The twenty-three stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our being, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including:
Stephen Baxter, M.Shayne Bell, Rick Cook, Albert E. Cowdrey, Tananarive Due, Greg Egan, Eliot Fintushel, Peter F. Hamilton, Earnest Hogan, John Kessel, Nancy Kress, Ursula K. Le Guin, Paul J. McAuley, Ian McDonald, Susan Palwick, Severna Park, Alastair Reynolds, Lucius Shepard, Brian Stableford, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Steven Utley, Robert Charles Wilson
Supplementing the stories is the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and lengthy list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart.
Gardner Dozois has become the most influential editor in science fiction, and his best-of-the-year anthologies show why. He has chosen 23 stories by masters such as Ursula K. LeGuin, Michael Swanwick, Brian Stableford, and Greg Egan, as well as newer writers Severna Park, Tananarive Due, and Eliot Fintushel.
Standouts include "Tendeleo's Story," Ian MacDonald's powerful tale of people whose lives are changed by an alien invader that is slowly eating Africa; "The Suspect Genome," a mystery by Peter F. Hamilton; the slow but moving "Going After Bobo" by Susan Palwick; and "The Great Goodbye" by Robert Charles Wilson. Hugo nominees include "Radiant Green Star" by Lucius Shepherd, "Oracle" by Greg Egan, and "On the Orion Line" by Stephen Baxter.
Dozois's summation of the year in science fiction alone is worth the cost of admission to these annual collections. Along with his usual takes on publishing, literature, film, and more, Dozois delivers a retrospective on the state of science fiction in the year 2000. Contrary to those who claim science fiction is either dead or (at least) losing its heart and soul since the deaths of authors like Isaac Asimov and Robert J. Heinlein, Dozois emphatically argues that the health of SF has never been stronger. Discussing increased numbers of novels being published (he includes numbers to prove his point), discoveries of young new writers, ongoing evolution of the literature, and innovative viewpoints to mine, Dozois bubbles over with enthusiasm for the genre in which he made his name, as well as the coming century and its mysterious developments waiting to surprise and delight us. --Bonnie Bouman
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