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A biological plague begins infecting artificial intelligence; a natural-born Earth woman seeking asylum on another planet finds a human society far different from her own; a food blogger’s posts chronicle a nationwide medical outbreak; trapped in a matchmaking game, a couple tries to escape from the only world they know; a janitor risks everything to rescue a “defective” t A biological plague begins infecting artificial intelligence; a natural-born Earth woman seeking asylum on another planet finds a human society far different from her own; a food blogger’s posts chronicle a nationwide medical outbreak; trapped in a matchmaking game, a couple tries to escape from the only world they know; a janitor risks everything to rescue a “defective” tank-born baby he can raise as his own. For decades, science fiction has compelled us to imagine futures both inspiring and cautionary. Whether it’s a warning message from a survey ship, a harrowing journey to a new world, or the adventures of well-meaning AI, science fiction feeds the imagination and delivers a lens through which we can better understand ourselves and the world around us. With The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume One, award-winning editor Neil Clarke provides a year-in-review and thirty-one of the best stories published by both new and established authors in 2015. Table of Contents: “Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015” by Neil Clarke “Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker “Calved” by Sam J. Miller “Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson “The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan “In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard “Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang “Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman “Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu “Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn “Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie “The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee “Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper “The Audience” by Sean McMullen “Empty” by Robert Reed “Gypsy” by Carter Scholz “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii “Damage” by David D. Levine “The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin “No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven “Outsider” by An Owomeyla “The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu “Cocoons” by Nancy Kress “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald “Meshed” by Rich Larson “A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds 2015 Recommended Reading List


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A biological plague begins infecting artificial intelligence; a natural-born Earth woman seeking asylum on another planet finds a human society far different from her own; a food blogger’s posts chronicle a nationwide medical outbreak; trapped in a matchmaking game, a couple tries to escape from the only world they know; a janitor risks everything to rescue a “defective” t A biological plague begins infecting artificial intelligence; a natural-born Earth woman seeking asylum on another planet finds a human society far different from her own; a food blogger’s posts chronicle a nationwide medical outbreak; trapped in a matchmaking game, a couple tries to escape from the only world they know; a janitor risks everything to rescue a “defective” tank-born baby he can raise as his own. For decades, science fiction has compelled us to imagine futures both inspiring and cautionary. Whether it’s a warning message from a survey ship, a harrowing journey to a new world, or the adventures of well-meaning AI, science fiction feeds the imagination and delivers a lens through which we can better understand ourselves and the world around us. With The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume One, award-winning editor Neil Clarke provides a year-in-review and thirty-one of the best stories published by both new and established authors in 2015. Table of Contents: “Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015” by Neil Clarke “Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker “Calved” by Sam J. Miller “Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson “The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan “In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard “Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang “Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman “Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu “Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn “Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie “The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee “Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper “The Audience” by Sean McMullen “Empty” by Robert Reed “Gypsy” by Carter Scholz “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii “Damage” by David D. Levine “The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin “No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven “Outsider” by An Owomeyla “The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu “Cocoons” by Nancy Kress “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald “Meshed” by Rich Larson “A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds 2015 Recommended Reading List

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I'm honestly boggled by how much I loved this collection of short stories. Clarke put together a really great anthology and I feel edified and thrilled about almost every single one of these. There's a lot of extra-sol colonization stories, each and every one of them very different in tone and complexity, but all of these were pretty awesome. I was rather surprised and awed by the level of both science and the complexity of the stories. There were also some really fantastic AI stories with one dov I'm honestly boggled by how much I loved this collection of short stories. Clarke put together a really great anthology and I feel edified and thrilled about almost every single one of these. There's a lot of extra-sol colonization stories, each and every one of them very different in tone and complexity, but all of these were pretty awesome. I was rather surprised and awed by the level of both science and the complexity of the stories. There were also some really fantastic AI stories with one dovetailing into a robot story with "Today I am Paul" and especially that gem of a story, "Cat Pictures Please". I've read a few of them from this collection already, but they're still great, like "Folding Beijing". What I was pretty thrilled about, in general, was reading Geoff Ryman, David Brin, and Seanan McGuire, but I was even more pleasantly surprised by the stories by Yoon Ha Lee and Sean McMullen. In fact, I think I've just discovered some of my absolute favorite new unknown authors through this book! It's crazy. I've been reading so many novels and just a handful of short stories all this time, completely missing out on a whole WIDE FIELD OF AWESOMENESS. I've got to get EVERYTHING by Sean McMullen now. It's crazy. This is like a NEED for me, now. :) There were a few I didn't really care for, but I can't say they were written badly or they weren't that interesting because every story in this collection was interesting. It's just a matter of taste and subject matter. But there were over thirty great stories here and I think I'm in love. I think I'm gonna check out every single one of these collections that Neil Clarke puts together. If this is going to be a representative sample, I'm going to be in dog heaven. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    Here's my podcast review of this book! #HasTotallyTakenOffAlready #TooMuchFun Here's my podcast review of this book! #HasTotallyTakenOffAlready #TooMuchFun

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Table of Contents: Vii - Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015 by Neil Clarke 001 - “Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker 012 - “Calved” by Sam J. Miller 025 - “Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson 043 - “The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan 055 - “In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard 072 - “Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire 088 - “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang 122 - “Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman 135 - “Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu 147 - “Wild Honey” by Paul Table of Contents: Vii - Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015 by Neil Clarke 001 - “Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker 012 - “Calved” by Sam J. Miller 025 - “Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson 043 - “The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan 055 - “In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard 072 - “Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire 088 - “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang 122 - “Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman 135 - “Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu 147 - “Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley 151 - “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer 181 - “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn 200 - “Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie 230 - “The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee 239 - “Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper 251 - “The Audience” by Sean McMullen 274 - “Empty” by Robert Reed 298 - “Gypsy” by Carter Scholz 359 - “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii 383 - “Damage ” by David D. Levine 401 - “The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin 435 - “No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven 454 - “Outsider” by An Owomeyla 471 - “The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu 492 - “Cocoons” by Nancy Kress 505 - “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim 520 - “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson 532 - “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer 540 - “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald 570 - “Meshed” by Rich Larson 580 - “A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds 599 - 2015 Recommended Reading List

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This is yet another book that I learned about thanks to a Chuck Wendig blog post. This one was recommended by Angie Penrose and her love for it makes me want to read it, too, to see if the stories she mentioned (or others) will stick with me like they stuck with her. And since one of the two stories she mentioned is by Seanan McGuire. . . :-) ................................................................................... I am now reading this book (April 24, 2017), and my plan is to review eac This is yet another book that I learned about thanks to a Chuck Wendig blog post. This one was recommended by Angie Penrose and her love for it makes me want to read it, too, to see if the stories she mentioned (or others) will stick with me like they stuck with her. And since one of the two stories she mentioned is by Seanan McGuire. . . :-) ................................................................................... I am now reading this book (April 24, 2017), and my plan is to review each of the many stories one-by-one, as I finish them. . . . Today I Am Paul by Martin L. Shoemaker, Read April 24, 2017. 5 stars - amazing/outstanding This story was devastating. It was about a woman - Mildred - with Alzheimer's and her android medical attendant, who can emulate people from her life. After (view spoiler)[a fire, unfortunately Mildred's body gave up its fight, and she died. The android medical attendant was kept by the surviving family. Mostly powered down, sometimes it is activated to play with Mildred's youngest granddaughter, Millie. (hide spoiler)] And in the end, (view spoiler)[Millie asks the android about her grandmother and . . . "Today I am Mildred." (hide spoiler)] That final line destroyed me. It was devastating. The only reason I'm not giving this story a full five stars is two-fold: 1) because it was mostly a "dry story" emotion-wise, because the narration was from the android's POV, which doesn't really effect my rating; and 2) because there weren't any high points, no laughter-inducing scenes. I decided to give it the full five stars because A) I understood it! (And "understanding" is not a guarantee for all of the stories in this collection, unfortunately, so understanding a story completely is worth A LOT); and B) I did experience an emotional "high." I cried. :-) So this was an outstanding story. And, bonus (and proving that five stars is "the right" rating), it is now April 27th and I can still remember how this story ended...and how devastating it was. Calved by Sam J. Miller, Read April 24, 2017. 4 stars - very good The really enjoyable part of this story - for part of the why I'm giving it four stars - was the setting/world. Climate Change led to the complete melting of the polar regions and many cities were sunk. This story featured a refugee from what used to be New York City living in Greenland, but not on Greenland because apparently it, too, sunk. So. . . Very Interesting! Anyway, this was the story of Dom, an ice-grunt, and his teenage son, Thede. (view spoiler)[Thede is a sullen teenager, bitter over his father's long work-related absences. Dom gifts him his most prized possession, a t-shirt featuring a New York City slogan. But all too soon, the shirt is gone from Thede's possession. Thede's mother had told Dom that Thede was being bullied. (She also said that he was in love.) Thede wouldn't talk about any of it with Dom, though. So when Dom sees his utterly unique shirt on a strange boy, he beats the boy up, takes his clothes, and dumps him in the water. (hide spoiler)] Then in the end, Dom (view spoiler)[gives the shirt, all wrapped up, back to his son and asks him to open the package after he is gone, as he's due to leave that very day for another job, a year-long job. He was hoping his son would take comfort from the shirt. Instead, a rather jumpy Thede shares just enough of his life with Dom that Dom realizes three things: 1) Thede was not being bullied over his father's work; 2) the shirt had not been taken by a bully, it was gifted away out of love; and 3) the boy he had beaten up was his son's best friend, and his son is gay (and being bullied for it) and in love with that friend. (hide spoiler)] So instead of finding comfort when he opens the package, Thede will learn an uncomfortable truth about who Dom is. :-( Perhaps needless to say, but this ending was highly depressing and resulted in my feeling torn over how to rate this story. So I'm giving it four stars just for being a very good story. Three Bodies at Mitanni by Seth Dickinson, Read April 25, 2017. 3.5 stars - good This story was, I think, about three humans (???) on a living spaceship (???) travelling around space to visit planets where human seedships landed and human colonization occurred. On the last planet they are to check out, they find a very worrisome change in the human species, and ultimately decide to (view spoiler)[annihilate it (hide spoiler)] . They (view spoiler)[left one survivor, the Mitanni ambassador who came to them to plead their case for survival (she did not do a very good job at it), who will be put "in storage" for the return to Earth. So ultimately, the Mitanni people could be revived/resurrected. (hide spoiler)] I'm not sure why (view spoiler)[they left the ambassador alive, if the Mitanni people were of such concern that they were [almost] wholly eradicated. (hide spoiler)] So that confused me, and much of the story was confusing for me because the science talk went in one eye and out the other. :-( The Smog Society by Chen Qiufan, Read April 25, 2017. 4 stars - very good; really enjoyed This was the story of a city in China (???) that was plagued by horrible smog. So, another "climate change" story, only this one took a decidedly different direction. Rain is pretty much nonexistent in this future world, I gathered. And, interestingly (and if I understood it properly), the smog is so horrible because the people are "horrible" - as in horribly depressed. The ending sort of lost me, as it seemed that the Smog Society was destroyed by the government and so Lao Sun openly went to a daycare to cheer up the children and he (view spoiler)["looked up at the sky. The smog seemed to be thinning, too." (hide spoiler)] ??? I suspect that Lao Sun's life will soon be cut short if he is discovered. :-( In Blue Lily's Wake by Aliette de Bodard, Read April 26, 2017. 3.5 stars - good This story was both interesting, and very confusing. I understood it, and I didn't. The one thing I AM sure of is that the ending lost me. This was both the story of Yen Oanh, who is some sort of government representative, I think, sent to (I think) pass judgment on the mindship floating around "the planet." (I don't know/remember which planet, so there you go.) It was also the story of Thich Tim Nghe, who was patient zero for the Blue Lily Plague and either gave it to the mindship or contracted it from the mindship and changed it so that it was deadly for the mindship. (Did that make sense?) I think I understood that Yen Oanh was (view spoiler)[going to put an end to the [dead] mindship's endless circling of the planet, but the ending, when Thich Tim Nghe and Yen Oanh met, confused me. Yen Oanh seemed to want Thich Tim Nghe to leave the ship, and Thich Tim Nghe reaches out to "her future" (hide spoiler)] . . . but that's where the story ended so I'm not entirely sure that what I think was going on is what was going on. :-/ I think part of the problem for this story is that we were kind of dumped into the "middle" of it. Events were already in progress when we started and then the ending didn't really clear anything up or resolve anything. And there are a lot of "I think" mentions in this story's review, aren't there? Oh, well. . . Hello, Hello by Seanan McGuire, Read April 27, 2017. 5 stars - amazing/outstanding I've decided that I am going to give the stories that I understand, and that make me laugh and/or cry, a full five stars. So I upped the first story's rating. :-) Anyway, this story was really fantastic. I love it! It's about two sisters, one of whom is deaf, who communicate via a very technologically advanced bit of hardware/software. It's neural-net-based and managed/maintained by the sister who can hear. This sister is married (to a woman! :-D) and has two children. Nine-year-old Billie has struck up a friendship with an unknown woman calling from her aunt's home. Tasha, the deaf sister, rehabilitates birds and doesn't know who is making the calls, as she was home alone when most were placed. So the "hearing" sister ("Mom") eventually arranges for Billie to keep the woman on the phone while she drives to Tasha's to catch the intruder in the act. Well, to "Mom's" surprise, (view spoiler)[the "woman" is a pied crow! (hide spoiler)] This sets "Mom's" colleagues ablaze with rapturous delight and plans for more (view spoiler)[animals to be placed in front of the camera to see if the neural net will/can translate them, too. (hide spoiler)] In the end, Tasha would be so delighted. In the moment, so was I. I have no idea why this made me cry. But it did. :-) And I would say "now to read more!" but sadly this book is due back to the library today, April 27th, and it's 4:45a and I'm tired and I didn't get to read as much as I had hoped since starting it and. . . So I'll have to place it on hold again and get it once the four people waiting for "my" copy (and just one other) have done with it/them. :-(

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    11 of the 30 stories in this also appear in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection. These would include three of the best stories: "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker, "Calved" by Sam J. Miller, and "Meshed" by Rich Larson. It also includes the two I least liked from this collection: "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan" by Ian McDonald and "A Murmuration" by Alastair Reynolds. I didn't even bother to finish the former. So what does this n 11 of the 30 stories in this also appear in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection. These would include three of the best stories: "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker, "Calved" by Sam J. Miller, and "Meshed" by Rich Larson. It also includes the two I least liked from this collection: "Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan" by Ian McDonald and "A Murmuration" by Alastair Reynolds. I didn't even bother to finish the former. So what does this new series have to offer that Dozois' award winning The Year's Best Science Fiction collections do not? For one thing, better introductions for the book and the individual stories. I'm interested in the overall state of affairs of science fiction and short work, but TYBSF's summation is 28 pages long and reads like a company report. Neil Clarke gives the same overview, in laymen's terms, in 6. Likewise, the individual introductions to the stories in TYBSF go on a bit longer than needed, seeming to sometimes attempt to list everything ever written by the author. Clarke keeps them short here - a paragraph, a couple of their more significant works. It also offers 19 stories that aren't in the other volume. Even better, 16 of those were strong stories, warranting 4 or 5 star stories from me. The remaining 3 were good. I wasn't wowed but I liked them. So which to read? Well, who says you can't have two collections? After all, between the two, there are still 44 distinct stories in addition to the 11 repeats. Other than the introductory material, which many don't even read, I'd call it a draw between these two magnificent science fiction collections. I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity.

  6. 5 out of 5

    MJD

    Excellent collection of science fiction short stories.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Delia Turner

    This mammoth volume assembles three score proper science fiction stories from the year 2015. Everything in it has the "what if this goes on?" variety of plot. Some of the stories are set in the near future, some farther off, and reading all of them gave this reader the feeling that I was in a hall of mirrors with endless reflections going off in all directions, providing different perspectives on some of the same ideas. One takeaway of the field represented here was that many of the stories were This mammoth volume assembles three score proper science fiction stories from the year 2015. Everything in it has the "what if this goes on?" variety of plot. Some of the stories are set in the near future, some farther off, and reading all of them gave this reader the feeling that I was in a hall of mirrors with endless reflections going off in all directions, providing different perspectives on some of the same ideas. One takeaway of the field represented here was that many of the stories were cluttered with invented vocabulary and names as a substitute for vividness, and focused too much on world-building or on the technical details of the various sciences they drew from. But that could be my reaction because I am drawn to lucidity and simplicity in stories. I particularly enjoyed Nancy Kress's "Cocoons," "Martin Shoemaker's "Today I Am Paul," and Naomi Kritzer's "Cat Pictures, Please" for those reasons, and also because they seemed more story-like than some of the others, with characters I cared more about. I confess that I grew up reading SF in a time when it shared more clarity and story structure with modern YA, so I sometimes get impatient. There were a lot of common themes in the stories; space travel, culture, politics, war, diplomacy. Many of the stories focus on the provisional nature of identity in a universe populated by avatars, machine consciousnesses, and altered humans. The last story posited consciousness in a murmuration of starlings. Some stories had travel portals to get around the vast distances of space, while others used generation ships, stasis, or stored data to get humans or their successors from one place to another. The brief biographies of authors prefacing each story were an intimidating roster of publications. Having pulled away from hard science fiction after my first few decades (I moved into reading more fantasy), I was unfamiliar with many of the names. This is a good introduction to the present-day field, and I recommend it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charles Sheard

    Several of these stories were both thought-provoking and enjoyable (Martin L. Shoemaker's "Today, I am Paul"; Seth Dickinson's "Three Bodies at Mitanni"; Seanan McGuire's "Hello, Hello"; Paul McAuley's "Wild Honey"; Carrie Vaughan's "Bannerless"; Sean McMullen's "The Audience"; and Carter Scholz's "Gypsy"). Many managed one or the other, but not necessarily both. Unfortunately, several managed neither. But that is all to be expected with an anthology; no one is likely to enjoy all the individual Several of these stories were both thought-provoking and enjoyable (Martin L. Shoemaker's "Today, I am Paul"; Seth Dickinson's "Three Bodies at Mitanni"; Seanan McGuire's "Hello, Hello"; Paul McAuley's "Wild Honey"; Carrie Vaughan's "Bannerless"; Sean McMullen's "The Audience"; and Carter Scholz's "Gypsy"). Many managed one or the other, but not necessarily both. Unfortunately, several managed neither. But that is all to be expected with an anthology; no one is likely to enjoy all the individual parts equally. The combined whole, however, effectively spurs the mind to wander in many directions, poking into the dimly lit corners of ideas and dreams that were but waiting to be explored. It inspires, and thereby succeeds.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Science fiction has always been a method of making social commentary in a way which avoids criticism and censorship but usually it is done in such a way as to still retain a feeling of hope or positivity. Not this anthology. To be honest this is probably one of the most depressing books that i have read in a very long time; not because of the quality of the stories but because of the sheer negativity of the plots. It is almost as if the editors went out of their way to group every story which sh Science fiction has always been a method of making social commentary in a way which avoids criticism and censorship but usually it is done in such a way as to still retain a feeling of hope or positivity. Not this anthology. To be honest this is probably one of the most depressing books that i have read in a very long time; not because of the quality of the stories but because of the sheer negativity of the plots. It is almost as if the editors went out of their way to group every story which showcases the worst of humanity into a single volume. Many of these stories are topical (plagues, lockdowns etc) and all are superbly written but for the vast majority the endings are bleak and more than a little dispiriting. The majority of the stories are short but there are one or two longer ones in there (closer to novella's) and some of the concepts are wonderfully novel. The folded city in particular is extremely imaginative, 'Damage' is quite a novel idea and'Gypsy' was for me the best written story (even though it was not necessarily anything new). There is much to praise here in terms of the technical quality of the writing and also the wide range of authors from all over the world and technically it is an excellent volume. The lack of wonder, hope and dreams however mean that it is not a book I would be in a rush to pick up again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pearse Anderson

    These are the best? 31 stories, and only seven of them really did something for me: Three Bodies; Hello, Hello; So Much Cooking; Bannerless; The Cold Inequalities; Two-Year Man; and Meshed. I'm not saying the rest were bad, just that, I dunno, I expected some others. Where my Tamsyn Muir at? After Best American SFF 2016, I'm more confused about others: Tor.com originals? Charlie Jane Anders? A better Ken Liu piece? Again, who knows, a handful of them felt like prequels and first chapters (Banner These are the best? 31 stories, and only seven of them really did something for me: Three Bodies; Hello, Hello; So Much Cooking; Bannerless; The Cold Inequalities; Two-Year Man; and Meshed. I'm not saying the rest were bad, just that, I dunno, I expected some others. Where my Tamsyn Muir at? After Best American SFF 2016, I'm more confused about others: Tor.com originals? Charlie Jane Anders? A better Ken Liu piece? Again, who knows, a handful of them felt like prequels and first chapters (Bannerless clearly was, but it worked as a standalone piece. Others not so much). Again, I couldn't finish Robert Reed. For me, a few too many were about first contact + space camp colonization—I know Neil just finished a Galactic Empire anthology, but I would've loved more of those types. Fewer astrophysicists, more civil engineers. I've read so much from this year of SFF I'm kinda sick of it. Some of these stories taught me how much the science fiction genre needs to improve. Infodumping has not fared well. First sentences and introductory paragraphs need work. Characters lack most memorable features. But these are fine stories. These are from the future of SF. These are increasingly diverse, increasingly interesting, but overall this anthology only pushed a couple buttons.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anthony A

    I have been reading science fiction anthologies since I was in high school, starting with the very first annual of The Year's Best Science Fiction by Gardner Dozois. I have to say that this Volume One of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, edited by Neil Clarke just might be the best science fiction anthology that I have ever read. It is loaded with stories of deep space travel, other worlds, and alien intelligence - which is, of course, my favorite type of science fiction. It seems like every I have been reading science fiction anthologies since I was in high school, starting with the very first annual of The Year's Best Science Fiction by Gardner Dozois. I have to say that this Volume One of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, edited by Neil Clarke just might be the best science fiction anthology that I have ever read. It is loaded with stories of deep space travel, other worlds, and alien intelligence - which is, of course, my favorite type of science fiction. It seems like every year there are more and more anthologies of all sorts. If you are a fan of science fiction short stories and the associated anthologies, then I highly recommend this particular anthology. Of course, every anthology has its share of (what I consider) junk stories, but this one, overall, is excellent.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    this is one of those books, because it's an anthology for best of the year, that doesn't have a singular style or genre. therefore it becomes almost impossible to describe the constituent stories except to say that it is not the sum of its' parts. Some of the stories are too my taste and some are either way above my head, or so far below that they seemed juvenile. For me the stories go from 1 star to 5 star which is why I set it as three. I can honestly say that there were some stories that I cou this is one of those books, because it's an anthology for best of the year, that doesn't have a singular style or genre. therefore it becomes almost impossible to describe the constituent stories except to say that it is not the sum of its' parts. Some of the stories are too my taste and some are either way above my head, or so far below that they seemed juvenile. For me the stories go from 1 star to 5 star which is why I set it as three. I can honestly say that there were some stories that I couldn't finish, either I was so lost that I couldn't make heads or tales, or was so bored I couldn't finish. Take it for what it's worth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Some of the stories were great! However, I did not enjoy this collection as much as I did Vol. 2. In this book, Naomi Kritzer’s stories were my favorites: Cat Pictures Please & So Much Cooking. The former is about a self-aware, benevolent AI that decides to meddle in people’s lives in an attempt to prevent their own self-destructive habits from ruining their lives. The latter is a unique take on an apocalyptic scenario from the perspective of a food blogger.

  14. 5 out of 5

    kvon

    A bunch of short stories, usual mixed bag of some memorable, and some not (also I skipped around a lot). We'll see over time which ones are most memorable--right now I'm thinking Capitalism in the 22nd Century for its paranoia, Folding Beijing for its imaginative world, and Hello, Hello by Seanan Mcguire for its humor. A bunch of short stories, usual mixed bag of some memorable, and some not (also I skipped around a lot). We'll see over time which ones are most memorable--right now I'm thinking Capitalism in the 22nd Century for its paranoia, Folding Beijing for its imaginative world, and Hello, Hello by Seanan Mcguire for its humor.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I read a few of these stories and while I found the writing to be nice it was just too emotionless for me. I know that this is a science fiction book that really isn't going to probably tell what character's are feeling. But it made me feel detached from the whole thing and I didn't want to continue to read another story of the same appeal. I read a few of these stories and while I found the writing to be nice it was just too emotionless for me. I know that this is a science fiction book that really isn't going to probably tell what character's are feeling. But it made me feel detached from the whole thing and I didn't want to continue to read another story of the same appeal.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Speculative Fiction is a way of exploring the human condition in new and interesting ways. In this volume, all of the stories bring humanity into sharp focus and there isn't a bad story in the collection. Clarke's selection is excellent and the stories sit well with each other. A bonus is that this book is huge. Here's to the start of a real annual event. Speculative Fiction is a way of exploring the human condition in new and interesting ways. In this volume, all of the stories bring humanity into sharp focus and there isn't a bad story in the collection. Clarke's selection is excellent and the stories sit well with each other. A bonus is that this book is huge. Here's to the start of a real annual event.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I didn't read the whole book but someone recommended “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer and I read it today...during quarantine. I don't know if the story would have resonated with me so much if I read it pre-Corona but I loved it. I was apprehensive when Dominic got sick, Katrina made me cry and I'm worried about Jo and Monika's emotional states. I didn't read the whole book but someone recommended “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer and I read it today...during quarantine. I don't know if the story would have resonated with me so much if I read it pre-Corona but I loved it. I was apprehensive when Dominic got sick, Katrina made me cry and I'm worried about Jo and Monika's emotional states.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Desislava

    As a fan of Clarkesworld, I was more than happy to acquire some of my favourite stories from the magazine in print here. Of course, there were other exciting stories too, and still others were just fine. Not surprising for an anthology of this size. Overall it's a diverse selection of novel, quality fiction. It served me as a go-to book to open at a random story and get my daily dose of awe. It also packs a brief yet informative introduction by Neil Clarke and a handy reading list. Lastly, I fou As a fan of Clarkesworld, I was more than happy to acquire some of my favourite stories from the magazine in print here. Of course, there were other exciting stories too, and still others were just fine. Not surprising for an anthology of this size. Overall it's a diverse selection of novel, quality fiction. It served me as a go-to book to open at a random story and get my daily dose of awe. It also packs a brief yet informative introduction by Neil Clarke and a handy reading list. Lastly, I found the layout neat, with author info before each piece. And it's almost time for volume 2, yay!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Patchy. Some stories I enjoyed. Too many I did not enjoy. I expect to not enjoy some in a group of short stories, this had too many of these for me to rate the book highly. If the good stories had been great instead then I’d give a higher rating,but too few were for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    L

    As with any collection, this one had some work that was just out of this world (no pun intended) and some that wasn't my cup of tea. I was entertained, left to think about some things, and I have some new (for me) authors to seek out. What more could I ask? A few days later--Naturally, as I read I kept a list of the authors whose stories grabbed me for one reason or another. Today the inevitable happened. I went on a sci-fi spree on Amazon. Why was I not surprised? Anticipate some sci-fi reviews As with any collection, this one had some work that was just out of this world (no pun intended) and some that wasn't my cup of tea. I was entertained, left to think about some things, and I have some new (for me) authors to seek out. What more could I ask? A few days later--Naturally, as I read I kept a list of the authors whose stories grabbed me for one reason or another. Today the inevitable happened. I went on a sci-fi spree on Amazon. Why was I not surprised? Anticipate some sci-fi reviews in the future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Nangeroni

    A mixed bag. I loved some stories that made me want to read more by the author (Naomi Kritzer's “Prophet of the Roads”, for one). Others were so (to me) mind-numbingly empty of life that I moved on to the next one before finishing. A mixed bag. I loved some stories that made me want to read more by the author (Naomi Kritzer's “Prophet of the Roads”, for one). Others were so (to me) mind-numbingly empty of life that I moved on to the next one before finishing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeff J.

    A strong collection highlighting the best short science fiction from 2015. My favorites were the stories from Naomi Kritzer and Nancy Kress, and I continue to be impressed with the work coming out of Asia.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jay Clement

    87-2020. I like checking out these SF collections from time to time. There were a bunch of fine and interesting short fiction stories here. The diversion was welcomed in these isolating and divisive times.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah John

    Neil Clarke selects science fiction stories that have big ideas and extrapolate technology. I liked it better than the Dozois anthology, even while there was some overlap.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charles Haywood

    Mostly a tedious set of repetitive stories with plot lines that fly in the face of human nature.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Don’t usually pick up these, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. Some stories more intense than others and some left you hanging but all in all a pretty good read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Here is my review of this anthology here: https://youtu.be/v4d1u-VQyqM Here is my review of this anthology here: https://youtu.be/v4d1u-VQyqM

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thad Ligon

    So many good storied in this volume.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Santiago

    I enjoyed most stories and marveled at the conclusion of sci-fi itherapy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Neil Clarke's selections are exactly the kind of stories that I like. Modern science fiction, no frank fantasy, some of my favorite authors, lots of high tech and AIs. Excellent collection. Neil Clarke's selections are exactly the kind of stories that I like. Modern science fiction, no frank fantasy, some of my favorite authors, lots of high tech and AIs. Excellent collection.

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