From quiet, elegiac, contemporary tales to far future, deep space sagas, the stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Karen Joy Fowler for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 demonstrate the vast spectrum of what science fiction and fantasy aims to illuminate, displaying the full gamut of the human experience, interrogating our hopeFrom quiet, elegiac, contemporary tales to far future, deep space sagas, the stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Karen Joy Fowler for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 demonstrate the vast spectrum of what science fiction and fantasy aims to illuminate, displaying the full gamut of the human experience, interrogating our hopes and our fears of not just what we can accomplish or destroy as a person, but what we can accomplish or destroy as a people and throwing us into strange new worlds that can only be explored when we shed the shackles of reality.The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 includes Rachel Swirsky, Sofia Samatar, Charlie Jane Anders, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Maria Dahvana Headley, Kij Johnson, Catherynne M Valente, Dexter Palmer and others KAREN JOY FOWLER, guest editor, is the author of six novels and four short story collections, including We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves She is the winner of the 2014 PEN Faulkner Award, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, and has won numerous Nebula and World Fantasy awards JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS, series editor, is the best selling editor of than two dozen anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and Wastelands He is the editor and publisher of the digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare and is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, a new science fiction fantasy novel imprint from Houghton M
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy From quiet elegiac contemporary tales to far future deep space sagas the stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Karen Joy Fowler for The Best American Science Fiction a
Posted at Heradas ReviewThis is an equal mix of F and SF stories, and John Joseph Adams truly understands the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction, which is refreshing The stories started out a little rough but quickly got into some AAA level stuff about a quarter of the way in, including a few new personal all time favorite short stories in any genre.Standout stories Interesting Facts, No Placeholder for You My Love, The Duniaz t, Things You Can Buy for a Penny, and Three Bodies at Mi [...]
After loving last year s debut of this new Best American imprint, I was a little disappointed by this year s That s the natural consequence of changing volume editors, though, and not a sign of a real drop in quality Joe Hill s taste last year just happened to be remarkably similar to mine which is why I used to buy every song he recommended on his now mostly defunct blog and Fowler s isn t, even when she s pulling stories from authors I really admire Samatar, Link, Valente, and Kij Johnson all [...]
Not as wowed by this collection as I was last year s, but there are a handful of solid stories in this one.
I picked this up because I always want to read good short SF, and because I have the highest possible opinion of Karen Fowler who is a friend I also really like the editors process John Joseph Adams, who reads widely than you would think a human being could, picked 80 stories Karen then read those stories author blind and picked 20 of the 80 So it s a testament to the taste of the field that many of our acknowledged finest short story writers are represented here because they re good, not just [...]
4.6Anthologies are generally a mixed bag Even the best collections tend to have enough poor stories that cancel out the best the collection has to offer I think the highest rating I have ever given to an anthology is a 3.5 because of this unfortunate phenomenon While not every in story Best American Sci Fi and Fantasy 2016is perfect, the best ones are perfect and the worst simply not to my taste Maybe 2 stories of 20 get a B That s a pretty good report card I find this especially interesting giv [...]
Looking back over this collection, of all twenty stories, the only ones that made me think I am so glad I read this are Lightning Jack s Last Ride and Ambiguity Machines An Examination That is not a good hit rate.From reading other reviews, it looks like a lot of other people share my opinion that this is a collection of a few great stories buried in a pile of some New Yorker ass nonsense Listen, I have no beef with literary fiction, but most of the stories in here I didn t find to be particular [...]
I love this branch in The Best American series so much I m kind of obsessed with The Best American brand in general because I want to be an employee with them someday so I collect all their books However, this particular branch is my baby I have the first addition as well this branch barely started publishing their anthology last year, I believe and I plan on buying a copy of the new Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology every single year I m not kidding or exaggerating when I say [...]
A strong and varied collection of short stories, much to my taste than last year s rather medicore volume in this series Highlights for me were Catherynne M Valente s Planet Lion a wonderfully weird mash up of military space opera and psychedelic planetary exotica , Liz Ziemska s The Mushroom Queen mycology and a mid life crisis in one haunting package , Maia Dahvana Headley s The Thirteen Mercies perhaps horror than science fiction or straight fantasy but beautifully and effectively written , [...]
I like The Geek s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, so when I heard the host John Joseph Adams, the editor of this anthology chatting with his co editor about this book, I grabbed it on when it was on sale for 2 I am sorry that I did.I used to be a voracious reader of short stories, and as I read some of the stories in this anthology, I realized how much the short story form has changed in the decade or two that I ve been away Many of the stories in this anthology were, for all intents and purposes, [...]
There were a few gems in here, but the fantasy the minute I see a retelling of Alice, I m out of there felt like genre trying its damndest to be literary and subsequently veering into the worst aspects of magical realism minus any of the historical context that might anchor it Sure, the sentences are pyrotechnic, but ultimately what you end up with is a little kid with scalpel sharp crayons and an extremely precious sensibility going Tralalalala So the good stuff The Great Silence by Ted Chiang [...]
A few stories that captured my attention Catherynne M Valente Planet LionThe lions on a planet gain a collective sentience, fueled by memories from astronauts Truly unique story, compelling.Kij Johnson The Apartment Dweller s BestiaryA collection of tiny, funny stories about quite exotic pets like the lopi, the louet, the hooded quilliot You tell the stories in the second person, and it tells about your lonely life than about the pets that bring you a bit of joy mixed with sarcasm and in some c [...]
All in all, quite a satisfying short story collection I didn t appreciate all of the stories equally but each of them had a very interesting premise which definitely gave some food for thought This is what I like about the series by reading the collection you can get the patchwork picture of the genre I guess I would never read some of the authors outside of this compilation but going though the book I still enjoyed the variety of topics and narrative methods There was not a single story that di [...]
As usual, my taste leans toward the sci fi rather than fantasy Sofia Samatar Meet Me in Iram a bit too elusive allusive for my palate For me, admirable rather than enjoyable Kelly Link The Game of Smash and Recovery A brother and sister awaiting the return of their long absent planets play a high impact game of capture the flag until little sister unlocks the secret of her inhuman origin and purpose as part of the AI of a crashed starship Adam Johnson Interesting Facts a standout A wife and moth [...]
There are several stories in this collection that I very much look forward to re reading.
There have been two Best American SF F collections so far, and to me this collection slightly edges out 2015 s, though both were chock full of thought provoking, astonishingly written works of modern science fiction and fantasy though far less fantasy than SF I should note that these stories tend to be along literary lines, meaning that they fantasy tends to be of the folklore or magic realism variety, eschewing anything Tolkeinesque, to say nothing of something along the lines of Conan or Lov [...]
Relax This is normal Dexter Palmer, The Daydreamer by Proxy, p.106I m not sure whether the effect was due to series editor John Joseph Adams or to this volume s specific editor, Karen Joy Fowler, but the flow from story to story in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 was exceptionally smooth.As to the stories themselves I have transcribed the entire Table of Contents below I won t try to rate the stories relative to each other this really is a best of volume, and there were only a [...]
I was a little disappointed with this book I was reading two other anthologies at the same time and this was my least favorite of the three There are some great stories here, but than a couple were not enjoyable for me at all It seems like the collection was trying too hard to be edgy and different Sometimes it worked and sometimes it just had me annoyed I even skipped ahead a few times which I rarely do.
Was about halfway through when i quit This anthology really isn t bad I just don t want to waste my time reading something I feel so lukewarm about I really struggle to review anthologies, so bear with me This is very literary sci fi It s not about the strength of the world building or the creativity of the ideas it s about exploring emotions and asking questions to give a very basic overview of what I think the difference between sci fi and literature is it s not a final definition Just my exp [...]
It only makes sense to give this anthology around half of the possible stars, since around half of the possible stories in it are The Best of 2016 And most of those were backloaded into this anthology, hung up by pieces like the science fiction nonfiction prose poetry Meet Me in Iram, the frustrating and unnecessary Tea Time, and the instantly forgettable By Degrees and Dilatory Time This anthology was, in my opinion, poorly selected and arranged and I don t know what would explain this but Kare [...]
I always like to read what JUST came out, especially in science fiction fantasy, what I like to pretend are my specialty genres I can go through each short story and tell you what I thought of it Meet Me in Iram by Sofia Samatar goodness gracious this made me laugh so hard, due to how closely it semi mirrored the actual history of Iran Except it s not Iran, it s Iram With an M And it s always night in Iram kind of like how it s always night in some parts of the world for like half of the year ac [...]
I was a little nervous through the first through stories, which didn t impress me much mostly because they were overly artful and difficult to get into understand But about a third of the way through, every single story started to shine This is why I love science fiction better than any other genre There s so much you can say than with realistic fiction or at least it can be said differently, which helps keep things fresh.
I think I might ve liked 2015 a little better, but this one had some really fresh and exciting stories as well.
I chose to read this anthology because it contains new stories by Kij Johnson, Charlie Jane Anders, and Ted Chiang These authors are consistently excellent in the short form, and their contributions here are no exception The annual Best American SFF series seems to select for literary leaning stories A few are in fact pure literary stories with perhaps a single speculative convention a mythological figure, narration from the beyond the grave, or a videogame slightly advanced than today s techno [...]
Even though this is in The Best American series I do wonder at its inclusion The cover pattern is different than all the others, and just does not seem up to the same level It could be that, as I know to be true, Science Fiction, is not a great interest to me, and a collection with diverse stories in that genre is going to have a low rate of interest to me.While I read all the stories I have to confess that some of them were just so far behind my style as to barely be comprehended Therefore, I w [...]
I really enjoy the concept behind John Adam s Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series Every year he reads as many SFF short stories as possible and produces a list of the 80 he thinks are best He then brings on a guest editor to select the top 20 stories of the year Having a guest editor ensures that the collection never grows stagnant Each guest editor will have a different taste for stories, and their personal quirks come through in what is selected The only problem with this approach [...]
First off, 4 of 20 stories were definitely 5 star, 1 story had incredible promise and died in the last paragraph or two amazingly frustrating and one story gave me the sense that the author had something else to do so finished this story without really finishing the story.The other 14 stories of them I read a page or two and realized they weren t working for me One or two I read through and thought Meh When I read anthologies like this I m often left wondering If I found an anthology entitled Th [...]
An excellent cross section of recent sci fi and fantasy of all types A lot of it falls on the side of that pulp sci fi jargony stuff that I ve just got no taste for, although even I can see that the stories included here were well written for the type of story they were Still others fell on the side of beautifully written, poetical snapshots into imaginative and thoughtful worlds I d say that it s a great little anthology for anyone with a vague interest in sci fi fantasy, because it gives you a [...]
As with all anthologies, every person will have their own highlights Someone s most hated story will be someone else s most liked My favorites were Three Bodies at MitanniOne of the most perfect sci fi stories I ve ever read, a testament to the potential of the genre Combines philosophical dilemma, interpersonal drama, and an epic scope plot.I also lovedInteresting Facts, By Degrees and Dilatory Time, Headshot, Rat Catcher s Yellows,andAmbiguity Machines An Examination.All of them used speculati [...]
Excellent collection showing the freedom the short story gives writers to play with familiar ideas Highlights Catherine Valente, Planet Lion humans find an extremely different kind of life form on another planet Liz Ziemska, The Mushroom Queen new meaning to fungus among us Julian Mortimer Smith, Headshot Maria Davonah Headley, The Thirteen Mercies excellent use of military SF to look at the morality of modern warfare Nick Wolven, No Placeholder for You, My Love felt like a Robert Silverberg or [...]
I had been dipping into this book whenever I had a few minutes for a couple months and then finished it while traveling Excellent collection One of the highlights for me was Salman Rushdie s The Duniziat I had stopped reading him with his first book Now I understand why his writings are highly praised I ll pick up some of his recent writing Others of note Dale Bailey s Lightning Jack s Last Ride Will Kaufman s Things You Can Buy for a Penny Charlie Jane Anders Rat Catcher s Yellows I always lik [...]