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The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

Tekijä: John Joseph Adams (Series editor), Charles Yu (Toimittaja)

Muut tekijät: Dale Bailey (Avustaja), Leigh Bardugo (Avustaja), Peter S. Beagle (Avustaja), Helena Bell (Avustaja), Brian Evenson (Avustaja)14 lisää, Joseph Allen Hill (Avustaja), N. K. Jemisin (Avustaja), Alice Sola Kim (Avustaja), A. Merc Rustad (Avustaja), Nisi Shawl (Avustaja), Jeremiah Tolbert (Avustaja), Debbie Urbanski (Avustaja), Catherynne M. Valente (Avustaja), Genevieve Valentine (Avustaja), Greg Van Eekhout (Avustaja), Alexander Weinstein (Avustaja), Nick Wolven (Avustaja), Caroline M. Yoachim (Avustaja), E. Lily Yu (Avustaja)

Sarjat: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2017), Best American (2017)

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Presents a collection of the best science fiction and fantasy short stories written during 2016.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I think I started this with more than a little suspicion as hesitation. I feel like I've generally approached science-fiction and fantasy from two directions; becoming wedded to particular authors with particular styles and devouring most of their oeuvre. But after being gifted this over the holidays I decided to try something different, and I'm certainly grateful.

I think I'd mostly thought of the science-fiction and fantasy I'd read as escapist and only incidentally interesting literarily or with relevance to the present. Favourites such as [b:Hyperion|77566|Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)|Dan Simmons|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1405546838s/77566.jpg|1383900] or [b:Red Mars|77507|Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)|Kim Stanley Robinson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1440699787s/77507.jpg|40712] obviously have allusions, but they're not necessarily the focus and the setting is just as important. A lot of these stories, by contrast, have less to worry about in terms of worldbuilding, in terms of keeping you engaged for a multi-volume epic, and so they can play more directly with ideas. I think I appreciate this a great deal, because though not every idea resonates it's refreshing not to be reading genre fiction as fiction for the sake of being in or appealing to a genre, but fiction that uses the genre as a means to an end. I always described what I got out of SF/fantasy this way, but I think I can say it more confidently now!

I'll walk through some in the collection I have relatively cogent thoughts on:

The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight by E. Lily Yu absolutely nailed its tone, for me. I want to read this out loud at some point, to listen to it. It skewers the tropes of fairytale in a way I hadn't seen before, not just saying "what if we empathised with the witch" but "what does it mean to be a witch in fairytale?" Thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Openness by Alexander Weinstein is one I wish was longer. Exploring the consequences of the secrets and layers and technology dependence his characters have demanded a relatively swift resolution in short-story, but (and my worldbuilder is leaking) could be an amazing setting for longer drama.

Vulcanization by Nisi Shawl made me want to read more alternate-history fiction. It's easy to forget and hard to imagine the minds of colonisers of the time, and if anything I think Shawl's portrayal misses some of the likely lack of conscience/banality of the perpetrators, which might be scarier in hindsight.

The Venus Effect by Joseph Allen Hill really had me questioning at first. I think I had a tendency to view metafiction as somehow easier than the regular kind, because you relinquish some of the need to allow the reader to draw their own interpretations. But what you gain, at least here, is a unusually specific and revealing understanding of the patterns of stories of police brutality, and the ways they are left out as well.

In any anthology there will be some stories you like more than others, but at least I felt exposed to more niches in SF and fantasy than I had been previously, and enjoyed almost all of the stories. Excited to follow up on some of those leads! ( )
  Zedseayou | Jan 30, 2024 |
My decision to go back and read the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy anthologies for years I'd previously missed continues to pay off spectacularly. There are maybe two stories in here that didn't 100% work for me, but those are among the shortest in the book, and are interesting even in their failure to completely click with me. Otherwise, the contents range from pretty good to fan-fucking-tastic, making it a terrific reading experience, as a whole.

One could probably spend a lot of time analyzing the interesting trends and patterns and repeated themes to be seen in this particular collection of stories, despite their widely varying perspectives and voices. I'm not necessarily up to doing much of that, myself, but one thing I definitely did notice is the way a surprising number of them draw on ideas from some venerable old subgenres -- especially 1950s monster movies and teen dramas, and classic kids' portal fantasies -- to do things that feel meaningful and relevant in the present day. ( )
  bragan | Jun 2, 2022 |
I have a bit of a snobbery problem when it comes to books, and I've tended to turn my nose up at genre fiction. This year in particular, I've been trying to have more of an open mind about it and have read a fair bit of science fiction on my own alongside fantasy for the family read-aloud. I'm a sucker for "Best American" anthologies (I picked up two others when I bought this one recently) and this seemed like a good one to expose myself to a broader range of the genre without a huge investment in a long book or series. It also seemed like a good opportunity to see what current fiction in these genres was like (most of what I've read is 20 years old or older).

Turns out, fiction in these genres is very mixed. I dog-eared the following stories as really enjoyable or worthwhile:

- Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home
- When They Came to Us
- Openness
- The Future is Blue

I also thought "The Venus Effect" was fairly important but annoyingly written (it's metafiction, which I like in general, but I didn't like the way the author wrote it). I enjoyed a little bit "The Story of Kao Yu" but didn't think it really belonged in this anthology.

Most of the rest of the stories were meh at best for me. A couple of them were downright bad. I screened entries for a local genre fiction contest a few years ago, and there were a few pretty solid entries and a lot of really terrible ones. Some of the stories in this collection I would not have passed along to the round of final judging even in a local contest, much less considered fit for a collection of 20 of the best stories in the two genres. This makes me feel like maybe the current state of science fiction and fantasy is pretty grim, though it's possible that the series editor and judge just have tastes or literary sensibilities very very different from mine (though I think that my snobbery lets me value quality writing even if I don't love the category of the writing).

The thing about it is that good writing transcends genre. The stories I dog-eared are all reasonably good stories that I'd be pleased to have read in any context (one appeared in The Sun, which is a literary magazine and not a science fiction magazine). The ones I didn't mention by title above seem to have been chosen specifically because of their genre and not because they represent good writing or storytelling, and this sort of pigeonholing and acceptance regardless of quality is, I suppose, what makes me feel iffy about genre fiction in general to begin with. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
I assume there must have been some good science fiction stories written in the USA in 2016, but they aren't in this book. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Jan 19, 2018 |
i didn't care for most of these stories. the editors seemed drawn to Cute and Clever stories, and i felt there was little meat. IMO there were many stories in this year of Asimov's which were better than several of these, and that's just Asimov's. ( )
  oelenzil | Jan 4, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Adams, John JosephSeries editorensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Yu, CharlesToimittajapäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Bailey, DaleAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Bardugo, LeighAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Beagle, Peter S.Avustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Bell, HelenaAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Evenson, BrianAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Hill, Joseph AllenAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Jemisin, N. K.Avustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Kim, Alice SolaAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Rustad, A. MercAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Shawl, NisiAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Tolbert, JeremiahAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Urbanski, DebbieAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Valente, Catherynne M.Avustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Valentine, GenevieveAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Van Eekhout, GregAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Weinstein, AlexanderAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Wolven, NickAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Yoachim, Caroline M.Avustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Yu, E. LilyAvustajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
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