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The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2013

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This fifth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty-three stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, F This fifth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty-three stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Strange Horizons, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.


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This fifth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty-three stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, F This fifth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty-three stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Strange Horizons, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2013

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Very good selection of stories! Here's my thoughts. Some stories have not been commented on if I didn't read them or just had no strong opinion: Honey Bear (Sofia Samatar): Dang! I did NOT see that coming. Read it. You'll like it. One Day in Time City (David Ira Cleary): What an interesting concept. Swift Brutal Retaliation (Megham McCarron): I had to stop reading this one, it freaked me out. The Contrary Gardener (Christopher Rowe): Interesting dystopian vision (Horse Lords, war with vegetables) The Very good selection of stories! Here's my thoughts. Some stories have not been commented on if I didn't read them or just had no strong opinion: Honey Bear (Sofia Samatar): Dang! I did NOT see that coming. Read it. You'll like it. One Day in Time City (David Ira Cleary): What an interesting concept. Swift Brutal Retaliation (Megham McCarron): I had to stop reading this one, it freaked me out. The Contrary Gardener (Christopher Rowe): Interesting dystopian vision (Horse Lords, war with vegetables) The Keats Variation (K.M.Ferbee): Another one I had stop reading due to a case of the shivers. One Breath, One Stroke (Cathrynne M. Valente): This is more poetry than story. I greatly enjoyed it's Asian flavor and vision. "Sazae-Onna lives in a pond in the floor of the kitchen. Her shell is tiered like a cake or a palace, hard and thorned and colored like the inside of an almond, with seams of mother of pearl swirling in spiral patterns over her gnarled surface." The Bernoulli War (Gord Sellar): Okay, this one was crazy. What an imagination. A Murmuration of Starlings (Joe Pitkin): Ha! Fascinating vision. Genetic tampering by birds.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue Chant

    1. “Nahiku West” by Linda Nagata (Analog) - excellent 2. “The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring” by Genevieve Valentine (Lightspeed) - excellent 3. “Under the Eaves” by Lavie Tidhar (Robots: The New A.I.) - good 4. “Honey Bear” by Sofia Samatar (Clarkesworld) - good 5. “One Day in Time City” by David Ira Cleary (Interzone) - good 6. “The Black Feminist’s Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing” by Sandra McDonald (Asimov’s)- Ok 7. “The Governess and the Lobster” by Margaret Ronald, (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) 1. “Nahiku West” by Linda Nagata (Analog) - excellent 2. “The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring” by Genevieve Valentine (Lightspeed) - excellent 3. “Under the Eaves” by Lavie Tidhar (Robots: The New A.I.) - good 4. “Honey Bear” by Sofia Samatar (Clarkesworld) - good 5. “One Day in Time City” by David Ira Cleary (Interzone) - good 6. “The Black Feminist’s Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing” by Sandra McDonald (Asimov’s)- Ok 7. “The Governess and the Lobster” by Margaret Ronald, (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)- steampunk, dull 8. “Swift, Brutal Retaliation” by Meghan McCarron (Tor.com)- pointless 9. “Scattered Along the River of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld)- ok 10. “Four Kinds of Cargo” by Leonard Richardson (Strange Horizons) 11. “Elementals” by Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House) - dull 12. “Prayer” by Robert Reed (Clarkesworld) - ok 13. “Scrap Dragon” by Naomi Kritzer (F&SF) 14. “The Contrary Gardener” by Christopher Rowe (Eclipse Online) - good 15. “The Castle That Jack Built” by Emily Gilman (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) 16. “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s) - excellent 17. “The Philosophy of Ships” by Caroline Yoachim (Interzone) - excellent 18. “The Keats Variation” by K. M. Ferebee Strange Horizons) - dull, didn't finish 19. “Fireborn” by Robert Charles Wilson (Rip-Off) - good 20. “One Breath, One Stroke” by Catherynne M. Valente (The Future is Japanese) - ecellent 21. “The Bernoulli War” by Gord Sellar (Asimov’s) - dull, didn't finish 22. “Things Greater Than Love” by Kate Bachus (Strange Horizons)- ok 23. “A Murmuration of Starlings” by Joe Pitkin (Analog) - good 24. “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” by Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed) - excellent 25. “Arbeitskraft” by Nick Mamatas (The Mammoth Book of Steampunk) - some pretty interesting ideas 26. “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld) - ok 27. “Heaven Under Earth” by Aliette de Bodard (Electric Velocipede)- excellent 28. “Sunshine” by Nina Allan (Black Static)- can't say I enjoyed the story itself, but did appreciate a vampire who was repulsive and deeply unpleasant instead of the recent darkly brooding types. 29. “Uncle Flower’s Homecoming Waltz” by Marissa K. Lingen (Tor.com) - dull 30. “The Magician’s Apprentice” by Tamsyn Muir (Weird Tales) - good 31. “Twenty-Two and you” by Michael Blumlein (F&SF) - ok, a bit obvious 32. “Two Houses” by Kelly Link (the Bradbury tribute anthology SHADOW SHOW)- good 33. “The Weight of History, The Lightness of the Future” by Jay Lake (Subterranean)- good, but a bit reminiscentof The Culture

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bryce

    A solid collection of short stories (and one not-so-short story). Two in particular jumped out: "Honey Bear" - that ending, wow did I not expect it. Totally changes how to read the story. "The Philosophy of Ships" - such an excellent exploration of what it actually means to be human (and how different people can have different perspectives on it) A solid collection of short stories (and one not-so-short story). Two in particular jumped out: "Honey Bear" - that ending, wow did I not expect it. Totally changes how to read the story. "The Philosophy of Ships" - such an excellent exploration of what it actually means to be human (and how different people can have different perspectives on it)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vaughan

    a couple of good stories in amongst a slew that were a hard slog to get through

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brad Hodges

    I have had a long, torturous relationship with science fiction literature. I want to like it--I like at the covers of those pulp novels, so lurid, so exciting--and then I am inevitably disappointed by the preachy, pretentious tone of the writing. Over the years my favorite sci-fi has been by writers who aren't really considered sci-fi authors, like Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, where though they are serious writers they take a light-hearted approach. So I was a little annoyed by many of the st I have had a long, torturous relationship with science fiction literature. I want to like it--I like at the covers of those pulp novels, so lurid, so exciting--and then I am inevitably disappointed by the preachy, pretentious tone of the writing. Over the years my favorite sci-fi has been by writers who aren't really considered sci-fi authors, like Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, where though they are serious writers they take a light-hearted approach. So I was a little annoyed by many of the stories in The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2013, edited by Rich Horton. For one thing, that "fantasy" is a big deal, because many of the stories are not remotely classified as science fiction. "Sunshine," a very good story by Nina Allan, is a vampire story (or, excuse me, a hirudin story). "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight," by Xia Jia, is about, you guessed it, ghosts. "Swift, Brutal Retaliation" by Meghan McCarron is also about a ghost, but it is a top-notch story. But there's plenty to love here for space travel fans. There are two murder mysteries set in space: "Nahiku West," by Linda Nagata, and "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns," by Elizabeth Bear, which involves the ability to occupy another's body. The longest story, full of technical jargon that is head-scratchingly confusing, is "The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future," by Jay Lake. I sometimes think writers of space adventures just like making up words, and having the reader guess their meaning from context. I think of this passage from "The Bernoulli War," by Gord Sellar: "!oblong~fku6hPr0sPec7--a near cousin in terms of metaforks, but distant in terms of metathread--soared past, shattering the reinforced walls with its shoulders of corrugated buckymeat, belching torrents of flame from a dozen evenly spaced apertures visible in the armor plating of its killskin as it crashed past the brink of entry." Huh? Fantasy writers are also guilty of this. Consider this from "Fireborn," by Robert Charles Wilson: "As a child on a pew in Buttercup County's Church of True Things, Onyx had learned now Jesu Rinpoche had saved wisdom from the Hemoclysm and planted the Four Doors to the Moon at the corners of the Earth." I'm sorry, I can't read that without rolling my eyes. But there are some very good stories here that didn't roll my eyes or make my head hurt. "The Black Feminist's Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing," by Sandra McDonald, is about, well, let her describe it: "That's our job, you see: film reconstruction. Correcting the cinematic injustices of the past with modern, thoughtful, gender-balanced versions." The villain in the piece has another tack: "His version of Kill Bill has a PMS-crazed assassin trying to kill a peaceful monk played by David Carradine. He remade The Hunger Games so that Peeta wins instead of Katniss. His Twilight is about a vampire stalked by a sulky teenager who will stop at nothing to bear his demon spawn. Actually, that one was much better than the original." I also loved "Scrap Dragon," by Naomi Kritzer. It's a dialogue between mother and daughter, with the former trying to make up a fairy tale on the fly to her very dubious listener, who is given to asking questions like, "Does she have to be a princess? Couldn't she be the daughter of a merchant, or a scholar, or an accountant?" I read this story while eating lunch at a Sonic somewhere in Missouri. It's one of those stories that are so good that it immediately reminds of where you were when you were reading it. So, this collection is a mixed bag. I suppose sci-fi literature and I will just have to agree to disagree.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Harrison

    It felt more like this compilation was trying to represent the entire breadth of sub-genre's in science fiction and fantasy than the actual best of the year from both genre's. As a result, the stories within were very uneven. Some were great, some were bad, and some just didn't make sense. It felt more like this compilation was trying to represent the entire breadth of sub-genre's in science fiction and fantasy than the actual best of the year from both genre's. As a result, the stories within were very uneven. Some were great, some were bad, and some just didn't make sense.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David

    I love Linda Nagata's first story in the collection from from there I found nothing to my tastes. I've put the book down at page 200. First 200 pages had no Fantasy stories; it was all SF. I'll try again when I'm in more of a SF mood. I love Linda Nagata's first story in the collection from from there I found nothing to my tastes. I've put the book down at page 200. First 200 pages had no Fantasy stories; it was all SF. I'll try again when I'm in more of a SF mood.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anthony A

    Just when I was thinking this book was generally average, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the very last story - which made reading the book worthwhile. The ratings don't allow the rating resolution that I like, so here is my rating: 7/10. The book was "Good". Just when I was thinking this book was generally average, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the very last story - which made reading the book worthwhile. The ratings don't allow the rating resolution that I like, so here is my rating: 7/10. The book was "Good".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mike Wilson

    Very good. A mix of both "hard" sci-fi, and fantasy. A diverse collection, something for everyone here. Very good. A mix of both "hard" sci-fi, and fantasy. A diverse collection, something for everyone here.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brook Bailey-armey

    I enjoyed every story in this well put together collection. I'd say the gem of the collection is the last entry, Jay Lake's The Weight of History, The Lightness of the Future. I enjoyed every story in this well put together collection. I'd say the gem of the collection is the last entry, Jay Lake's The Weight of History, The Lightness of the Future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Ann Coker

    Great Stuff! Terrific collection of beautifully written tales that left me wanting more...A definite 5 star read I recommend to any lover of good science fiction.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    Some beautiful, haunting stories and some I skipped because they were so dry and dull.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexandru Constantin

    With the exception of one or two stories this collection did not blow my mind or excite me. There was way to many stories with a weird Asian magic theme that just goes nowhere.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hugh MacMullan IV

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michel Gaudet

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bale-o'connell

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Engel

  18. 4 out of 5

    42

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  20. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Butler

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gregg Bell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gary L Nakarado

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Kimlin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robert

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