Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Little Professor: Reviews a Couple of Year's Best SF Collections

The Little Professor: Year's Best SF 11 and Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection: "Year's Best SF 11 and Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection

I don't normally read these two 'year's best' SF anthologies back-to-back, so this year's installments certainly highlighted how editorial preferences define 'the best' that has been known and thought in the genre world of 2005. Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection reprints thirty stories; David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's Year's Best SF 11 reprints thirty-one stories. "


Anonymous said...

Thanks. She does seem to come to the conclusion that one might expect from the stated aims of the respective editors: Dozois shooting for, to borrow Bester's word, dazzlement; the other folks aiming for the Best Stuff Respecting Generic Virtues, which seems to me an solidly arguable but less satisfying approach. The real oddness for me, as someone who when in funds likes to pick up as many annuals as possible, is how many of the things are available now; erotic fiction publishers noticed about five-ten years ago that Susie Bright was onto something good and went nuts, and even crime fiction has at least three annuals again (I'm hoping that C&G and Ed Gorman are willing to go forward after Tor/Forge foolishly dropped that ball, along with Jakubowski's British volume and the BEST AMERICAN)...and while contemporary mimetic fiction/eclectic annuals aren't at an historic height (I wish the BEACON BEST had gone forward beyond the second; the Dave Eggers annual is hardly a satisfying substitute, if not altogether unworthy), they aren't too far from it. And the SF/Fantasy/Horror annuals must be near if not at an historic numerousness, beating even the brief efflorescence of sf annuals in the early '70s (Ellison did a good review essay for F&SF about them)...check the recent LOCUS issue detailing the contents of the volumes they had to hand, including Paula Guran's romantic fantasy volume, almost as specialised as some of the erotica annuals, though the one aimed at the largest potential audience which won't see it, I suspect.

Unknown said...

I didn't know so many of those various annuals were out there. Certainly not the one for romantic fantasy. I do, however, remember most of the SF volumes from the '70s.