my favorite of the bunch, loved the plot, compelling characters *Hand: another winner--vivid setting details, awesome flying machine, cool SF element **if you're a fantasy fan, and don't know who Lord Dunsany is, you owe it to yourself to find out!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cybercrone

    In almost 600 pages there was one story I really enjoyed and one I mostly enjoyed. The rest came from a different planet.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Another one that had some creative starts, but I couldn't get over the pretentious social commentary. "I'm so clever, I'm going to take some really extreme social opinions and thinly veil them in a science fiction or fantasy story. It's okay that they're really extreme because I've put them in some impossible world." Unfortunately, they were too busy making their commentary and forgot to write cohesive science fiction and fantasy. Another one that had some creative starts, but I couldn't get over the pretentious social commentary. "I'm so clever, I'm going to take some really extreme social opinions and thinly veil them in a science fiction or fantasy story. It's okay that they're really extreme because I've put them in some impossible world." Unfortunately, they were too busy making their commentary and forgot to write cohesive science fiction and fantasy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Some decent stories but a fair number of reprints and some absolute duds really hold this volume back.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is a pretty decent collection of stories. I think there was only one I really did not enjoy, and the rest I was probably 50/50 on really liking and at least mostly enjoying. Maybe three stood out as stories I would read again. Definitely no complaints overall; a nice anthology with good variety.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Now this is the way to put together a best-of-year anthology. Editor Rich Horton may not have quite the long track record of the great Gardner Dozois, but I think this third iteration of Horton's own Year's Best series establishes him as a strong runner-up. The volume in hand has the same standard features as Dozois' anthologies—the recap of the year in various media up front, and a list of recommended reading in back, for example—but there's one essential feature they share in particular: every Now this is the way to put together a best-of-year anthology. Editor Rich Horton may not have quite the long track record of the great Gardner Dozois, but I think this third iteration of Horton's own Year's Best series establishes him as a strong runner-up. The volume in hand has the same standard features as Dozois' anthologies—the recap of the year in various media up front, and a list of recommended reading in back, for example—but there's one essential feature they share in particular: every carefully-chosen story is worth reading. Just look at the names in that Table of Contents. There were some easy choices, strong stories from writers with established and well-deserved reputations, like Robert Reed's high-tech runners' mystery "Dead Man's Run" and Elizabeth Hand's wistful aviation tale "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon," contributions from the nonagenarian but still going strong Carol Emshwiller, the recondite Gene Wolfe and the like (and yes, I know, I'm leaving out mention of your favorite), but Horton also seems to have scoured the field both on- and offline to bring together brilliant new work by new names, authors I don't remember having seen anywhere else before—Yoon Ha Lee's "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain," the very first story in the anthology, being a perfect example. It took me awhile to get into Amal el-Mohtar's multileveled "The Green Book" shortly thereafter, but in the end I think I saw where she was going. Rachel Swirsky's name was already familiar to me from the Portland-based Alas, A Blog, but her eons-spanning fantasy "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" gripped me anew. And Charlie Jane Anders appears frequently on the essential sf blog io9, but here her Campbellian "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" made me laugh with its brief, biter-bit wit. All of the stories here—all of 'em—are at least good. But I think the story that hit me hardest was another from an unfamiliar name, An Owomoyela's "Abandonware." For me, someone who grew up just in time for the first wave of the home computer revolution, before graphical user interfaces and always-on network connectivity, this short first-person tale of a bereaved younger brother with an inherited Mac Quadra reminded me of the unlimited universe of possibilities that seemed to lurk within a mere 64Kb of a computer's memory. We're lucky individuals, we who are reading and writing these days. Lucky to have the richness and diversity of a world-wide network of readers and writers of speculative fictions, able and unafraid to explore every era, every corner of space and every aspect of the mind. And lucky, in particular, to have access to collections of work like this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Logan Berrian

    I usually love the "Year's Best" series, but this one was lackluster and uninspiring. I found myself skipping probably every other story. There were a few stories I enjoyed, but nothing I loved. I can't even remember the names of the stories I liked best. There were too many novella lengths stories as well. The 2011 edition of "The Year's Best SCiFi and Fantasy" is light on fantasy and heavy on SciFi. 2 stories are reprints from other, better anthologies. This book was a waste of time and energy I usually love the "Year's Best" series, but this one was lackluster and uninspiring. I found myself skipping probably every other story. There were a few stories I enjoyed, but nothing I loved. I can't even remember the names of the stories I liked best. There were too many novella lengths stories as well. The 2011 edition of "The Year's Best SCiFi and Fantasy" is light on fantasy and heavy on SciFi. 2 stories are reprints from other, better anthologies. This book was a waste of time and energy, but I'll hope for improvement for the 2012 edition.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vince Coleman

    Currently reading. (I marked it as finished so it would appear on my books for this year) It's hard to write a comprehensive review for a collection of stories, but yeah, the book overall is pretty darn good. Not everything is for everyone, but if you like sci-fi and fantasy, you're sure to find your money's worth and discover some good new authors. I am REALLY excited about picking up some books by some of the authors I liked from this collection. Currently reading. (I marked it as finished so it would appear on my books for this year) It's hard to write a comprehensive review for a collection of stories, but yeah, the book overall is pretty darn good. Not everything is for everyone, but if you like sci-fi and fantasy, you're sure to find your money's worth and discover some good new authors. I am REALLY excited about picking up some books by some of the authors I liked from this collection.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Graham

    This suffered as it was the last of the year's best volumes covering 2010 that I read, so that more of the stories were familiar to me. The selection was also less in tune with my personal preferences than it has been in previous years. Stories that I particularly liked were Alice Kim's "The Other Graces", Matthew Johnson's "Holdfast", Neil Gaiman's "The Thing About Cassandra", Robert Reed's "Dead Man's Run" and Matthew Surridge's "The Word of Azrael". This suffered as it was the last of the year's best volumes covering 2010 that I read, so that more of the stories were familiar to me. The selection was also less in tune with my personal preferences than it has been in previous years. Stories that I particularly liked were Alice Kim's "The Other Graces", Matthew Johnson's "Holdfast", Neil Gaiman's "The Thing About Cassandra", Robert Reed's "Dead Man's Run" and Matthew Surridge's "The Word of Azrael".

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A mediocre collection, but it picks out a couple of gems others overlooked. Among the unusual choices, I especially liked "The Word of Azrael," which is like every sword & sorcery story ever written mashed up into one amazing blast of imagery. A+: Swirsky, Watts, Surridge. A: Parker. B+: Lee, El-Mohtar, Landis, Fagan. B: Tem, Johnson, Park, Broderick. A mediocre collection, but it picks out a couple of gems others overlooked. Among the unusual choices, I especially liked "The Word of Azrael," which is like every sword & sorcery story ever written mashed up into one amazing blast of imagery. A+: Swirsky, Watts, Surridge. A: Parker. B+: Lee, El-Mohtar, Landis, Fagan. B: Tem, Johnson, Park, Broderick.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sururi

    Yoon Ha Lee | Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain | 20121205 | 3.5* Christie Yant | The Magician and the Maid and Other Stories | 20121206 | 2.5* Neil Gaiman | The Thing About Cassandra | 20121206 | 2.0* An Owomoyela | Abandonware | 20121207 | 3.0*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jack Hastings

    Some gems in there and all are readable and even commendable but I still prefer Gardner Dozois' annual collections. Some gems in there and all are readable and even commendable but I still prefer Gardner Dozois' annual collections.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Philip Hollenback

    I enjoyed the fact that this collection included fantasy as well as sci-fi. Solid stories. Unfortunately the edition I read had tons of really annoying typesetting errors, like repeated paragraphs.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Meh. Most of these stories just didn't grab my attention. Meh. Most of these stories just didn't grab my attention.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Crockett

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kay Benson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zeta Syanthis

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kareen

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Teigen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Scott Nance

  22. 4 out of 5

    Byron Lee

  23. 5 out of 5

    Roy Hanney

  24. 4 out of 5

    Don Sanders

  25. 4 out of 5

    Denise Farrell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela E Gilbert

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna Castle

  29. 5 out of 5

    R.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bernhard

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...