Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's the End of the Year and I Feel Fine

Jonathan Strahan “The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 10” (Solaris, 2016)

Fanlore says that once upon a time fen were able to read all the fiction published in a year.  Sounds ridiculous, right? Obviously that’s impossible now.  It seems like there’s fiction everywhere. And even if we throw cost out the window – because there are a bunch of free publishers online – you still couldn’t read all the short fiction!  There’s just not enough time.

That’s why these “best of the year” anthologies are so great.  I don’t have to read everything.  I can read whatever catches my crow eye, & then catch up with a couple of these BOY books.

And this book brings the goods.  Massive authors – Neil Gaiman, Kim Stanley Robinson, Caitlyn R Kiernan, Kai Ashante Williams, Alyssa Wong, Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, Nalo Hopkinson, et al! There's a wide variety of styles to the stories from traditional riffs on SF themes & problems to fantasy and horrific tales.  

Did I love all of it? No.  But that’s not my expectation.  My expectation is that I’m presented with well written stories by authors that would be read. These are the sorts of stories that are involved in the genre dialogue.  Even the ones I didn’t love, I did not regret reading.  

My feeling upon completion is that 2015 was a good year for short fiction.  Not only were there plenty of young authors working in the form, but well established authors had things to say as well. 

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