Monday, December 25, 2006

The Year's Best Science Fiction (2001)

The Year's Best Science Fiction (2001), ed. by Gardner Dozois. This was my Christmas break binge reading. Anything that boasts "more than 250,00 words" on the cover isn't exactly highbrow, but it was a blast. I was talking with my mom about how the short story is the perfect vehicle for certain genres (chief among them SF and hard-boiled mysteries). Most speculative fiction authors don't excel at character development, at least it's not their focus nor ours when we pick up their work. The reason we read their stuff is the ideas, the fantasy, and the fabulous brain twisting, which are perfectly displayed in a short story which doesn't drag you along with some bland action-hero for hundreds of pages. Anyway, lots of good stories. I really enjoyed a story by Brenda W. Clough, May Be Some Time, about a revived member of the Terra Nova antarctic expedition - it dreamily combined the elements of an adventure story, comedic British imperialism, and time-travel. Part of my delight in science fiction short stories might be nostalgia - I remember reading old Asimov's Science Fiction magazines at my grandparents' Beulah Beach cottage (where lights-out was laxly enforced) late into the night and feeling deliciously sinful.

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