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Best Of The Best Short Science Fict

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Product Details

  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • Publishing date: 06/02/2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780312363420
  • ISBN: 0312363427


For more than twenty years The Year's Best Science Fiction has been recognized as the best collection of short science fiction writing in the universe and an essential resource for every science fiction fan. In 2005 the original Best of the Best collected the finest short stories from that series and became a benchmark in the SF field. Now, for the first time ever, Hugo Award-winning editor Gardner Dozios sifts through hundreds of stories and dozens of authors who have gone on to become some of the most esteemed practitioners of the form, to bring readers the ultimate anthology of short science fiction novels from his legendary series.
Included are such notable short novels as:
Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg
In the fiftieth century, people of Earth are able to create entire cities on a whim, including those of mythology and legend. When twentieth-century traveler Charles Philip accidentally lands in this aberrant time period, he is simultaneously obsessed with discovering more about this alluring world and getting back home. But in a world made entirely of man's creation, things are not always as they seem on the surface.
Forgiveness Day by Ursula K. Le Guin
Le Guin returns to her Hainish-settled interstellar community, the Edumen, to tell the tale of two star-crossed lovers who are literally worlds apart in this story of politics, violence, religion, and cultural disparity.
Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds
On a sea-wold planet covered with idyllic tropical oceans, peace seems pervasive. Beneath the placid water lurks an ominous force that has the potential to destroy all tranquility.
Contributors include: Greg Egan; Joe Haldeman; James Patrick Kelly; Nancy Kress; Ursula K. Le Guin; Ian R. MacLeod; Ian McDonald; Maureen F. McHugh; Frederick Pohl; Alastair Reynolds; Robert Silverberg; Michael Swanwick; Walter Jon Williams
With work spanning two decades, The Best of the Best, Volume 2 stands as the ultimate anthology of short science fiction novels ever published in the world.

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  • Entertaining but unenchanted
    From Amazon

    I selected this book for the same reason I pick up any sci-fi anthology: I want to be introduced to new (to me) and interesting authors. I greatly dislike purchasing books and then find that the author's writing style does not succeed at immersing me into their world. I recognized a few old favorites in the list of novellas but was pleased to see a larger list of authors and stories that I have never heard of. Usually before my purchase I read the anthology's introduction to gain an understanding of why these particular stories were chosen (some anthologies carry themes or explore certain aspects of the human condition through various viewpoints and scenarios). I did not do that in this case but I truly wish I did. The editor Gardner Dozois goes no further in explaining why he chose these stories other than to say that he found them great and that they personally appeal to them. While that's not necessarily off-putting it does mean that the range of stories can be limited. Oftentimes people like the same stories told in different ways. I feel that this was definitely the case in this anthology. Several of the stories carry the same theme or gimmicks. Sailing to Byzantium and Outnumbering the Dead deal with characters experiencing the effects of longer lives. Beggars in Spain deals with this towards the end of the story. Byzantium tells the story of a non-POV character who is among the few that does not have a long life while Dead deals with the POV character coming to grips about not having a longer life. I suppose what bothered me the most about these two stories appearing in the same anthology is that they both used similar or the same terminology to explain what was going on. For instance, in both stories the characters who lived normal life spans (by our definition) are called being on "short-time". Additionally, after reading Beggars in Spain I began to suspect that the editor wished that all three stories existed in the same universe. These stories would not be so bad back-to-back if only they told more than one aspect of the story. Instead of focusing on how longer life is the best, and those that cannot obtain it are just going to have to deal and get over themselves, perhaps one of these should have been dropped in favor of a story explaining how longer life is detrimental to the human condition. And perhaps the inclusion of Mr. Boy was an attempt at creating this balance (the main character whose life is stalled at pre-adolescence) but fails in that it is now the 4th story of a particular theme in a collection of just thirteen stories. Oceanic and Tendeleo's story both grapple faith as it is being challenged by indisputable scientific fact. Oceanic focuses more on challenging religions' "gut-feeling" faith proof while Tendeleo is more blatant by swallowing artifacts of faith by either covering it in alien green things or in human chaos, as is the case of the main character's father. Other stories pick up themes of faith as being hopeless but not as exclusively. While they present interesting ideas it doesn't help the individual story to have a similar themed story right next to it. They lose their effectiveness and well, splash, by becoming kind of preachy and depressing. A smaller problem I had with this anthology is the lack of proofreading. While reading the stories I have found several horrific typos and misspellings. Things that are very obvious. This did nothing to help along my good opinion of the anthology. Overall, if you share the same tastes in stories as Dozois you will find each novella entertaining and pleasing, no matter the author. If you do not, like me, then you will find little in the book to recommend itself.

  • The Best of the Best, Volume 2: 20 Years of the Best Short Science Fiction Novels
    From Amazon

    When I make it through all of The Year's Best Science Fiction Annual editions I will finish the series with the Best of the Best Volume 2. Thanks to Amazon for being able to look forward to that. Another great online purchasing experience.

  • Not Free SF Reader
    From Amazon

    In his introduction Dozois says he has chosen from his favorite novellas in the first twenty volumes of his Year's Best Series, barring leaving out a couple that were being published at the time. A length of which he is a fan, apparently : "Unlike many of today's novel, all too many of wihch strike me as novellas grossly padded-out to be five hundred pages long, there are rarely any wasted words in a novella". Padding is right in a lot of books, couldn't agree more, but presumably length sells - although editors of course make heaps more work for themselves with longer novels. If you have to fix 120K words rather than 80K, anybody can work that one out. This book came about, he says because the first volume, Best of the Best had novellas, too, but there were lots more to fit in. Apparently he has selected 100-120 over the life of the series, or thereabouts. Seeing this volume is considerably shorter, as far as story count goes, it will run the risk of not having the chance to appeal to as many people on probability, I would think, given a selection of his own exactly particular taste, rather than a deliberate wider ranger. Holds true for me, I think, as none of my own particular favorites of those volumes I have read, here, but The Hemingway Hoax is rather good. So the score is only 3.69, which is lower than your standard 3.80 average score for his Year's Best series. This, however, is still an excellent anthology. Best of the Best 2 : Sailing To Byzantium - Robert Silverberg Best of the Best 2 : Surfacing - Walter Jon Williams Best of the Best 2 : The Hemingway Hoax - Joe Haldeman Best of the Best 2 : Mr. Boy - James Patrick Kelly Best of the Best 2 : Beggars In Spain - Nancy Kress Best of the Best 2 : Griffin's Egg - Michael Swanwick Best of the Best 2 : Outnumbering The Dead - Frederick Pohl Best of the Best 2 : Forgiveness Day - Ursula K. LeGuin Best of the Best 2 : The Cost To Be Wise - Maureen F. McHugh Best of the Best 2 : Oceanic - Greg Egan Best of the Best 2 : Tendeleo's Story - Ian McDonald Best of the Best 2 : New Light On The Drake Equation - Ian R. MacLeod Best of the Best 2 : Turquoise Days - Alastair Reynolds Tedious travelogue and artificial lifetime constraints. 3 out of 5 Undersea communication research alien possession accomodation. 4 out of 5 Multiple serial murder mayhem over Ernie's multiversal missing manuscript mania. 4.5 out of 5 Not wanting to grow up attitude certainly isn't helped by mum's mechanical approach to parenting. 3.5 out of 5 Sleeping is a waste of time. 4 out of 5 Terran nuclear nightmare, moon mental mimetic mayhem amidst crisis predicted canoodling. 3.5 out of 5 Famous actor guy unluckily gotta die through space will fly. 3.5 out of 5 Ekumen embassy explosion entrapment unrest. 4 out of 5 Having to eat your dog will make you sad. 3 out of 5 A boy growing up in a backward fundamentalist community on another planet begins to understand how much the local biology has altered the people that live there, and why a religion surrounds this. 3.5 out of 5 A Kenyan woman and her community come to terms with an alien infestation, as the outsider who fancies her adapts as well. 4 out of 5 A story about a hermit-like SETI astronomer and his past relationships. 4 out of 5 I sea we have a problem. 3.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5

  • superb collection
    From Amazon

    Following up on the first edition of the Best of the Best (short story oriented), Gardner Dozois fills the second collection with classic novellas, starting with the fantastic "Sailing to Byzantium" by Silverberg. The entries speak for themselves as sci fi fans will recognize most if not all the contributions and many will have been read previously. The entries are Walter Jon Williams' "Surfacing", Joe Haldeman's "The Hemingway Hoax", James Patrick Kelly's "Mr. Boy", Nancy Kress's "Beggars in Spain", Michael Swanwick's "Griffin's Egg", Frederik Pohl's "Outnumbering the Dead", Ursula K. Le Guin's "Forgiveness Day", Maureen F. McHugh's "The Cost to Be Wise", Greg Egan's "Oceanic", Ian McDonald's "Tendeleo's Story", Ian R. MacLeod's "New Light on the Drake Equation", and Alastair Reynolds's "Turquoise Days",. The stories run the gamut of the genre with a few crossing into fantasy, but what they share are strong story lines with believable characters bringing to life questions of humanity's place in the universe. The only question for readers is to pay or not to pay in light of having read most before as this compilation is top rate. Harriet Klausner

  • An exceptionally fine anthology of short science fiction.
    From Amazon

    Renowned editor Gardner Dozois presents a landmark anthology of the best short science fiction novels from over two decades of "The Year's Best Science Fiction." Heralded as the best collection of short science fiction writing in the universe and admired by science fiction fans everywhere, "The Year's Best Science Fiction" boasts more than two decades as the leader in science fiction compilations. In 2005, Hugo Award-winning editor Gardner Dozois featured the finest short stories from that series in the original Best of the Best collection. Now, in "THE BEST OF THE BEST VOLUME 2: 20 Years of the Best Short Science Fiction Novels", Dozois brings readers the ultimate collection of short science fiction novels from his legendary series. With such celebrated authors as Ursula K. LeGuin, Michael Swanwick, Joe Haldeman, Frederick Pohl, Greg Egan, Robert Silverberg, Alastair Reynolds and many more, THE BEST OF THE BEST VOLUME 2 is a momentous science fiction short novel anthology that should not be missed. Highly recommended.

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