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The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now.  Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: * Cory Doctorow * Robert Charles Wilson * Michael Swanwick * Ian McDonald * Benjamin Rosenbaum * Kage The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now.  Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: * Cory Doctorow * Robert Charles Wilson * Michael Swanwick * Ian McDonald * Benjamin Rosenbaum * Kage Baker * Bruce McAllister * Alastair Reynolds * Jay Lake * Ruth Nestvold * Gregory Benford * Justin Stanchfield * Walter Jon Williams * Greg Van Eekhout * Robert Reed * David D. Levine * Paul J. McAuley * Mary Rosenblum * Daryl Gregory * Jack Skillingstead * Paolo Bacigalupi * Greg Egan * Elizabeth Bear * Sarah Monette * Ken MacLeod * Stephen Baxter * Carolyn Ives Gilman * John Barnes * A.M. Dellamonica Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart. Contents xiii • Summation: 2006 • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • I, Row-Boat • (2006) • novelette by Cory Doctorow 28 • Julian: A Christmas Story • (2006) • novella by Robert Charles Wilson 66 • Tin Marsh • (2006) • novelette by Michael Swanwick 81 • The Djinn's Wife • [India 2047] • (2006) • novelette by Ian McDonald 112 • The House Beyond Your Sky • (2006) • shortstory by Benjamin Rosenbaum 121 • Where the Golden Apples Grow • (2006) • novella by Kage Baker 164 • Kin • (2006) • shortstory by Bruce McAllister 172 • Signal to Noise • (2006) • novelette by Alastair Reynolds 204 • The Big Ice • (2006) • shortstory by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold 221 • Bow Shock • (2006) • novelette by Gregory Benford 251 • In the River • (2006) • shortstory by Justin Stanchfield 266 • Incarnation Day • (2006) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 295 • Far As You Can Go • (2006) • shortstory by Greg van Eekhout 305 • Good Mountain • (2005) • novella by Robert Reed 350 • I Hold My Father's Paws • (2006) • shortstory by David D. Levine 360 • Dead Men Walking • (2006) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley 374 • Home Movies • (2006) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum 395 • Damascus • (2006) • novelette by Daryl Gregory 418 • Life on the Preservation • (2006) • shortstory by Jack Skillingstead 431 • Yellow Card Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2006) • novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi 457 • Riding the Crocodile • (2005) • novella by Greg Egan 492 • The Ile of Dogges • (2006) • shortstory by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette 499 • The Highway Men • (2006) • novelette by Ken MacLeod 524 • The Pacific Mystery • (2006) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 540 • Okanoggan Falls • (2006) • novelette by Carolyn Ives Gilman 566 • Every Hole Is Outlined • (2006) • novelette by John Barnes 589 • The Town on Blighted Sea • (2006) • shortstory by A. M. Dellamonica 606 • Nightingale • [Revelation Space] • (2006) • novella by Alastair Reynolds 653 • Honorable Mentions: 2006 • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois


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The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now.  Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: * Cory Doctorow * Robert Charles Wilson * Michael Swanwick * Ian McDonald * Benjamin Rosenbaum * Kage The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now.  Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: * Cory Doctorow * Robert Charles Wilson * Michael Swanwick * Ian McDonald * Benjamin Rosenbaum * Kage Baker * Bruce McAllister * Alastair Reynolds * Jay Lake * Ruth Nestvold * Gregory Benford * Justin Stanchfield * Walter Jon Williams * Greg Van Eekhout * Robert Reed * David D. Levine * Paul J. McAuley * Mary Rosenblum * Daryl Gregory * Jack Skillingstead * Paolo Bacigalupi * Greg Egan * Elizabeth Bear * Sarah Monette * Ken MacLeod * Stephen Baxter * Carolyn Ives Gilman * John Barnes * A.M. Dellamonica Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart. Contents xiii • Summation: 2006 • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois 1 • I, Row-Boat • (2006) • novelette by Cory Doctorow 28 • Julian: A Christmas Story • (2006) • novella by Robert Charles Wilson 66 • Tin Marsh • (2006) • novelette by Michael Swanwick 81 • The Djinn's Wife • [India 2047] • (2006) • novelette by Ian McDonald 112 • The House Beyond Your Sky • (2006) • shortstory by Benjamin Rosenbaum 121 • Where the Golden Apples Grow • (2006) • novella by Kage Baker 164 • Kin • (2006) • shortstory by Bruce McAllister 172 • Signal to Noise • (2006) • novelette by Alastair Reynolds 204 • The Big Ice • (2006) • shortstory by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold 221 • Bow Shock • (2006) • novelette by Gregory Benford 251 • In the River • (2006) • shortstory by Justin Stanchfield 266 • Incarnation Day • (2006) • novella by Walter Jon Williams 295 • Far As You Can Go • (2006) • shortstory by Greg van Eekhout 305 • Good Mountain • (2005) • novella by Robert Reed 350 • I Hold My Father's Paws • (2006) • shortstory by David D. Levine 360 • Dead Men Walking • (2006) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley 374 • Home Movies • (2006) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum 395 • Damascus • (2006) • novelette by Daryl Gregory 418 • Life on the Preservation • (2006) • shortstory by Jack Skillingstead 431 • Yellow Card Man • [The Windup Universe] • (2006) • novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi 457 • Riding the Crocodile • (2005) • novella by Greg Egan 492 • The Ile of Dogges • (2006) • shortstory by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette 499 • The Highway Men • (2006) • novelette by Ken MacLeod 524 • The Pacific Mystery • (2006) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 540 • Okanoggan Falls • (2006) • novelette by Carolyn Ives Gilman 566 • Every Hole Is Outlined • (2006) • novelette by John Barnes 589 • The Town on Blighted Sea • (2006) • shortstory by A. M. Dellamonica 606 • Nightingale • [Revelation Space] • (2006) • novella by Alastair Reynolds 653 • Honorable Mentions: 2006 • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Here's the Best SF review, which is detailed, lengthy and impressive: http://bestsf.net/years-best-science-... Mark Watson was doing an impressive job of keeping up with all the Year's Best anthologies then, and this will be my guide and memory-aid here. And Alytha's review here is equally long and detailed: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... As usual, I've previously read a fair number of these stories elsewhere. And my library copy is seriously overdue. So, here's what I have. I'll check it Here's the Best SF review, which is detailed, lengthy and impressive: http://bestsf.net/years-best-science-... Mark Watson was doing an impressive job of keeping up with all the Year's Best anthologies then, and this will be my guide and memory-aid here. And Alytha's review here is equally long and detailed: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... As usual, I've previously read a fair number of these stories elsewhere. And my library copy is seriously overdue. So, here's what I have. I'll check it out again (sometime, maybe) and read some more. Links provided when I could find them. Notes added for a partial reread in early 2021. Special callout to "Every Hole Is Outlined," a wonderful novelette by John Barnes. http://hell.pl/szymon/Baen/The%20best... This one is an easy 5-stars for me: it's a love story (of sorts), a captain's biography and the story of a far-future relativistic interstellar freighter, her odd crew, and the increasingly strange galactic society that her crew barely understands. A shining example of why I keep reading this stuff, and I doubt that many of you have seen it. Enjoy! I've also starred [*] stories of special merit, in the list that follows. Maybe this time (2021) I'll get to the ones I missed in 2018. • I, Row-Boat • novelette by Cory Doctorow. Previously read. Cool story: http://www.flurb.net/1/doctorow.htm 2021: didn't hold up to reread well. DNF • Julian: A Christmas Story • novella by Robert Charles Wilson • Tin Marsh • novelette by Michael Swanwick. This is a good story, and memorable for me, in that I helped Swanwick get the mining stuff right. 3.5 stars. • The Djinn's Wife • [India 2047] • novelette by Ian McDonald. 3 stars. Previousy read. • The House Beyond Your Sky • short story by Benjamin Rosenbaum. Online at http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/th.... Story notes (SPOILERS): https://www.benjaminrosenbaum.com/blo... 4 stars? • Where the Golden Apples Grow • [Mars (Kage Baker)] • novella by Kage Baker. Previousy read, partial reread. Weak 3 stars. • Kin • short story by Bruce McAllister. http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011... • Signal to Noise • novelette by Alastair Reynolds. Alt-universe romance, kinda sorta. 2.5 stars. * The Big Ice • short story by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold. http://baencd.freedoors.org/Discs/Bae... 2021: Easy 5 stars, and a freebie to boot! Superwoman meets Alien! Don't miss. Really! • Bow Shock • novelette by Gregory Benford. https://www.baen.com/Chapters/1416521... Read, OK+ 251 • In the River • short story by Justin Stanchfield * Incarnation Day • novella by Walter Jon Williams. WJW’s brilliant pastiche of a Heinlein juvenile, updated for the 21st century. Easy 5 stars. Full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... • Far As You Can Go • short story by Greg van Eekhout • Good Mountain • novella by Robert Reed. Very odd world. Not reread. • I Hold My Father's Paws • short story by David D. Levine. http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories... • Dead Men Walking • [The Quiet War] • novelette by Paul J. McAuley. http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/mcaul... 374 • Home Movies • novelette by Mary Rosenblum. Read prior, I think. 395 • Damascus • novelette by Daryl Gregory. https://www.baen.com/Chapters/9781618... • Life on the Preservation • short story by Jack Skillingstead. One day in a future Seattle. Cute. • Yellow Card Man • [The Windup Universe] • novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi. Prev. read, I HATED it. http://www.nightshadebooks.com/Downlo... • Riding the Crocodile • (2005) • novella by Greg Egan. http://www.gregegan.net/INCANDESCENCE... Prev. read, strong story. 4 stars? 492 • The Ile of Dogges • short story by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette • The Highway Men • novelette by Ken MacLeod. First-rate Scots post-apocalypse. One of his better shorts. 4+ stars. Good review: https://jackdeighton.co.uk/2016/09/03... 524 • The Pacific Mystery • novelette by Stephen Baxter 540 • Okanoggan Falls • novelette by Carolyn Ives Gilman 566 • Every Hole Is Outlined • novelette by John Barnes. http://hell.pl/szymon/Baen/The%20best... 5 stars! See lede. 589 • The Town on Blighted Sea • short story by A. M. Dellamonica. http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/th... After the war. We lost, and ended up in a refugee camp. 4 stars for writing and extrapolation. Zero for fun. Yuck. YMMV. 606 • Nightingale • [Revelation Space] • novella by Alastair Reynolds. Another postwar story, this one about an effort to capture a war criminal, who's hiding out in a spooky, hidden hospital ship. It went on & on, getting grosser & grosser, until I gave up. DNF. Not for me! I think I’ve checked all the stories for valid links to online copies. Please add others if you find them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alytha

    Veeery long and detailed review! :) I, Row-Boat, by Cory Doctorow. Probably the first science fiction story about scuba-diving that I've read. The pun in the title is to be taken literally too. In the far future, Earth is a protected nature reserve. Humans have long ago uploaded their consciousnesses to the internet, and all kinds of things have become conscious and sentient. Robbie the row-boat is just taking people who have downloaded into human-shells to go diving on a reef, as usual, when it Veeery long and detailed review! :) I, Row-Boat, by Cory Doctorow. Probably the first science fiction story about scuba-diving that I've read. The pun in the title is to be taken literally too. In the far future, Earth is a protected nature reserve. Humans have long ago uploaded their consciousnesses to the internet, and all kinds of things have become conscious and sentient. Robbie the row-boat is just taking people who have downloaded into human-shells to go diving on a reef, as usual, when it becomes apparent that the reef has achieved sentience, and started to communicate with the internet. And it is not happy about having people poke around on it. A really interesting story. I guess the subject matter arises from itself once you come up with the titular pun, but still...also contains lots of philosophical discussion on Asimovism, a religion of AIs. 8/10 Julian, A Christmas Story, by Robert Charles Wilson: In a different and not that far future, mankind has regressed to a vaguely 19th century lifestyle du to fossile sources of energy running out. The knowledge of these times is regarded as myth, and society is ruled by the church. Two young men from very different sociological backgrounds try to find their way in life, in politically troubled times. An OK story, but not terribly interesting or groundbreaking. 6/10 Tin Marsh, by Michael Swanwick: Mr Swanwick is one of my absolutely favourite authors, and deserves much more attention than he seems to get. In this story, two prospectors on Venus looking for valuable metals get very bad cabin fever (or space-suit fever?) being stuck out there, with only themselves for company, for months. They find out that you can get to know somebody too well, and that that somebody then probably will try to kill you. a nice little psychological thriller set in the desolate landscape of Venus. 8.5/10 The Djinn's Wife, by Ian McDonald: Set in the same world as his novel River of Gods, ie, India in the near future, populated by all kinds of aeai's (AIs). A young dancer falls in love with a suave AI diplomat, and in a fit of entitlement issues, decides to marry him in order to get some attention. At first, they have a really good time as the superstars of the moment, but soon she notices that her world is shrinking inwards towards a not quite real husband, and her art, while he, as an AI, can be everywhere at the same time...it gets worse from there. The story is told by the dancer's daughter, who may or may not be the daughter of the AI. Considering all the other things he can do, stimulating an egg to divide shouldn't be that far out. And there are some clues...I really like the rich world of River of Gods, and this is a good story about being careful what you wish for. 9/10 The House Beyond Your Sky, by Benjamin Rosenbaum: I honestly have no idea what this story is supposed to be about. Nor what the author smoked while writing it. 5/10 Where the Golden Apples Grow by Kage Baker: unfortunately I only discovered Kage Baker's work after her death. Her two fantasy novels, The Anvil of the World, and House of the Stag are really good and should definetely by read. The story here is about two boys born on Mars, one as the son of a trucker, the other into a family of farmers. Both find that the grass is greener on the other side, and that their life as it is sucks quite badly. When fate throws them together, they both get to know the other side, and prepare to make some major changes in their life. A good story, which looks at both sides pretty realistically. On the other hand, how often does the grass actually remain greener on the other side once you get there? Maybe you'd have to be an idealistic teenager. And maybe that wouldn't be all that bad...7.5/10 Kin by Bruce McAllister. In yet another far future, Earth has made contact with various alien species, one of which specialises in assassinations. And then there is a corrupt government, and a young boy who is not going to take that without a fight. And despite being physically as different as they could possibly be, the boy and the alien assassin find out that they're not that different in mind after all. Pretty solid but not overly spectacular story. 6.5/10 Signal to Noise by Alastair Reynolds: A couple of scientists have established contact with a parallel and identical dimension, when the estranged wife of one of them dies in a freak accident. It turns out that at that moment, the dimensions start diverging, as in the other one, Andrea didn't die. In a last desperate attempt to seek redemption for himself and the mistakes he made in his relationship, Mick travels to the other universe, or rather, takes over the body of the other Mick for a week. The whole thing is morally a bit awkward. The Andrea on the other side is not his wife, technically, and in no way has a duty towards him, especially as their counterparts were getting a divorce anyway. It's basically just something Mick does in order to make himself feel better, and as Andrea is a really nice person, she plays along, although she feels pretty miserable about it. might be a bit of a waste, using the first contact to another dimension for that kind of thing. Also, the description of the decay of the signal between the dimensions, and the ensuing gradual loss of senses; touch, hearing, vision, is one of the creepiest things I've ever read. 8/10 The Big Ice by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold: Unfortunately not set in the "Flowers" universe, but still really good. A young woman is just trying to life her own life as a scientist on a distant planet when her past as a highly bio-engineered pawn of a noble house catches up with her. Fighting for her life, she finds support from an unforeseen source, deep beneath a glacier. Good story about dealing with your inheritance, whether you want to or not, and how to escape it in a rather interesting manner. 9/10 Bow Shock by Gregory Benford: An astronomer finds a weird asteroid and travks it for awhile, until he finds something even weirder. This is what happens when physicists try to write fiction...up to the last couple of pages, this is not science fiction, but just astronomy with a bit of the glamorous life of an astronomer with literary aspirations thrown in. Once it gets interesting, it's over. Even though it has illustrations. It should have started about two thirds in, and dealt with what happened after. Good idea, but extremely dry and pretty boring execution for the most part. 4.5/10 In the River by Justin Stanchfield: A scientist is biologically modified in order to be able to communicate with a species of water-dwelling aliens, and travel with them for a while to find out more about their maths and science. After a short time, she goes native, and when she has to be taken out of the River again because her implants are starting to break up, she finds coming home very hard. A good story about the meaning of home and the people you belong to, and that you sometimes find them in unforeseen places. 8.5/10 Incarnation Day by Walter Jon Williams. Out on the moons of the gas giants, resources are scarce, so children are brought up in cyberspace, and only incarnated after they've grown up and got the skills to get a job and be a useful member of society. Until then, they are the property of their parents, who can send the Blue Lady (not to be confused with the Blue Fairy, who does the opposite), to terminate their programm if they're not satisfactory. This way of growing up of course leads to various mental illnesses being very common out there, but pretty much ignored, until one young programm child dares to take on the system, enttailing the risk of getting herself terminated as her actions are very much against the ideas of her frustrated and very technologically-oriented mother. Really interesting premise, and good execution. 8.5/10 Far As You Can Go by Greg Van Eekhout: a young boy and his robot friend leave a post-apocalyptic city to look for a better life at the beach, and have some adventures on the way. Solid story about friendship and growing up, coupled with a bit of post-apocalypse. Solid but not terribly exciting. 7/10 Good Mountain by Robert Reed: The world is made of living island, which travel around the ocean, until they eventually hit the Continent, and stick to it. Thus, the Continent gets ever bigger. Public transport is done by worm (as in, inside the living worm, which even has windows), and everybody has mockmen slaves, who seem to be like humans but bred to be barely intelligent enough to perform tasks. Now, as the Continent gets bigger and bigger, it traps rising bubbles of methane gas rising from the ocean under it, which leads to explosive blow-outs, which can devastate whole islands at a time, as they're basically made of living wood. Currently, these blow-outs get progressively worse, and the whole Continent is going up in flames. On the last worm, a group of travellers is racing ahead of the flames, trying to reach the coast and a ship to outlying islands. However, a young woman on the worm claims to be a scientist exploring a crashed alien space ship near a station nor far ahead. She claims to have discovered that the passengers of that ship seeded life on the planet, and were themselves the ancestors of the worms, and technologically extremely advanced. She proposes to lead the other travellers to the ship to sit out the blaze. However, the worm driver claims that she is very often on his route, and takes a young man along every time to have a look at the spaceship. And they're never seen again...A really really bizarre world, with references to Dan Simmons' Hyperion cycle, and Dune. The end of the story is not really clear on the woman's claim. It all depends on how you see the worm driver. On the one hand, he does have a long experience about what's happening, or rather not happening, near the stations. And he has no reason to lie about her and the other men. However, he seems very preoccupied by his worm, and getting away from the place is very much in his own interest. And the girl's story is really plausible...9/10 I Hold My Father's Paws by David D. Levine: A tale about what it means to be family, and to what extremes some people go to get rid of theirs, but in the end come back. To be rather more concrete, a young man finds out that his estranged father is undergoing a series of surgeries to turn himself into a dog, and decides to forget all the years of abandonment and go talk to him one last time. And thus, loses a father but gains a loyal companion. Very bizarre, but you can't help understanding the father's motivations. Being a human is just terrible sometimes, all the thoughts and worries and responsibilites...being a pet must be much nicer and more carefree. Personally, I'd go for cat though. 9/10 Dead Men Walking by Paul J Mcauley: An artificially grown super-assassin goes rogue after completing his mission, and having found that he actually enjoys life. However, one day his past catches up with him, and altruism doesn't go unpunished. Pretty solid average story about the meaning of being a real person. 6.5/10 Home Movies by Mary Rosenblum: Kayla is a chameleon, a person employed to go places on behalf of other people, and to record memories which will then be extracted and sold to the client, while she forgets everything. Her latest contract sends her to a wedding of members of powerful families, where she is instructed to pay special attention to a young man, who turns out to be quite attractive. And little by little, she finds out that on this job, not everything is what it seems...I really liked this one, it has some very interesting ideas, and an exploration of what morals mean in the high-tech age. 8.5/10 Damascus bx Daryl Gregory: A harrassed single mother is being taken into the circle of a group of strange women, who constantly insist on feeding her...and suddenly, she has a visit of Christ in the shape of Kurt Cobain, which is nice for her, and also heavy seizures, which isn't. The outcome has two very different meanings for two different groups of people: to most of society, Paula and the sisters are suffering from the mental consequences of conracting Kuru through eating infected human blood. To them, however, they are a sacred sisterhood that brings Christ to people through the communion of blood. Unfortunately, they all end up crippled and dying horribly. It's not quite clear within the universe of the story, which version is true, if any. Very creepy story about the evils of religion and eating people. Doubly disturbing if you think about the fact that Christians believe that they comsume Christ's flesh and blood at communion...9/10 Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead: In the far future, evil elements have trapped the city of Seattle in a timeloop of an endlessly repeating 9th November 2004 for timetravelling tourists to visit, while the world outside is quite postapocalyptic. A young woman called Kylie (in the real world, are there actually any other Kylies apart from Ms Minogue and the little girls named after her?), who is sent by the Resistance to destroy the time-loop gizmo and return Seattle to the normal timestream. On her mission though, she meets a nice young man called Toby, and suddenly, the early 21st century has some nice amenities if you're used to the world after the end...Quite liked this one, although, of course, Kylie fails, but at least she'll have a good day. Over and over and over again..8/10 Yellow Card Man by Paolo Bacigalupi: set either before The Windup Girl, or as an earlier draft idea of the novel, with mostly the same characters drifting through a postapocalyptic Bangkok and complaining about bloody foreigners. The protagonist is Tranh, the unpleasant Chinese immigrant, whose total lack of any kind of redeeming character traits, as well as the complete lack of any kind of magnificent bastard attributes makes me wonder why I should care about him. And if I'm not supposed to care about him, what kind of masochist, exhibitionistic monster is the author? Still, the story is marginally more coherent than that of The Windup Girl, although that's not saying much. 3/10 Riding the Crocodile by Greg Egan: In the far future (again), the disk of the Milky Way has been colonised, people are more or less immortal, and can get themselves beamed about as datastream. The last big secret is the core of the galaxy, which is inhabited by the so-called Aloof, who refuse to be contacted or explored, and nicely return probes in perfect condition, but without any data. Leila and Jasim have been married for millenia, have raised kids, travelled and researched, and now they think they've seen it all, and look for one last thrill, before ending their existence. What better than to finally discover the truth about the mysterious Aloof? Good story about life and love in the high-tech age, where millenia pass in the blink of an eye while you're in transit, and almost everything that is possible has been done, and the quest to find meaning in these circumstances. 8.5/10 The Ile of Dogges, by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette: One night, Lord Tylney, Queen Elizabeth I's censor, about to destroy an inacceptable play by Jonson and Nashe, receives a visit from a timetravelling historian with a digicam...The first part is actually true. The second, unfortunately not. For Elizabeth Bear, going from Shakespeare and fairies to Jonson and timetravellers is not all that far. Really nice story with a nice little twist in the end. 9.5/10 The Highway Men by Ken MacLeod: Years ago, a misunderstanding started a war all across the Middle East up to China, the extend of which accelerated climate change, with the poles thawing, and Scotland freezing solid. A group of Highwaymen (the nice kind) find a group of hippies trying to make a living in the desolate hills, and there are more misunderstandings...Ok story, but not terribly exciting. 6.5/10 The Pacific Mystery by Stephen Baxter: In a parallel universe, Germany won the Second World War pretty much before it really got going, but that is really just the background here, as the story is set on a German flying battleship, the Goering. One of the reasons for the Germans' win is that in this world, the Pacific has never been crossed, neither by plane nor by ship, so that Pearl Harbour never happened, and the US were less interested in joining the fun. Now, the Goering is out to explore the Pacific Mystery, and reach the US from the Chinese coast. However, one year in, they've still not reached land again...the only thing they find from time to time are islands populated by ancient life-forms, starting with mammoths and neanderthals, and going back in time further and further as they go east...really really insane worldbuilding, and a very good story. 9.5/10 Okanoggan Falls by Carolyn Ives Gilman: Earth has been conquered by the alien Wattesoons, who in general are not too bad as alien overlords come. However, they decide to strip-mine a couple of small towns in Wisconsin for limestone. While riots break out in the other towns, the wife of the mayor of Okanoggan Falls has her own plans to make the alien Captain change his mind...with rather unforeseen results. Really enjoyed this one, as it gives a very different, lighter but still serious take on alien invasions. Poor Wattesoon women though...first they get the man of their dreams, and then they die. They should really work on that. 9/10 Every Hole is Outlined by John Barnes: I went to uni with a John Barnes, but I kinda doubt it was this one...anyway, another story set in the far future, where mankind is spread so far across the galaxy that travelling takes centuries, so that ship's crews become very tight and separated communities, where each member has to be replaced through careful processes when they die. Thus, the young slave Xhrina is bought (and immediately released from slavery) to replace the ship mathematician's wife. Soon, she discovers, that on certain dates important to the crew, the ghosts of dead crewmembers can be seen in the opsball. Interesting combination between hard sci-fi and spirituality. 9/10 The Town on the Blighted Sea by A.M. Dellamonica: an alien race has taken pity on one side of a civil war on Earth, and granted the survivors sanctuary on their planet. However, the aliens aren't always as nice as they could be, and nasty things happen, and have to be cleaned up. OK story without much of an impact. 6/10 Nightingale by Alastair Reynolds: A group of specialists is send to retrieve a wanted war criminal from the hulk of a former hospital spaceship. However, the ship's AI has suffered quite a bit from the role it had to play during the war, and has its own ideas about this mission, and dealing with war criminals. It also believes in war memorials to scare people off the idea. Body horror ensues. Creepy verging on horrifying, although the ship's intentions are quite understandable. 7/10. All in all, one of the highest quality short story collections I've come across. 2007 seems to have been a good year ;)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Timons Esaias

    This is, regrettably, a 15-grimace, 1 incorrect careen, 2 loose strands of hair anthology. That said, these Dozois Year's Best anthologies (of which, alas, there will be no more) are a tremendous bargain and source of amusement. For writers, they are a godsend of examples of how things are done, and the wide variety of approaches that SF allows. And, yeah, this one sat on my shelf for slightly over a decade before I finally started it, but that's another thing about these collections: they age on This is, regrettably, a 15-grimace, 1 incorrect careen, 2 loose strands of hair anthology. That said, these Dozois Year's Best anthologies (of which, alas, there will be no more) are a tremendous bargain and source of amusement. For writers, they are a godsend of examples of how things are done, and the wide variety of approaches that SF allows. And, yeah, this one sat on my shelf for slightly over a decade before I finally started it, but that's another thing about these collections: they age only slowly, since Gardner tended to pick the stories that were excellent in their year, yet would still be excellent two decades later. I gave four stories an exclamation point in the TOC: "Kin" - Bruce McAllister "Good Mountain" - Robert Reed "Life on the Preservation" - Jack Skillingstead "Far As You Can Go" - Greg Van Eekhout I gave two exclams to Kage Baker's "Where the Golden Apples Grow" and three to Ian McDonald's "The Djinn's Wife" which I'd read elsewhere. Several of these stories were also in the Hartwell collection for that year, and I may have muted my reactions, so see my review on LJ for those. There were several very cute pieces, like Cory Doctorow's pastiche of both the Three Laws and Uplift; Rosenbaum's, Levine's and Baxter's. I made writer's notes on Carolyn Ives Gilman's "Okanoggan Falls" and A. M. Dellamonica's "The Town on Blighted Sea". Gilman's is an excellent example of a big world event boiled down to a much smaller event in a small town, and the even more personal story of one family, through the view of the mother. Dellamonica's is a study in how to limit the explanation of the setting in a science fiction story. You would not be able to derive the history of the location, or explain it to others if pressed (say by a Mueller subpoena), but you don't need to for understanding the story. I noted that Greg Egan's piece ("Riding the Crocodile") is an example of a Really Big Canvas. I recently reviewed a mainstream Best American Short Stories collection, and noted the percentages of first person (30%), multiple-POV (10%) and (though I don't think I mentioned it in the review) present tense (45%). It also had one second person story. As a comparison, this SF collection is 18% first person, about 11% multiple-POV, and only 3.6% present tense (yes, less than a tenth of the literary collection).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    This collection of the "best" science fiction stories from 2006 is hit and miss. Some of the stories were fabulous, like "Where the Golden Apples Grow" by Kage Baker and "In the River" by Justin Stanchfield. "I, Row-Boat" by Cory Doctorow, the first story in this anthology, was a silly story that was mostly a sci-fi insider's joke. I couldn't even finish "Bow Shock" by Gregory Benford because it was boring. With the exception of the Benford story, most of the pieces selected were good to excelle This collection of the "best" science fiction stories from 2006 is hit and miss. Some of the stories were fabulous, like "Where the Golden Apples Grow" by Kage Baker and "In the River" by Justin Stanchfield. "I, Row-Boat" by Cory Doctorow, the first story in this anthology, was a silly story that was mostly a sci-fi insider's joke. I couldn't even finish "Bow Shock" by Gregory Benford because it was boring. With the exception of the Benford story, most of the pieces selected were good to excellent. This book is a good overview of the variety of stories available in modern science fiction.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1896524... Most of these stories were indeed fresh for me; four (I think) were Hugo nominees, and I'd read a couple of others in other collections (or possibly even in the original magazine publication). As usual, Dozois shows excellent taste, though my 2007 records are not in good enough shape to tell me if I think he got a better or worse result than the Hugo or Nebula nomination system. The story that stood out for me as a new discovery was Carolyn Ives Gilman's " http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1896524... Most of these stories were indeed fresh for me; four (I think) were Hugo nominees, and I'd read a couple of others in other collections (or possibly even in the original magazine publication). As usual, Dozois shows excellent taste, though my 2007 records are not in good enough shape to tell me if I think he got a better or worse result than the Hugo or Nebula nomination system. The story that stood out for me as a new discovery was Carolyn Ives Gilman's "Okanoggan Falls", a disturbing tale of alien occupation and human resistance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Take me back to 2006, please! If the retrospective anthology for the year was so good, you can only imagine how good the uncollected stories can also be. In possession of 8 extra-ordinary stories (the Wilson, the Williams, the Levine, the McAuley, the Rosenblum, the Baxter, the Gilman, and the Barnes), a lot of above average other stories and few to none useless / unreadables, this makes the anthology one of the best that GD has edited.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim S.

    Best stories: Alastair Reynolds, "Nightingale." Stephen Baxter, "The Pacific Mystery." Robert Charles Wilson, "Julian: A Christmas Story." Good stories: Michael Swanwick, "Tin Marsh." Kage Baker, "Where the Golden Apples Grow." Bruce McAllister, "Kin." Gregory Benford, "Bow Shock." Robert Reed, "Good Mountain." David D. Levine, "I Hold My Father's Paws." Paul J. McAuley, "Dead Men Walking." Mary Rosenblum, "Home Movies." Daryl Gregory, "Damascus." Best stories: Alastair Reynolds, "Nightingale." Stephen Baxter, "The Pacific Mystery." Robert Charles Wilson, "Julian: A Christmas Story." Good stories: Michael Swanwick, "Tin Marsh." Kage Baker, "Where the Golden Apples Grow." Bruce McAllister, "Kin." Gregory Benford, "Bow Shock." Robert Reed, "Good Mountain." David D. Levine, "I Hold My Father's Paws." Paul J. McAuley, "Dead Men Walking." Mary Rosenblum, "Home Movies." Daryl Gregory, "Damascus."

  8. 5 out of 5

    April

    Took a while to work through this. It wasn't what I thought it was, but found some 'new-to-me' authors to take a look at! Took a while to work through this. It wasn't what I thought it was, but found some 'new-to-me' authors to take a look at!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janet Jay

    Standouts were I, rowboat, Incarnation day, and the horror of “nightingale”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    As with many "Year's Best" type anthologies, it's difficult to evaluate the collection as a whole. Unlike a themed collection (e.g., Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse ), you can't easily ask how each story is helping to advance or otherwise round-out the speculation or evaluation of that given theme. But that's OK; that's not why we pick up and read a collection like this. And it's a hazard we're willing -- nay: happy -- to take on. That said, the rating for the collection here is a comput As with many "Year's Best" type anthologies, it's difficult to evaluate the collection as a whole. Unlike a themed collection (e.g., Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse ), you can't easily ask how each story is helping to advance or otherwise round-out the speculation or evaluation of that given theme. But that's OK; that's not why we pick up and read a collection like this. And it's a hazard we're willing -- nay: happy -- to take on. That said, the rating for the collection here is a computed average of my ratings on the individual stories themselves. Out to four decimal places, the 24th Annual Collection scores: 3.3929 And now the individual ratings (with comments where I have them) based on the 5-star GoodReads scale: (1) Cory Doctorow - "I, Row-Boat": ★★★ (2) Robert Charles Wilson - "Julian: A Christmas Story" ★★★ - Not sure how this one sits with me; a re-read might better inform whether it's holding up Christianity or vs. some ethical secularism but... Tough to say on the first hit. Also: steampunkish and yet not; definitely a post-Peak Oil tale and I wonder to myself if it wasn't short-listed for inclusion in Wastelands or not... (3) Michael Swanwick - "Tin Marsh": ★★ (4) Ian McDonald - "The Djinn's Wife": ★★★★ - If you're too intimidated by River of Gods then this will almost serve as a substitute. (5) Benjamin Rosenbaum - "The House Beyond Your Sky": ★★★ - Attempts depth but comes off as a bit opaque. A compact, dense story though and probably worth a re-read sometime. (6) Kage Baker - "Where The Golden Apples Grow": ★★★ - Interesting and twisted take on the "Prince and the Pauper" fairy tale (though with two paupers). I wanted to like it a lot more but I found the story a bit predictable and maybe just a little pedantic. But I'm curious to see more by this gifted writer. (7) Bruce McAllister - "Kin": ★★ - Couldn't relate; felt forced. Also: where's "the greater good" in exceptions? (8) Alastair Reynolds - "Signal to Noise" ★★★★★ - Wow; head-spinningly good. (9) Jay Lake & Ruth Nestvold - "The Big Ice": ★★★ - Action for action; great for what it is. (10) Gregory Benford - "Bow Shock": ★★★ (11) Justin Stanchfield - "In the River": ★★★★★ - This is a good one to rub up against Blindsight for comparison. (12) Walter Jon Williams - "Incarnation Day": ★★★★ - Nice use of voice and tone; also: it's like a post-human Pinocchio! (13) Greg Van Eekhout - "Far as You Can Go": ★★★★ (14) Robert Reed - "Good Mountain": ★★★ - Had trouble getting into this one; too far afield? (15) David D. Levine - "I Hold My Father's Paws": ★★★ (16) Paul J. McAuley - "Dead Men Walking": ★★ (17) Mary Rosenblum - "Home Movies": ★★★ - A la PKD, but not enough D. (18) Daryl Gregory - "Damascus": ★★★ - I liked this better as that X-Files episode. (You know the one I'm talking about? the one from Season Two?) Also: I don't get the title. (Seems such a shame, had so much potential...) (19) Jack Skillingstead - "Life on the Preservation": ★★ - I wanted to like it but it seemed like a bit of a warm-up... (20) Paolo Bacigalupi - "Yellow Card Man": ★★★★ - Heavy and cynical and intense and sometimes a little hard to follow. Worth a re-read to pull it all together. (21) Greg Egan - "Riding the Crocodile": ★★★ (22) Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette - "The Ile of Dogges": ★★ - Trying to hard to be exactly what it is? (23) Ken MacLeod - "The Highway Men": ★★★★ (24) Stephen Baxter - "The Pacific Mystery": ★★★★ (25) Carolyn Ives Gilman - "Okanoggan Falls": ★★★★ (26) John Barnes - "Every Hole Is Outlined": ★★★★ (27) A.M. Dellamonica - "The Town on Blighted Sea": ★★★★★ (28) Alastair Reynolds - "Nightingale": ★★★★★ BONUS ROUND: pace of reading (for comparison purposes only) Click through for full size.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Petr Polovodov

    It filled with good stories. The last "Nightingale" is truly terrifying. And "Every hole is outlined" is remarkably interesting It filled with good stories. The last "Nightingale" is truly terrifying. And "Every hole is outlined" is remarkably interesting

  12. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    This was a short story in the Year's Best Sci Fi 24th edition. I read this in one sitting, and I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it. I found the concept of nerve linking interesting. Being able to inahabit the body of someone else in a different place for a short period of time. In this story, Mick, the main character, links with a different version of himself in another worldline to spend some time with his wife who is still alive in that world, but who had died in his version of the worl This was a short story in the Year's Best Sci Fi 24th edition. I read this in one sitting, and I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it. I found the concept of nerve linking interesting. Being able to inahabit the body of someone else in a different place for a short period of time. In this story, Mick, the main character, links with a different version of himself in another worldline to spend some time with his wife who is still alive in that world, but who had died in his version of the world. I would be interested in reading more by this author that might take place in this same setting. Merged review: I bought this book because I thought it would be a good way to introduce myself to science fiction. I've mainly been reading fantasy and wanted to venture into sci-fi as well and thought trying out short stories would be a good way to get to know new authors. We'll see how it goes.

  13. 4 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...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jon Mountjoy

    It's a big book- 700 pages with about 28 stories. I enjoyed "The Djinn's Wife", "Good Mountain", "Nightingale" (Alastair Reynolds - can't say I enjoyed his other story here, "Signal to Noise"), and others. I found many were a little too "real" - I think there's a resurgence in hard science fiction (and political science fiction, for want of a better phrase), and while I enjoy it, I still long for the more esoteric - especially in a collection such as this. For example, I enjoyed "Julian: A Chris It's a big book- 700 pages with about 28 stories. I enjoyed "The Djinn's Wife", "Good Mountain", "Nightingale" (Alastair Reynolds - can't say I enjoyed his other story here, "Signal to Noise"), and others. I found many were a little too "real" - I think there's a resurgence in hard science fiction (and political science fiction, for want of a better phrase), and while I enjoy it, I still long for the more esoteric - especially in a collection such as this. For example, I enjoyed "Julian: A Christmas Story" as a story - but it's not very science fiction :-) For this reason I gave this collection 3 instead of 4 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris C.

    After having skipped last year's best of collection, I was ready to jump head first into this tome. I'm glad I did ad this one was a but different than years past. I/m not sure if it was intentional, but this year's stories seemed a bit on the long side, which was nice. They were generally longer that a regular short story, but shorter that a novella. This allowed many of the authors to go into much more detail and provide a much fuller, more fleshed out story. However, I do feel that many of th After having skipped last year's best of collection, I was ready to jump head first into this tome. I'm glad I did ad this one was a but different than years past. I/m not sure if it was intentional, but this year's stories seemed a bit on the long side, which was nice. They were generally longer that a regular short story, but shorter that a novella. This allowed many of the authors to go into much more detail and provide a much fuller, more fleshed out story. However, I do feel that many of the stories could be lengthened into the full length novel format. A good read for any sci-fi buff or anyone looking to just get a small, yearly fix.

  16. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    * "The Year's Best Science Fiction 24th Annual Collection" of 2006 short stories was edited by Gardner Dozois. I tried, I really tried, but could not finish. Halfway were okay "Where the golden apples grow" by Kage Baker, and "Incarnation Day" by Walter Jon Williams about rebellious teens and sad, scary, romantic "Home Movies" by Mary Rosenblum. They were overpowered by nightmare "Damascus" by Daryl Gregory, where pathetic transformed to joyous mad-cow disease victims are terrorist missionaries * "The Year's Best Science Fiction 24th Annual Collection" of 2006 short stories was edited by Gardner Dozois. I tried, I really tried, but could not finish. Halfway were okay "Where the golden apples grow" by Kage Baker, and "Incarnation Day" by Walter Jon Williams about rebellious teens and sad, scary, romantic "Home Movies" by Mary Rosenblum. They were overpowered by nightmare "Damascus" by Daryl Gregory, where pathetic transformed to joyous mad-cow disease victims are terrorist missionaries to spread their imaginary god-feeling and companion. Apologies to the authors who followed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    This slab of a volume ate up a few days in an enjoyable fashion. The worst you can expect in a Dozois collection is worthy-but-dull-and-overlong. Outright bad is very rare; the stories are always sure to be well crafted and well-written. This edition is solid. Nothing boring, nothing spectacularly stand-out either. Memorable ones included Yellow Card Man and Nightingale, both rather nightmarish. Robbie The Row Boat was fun and clever. A good collection, overall.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Another strong collection. Highlights are Nightingale, a strong horror tale by Alastair Reynolds in his Sky's Edge setting, Bow Shock by Gregory Benford about the mundanities of an astronomer academic discovering the first evidence of alien life and The Highway Men by Ken MacLeod, a near-future post-global warming story. Another strong collection. Highlights are Nightingale, a strong horror tale by Alastair Reynolds in his Sky's Edge setting, Bow Shock by Gregory Benford about the mundanities of an astronomer academic discovering the first evidence of alien life and The Highway Men by Ken MacLeod, a near-future post-global warming story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Bongard

    Some of the stories were really great. Some were disturbing. That's what I like about short stories in collections like this. You get a bunch of lots of things. Many will stay with me. Some I wish didn't. But some will make me think. I hope some develop in to books. I will read these books. Short stories are such an interesting medium. They are very fun to read from time to time. Some of the stories were really great. Some were disturbing. That's what I like about short stories in collections like this. You get a bunch of lots of things. Many will stay with me. Some I wish didn't. But some will make me think. I hope some develop in to books. I will read these books. Short stories are such an interesting medium. They are very fun to read from time to time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matt Howard

    Other reviewers have commented on the improved quality of this edition in comparison to recent years. I certainly agree. I think it's because this year's stories are less self-consciously trying to be "literary," and are more focused on a tight story. Other reviewers have commented on the improved quality of this edition in comparison to recent years. I certainly agree. I think it's because this year's stories are less self-consciously trying to be "literary," and are more focused on a tight story.

  21. 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aletheia

    Some weren't that great, but I adored The Nightingale, The Djinn's Wife, The Pacific Mystery, Kin, Signal to Noise, Incarnation Day, Okanoggan Falls (this one made me cry), The Town on the Blighted Sea, and the Pacific Mystery. :D Some weren't that great, but I adored The Nightingale, The Djinn's Wife, The Pacific Mystery, Kin, Signal to Noise, Incarnation Day, Okanoggan Falls (this one made me cry), The Town on the Blighted Sea, and the Pacific Mystery. :D

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Best stories: Julian: A Christmas Story – Robert Charles Wilson Signal to Noise - Alastair Reynolds Good Mountain - Robert Reed Home Movies – Mary Rosenblum Life on the Preservation – Jack Skillingstead

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    2006 best of the year anthology. This series has consistent quality over the years. I always find a few stories that are excellent, and all the stories are worth reading. If you like short stories, this is a great anthology to pick up. Highly recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Many different stories: some good, some boring. But some of the good ones are really good. Reread: better then I remembered. Such a lovely collection. Great for reading in short bursts during the commute.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wm

    A preoccupation with AI's and humanity living on networks, but some very good stories in this edition. There's even a Cory Doctorow story that I actually liked. A preoccupation with AI's and humanity living on networks, but some very good stories in this edition. There's even a Cory Doctorow story that I actually liked.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Currently reading. The first story by Cory Doctorow was excellent! Just what I was looking for.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Some great stories, some not so great stories. Definitely required reading for Sci-fi fans.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cooper

    I can't get enough of Sci-Fi short stories and Mr. Dozois always picks gems. The stories run the gamut in style/scope and almost all left me with a satisfied smile. I can't get enough of Sci-Fi short stories and Mr. Dozois always picks gems. The stories run the gamut in style/scope and almost all left me with a satisfied smile.

  30. 5 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction) (2007) The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction) (2007)

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