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Contents 13 • Introduction: Summation: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois 27 • The Jaguar Hunter • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 50 • Dogfight • (1985) • novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson 69 • Fermi and Frost • (1985) • shortstory by Frederik Pohl 84 • Green Days in Brunei • (1985) • novella by Bruce Sterling 129 • Snow • (1985) • shortstory by John Crowley 144 Contents 13 • Introduction: Summation: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois 27 • The Jaguar Hunter • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 50 • Dogfight • (1985) • novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson 69 • Fermi and Frost • (1985) • shortstory by Frederik Pohl 84 • Green Days in Brunei • (1985) • novella by Bruce Sterling 129 • Snow • (1985) • shortstory by John Crowley 144 • The Fringe • [The Mormon Sea] • (1985) • novelette by Orson Scott Card 166 • The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things • (1985) • shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler 178 • Sailing to Byzantium • (1985) • novella by Robert Silverberg 232 • Solstice • (1985) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 265 • Duke Pasquale's Ring • [Doctor Eszterhazy] • (1985) • novella by Avram Davidson 304 • More Than the Sum of His Parts • (1985) • shortstory by Joe Haldeman 320 • Out of All Them Bright Stars • (1985) • shortstory by Nancy Kress 327 • Side Effects • (1985) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams 355 • The Only Neat Thing to Do • [Rift] • (1985) • novella by James Tiptree, Jr. 402 • Dinner in Audoghast • (1985) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 414 • Under Siege • (1985) • novelette by George R. R. Martin 441 • Flying Saucer Rock & Roll • (1985) • novelette by Howard Waldrop 459 • A Spanish Lesson • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 486 • Roadside Rescue • (1985) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 494 • Paper Dragons • (1985) • novelette by James P. Blaylock 510 • Magazine Section • (1985) • shortstory by R. A. Lafferty 522 • The War at Home • (1985) • shortstory by Lewis Shiner 526 • Rockabye Baby • (1985) • novelette by S. C. Sykes 551 • Green Mars • (1985) • novella by Kim Stanley Robinson 620 • Honorable Mentions: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois


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Contents 13 • Introduction: Summation: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois 27 • The Jaguar Hunter • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 50 • Dogfight • (1985) • novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson 69 • Fermi and Frost • (1985) • shortstory by Frederik Pohl 84 • Green Days in Brunei • (1985) • novella by Bruce Sterling 129 • Snow • (1985) • shortstory by John Crowley 144 Contents 13 • Introduction: Summation: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois 27 • The Jaguar Hunter • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 50 • Dogfight • (1985) • novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson 69 • Fermi and Frost • (1985) • shortstory by Frederik Pohl 84 • Green Days in Brunei • (1985) • novella by Bruce Sterling 129 • Snow • (1985) • shortstory by John Crowley 144 • The Fringe • [The Mormon Sea] • (1985) • novelette by Orson Scott Card 166 • The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things • (1985) • shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler 178 • Sailing to Byzantium • (1985) • novella by Robert Silverberg 232 • Solstice • (1985) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 265 • Duke Pasquale's Ring • [Doctor Eszterhazy] • (1985) • novella by Avram Davidson 304 • More Than the Sum of His Parts • (1985) • shortstory by Joe Haldeman 320 • Out of All Them Bright Stars • (1985) • shortstory by Nancy Kress 327 • Side Effects • (1985) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams 355 • The Only Neat Thing to Do • [Rift] • (1985) • novella by James Tiptree, Jr. 402 • Dinner in Audoghast • (1985) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 414 • Under Siege • (1985) • novelette by George R. R. Martin 441 • Flying Saucer Rock & Roll • (1985) • novelette by Howard Waldrop 459 • A Spanish Lesson • (1985) • novelette by Lucius Shepard 486 • Roadside Rescue • (1985) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 494 • Paper Dragons • (1985) • novelette by James P. Blaylock 510 • Magazine Section • (1985) • shortstory by R. A. Lafferty 522 • The War at Home • (1985) • shortstory by Lewis Shiner 526 • Rockabye Baby • (1985) • novelette by S. C. Sykes 551 • Green Mars • (1985) • novella by Kim Stanley Robinson 620 • Honorable Mentions: 1985 • essay by Gardner Dozois

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Overall, the most consistently strong of the first three collections I’ve read. Standouts were Lucius Shepard’s beautifully poetic “The Jaguar Hunter"; Frederik Pohl’s hauntingly allegorical “Fermi and Frost"; Robert Silverberg’s imaginatively elegiac “Sailing to Byzantium"; Nancy Kress’s quietly moving “Out of All Them Bright Stars"; James Tiptree, Jr.’s invigoratingly adventurous “The Only Neat Thing to Do"; and Kim Stanley Robinson’s seductively meditative “Green Mars." But there were plenty Overall, the most consistently strong of the first three collections I’ve read. Standouts were Lucius Shepard’s beautifully poetic “The Jaguar Hunter"; Frederik Pohl’s hauntingly allegorical “Fermi and Frost"; Robert Silverberg’s imaginatively elegiac “Sailing to Byzantium"; Nancy Kress’s quietly moving “Out of All Them Bright Stars"; James Tiptree, Jr.’s invigoratingly adventurous “The Only Neat Thing to Do"; and Kim Stanley Robinson’s seductively meditative “Green Mars." But there were plenty of others that were evocative, entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    TOC and story summaries: http://bestsf.net/the-years-best-scie... https://web.archive.org/web/200411280... It's amazing how many of these stories I remember clearly thirty years on. Just for fun, I'll essay a review based purely on memory and the story summaries linked above. You will note the high number of award winners and nominees in my list. Collection is 4.5/5 for reprinting these great stories, and more just a bit below (in memory). Highlights: Dogfight by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson TOC and story summaries: http://bestsf.net/the-years-best-scie... https://web.archive.org/web/200411280... It's amazing how many of these stories I remember clearly thirty years on. Just for fun, I'll essay a review based purely on memory and the story summaries linked above. You will note the high number of award winners and nominees in my list. Collection is 4.5/5 for reprinting these great stories, and more just a bit below (in memory). Highlights: Dogfight by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson * Nebula Novelette Nominee, Hugo Novelette Nominee. Holographic video games! Amazingly good story. 4.5/5, reread many times (altho not recently). Fermi And Frost by Frederik Pohl * Hugo Short Story Winner. Nuclear war begins. A scientist and a little boy escape to Iceland. 5/5 in memory, many rereads. Green Days In Brunei by Bruce Sterling * Nebula Novella Nominee. One of my favorite early Sterlings. A great story, easy 5/5, many rereads. The Fringe by Orson Scott Card * Nebula Novelette Nominee, Hugo Novelette Nominee. A crippled teacher in post-apocalypse Utah, back when Card was writing really, really well. 4/5 Sailing To Byzantium by Robert Silverberg * Nebula Novella Winner, Hugo Novella Nominee. Classic Silverbob, 4/5 More Than The Sum Of His Parts by Joe Haldeman * Nebula Short Story Nominee. A cyborg gets "certain organs which do not normally feature in Science Fiction." Rough sex ensues. "Man of steel, Woman of kleenex." Ick. 3.7/5 stars Side Effects by Walter Jon Williams. Black humor in medical trials gone wrong. 4.5/5, and I need to reread this one again. Dinner In Audoghast by Bruce Sterling * Hugo Short Story Nominee. A truly remarkable dinner party in North Africa, circa 1000 AD. Remarkable historical fiction. 5/5 stars, many rereads. One of Sterling's very best stories. Roadside Rescue by Pat Cadigan. A remarkably creepy alien-encounter story, one of her best. 4.5/5 OK, by this point I've pulled out my copy, and can confirm no obvious clunkers. Obviously a very good year for short SF! I wonder if this is the very best book of the series?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Princessjay

    A typical collection, some decent stories, a few excellent ones. More than anything, this is a glimpse of the fears and dreams and preoccupations from 3 decades past, some of which can't help but seem quaint, and others, remain relevant even today. Nevertheless, due to that very disconnection, I found much of this collection a chore to go through. YMMV. (view spoiler)[ THE JAGUAR HUNTER - Lucius Shepard 3 STARS A native Indian man sent to kill a magical jaguar, who turns out to be a beautiful woman o A typical collection, some decent stories, a few excellent ones. More than anything, this is a glimpse of the fears and dreams and preoccupations from 3 decades past, some of which can't help but seem quaint, and others, remain relevant even today. Nevertheless, due to that very disconnection, I found much of this collection a chore to go through. YMMV. (view spoiler)[ THE JAGUAR HUNTER - Lucius Shepard 3 STARS A native Indian man sent to kill a magical jaguar, who turns out to be a beautiful woman of his tribe and also guardian to another world he fears yet yearns to go. Hmm. I'm conflicted as to how I feel about this one. On the one hand, this is lyrical and beautifully crafted, a man caught between myths of his culture and the greed of the new world. And yet, as I read this, I cannot stop thinking this is such a MAN story. Of course death would appear as a beautiful, seductive woman who insta-love/want him, who is mysterious, unfathomable, and will lead him to either death or ultimate freedom. Hmf. DOGFIGHT - Michael Swanwick & William Gibson 4 STARS A thief finds new fascination with a neuro-driven combat game, becomes determined to play against a top player. In his drive to do, he alienates everyone, crosses boundaries, destroys his opponent utterly, and ends up with empty victory. Raw feelings in this one. An old, much-written story in new clothes, and one especially designed for nerds and geeks. A good read. FERMI & FROST - Frederik Pohl 2 STARS Realistic imagination of how the world might end in nuclear holocaust. Written in the 60s, and shows. Has not aged well. Nowadays reads as melodramatic and lacking in finesse. GREEN DAYS IN BRUNEI - Bruce Sterling SKIPPED Found this one difficult to absorb, couldn't read more than a couple of pages. SNOW - John Crowley 3.5 STARS Precursor to the current 24/7 selfie-culture, a flying WASP records a person for 8,000 hours, but replays in random access. A man views footage from his dead wife as video slowly degrades. Memory is more than footage. Our human minds provides enhancement, significance, and discards the meaningless quotidian. Recordings can never describe a person; our internal narratives create and recreate each of us anew, with every iteration. THE FRINGE - Orson Scott Card 4 STARS In a post-apocalyptic, food-scarce society that has fallen back upon farming to survive, a teacher with cerebral palsy whistleblows on farmers in the small community hoarding a portion of their produce for black market sale. 3 of his students threw him into a crick to die, and with much hardship, he survived, yet did not reveal the students names. Perspective from a complicated, difficult-to-like but morally upright man, who must deal with his own envy of those who are physically healthy, feels a calling to educate and preserve civilization, yet glimpses the ultimate pointlessness of it all. THE LAKE WAS FULL OF ARTIFICIAL THINGS - Karen Joy Fowler 3 STARS Woman go through therapy, re-living recreated (from her memories) scenario to relieve the life-long guilt of a long-ago relationship. Somehow the therapy is intruding into her waking life.. Workmanlike. SAILING TO BYZANTIUM - Robert Silverberg 4 STARS A 20th century man found himself living in 50th century, companion to a woman Gioia. They travel through the fanciful recreations of historical cities, and he slowly comes to realize the truth of what he is, and the world. Deceptively simple, a slowly-unwinding mystery full of heart. I disagree with the conclusion, however. She -- that specific iteration of her -- would be dead, no matter how accurately she is reconstructed, and that to the reconstructed her and others she might as well be alive. SOLSTICE - James Patrick Kely 2 STARS A lonely, twisted man creates a daughter/clone 25 years younger, raises her and makes her his lover and daughter and possessive, all amidst the background of high-tech artisanal drugs and, for some reason, the Stonehenge. Ugh. Self-indulgent. DUKE PASQUALE'S RING - Avram Davidson SKIPPED No idea what the heck this one is about. Obtuse, cryptic writing style. MORE THAN THE SUM OF HIS PARTS - Joe Haldeman 3.5 STARS Cyborg limbs demonstrate the principle that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Diary of an engineer is injured while working in space, and installed with cybernetics, which smoothly transitioned from utter joy at his acquired power to casual disregard of other humans and becoming an evil mastermind. The ending is either cliched or a clever twist, I can't decide -- hinting strongly that, although the previous evil has been subdued, the current "hero" moves toward that same fate.. OUT OF ALL THEM BRIGHT STARS - Nancy Kress 2.5 STARS Small town diner meeting with friendly alien, reflecting small-minded sides of humanity. SIDE EFFECTS - Walter Jon Williams NO RATING Irresponsible doctors and pharmacology industry personnel, prescribing random drugs to poor people, with random side effects. I confess to wildly skimming through this one. Very anti-Greed-Is-Me 80s vibe. Essentially skipped. THE ONLY NEAT THING TO DO - James Tiptree, Jr. 3.5 STARS The tone of a 60s YA adventure story yet dark subject matter. A young girl goes secretly adventuring out into space and encounters an equally-young alien whose lifestyle is to takeover the brain of host animals and forming a single symbiosis. As time passes in their journey toward the alien's home world, they slowly come to realize that this strange symbiosis is fatal to humans, and both sacrifices themselves by diving into the nearest sun. A lovely, straight forward story that started out slow, but culminate to describe a lovely but doomed friendship between two very goodhearted young creatures. DINNER IN AUDOGHAST - Bruce Sterling 3.5 STARS Audoghast is a rich African empire in the 1000s. A rich man dines sumptuously with 3 friends and beauteous courtesans, and a prophet telling total truth of Africa's eventual destruction and fall of the Arabian world. Describing what could have been 1 night out of the 1001 Nights. Those who live in luxurious now could never recognize truth, when it is so unpalatable. UNDER SIEGE - George R. R. Martin 4 STARS In an unknown apocalyptic future, a deformed mutant with time traveling abilities is part of a governmental, last-ditch project that sends his mind back in history, into that of a Finnish Colonel in the 1800s, trying to influence history to avert their nuclear-disaster future. He ends up flouting the suggestions to send the historical figure on a suicide mission, kills his future body, and lives a long life slightly-merged with the Colonel, changing the future in his own way. Twisted and strange and poignant. A reminder that GRR Martin is indeed a good writer. FLYING SAUCER ROCK & ROLL - Howard Waldrop SKIPPED A SPANISH LESSON - Lucius Shepard 3.5 STARS Pseudo-biographical. Young Lucius in the 60s spent sometime by the beaches in Costa del Sol, living hedonistic expat lifestyle, until a pair of brother and sisters came. They are small, strange-looking, identical, and behaved strangely. Lucius gets close to them, and discovers that they are clones, and escaped from another universe -- dystopic, totalitarian, horrifying, utterly controlled by an undead Hitler and his legion of shadows. They escaped to this universe through an interdimensional tunnel, which they are trying close to stop potential capture. During the night they chose to close the tunnel, humans interfered, causing the brother to self-sacrifice by stepping back into the tunnel to lead enemies away. Lucius, from a sense of guilt, takes a nearly-silent sister to a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery, and upon leaving her there, has a realization about American sense of voyeurism over other people's pain and yet not truly willing to help. Was doing great as a slowly-unraveling story for 3/4 of the way. The glimpse of alien world is fantastically grim and cruel, a Third Reich from a fevered nightmare. The moralizing, at the end however, I could have done without -- even the narrator himself said that this moralizing after a story's climax are said to be a weakness of his, even as he went on to say in this instance it was justified. Hm. It wasn't justified. ROADSIDE RESCUE - Pat Cadigan 2.5 STAR Earth and alien encounter. An Earth man with car troubles got picked up by an alien and his Earth employee, who scares him because the alien enjoys the sound of frightened people. Straight-forward. PAPER DRAGONS - James P. Blaylock 3 STARS Magical Realism story of a strange California, where the narrator lives a normal life where giant worms eats his tomato plants, with one neighbor fanatic about the migration of giant, even car-sized, crabs that caused some destruction in the neighborhood, destroying a pseudo-living semi-mechanic semi-living paper dragon of another neighbor, who spends a year unsuccessfully rebuilding something similar. A famous story, and one I recognize as being well-written. I always find it difficult to understand Magical Realism, though, where the protagonist always go about their flat, "normal" everyday lives even as wild fantastic things pass before their eyes. MAGAZINE SECTION - R. A. Lafferty 3 STARS A man writes seemingly-fantastical stories for Sunday Magazines, and increasingly finding himself out of a job because people could no longer believe them, despite their truths. THE WAR AT HOME - Lewis Shiner 2.5 STARS People who have never gone to Nam are racked by vivid hallucinations /memories of all its trauma. One man's descent into a PTSD that is not his own. Very short story. Perhaps vivid, but Nam as a subject ... feels very distant to me. This story did not age well. ROCKABYE BABY - S. C. Sykes 4 STARS A man broke his neck and becomes a paraplegic, loses all his former life, yet in the process became drawn to reading, learning, and found his artistic talent. And then, he encountered an experimental treatment that would enable him to regrow all his limbs, yet at the same time would wipe clean all his memories. A paraplegic friend had taken that choice, became healthy yet intensely miserable, and eventually killed himself. The man himself, facing that same choice, hesitates, hesitates... yet finally decides to take the same plunge. Another story of man trapped inside a husk of a body. Vivid illustration of a dilemma -- what constitutes a person if not all the memories and emotions and experiences? Without that, we are nothing. And yet, who's to say in that situation, most of us wouldn't make the same choice. GREEN MARS - Kim Stanley Robinson 4 STARS Roger, a member of the Red party, having quit his government position and in a depression over his failures to prevent Mars from being turned into another Earth. He becomes part of a team to climb Olympic Mons. Climb requires close attention to the here-and-now, a kind of physical meditation, and in the process, Roger begins to recognize the beauty of Mars, which remains regardless whether it is covered with Earth flora and fauna. He also reunites with Eileen, who was his lover hundreds of years in past, who tells him some of the philosophy she is reading. He comes to learn that one's past need not be immutable, a burden, but that life forces us to constantly re-evaluate the past, thereby changing it. At the end, he learns to love this new Mars. I now understand why this series is so popular. It is written with the focus that mainstream literary novels have, examining the details and concerns of human life, written in vivid, present-focused prose, yet set in a fantastic new world, in the near future with some believable projected new technology. An interesting story. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    In this third anthology, Dozois has carefully collated some wonderful stories, ranging from the mythological through to the gloriously mundane. In a way, when you can write a standard 'quest' story with only vague elements of science fiction, then the acceptance of the genre has been made complete. In this third anthology, Dozois has carefully collated some wonderful stories, ranging from the mythological through to the gloriously mundane. In a way, when you can write a standard 'quest' story with only vague elements of science fiction, then the acceptance of the genre has been made complete.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thad Ligon

    A solid collection of short stories circa 1985.

  6. 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...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction sure took off slowly. Here we've got another pretty uneven anthology, the last published by Bluejay Books. St Martin's would pick up the series for its remaining 32 books. Three novellas here are top-notch, but do little to even out the other cup of the balance, already filled with forgettable material. The trend of publishing semi-sci-fi stories set in the the dreaded "On Earth, Near Future" continued into 1985. Story breakdown: • The Jaguar Hunter • no Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction sure took off slowly. Here we've got another pretty uneven anthology, the last published by Bluejay Books. St Martin's would pick up the series for its remaining 32 books. Three novellas here are top-notch, but do little to even out the other cup of the balance, already filled with forgettable material. The trend of publishing semi-sci-fi stories set in the the dreaded "On Earth, Near Future" continued into 1985. Story breakdown: • The Jaguar Hunter • novelette by Lucius Shepard: unrated I avoid this author, so this work will be excluded from the average. • Dogfight • novelette by William Gibson and Michael Swanwick: 1* I don't know what I'm reading here. Can't even tell if it's cyberpunk-ish or not. That's how bad this is written. • Fermi and Frost • short story by Frederik Pohl: 2* After an all-out nuclear war, a scientist finds shelter in Iceland and ponders the Fermi paradox. Pointless. • Green Days in Brunei • novella by Bruce Sterling: 2* Semi-cyberpunk-ish plot in the actual Kingdom of Brunei, some little time into the future. Nothing to write home (to mom) about. • Snow • short story by John Crowley: 1* Another on Earth near future setting. Some kind of memory recording devices that follow you around in the form of wasps are all the fashion. I tried, but was unable to progress past five pages. • The Fringe • novelette by Orson Scott Card: 2* This must be the worst piece of Orson Scott Card ever. We learn about the setting through a school-kid's eyes: some kind of semi-post-apocalyptic setting, with "settlers" trying to reclaim land in North America. The setup is good enough, but the plot is going nowhere. • The Lake Was Full of Artificial Things • short story by Karen Joy Fowler: 2* More "OENF-ness". Great. A solution's been found to communicate with people from one's past. A woman talks to a dead husband. Some soul searching, some ethics being raised, nothing ground-breaking. • Sailing to Byzantium • novella by Robert Silverberg: 5* A masterpiece by Silverberg here in style, idea, and delivery. Sometime in the deep future (finally, the deep future), robots are able to rebuild ancient cities and humans are the tourists to visit them. • Solstice • novelette by James Patrick Kelly: 2* Some Stonehenge history mixed in with a near-future designer drug convention. The style was pleasant, but if this story tried to convey any message, it went totally over my head. • Duke Pasquale's Ring • novella by Avram Davidson: 1* Some kind of alternate 19th century Italy I believe is the setting for this one. Can't be sure as I was unable to progress past 10 pages. • More Than the Sum of His Parts • short story by Joe Haldeman: 2* Man is turned into cyborg after a work-related accident, then slowly turns to crime. At least this is set on the Moon. • Out of All Them Bright Stars • short story by Nancy Kress: 1* Extra-terrestrial walks into an American diner. Waiters have various reactions to it. • Side Effects • novelette by Walter Jon Williams: 1* After ten pages of New York doctors discussing various drugs, I dropped an F word and moved to the next story. • The Only Neat Thing to Do • novella by James Tiptree, Jr.: 4* Finally, a proper science-fiction story set in outer space. A first contact situation with a symbiotic alien life form which gets out of hand when the aliens lose controls of their hosts. • Dinner in Audoghast • short story by Bruce Sterling: 3* If previous story was "classic" science-fiction, this one is "classic" NOT science-fiction. Set in North Africa in the 11th century, this is actually surprisingly well-written; unfortunately it's only about a dinner between several aristocrats poking fun at a prophet. • Under Siege • novelette by George R. R. Martin: 2* Scientists from a dystopian future attempt to prevent the Soviet Union from existing by interfering in a 19th century war between Tsarist Russia and Sweden. A lot of history info-dumping, and not enough originality. • Flying Saucer Rock & Roll • novelette by Howard Waldrop: 1* A bunch of high-school kids discuss said musical genre and some aliens. Unreadable. • A Spanish Lesson • novelette by Lucius Shepard Still not reading this author. • Roadside Rescue • short story by Pat Cadigan: 1* Someone talks to an alien inside a limousine. Snorefest. • Paper Dragons • novelette by James P. Blaylock: 1* Another NOT science-fiction story. Something to do with sea crabs invading an island. Disgusted, I stopped after just a few pages. • Magazine Section • short story by R. A. Lafferty: 1* NOT science-fiction again. A series of meaningless newspaper articles detailing various unconnected bizarre events across the United States. • The War at Home • short story by Lewis Shiner: 1* Something about Vietnam. Extremely short and incomprehensible. • Rockabye Baby • novelette by S. C. Sykes: 2* Doctors find "panacea", but patients receiving it will also have the brain "rebooted" to pre-natal state. A quadriplegic ponders whether to go for it or not. • Green Mars • novella by Kim Stanley Robinson: 4* This novella is set in a different timeline from his famous Mars trilogy. Otherwise it is pretty similar. A group of long-lived humans who have settled on a by now terraformed Mars attempt to climb Mons Olympus. A lot of mountain climbing and areology details clutter this story a little, but ultimately don't take away from its stunning narrative force. Weighted average comes out to 2.27. Rounding down.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    I’m making my way through all 35 of these books. Great reading at about $5-10 a copy used from Amazon. I have to give Dozois credit for picking great stories-some better than others but most worth reading. These older volumes have authors well known today who were them just starting out. A particular favorite was Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Green Mars” about a group of climbers ascending Olympus Mons-a first version of his great Red Blue Green Mars trilogy. George R. R. Martin is here with a story I I’m making my way through all 35 of these books. Great reading at about $5-10 a copy used from Amazon. I have to give Dozois credit for picking great stories-some better than others but most worth reading. These older volumes have authors well known today who were them just starting out. A particular favorite was Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Green Mars” about a group of climbers ascending Olympus Mons-a first version of his great Red Blue Green Mars trilogy. George R. R. Martin is here with a story I liked better than Game of Thrones. While Dozois is gone, there is a legacy of hours of great reading that he left still available at bargain prices.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel Rich

    Not much gold in this mine, I would recommend skipping this Year's Best. Not much gold in this mine, I would recommend skipping this Year's Best.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    A lot of decent stories. Definitely worth the read.

  11. 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    some very good storytellers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zach Smith

    Some good stories, not a bad collection

  14. 5 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Year's Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection by Gardner R. Dozois (1986) The Year's Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection by Gardner R. Dozois (1986)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Dainton

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Dannaldson

  17. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  19. 5 out of 5

    Larry Gallagher

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fred Kiesche

  22. 4 out of 5

    Teal

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  24. 5 out of 5

    John

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elly

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Hill

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  28. 4 out of 5

    John-Alan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Smith

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Zamora

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