Thursday, January 31, 2008

Asimov's 339 340 - Gardner Dozois

Silverberg wonders about what goes into a story, Kelly gives a link hodgepodge, and PDF reviews bunches of stuff, including Ellis and Doran's Orbiter, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine in passing, and some detail of a Baen Laumer collection.

A good solid 3.50 average, means a good solid 4.0 magazine, with the best here being Reed, Steele, and Kelly.

ASIMOVS339340 : Moments of Inertia - William Barton
ASIMOVS339340 : Sitka - William Sanders
ASIMOVS339340 : Leaving His Cares Behind Him - Kage Baker
ASIMOVS339340 : Chicxulub - Larry Niven
ASIMOVS339340 : Incident at Goat Kill Creek - Allen M. Steele
ASIMOVS339340 : Wealth - Robert Reed
ASIMOVS339340 : We'll Have Manhattan - Judy Klass
ASIMOVS339340 : Tracker - Mary Rosenblum
ASIMOVS339340 : The Dark Side of Town - James Patrick Kelly
ASIMOVS339340 : Arabian Wine - Gregory Feeley

Nothing like this big fat cone of silence and simulation.

3.5 out of 5


Jack London calling war Time expedition.

3.5 out of 5


Wastrel wants trouble.

3 out of 5


Big Falling Rock.

3 out of 5


AI evolution price.

4 out of 5


Escape To New York.

3.5 out of 5


City man questions.

3 out of 5


Expensive advice tour.

4 out of 5


New coffee trade problems.

3.5 out of 5


Double agent reunion Diablo demolishing.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Chicxulub - Larry Niven

Big Falling Rock.


3 out of 5

Incident At Goat Kill Creek - Allen M. Steele

Double agent reunion Diablo demolishing.


4 out of 5

We'll Have Manhattan - Judy Klass

Escape To New York.


3.5 out of 5

Tracker - Mary Rosenblum

City man questions.


3 out of 5

Leaving His Cares Behind Him - Kage Baker

Wastrel wants trouble.


3 out of 5

Moments Of Inertia - William Barton

Nothing like this big fat cone of silence and simulation.


3.5 out of 5

Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck - Neal Asher

Wave bye-bye to the monster, now.


4.5 out of 5

What Goes Up - Arthur C. Clarke

Antigravity flameout.


3 out of 5

Getting Even - Isaac Asimov

Supernatural signature stealing.


3.5 out of 5

Year's Best SF 10 - David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

In the first volume, Hartwell said that he wouldn't pick Science Fantasy, but here he has a story from a series of explicit science fantasy, in the Jack Vance Dying Earth vein, as they put it here. So with that, and what is in the last volume, appears the range of story here has changed. Cramer's influence, perhaps? Although the Hughes story actually does have a discussion of magic, and how much rubbish that it actually is, or may be, so maybe that is their point, there.

Anyway, somehow they have carried the bat. Managed to pull off a selection with no average stories, even if a couple are maybe wavering that way. A very high average of 3.93, leading with a standout, and back-to-back with Utley and McMullen.

Twenty-three above average stories and mostly 4 star or better has to be a 5 star anthology.

Year's Best SF 10 : Sergeant Chip - Bradley Denton
Year's Best SF 10 : The First Commandment - Gregory Benford
Year's Best SF 10 : Burning Day - Glenn Grant
Year's Best SF 10 : Scout's Honor - Terry Bisson
Year's Best SF 10 : Venus Flowers at Night - Pamela Sargent
Year's Best SF 10 : Pulp Cover - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best SF 10 : The Algorithms for Love - Ken Liu
Year's Best SF 10 : Glinky - Ray Vukcevich
Year's Best SF 10 : Red City - Janeen Webb
Year's Best SF 10 : Act of God - Jack McDevitt
Year's Best SF 10 : Wealth - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 10 : Mastermindless - Matthew Hughes
Year's Best SF 10 : Time As It Evaporates - Jean-Claude Dunyach
Year's Best SF 10 : The Battle of York - James Stoddard
Year's Best SF 10 : Loosestrife - Liz Williams
Year's Best SF 10 : The Dark Side of Town - James Patrick Kelly
Year's Best SF 10 : Invisible Kingdoms - Steven Utley
Year's Best SF 10 : The Cascade - Sean McMullen
Year's Best SF 10 : Pervert - Charles Coleman Finlay
Year's Best SF 10 : The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects - Steve Tomasula
Year's Best SF 10 : Strood - Neal Asher
Year's Best SF 10 : The Eckener Alternative - James L. Cambias
Year's Best SF 10 : Savant Songs - Brenda Cooper


Dog's days of war PR betrayal promotion.

4.5 out of 5


Global inventory Australian effects.

4 out of 5


Cogent defense spread.

4 out of 5


Time travel for the NT, low batter means HS.

4 out of 5


Terraforming projections.

4 out of 5


Alien impregnation.

3.5 out of 5


Not smart baby makers.

4 out of 5


Annoying universe jumpers.

3.5 out of 5


Demon wife's timeloop harem deathmatch.

4 out of 5


Cosm creator cleanout.

4 out of 5


AI evolution price.

4 out of 5


Ugly, dumb, financial peril.

3.5 out of 5


Useless prayer time.

4 out of 5


History mix, unmastered.

4 out of 5


Tank kid.

3.5 out of 5


Expensive advice tour.

3.5 out of 5


Paleozic packrat's seamonkeyesque garden's SpokesMom.

“Not do like this.” Mr. Cahill sighed. “You’re here to make the arrest of your career, and the best you can come up with is, Not Do Like This. The rhetoric of crime fighting has devolved lamentably since the days when the weed of crime bore bitter fruit. Please proceed, officers.”

4.5 out of 5


A university student meets a woman involved with a radical planetary society, who have plans to deal with the current chickenfaecal version of space travel.

4 out of 5


Not from the larger pool.

4 out of 5


Tong study.

3.5 out of 5


Can't cure everyone without Fido's help.

4 out of 5


Zeppelin future adjustment.

4 out of 5


Doctored double AI fed multiversal self search strikeout.

4 out of 5




5 out of 5

Two Murders One Crime - Cornell Woolrich

"We couldn't get you for the one you did commit, so we'll try you for another and get you for that instead."


4 out of 5

Chicago Confetti - William Rollins

"Even while I pulled the trigger, I knew I was pulling my second boner."


3 out of 5

The Price Of A Dime - Norbert Davis

"Them heroes of the screen ain't taken no chances gettin' hurt. I'd spoil their act."


3.5 out of 5

Murder Picture - George Harmon Coxe

"The idea is okey as long as I don't get stuck with short beers."


3 out of 5

Wise Guy - Frederick Nebel

A spot of white slave trading.


2.5 out of 5

Savant Songs - Brenda Cooper

Doctored double AI fed multiversal self search strikeout.


4 out of 5

The Eckener Alternative - James L. Cambias

Zeppelin future adjusatment.


4 out of 5

Strood - Neal Asher

Can't cure everyone without Fido's help.


4 out of 5

The Risk-Taking Gene as Expressed by Some Asian Subjects - Steve Tomasula

Tong study.


3.5 out of 5

Invisible Kingdoms - Steven Utley

Paleozic packrat's seamonkeyesque garden's SpokesMom.

“Not do like this.” Mr. Cahill sighed. “You’re here to make the arrest of your career, and the best you can come up with is, Not Do Like This. The rhetoric of crime fighting has devolved lamentably since the days when the weed of crime bore bitter fruit. Please proceed, officers.”


4.5 out of 5

Loosestrife - Liz Williams

Tank kid.


3.5 out of 5

The Battle Of York - James Stoddard

History mix, unmastered.


4 out of 5

Time As It Evaporates - Jean-Claude Dunyach

Useless prayer time.


4 out of 5

Wealth - Robert Reed

AI evolution price.


4 out of 5

Act Of God - Jack McDevitt

Cosm creator cleanout.


4 out of 5

Red City - Janeen Webb

Demon wife's timeloop harem deathmatch.


4 out of 5

Glinky - Ray Vukcevich

Annoying universe jumpers.


3.5 out of 5

One For the Road - Gardner Dozois

End of the world choices.


3.5 out of 5

Venus Flowers At Night - Pamela Sargent

Terraforming projections.


4 out of 5

Burning Day - Glenn Grant

Cogent defense spread.


4 out of 5

The Great Caruso - Steven Popkes

Smokin' singin' nanos.


3.5 out of 5

Deus Ex Homine - Hannu Rajaniemi

Baby deity a bother, makes me want to kill some.


4 out of 5

Audubon In Atlantis - Harry Turtledove

Huge honking bird watching expedition.


3.5 out of 5

The Children Of Time - Stephen Baxter

Prehistoric leftovers at the End of Time.


3 out of 5

La Malcontenta - Liz Williams

Shorn woman is torn between foxy pursuits.


3 out of 5

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Asimov's 333 334 - Gardner Dozois

Novellas here at beginning, middle and end, and you can mostly not care too much about the rest.

The intro has the story of the old SF mag editor being investigated because they thought they knew too much about the atomic bomb because of stories, and there is a humongoid amount of reviews at the end, one of the lengthier being Altered Carbon, and mentions of non-fiction by Sterling, and a book of letters from Lovecraft to Wadrei which sounds somewhat interesting.

ASIMOVS333334 : The Green Leopard Plague - Walter Jon Williams
ASIMOVS333334 : The Man from Somewhere - Jack Williamson
ASIMOVS333334 : Ariel - Lucius Shepard
ASIMOVS333334 : The Hydrogen Wall - Gregory Benford
ASIMOVS333334 : Coyote at the End of History - Michael Swanwick
ASIMOVS333334 : The Hibernators - Brian W. Aldiss
ASIMOVS333334 : Welcome to Olympus Mr. Hearst - Kage Baker

Plant people economic overthrow research romance revenge.

4.5 out of 5


Small singularity song.

3 out of 5


Jumping Jack hashed multiversal lover searching conflict Willowy Woman's a shrinking violet.

4 out of 5


Alien library mind analysis Artificial assist.

4 out of 5


Canine fable overload.

2.5 out of 5


Skeletor says all the not remotely close to He-Men are Expendable.

2.5 out of 5


Media baron longevity.

4 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Hibernators - Brian Aldiss

Skeletor says all the not remotely close to He-Men are Expendable.


2.5 out of 5

The Man From Somewhere - Jack Williamson

Small singularity song.


3 out of 5

In the Quake Zone - David Gerrold

Harvesting hire test.


4.5 out of 5

Ariel - Lucius Shepard

Jumping Jack hashed multiversal searcher lover conflicted Willowy Woman's a shrinking violet.


4 out of 5

Asimov's 329 - Gardner Dozois

A whole wodge of book reviews by PDF including Congreve's Passing Strange, and Alastair Reynolds Turquoise Days, and the intro column is about the US becoming a nation of risk averse wussbags (which tends to get copied, even in diluted form elsewhere), mentioning space shuttles and vaccinations etc. among other things.

A really fine issue, even if the non-fiction is not too exciting, averaging 3.75, the majority of the good stuff being frontloaded, with Skillingstead the standout.

ASIMOVS329 : The Bellman - John Varley
ASIMOVS329 : Dead Worlds - Jack Skillingstead
ASIMOVS329 : Nimby and the Dimension Hoppers - Cory Doctorow
ASIMOVS329 : Bernardo's House - James Patrick Kelly
ASIMOVS329 : Morlock Chili - Lawrence Person
ASIMOVS329 : The Bird of Paradise - Daniel Abraham and Susan Fry
ASIMOVS329 : Listen to Me - David Marusek
ASIMOVS329 : The Path of the Transgressor - Tom Purdom

Unborn dead baby humans. Yum!

4 out of 5


Too trippy.

4.5 out of 5


Power armour chase all over the place.

4 out of 5


Architecture sexware's new girl.

4 out of 5


Alien criminal cooking additives.

3.5 out of 5


Virus immunity problem.

3 out of 5


Long trip stress.

3 out of 5


Packhunting changes.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Listen To Me - David Marusek

Long trip stress.


3 out of 5

The Bird Of Paradise - Daniel Abraham and Susan Fry

Virus immunity problem.


3 out of 5

Morlock Chili - Lawrence Person

Alien criminal cooking additives.


3.5 out of 5

The Path of the Transgressor - Tom Purdom

Packhunting changes.


4 out of 5

Year's Best SF 09 - David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

The editors state : "We have remarked in the past that the average paperback anthology of fantasy or SF does not contain as many good stories as the average issue of Asimov’s or Fantasy & Science Fiction."

Can't disagree with that. In general, those magazines do rate more highly than your standard original anthology for fiction.

An interesting strategy they seem to be pursuing is publishing the odd non-English work, translated. This year it seems that was a bit easier with a specific volume already done, Cosmos Latinos, and a couple of stories here come from that.

Live Without a Net, Stars, and Space, Inc. are anthologies mentioned. Anders, Resnick and Czerneda.

This volume is easily the lowest rated of the Hartwell anthologies so far, and only a 3.55 average, with a lot of decent, and a few average or worse, and nothing standing out.

Stating in the past that they are only choosing obvious SF gets a bit wobbly with the Swanwick, etc., I think.

Year's Best SF 09 : Amnesty - Octavia E. Butler
Year's Best SF 09 : Birthdays - Geoff Ryman
Year's Best SF 09 : The Waters of Meribah - Tony Ballantyne
Year's Best SF 09 : EJ-ES - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 09 : Four Short Novels - Joe Haldeman
Year's Best SF 09 : Rogue Farm - Charles Stross
Year's Best SF 09 : The Violet's Embryos - Angélica Gorodischer
Year's Best SF 09 : Coyote at the End of History - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 09 : In Fading Suns and Dying Moons - John Varley
Year's Best SF 09 : Castaway - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best SF 09 : The Hydrogen Wall - Gregory Benford
Year's Best SF 09 : The Day We Went Through the Transition - Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero
Year's Best SF 09 : Nimby and the Dimension Hoppers - Cory Doctorow
Year's Best SF 09 : Night of Time - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 09 : A Night on the Barbary Coast - Kage Baker
Year's Best SF 09 : Annuity Clinic - Nigel Brown
Year's Best SF 09 : The Madwoman of Shuttlefield - Allen M. Steele
Year's Best SF 09 : Bread and Bombs - M. Rickert
Year's Best SF 09 : The Great Game - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 09 : The Albertine Notes - Rick Moody

Stranger Community close job.

3.5 out of 5


Reproductive success strategies.

4 out of 5


Alien Suit Compliance life force.

4 out of 5


Medical remains.

4 out of 5


Immortality maintenance.

3.5 out of 5


Pastoral life breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Purple power creation.

3.5 out of 5


Canine fable overload.

2.5 out of 5


Multidimensional collection switchoff.

4 out of 5


Mind blown.

3 out of 5


Alien library mind analysis Artificial assist.

4 out of 5


Power armour chase all over the place.

4 out of 5


Ancient inhabitant needed.

4 out of 5


Botany monopoly Frisco misery

3 out of 5


Artificial extensions, Clever Dolly.

3.5 out of 5


Not too chicken for music to return.

4 out of 5


Bad snow and strange candy.

3 out of 5


Muddy Star Wars.

3 out of 5


Blasted drug memories.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Albertine Notes - Rick Moody

Blasted drug memories.


3.5 out of 5

The Madwoman Of Shuttlefield - Allen M. Steele

Not too chicken for music to return.


4 out of 5

Annuity Clinic - Nigel Brown

Artificial extensions, Clever Dolly.


3.5 out of 5

The Day We Went Through the Transition - Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero

Time agent Spanish troubleshooting relationship.


4 out of 5

The Hydrogen Wall - Gregory Benford

Alien library mind analysis Artificial assist.


4 out of 5

Coyote at the End Of History - Michael Swanwick

Canine fable overload.


2.5 out of 5

The Violet's Embryos - Angela Gorodischer

Purple power creation.


3.5 out of 5

Four Short Novels - Joe Haldeman

Immortality maintenance.


3.5 out of 5

The Waters Of Meribah - Tony Ballantyne

Alien Suit Compliance life force.


4 out of 5

Piccadilly Circus - Chris Beckett

Consensual withdrawal.


3 out of 5

Amba - William Sanders

Global warming speedup tiger bait.


3 out of 5

A Case Of Consilience - Ken MacLeod

Genetic message.


3.5 out of 5

Aurealis 05 - Stephen Higgins and Dirk Strasser

Rather uneven, a good leadoff, a decent end, and flip-flopping between decent and not too good in the middle.

Sean McMullen also reviews Dowling's Wormwood.

AUREALIS0501 - Groundswell - Robert Hood
AUREALIS0502 - The Crack in the Pavement - Keith Walters
AUREALIS0503 - Playing Shadows - Jai S. Russell
AUREALIS0504 - Mind-Pro - Michele Winter
AUREALIS0505 - Acts of Faith - James Milton
AUREALIS0506 - Wintering Over - Tim Jones
AUREALIS0507 - The Boy Who Believed in Dragons - Denis Knight
AUREALIS0508 - The Crows - Bart Meehan
AUREALIS0509 - The Buyer - Leanne Frahm

Murder preserve.

4 out of 5


Egging revenge.

3 out of 5


Scary game situation.

2.5 out of 5


Having telepathy can be a blast.

3.5 out of 5


Inquisition Temptation.

2.5 out of 5


Cold, longtime lost explorer.

3.5 out of 5


Death lizard.

2.5 out of 5


Social Program disruption.

3.5 out of 5


Eye'd like that.

3.5 out of 5




3 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 21st Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

I have only rated one of these stories as average, which I don't think has happened before, but it didn't quite make it to the magic 4.00 average. 3.98, pretty bloody close though!

As such, a whole pile of good, with four standouts, including the 5 star Flashmen.

The usual excellent introduction, too.

Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Off on a Starship - William Barton
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : It's All True - John Kessel
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Rogue Farm - Charles Stross
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Ice - Steven Popkes
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : EJ-ES - Nancy Kress
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Bellman - John Varley
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Bear's Baby - Judith Moffett
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Calling Your Name - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : June Sixteenth at Anna's - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Green Leopard Plague - Walter Jon Williams
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Fluted Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Dead Worlds - Jack Skillingstead
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : King Dragon - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Singletons in Love - Paul Melko
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Anomalous Structures of My Dreams - M. Shayne Bell
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Cookie Monster - Vernor Vinge
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Joe Steele - Harry Turtledove
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Birth Days - Geoff Ryman
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Awake in the Night - John C. Wright
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Long Way Home - James Van Pelt
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : The Eyes of America - Geoffrey A. Landis
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Welcome to Olympus Mr. Hearst - Kage Baker
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Night of Time - Robert Reed
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Strong Medicine - William Shunn
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Send Me a Mentagram - Dominic Green
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon - Paul Di Filippo
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Flashmen - Terry Dowling
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Dragonhead - Nick DiChario
Year's Best Science Fiction 21 : Dear Abbey - Terry Bisson



Space home tour, robot girlfriend included.

4 out of 5


Welles into the negative.

3.5 out of 5


Pastoral life breakdown.

3.5 out of 5


Hockey clone life.

4.5 out of 5


Medical remains.

4 out of 5


Unborn dead baby humans. Yum!

4 out of 5


Alien overlord breeding ban can be barely tolerated.

4 out of 5


Wrong president.

4 out of 5


Mundane recording time.

3 out of 5


Plant people economic overthrow research romance revenge.

4.5 out of 5


Pufnstuf probably wouldn't stand for this.

3.5 out of 5


Too trippy.

4.5 out of 5


Just plane die.

3.5 out of 5


Community clusterfuck.

4 out of 5


Nanolung breakout.

4 out of 5


Upload iteration revenge.

4 out of 5


Evil president.

4 out of 5


Reproductive success strategies.

4 out of 5


Preparing for weird.

4 out of 5


Attenuated nuclear circumstances.

3.5 out of 5


Television sales variety.

4 out of 5


Media baron longevity.

4 out of 5


Ancient inhabitant needed.

4 out of 5


Failed to kill myself, time to cut some people instead

3.5 out of 5


Mini mite man masticators.

4 out of 5


Needy girlfriend and too much combined crap a very bad situation.

4 out of 5


Dowling has again produced a stunning sf story that retains a distinctly alien flavour, as an old Flashmen team reassembles with a rookie as its focus, to deal with the landing of yet another craft.

Old allies, friends and rivals have to try and get along, and not die while saving thousands of people from the incursion.

5 out of 5


Implant overload.

4 out of 5


End of the World Blues.

4 out of 5





5 out of 5

The Buyer - Leanne Frahm

Eye'd like that.


3.5 out of 5

The Crows - Bart Meehan

Social Program disruption.


3.5 out of 5

The Boy Who Believed In Dragons - Denis Knight

Death lizard.


2.5 out of 5

Wintering Over - Tim Jones

Cold, longtime lost explorer.


3.5 out of 5

Acts Of Faith - James Milton

Inquisition Temptation.


2.5 out of 5

Mind-Pro - Michele Winter

Having telepathy can be a blast.


3.5 out of 5

Playing Shadows - Jai S. Russell

Scary game situation.


2.5 out of 5

The Crack In the Pavement - Keith Walters

Egging revenge.


3 out of 5

Groundswell - Robert Hood

Murder preserve.


4 out of 5

Dear Abbey - Terry Bisson

End of the World Blues.


4 out of 5

Send Me A Mentagram - Dominic Green

Mini mite man masticators.


4 out of 5

Welcome To Olympus Mr Hearst - Kage Baker

Media baron longevity.


4 out of 5

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Asimov's 332 - Gardner Dozois

Another really good issue, here, with just the one ordinary story, and even that was one and could have been a bit over 3. So, 3.67 average and actually a fairly light tone in general for a fair bit of this. This is led by Nestvold.

Kelly looks at the robots coming to get you on the net, and a bunch of reviews, include a many decades later novel set in the Swordspoint world that I didn't know about.

ASIMOVS332 : Looking Through Lace - Ruth Nestvold
ASIMOVS332 : The Long Way Home - James Van Pelt
ASIMOVS332 : Focus Group - Kit Reed
ASIMOVS332 : Big Ugly Mama and the ZK - Eleanor Arnason
ASIMOVS332 : First Principles - Edd Vick
ASIMOVS332 : Off on a Starship - William Barton

Crochet communication not manly enough for blokes.

4.5 out of 5


Attenuated nuclear flight circumstances.

3.5 out of 5


Audience brain connection.

3.5 out of 5


Intergalactic grabby three-bagger.

3.5 out of 5


Watching uncertainty.

3 out of 5


Space home tour, robot girlfriend included.

4 out of 5



4.5 out of 5

First Principles - Edd Vick

Watching uncertainty.


3 out of 5

Big Ugly Mama and the ZK - Eleanor Arnason

Intergalactic grabby three-bagger.


3.5 out of 5

Focus Group - Kit Reed

Audience brain connection.


3.5 out of 5

Asimov's 321 322 - Gardner Dozois

As far as non fiction goes, Kelly looks at a bunch of SF type websites, and Spinrad manages to throw in some brief SF history as a precursor to reviews of a few odder type books, The Last Hot Time (Elf gangsters Chicago style), Perdido Street Station (if you haven't seen it, go look) and Clute's Appleseed, which he admits to getting lost in. If even Spinrad is lost in Clute's propensity to make sure no thesaurus page is left unturned, then perhaps little point the rest of us looking at such a book.

That being said, for the fiction, this is a very fine issue, coming up with a 3.69 average and John Kessel's standout Stories For Men, and only one 3 star story.

ASIMOVS321322 : With Caesar in the Underworld - Robert Silverberg
ASIMOVS321322 : At Dorado - Geoffrey A. Landis
ASIMOVS321322 : War Ice Egg Universe - G. David Nordley
ASIMOVS321322 : The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport - Michael Swanwick
ASIMOVS321322 : The Hidden Place - Ian McDonald
ASIMOVS321322 : The Clear Blue Seas of Luna - Gregory Benford
ASIMOVS321322 : A Slow Day at the Gallery - A. M. Dellamonica
ASIMOVS321322 : Stories for Men - John Kessel

Kink tour.

3 out of 5


Port wife.

3.5 out of 5


Lightstone pincer movements.

3.5 out of 5


Feline literary pursuit.

3.5 out of 5


Few local factions, but bloody lots of humans and info in this Clade thing.

3.5 out of 5


Seleneoforming metamorphosis takeover takedown

4 out of 5


Alien art, human art, crazy people.

4 out of 5


Cousinly sexist society xx gene fight club.

4.5 out of 5





5 out of 5

The Hidden Place - Ian McDonald

Few local factions, but bloody lots of humans and info in this Clade thing.


3.5 out of 5

War Ice Egg Universe - G. David Nordley

Lightstone pincer movements.


3.5 out of 5

Year's Best SF 08 - David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

As per the last several, Hartwell and Cramer point out they could have done three volumes this size with all the good stories they found.

The editors mention a couple of anthologies as decent, but mostly not for SF, and single out Peter Crowther's Mars Probes as the best of the lot for the year, although not with huge enthusiasm - however they have selected some stories from this book.

Not as many standout stories here this year, and as such, only a 3.77 average.

Year's Best SF 08 : In Paradise - Bruce Sterling
Year's Best SF 08 : Slow Life - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 08 : Knapsack Poems - Eleanor Arnason
Year's Best SF 08 : At Dorado - Geoffrey A. Landis
Year's Best SF 08 : Coelacanths - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 08 : Flight Correction - Ken Wharton
Year's Best SF 08 : Shoes - Robert Sheckley
Year's Best SF 08 : The Diamond Drill - Charles Sheffield
Year's Best SF 08 : The Seasons of the Ansarac - Ursula K. Le Guin
Year's Best SF 08 : Halo - Charles Stross
Year's Best SF 08 : I Saw the Light - Terry Bisson
Year's Best SF 08 : A Slow Day at the Gallery - A. M. Dellamonica
Year's Best SF 08 : Ailoura - Paul Di Filippo
Year's Best SF 08 : The Names of All the Spirits - J. R. Dunn
Year's Best SF 08 : Grandma - Carol Emshwiller
Year's Best SF 08 : Snow in the Desert - Neal Asher
Year's Best SF 08 : Singleton - Greg Egan
Year's Best SF 08 : Geropods - Robert Onopa
Year's Best SF 08 : Afterlife - Jack Williamson
Year's Best SF 08 : Shields of Mars - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best SF 08 : Patent Infringement - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 08 : Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel - Michael Moorcock

Phone dead? Let's walk instead.

3 out of 5


Flying first contact breakdown breakthrough confession comeback.

4 out of 5


Single bodied monster.

3 out of 5


Port wife.

3.5 out of 5


Life history lesson appearance.

3 out of 5


Space elevator a bit of an albatross.

4 out of 5


Smart footwear very annoying.

3.5 out of 5


Alien artifacts are a boy's best friend.

3.5 out of 5


Migratory pattern.

4 out of 5


Life aboard the Field Circus for Amber, with some occasional advice from dad.

5 out of 5


Moonlight message SETI trip.

4 out of 5


Alien art, human art, crazy people.

4 out of 5


Rejuvenation prevention murder motives.

4 out of 5


AIs, ain't Jacks worth it?

4 out of 5


Superpowers not inherited it seems, as a young girl is taken in by her famous grandmother after the death of her parents.

4 out of 5


Immortality bounty is more than a load of old bollocks.

4 out of 5


A scientist couple decide to have an artificial child, some years after a natural pregnancy miscarries.

"Carlos said breezily, “Why not? There are so many others now. Sophie. Linus. Theo. Probably a hundred we don't even know about. It's not as if Ben's child won't have playmates.” Adai — Autonomously Developing Artificial Intelligences — had been appearing in a blaze of controversy every few months for the last four years. A Swiss researcher, Isabelle Schib, had taken the old models of morphogenesis that had led to software like Zelda, refined the technique by several orders of magnitude, and applied it to human genetic data. Wedded to sophisticated prosthetic bodies, Isabelle's creations inhabited the physical world and learnt from their experience, just like any other child."

There is plenty of discrimination, but their daughter has plans for all the other quantum branches in the long run, given the technology she has already.

4 out of 5


Old fashioned posse.

3.5 out of 5


Death scam skip.

3.5 out of 5


Planetary romance end.

4 out of 5


Gene litigant genie.

4 out of 5


Are your MacShards, gunning?

3 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Shields Of Mars - Gene Wolfe

Planetary romance end.


4 out of 5

Afterlife - Jack Williamson

Death scam skip.


3.5 out of 5

Geropods - Robert Onopa

Old fashioned posse.


3.5 out of 5

Snow In the Desert - Neal Asher

Immortality bounty is more than a load of old bollocks.


4 out of 5

A Slow Day At the Gallery - A. M. Dellamonica

Alien art, human art, crazy people.


4 out of 5

The Diamond Drill - Charles Sheffield

Alien artifacts are a boy's best friend.

(call it 3.75)

3.5 out of 5

The Natural - Bernard Malamud

A supremely outstanding baseball player is not supremely outstanding off the field, and ends up having a lot of problems because of his stardom and inability to cope with that in general.

This book is ok, but as far as sport books go you can certainly get better and more interesting things to read than this.


3 out of 5

Shoes - Robert Sheckley

Smart footwear very annoying.


3.5 out of 5

Flight Correction - Ken Wharton

Space elevator a bit of an albatross.


4 out of 5

At Dorado - Geoffrey A. Landis

Port wife.


3.5 out of 5

Birth Days - Geoff Ryman

Reproductive success strategies.


4 out of 5

The Long Way Home - James Van Pelt

Attenuated nuclear flight circumstances.


3.5 out of 5

Anomalous Structures Of My Dreams - M. Shayne Bell

Nanolung breakout.


4 out of 5

Singletons In Love - Paul Melko

Community clusterfuck.


4 out of 5

Monday, January 28, 2008

Year's Best SF 07 - David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

The editorial pair here single out the 'Red Shift' anthology by Al Sarrantonio for mention a number of times, so likely worth a look.

Overall, it seems 2001 was a really good year for SF stories, and this volume starts brilliantly, and ends almost as well. This anthology averages a hugely impressive 3.97, and that is good enough for full marks. Four standout stories, and only two are average.

Year's Best SF 07 : Computer Virus - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 07 : Charlie's Angels - Terry Bisson
Year's Best SF 07 : The Measure of All Things - Richard Chwedyk
Year's Best SF 07 : Russian Vine - Simon Ings
Year's Best SF 07 : Under's Game - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 07 : A Matter of Mathematics - Brian Aldiss
Year's Best SF 07 : Creative Destruction - Edward M. Lerner
Year's Best SF 07 : Resurrection - David Morrell
Year's Best SF 07 : The Cat's Pajamas - James Morrow
Year's Best SF 07 : The Dog Said Bow-Wow - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 07 : The Building - Ursula K. Le Guin
Year's Best SF 07 : Grey Earth - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 07 : The Lagan Fishers - Terry Dowling
Year's Best SF 07 : In Xanadu - Thomas M. Disch
Year's Best SF 07 : The Go-Betweens - Lisa Goldstein
Year's Best SF 07 : Viewpoint - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best SF 07 : Anomalies - Gregory Benford
Year's Best SF 07 : Glacial - Alastair Reynolds
Year's Best SF 07 : Undone - James Patrick Kelly


House arrest.

5 out of 5


Killer robot case definitely not supernatural.

4 out of 5


Killer robot case definitely not supernatural.

4.5 out of 5


Illiterate people are easy, if you are aliens with territorial designs on Terra.

4 out of 5


Space Force firing performance needs junk food.

4 out of 5


Short cut.

3 out of 5


Alien nanotech radio plot.

4 out of 5


Father-son freeze.

4 out of 5


Brain in a jar down on the farm political ethics.

4 out of 5


Canine anti-tech adventures.

4 out of 5


Stonewalling.

3 out of 5


Alternate reality Big Whack human lack.

3.5 out of 5


A UN veteran, honored for his work in fighting a dangerous outbreak in the past, now lives with a new, strange botanical that is very valuable, and not very well understood.

4 out of 5


Welcome To the Pleasure Dome, not Frankie, not alive.

3.5 out of 5


Alien canine diplomacy.

"But you know, the dogs like us. That's got to count for something."

4.5 out of 5


Cash keepings off, rifled.

4 out of 5


Error observation religion.

4 out of 5


Clavain investigates why it is cold and almost all dead on a base.

4 out of 5


Future escape a problem of many dimensions.

4.5 out of 5




5 out of 5

Viewpoint - Gene Wolfe

Cash keepings off, rifled.


4 out of 5

The Go-Betweens - Lisa Goldstein

Alien canine diplomacy.

"But you know, the dogs like us. That's got to count for something."


4.5 out of 5

In Xanadu - Thomas Disch

Welcome To the Pleasure Dome, not Frankie, not alive.


3.5 out of 5

Grey Earth - Stephen Baxter

Alternate reality Big Whack human lack.


3.5 out of 5

New Weird Interview - Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer

http://trashotron.com/agony/audio/2008/2008-news/012508-vandermeers.mp3

A mp3 from The Agony Column I believe with them talking about putting together that anthology, which sounds very interesting.

The Building - Ursula K. Le Guin

Stonewalling.


3 out of 5

The Cat's Pajamas - James Morrow

Brain in a jar down on the farm political ethics.


4 out of 5

Resurrection - David Morrell

Father-son freeze.


4 out of 5

Creative Destruction - Edward M. Lerner

Alien nanotech radio plot.


4 out of 5

A Matter Of Mathematics - Brian Aldiss

Short cut.


3 out of 5

The Measure Of All Things - Richard Chwedyk

Saur shelter.


4.5 out of 5

Year's Best SF 06 - David G. Hartwell

A brief, global overview is given of short SF publications. In this anthology, though, the editor has perhaps made it tough for himself with so many short shorts, even if some are good, as I am guessing some people won't rate those as highly.

There are a couple of stories I didn't like at all here. As a result, only a 3.67 story average for this volume, definitely low for a Year's Best. That makes the book with a couple of average, and a couple of below average, a 4.22 adjusted.

It would be pretty churlish to say that the intro and story notes (complete with links etc. where relevant) weren't worth a few 0.01s to bump the book to closer to 4.5 than 4.0, though, I think. Of course, it is only low for a Year's Best anthology, it is still around 0.25 per piece higher than your garden variety book.

Year's Best SF 06 : Reef - Paul J. McAuley
Year's Best SF 06 : Reality Check - David Brin
Year's Best SF 06 : The Millennium Express - Robert Silverberg
Year's Best SF 06 : Patient Zero - Tananarive Due
Year's Best SF 06 : The Oort Crowd - Ken MacLeod
Year's Best SF 06 : The Thing About Benny - M. Shayne Bell
Year's Best SF 06 : The Last Supper - Brian Stableford
Year's Best SF 06 : Tuberculosis Bacteria Join UN - Joan Slonczewski
Year's Best SF 06 : Our Mortal Span - Howard Waldrop
Year's Best SF 06 : Different Kinds of Darkness - David Langford
Year's Best SF 06 : New Ice Age or Just Cold Feet? - Norman Spinrad
Year's Best SF 06 : The Devotee - Stephen Dedman
Year's Best SF 06 : The Marriage of Sky and Sea - Chris Beckett
Year's Best SF 06 : In the Days of the Comet - John M. Ford
Year's Best SF 06 : The Birthday of the World - Ursula K. Le Guin
Year's Best SF 06 : Oracle - Greg Egan
Year's Best SF 06 : To Cuddle Amy - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 06 : Steppenpferd - Brian W. Aldiss
Year's Best SF 06 : Sheena 5 - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 06 : The Fire Eggs - Darrell Schweitzer
Year's Best SF 06 : The New Horla - Robert Sheckley
Year's Best SF 06 : Madame Bovary C'est Moi - Dan Simmons
Year's Best SF 06 : Grandma's Jumpman - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 06 : Bordeaux Mixture - Charles Dexter Ward
Year's Best SF 06 : The Dryad's Wedding - Robert Charles Wilson
Year's Best SF 06 : Built Upon the Sands of Time - Michael F. Flynn
Year's Best SF 06 : Seventy-two Letters - Ted Chiang

24 hour deep sea proxy people.

4 out of 5


Satire. Fermi paradox and boring immortality, what to do?

3.5 out of 5


Famous architectural blow up.

4 out of 5


Immune boy runs out of caretakers.

4.5 out of 5


Cometary minds.

3.5 out of 5


Botany with Abba overload.

3.5 out of 5


Fancy food crime.

3 out of 5


Slonczewski's stories are hard sf, biology style.

To quote : "in 2441, investigators at the Howard Hughes Martian Microbial Institute hit upon the idea of building computational macromolecules into the genomes of pathogens known for their ability to infiltrate the human system."

Then the rest has a rather wry tone, and the title pretty much says it all.

4 out of 5


Trollbot tale.

3.5 out of 5


Mathwar chipkid rebels.

4 out of 5


Heat groaner.

3.5 out of 5


Amputee porn is real, but fast full-grown clones are a big, big fib.

4 out of 5


Clancy verbal overflow.

3 out of 5


Hard prion message.

4 out of 5


Conquering godhood changes.

3.5 out of 5


In a reality where a man, similar to Alan Turing is working for the government in rather more unpleasant circumstances is visited by a reality hopping android woman things change rapidly. A man somewhat similar to C. S. Lewis has problems coping and believing.

4 out of 5


Daughter do over.

4 out of 5


Hideous belief spread.

2.5 out of 5


Space squid species survival supply scenario spawning unexpected.

4.5 out of 5


Multiple cackleberry changes minimal.

3.5 out of 5


Killed the monster. I think.

2.5 out of 5


Popular novel universes.

4 out of 5


War remnants harvest.

4 out of 5


GM success.

3.5 out of 5


Humantown Bios absorption.

4 out of 5


Quantum pub realities.

3 out of 5


Foetal experiment orders named.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Dryad's Wedding - Robert Charles Wilson

Humantown Bios absorption.


4 out of 5

Bordeaux Mixture - Henry Gee

GM success.


3.5 out of 5

Grandma's Jumpman - Robert Reed

War remnants harvest.


4 out of 5

Madame Bovary C'est Moi - Dan Simmons

Popular novel universes.


4 out of 5

The Fire Eggs - Darrell Schweitzer

Multiple cackleberry changes minimal.


3.5 out of 5

Steppenpferd - Brian Aldiss

Hideous belief spread.


2.5 out of 5

In the Days Of the Comet - John M. Ford

Hard prion message.


4 out of 5

The Marriage Of Sky and Sea - Chris Beckett

Clancy verbal overflow.


3 out of 5

New Ice Age Or Just Cold Feet - Norman Spinrad

Heat groaner.


3.5 out of 5

Our Mortal Span - Howard Waldrop

Trollbot tale.


3.5 out of 5

Year's Best SF 05 - David G. Hartwell

Hartwell notes in his introduction that stories from New Horizons were contractually not allowed to be in this volume. Sucks to be one of you people, then.

This volume is down a bit in quality for a Year's Best, only a 3.5 average. It starts really well, with the two best stories, Egan's outstanding Border Guards and Reed's excellent Game of the Century to be found. Then the middle has a whole batch of decent but not good work that slows it down.

Year's Best SF 05 : Everywhere - Geoff Ryman
Year's Best SF 05 : Evolution Never Sleeps - Elisabeth Malartre
Year's Best SF 05 : Sexual Dimorphism - Kim Stanley Robinson
Year's Best SF 05 : Game of the Century - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 05 : Kinds of Strangers - Sarah Zettel
Year's Best SF 05 : Visit the Sins - Cory Doctorow
Year's Best SF 05 : Border Guards - Greg Egan
Year's Best SF 05 : macs - Terry Bisson
Year's Best SF 05 : Written in Blood - Chris Lawson
Year's Best SF 05 : Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon? - Gene Wolfe
Year's Best SF 05 : The Blue Planet - Robert J. Sawyer
Year's Best SF 05 : Lifework - Mary Soon Lee
Year's Best SF 05 : Rosetta Stone - Fred Lerner
Year's Best SF 05 : An Apollo Asteroid - Brian Aldiss
Year's Best SF 05 : 100 Candles - Curt Wohleber
Year's Best SF 05 : Democritus' Violin - G. David Nordley
Year's Best SF 05 : Fossil Games - Tom Purdom
Year's Best SF 05 : Valour - Chris Beckett
Year's Best SF 05 : Huddle - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 05 : Ashes and Tombstones - Brian M. Stableford
Year's Best SF 05 : Ancient Engines - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 05 : Freckled Figure [1992] - Hiroe Suga
Year's Best SF 05 : Shiva - Barry N. Malzberg
Year's Best SF 05 : The Queen of Erewhon - Lucy Sussex


Fun family.

3.5 out of 5


Attack of the killer chipmunks.

4 out of 5


Women, men, pretty similar most of the time. Boobs float differently while swimming, apparently.

4 out of 5


Animal girls and boys are in a football league of their own.

4.5 out of 5


Stuck in space suicide staving-off.

3 out of 5


Switched off Grampa.

3.5 out of 5


It is about human immortals, and how they deal with people and society when living so long. One man joins back into life, and meets the best quantum soccer player going around, and loses a friend.

The discovery is made is that she is one of the earliest immortals, instrumental in posthuman travel to other planets, and knows what death is actually like, and has to work out how to relate to the new people.

Now, I can't get this story out of my head, like happens with songs sometimes, so, I am upgrading this, 5 stars, given I reread it recently and hadn't read it for quite a while.

And, as far as Australian goes, as far as pixel-stained technopeasant wretches, well, I'd hate to be caught paraphasing the Devil Went Down to Georgia, but, he's the best there's even been.

5 out of 5


Victim gets clone crim delivery punishment.

4 out of 5


Religious DNA transcription is a killer vulnerability.

4.5 out of 5


Weighty loss.

3 out of 5


People probes are better.

3.5 out of 5


Divorce counselling.

3.5 out of 5


Alien library organisation.

3.5 out of 5


New mode.

3 out of 5


Old tapes.

3.5 out of 5


Replication dupe.

4 out of 5


Even for poor man's posthuman asteroid ship bailout, politics is problematic.

4 out of 5


Alien bloody philosophy.

3.5 out of 5


Cold, furry and Bullish.

4 out of 5


Survival payloads.

3.5 out of 5


Immortality breakdown.

4 out of 5


Model character.

3.5 out of 5


Extradimensional calculations.

3 out of 5


Sexual politics in a civilisation in New Zealand after a technological crash.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Shiva - Barry N. Malzberg

Extradimensional calculations.


3 out of 5

Freckled Figure - Hiroe Suga

Model character.


3.5 out of 5

Ancient Engines - Michael Swanwick

Immortality breakdown.


4 out of 5

Ashes and Tombstones - Brian Stableford

Survival payloads.


3.5 out of 5

Huddle - Stephen Baxter

Cold, furry and Bullish.


4 out of 5

Valour - Chris Beckett

Alien bloody philosophy.


3.5 out of 5

Democritus' Violin - G. David Nordley

Replication dupe.


4 out of 5

100 Candles - Curt Wohleber

Old tapes.


3.5 out of 5

An Apollo Asteroid - Brian Aldiss

New mode.


3 out of 5

Rosetta Stone - Fred Lerner

Alien library organisation.


3.5 out of 5

Lifework - Mary Soon Lee

Divorce counselling.


3.5 out of 5

The Blue Planet - Robert J. Sawyer

People probes are better.


3.5 out of 5

Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon? - Gene Wolfe

Weighty loss.


3 out of 5

Evolution Never Sleeps - Elisabeth Malartre

Attack of the killer chipmunks.


4 out of 5

The Bear's Baby - Judith Moffett

Alien overlord breeding ban can be barely tolerated.


4 out of 5

The Bellman - John Varley

Unborn dead baby humans. Yum!


4 out of 5

Asimov's 324 - Gardner Dozois

A bunch of book reviews, and Silverberg wondering why Cthulhu is emailing him.
Otherwise, basically right on the nose this one, at a 3.50 average. Solid.

ASIMOVS324 : Junk DNA - Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling
ASIMOVS324 : Pick My Bones with Whispers - Sally McBride
ASIMOVS324 : Rejection - Robert Reed
ASIMOVS324 : The War on Treemon - Nancy Kress
ASIMOVS324 : Golden Bird - Mary Rosenblum
ASIMOVS324 : The Ice - Steven Popkes

Scrumpti Pumpti.

4 out of 5


Upload death emergency dog loss.

3.5 out of 5


Alien interview.

3.5 out of 5


Peace corps.

3 out of 5


City boy.

3.5 out of 5


Hockey clone life.

3.5 out of 5



4 out of 5

Asimov's 327 - Gardner Dozois

Bits about crazy old fashioned writing, and a whole bunch of book reviews here.
A down issue, only 3.43, with Swanwick the best, then Stross.

ASIMOVS327 : Nightfall - Charles Stross
ASIMOVS327 : The Madness of Crowds - Paul McAuley
ASIMOVS327 : Hard Times - Neal BarrettJr.
ASIMOVS327 : June Sixteenth at Anna's - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
ASIMOVS327 : Legions in Time - Michael Swanwick
ASIMOVS327 : Here's Looking at You Kid - Mike Resnick
ASIMOVS327 : The Reign of Terror - Robert Silverberg

Amber, the Field Circus, galactic routers, and a cat that is a definite worry.

4 out of 5


Pheromone collection.

3.5 out of 5


Food no phukker?

2.5 out of 5


Mundane recording time.

3 out of 5


Slave escape chronowar torpedo overrun takedown homage revolution.

4.5 out of 5


Casablanca part.

3 out of 5


Craziest emperor instabilities.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

June Sixteenth At Anna's - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Mundane recording time.


3 out of 5

The Ice - Steven Popkes

Hockey clone life.


4.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Asimov's 335 - Gardner Dozois

Two snow overload stories in this one. Kelly talks about Slipstream with some editors type to try and work out what it is. Something that makes him feel strange it seems.

As far as the editor that matters in the case of this issue, though, he has done a really fine job. This issue average 3.83, with no less than three stories of 4 stars or higher, with Stephen Baxter's future war weirdness gaining 4.5.

Average stories = zip, zero, nada, zilch, none, bupkuss, sfa, bugger all.

That, an an interesting column can be pronounced 5 star magazine, baby.

Second highest magazine story average I have come across so far, behind his earlier 3.92 for issue 293.

ASIMOVS335 : Just Like the Ones We Used to Know - Connie Willis
ASIMOVS335 : Way Out on the Regolith - John Alfred Taylor
ASIMOVS335 : Mortal Engines - Michael Bateman
ASIMOVS335 : The Chop Line - Stephen Baxter
ASIMOVS335 : Tycho and the Stargazer - Liz Williams
ASIMOVS335 : Curator - Charles Stross


Very bloody snowy.

3.5 out of 5


Accident amputation cycle.

4 out of 5


Ski patrol alien save.

4 out of 5


Future war info can hurt your brain :
“Me? Sir—” I took a breath. “You want me to prosecute myself. For a crime, an alleged crime anyhow, I won’t commit for twenty-four years? Is there any part of that I misunderstood?”

4.5 out of 5


Alien astronomy dissection choice.

3.5 out of 5


Family history.

3.5 out of 5




5 out of 5

Tycho and the Stargazer - Liz Williams

Alien astronomy dissection choice.


3.5 out of 5

Mortal Engines - Michael Bateman

Ski patrol alien save.


4 out of 5

Way Out On the Regolith - John Alfred Taylor

Accident amputation cycle.


4 out of 5

Pick My Bones With Whispers - Sally McBride

Upload death emergency dog loss.


3.5 out of 5

Here's Looking At You Kid - Mike Resnick

Casablanca part.


3 out of 5

The Reign Of Terror - Robert Silverberg

Craziest emperor instabilities.


(call this 3.75)

3.5 out of 5

Hard Times - Neal Barrett

Food no phukker?


2.5 out of 5

Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 - Nancy Kress

A selection from the awards of that year. This includes a short introduction by the editor, and also a complete list of the awards. The last part is an excerpt from the novel by Asaro, the first part, apparently, not the novel itself.

The problem might be the stories themselves, the Park and Kelly aside, award winners should probably do better than a 3.50 overall.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : The Cure for Everything - Severna Park
Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : The Ultimate Earth - Jack Williamson
Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : Louise's Ghost - Kelly Link
Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : Undone - James Patrick Kelly
Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : The Elephants on Neptune - Mike Resnick
Nebula Awards Showcase 2003 : The Quantum Rose [short story] - Catherine Asaro

Pharmaceutical breakthroughs rely heavily on the individual.

4 out of 5


Human experiment frailty.

3.5 out of 5


Less one Louise.

3 out of 5


Future escape a problem of many dimensions.

4.5 out of 5


Armed role reversal.

3 out of 5


Lionstar snoozer.

3 out of 5



3.5 out of 5

The Quantum Rose - Catherine Asaro

Lionstar snoozer.


3 out of 5

The Ultimate Earth - Jack Williamson

Human experiment frailty.


3.5 out of 5

A Conversation With Gardner Dozois

http://www.sfsite.com/11b/gd93.htm

Whereupon he expounds upon his philosophy for Year's Best editing and magazine editing for a fair part of.

More Tales From the Forbidden Planet - Roz Kaveney

A book based around a bookshop in England, apparently, and was going to be something to do with comic writers (or which there are still some, and writers who have done comics, like Niven), but morphed into a general mixed genre anthology. It does have some comic artists, with an illustration for each story.

Nothing good to be found here, just a few of the stories are decent. The whole thing is basically average, or just a touch over, coming out at 3.03 for the stories.

More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Hollywood Chickens - Terry Pratchett
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : The Woman Who Didn't Come Back - Rachel Pollack
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Dining Out - John Sladek
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Best Friends - Colin Greenland
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : The Heart Beats - Ann Nocenti
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : The Human Chicken - Ian Watson
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Fun in the Final Days - Mick Farren
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : The Horror in Our Lives - Jamie Delano
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Wasp Songs - R. M. Lamming
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Webs - Neil Gaiman
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Did You Ever See Oysters Walking Up The Stairs? - Storm Constantine
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : The Portrait of Daryanree the King - Larry Niven
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Ellipses - David Langford
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Death of a Sacred Monster - John Clute
More Tales from Forbidden Planet : Black Motley - Mary Gentle



A bit more than across the road.

3.5 out of 5


Resurrection end.

2.5 out of 5


Bearly a chance to boom the place.

3.5 out of 5


Imaginary girl.

3 out of 5


Road Kill.

3 out of 5


Not a flighty kid.

3 out of 5


Asteroid party.

3.5 out of 5


Dream Demon.

3 out of 5


Bloody little bugs.

3 out of 5


Spider digit lack.

2.5 out of 5


Table trouble.

3.5 out of 5


Mana ghost.

3 out of 5


Post mortem algorithm.

3 out of 5


Need less bears and whatever else.

2 out of 5


Rat trade memories.

3.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

Black Motley - Mary Gentle

Rat trade memories.


3.5 out of 5

Death Of A Sacred Monster - John Clute

Need less bears and whatever else.


2 out of 5

Ellipses - David Langford

Post mortem algorithm.


3 out of 5

Did You Ever See Oysters Walking Up The Stairs? - Storm Constantine

Table trouble.

Webs - Neil Gaiman

Spider digit lack.


2.5 out of 5

The Horror In Our Lives - Jamie Delano

Dream Demon.


3 out of 5

Wasp Songs - R. M. Lamming

Bloody little bugs.


3 out of 5

Fun In the Final Days - Mick Farren

Asteroid party.


3.5 out of 5

The Human Chicken - Ian Watson

Not a flighty kid.


3 out of 5

The Heart Beats - Ann Nocenti

Road Kill.


3 out of 5

Best Friends - Colin Greenland

Imaginary girl.


3 out of 5

Dining Out - John T. Sladek

Bearly a chance to boom the place.


3.5 out of 5

The Woman Who Didn't Come Back - Rachel Pollack

Resurrection end.


2.5 out of 5

Hollywood Chickens - Terry Pratchett

A bit more than across the road.


3.5 out of 5

The Oxford Book Of Science Fiction Stories - Tom Shippey

As you would expect from an anthology of this sort, there is a historical and/or critical if you like introduction to the field of science fiction, of some reasonable length, before getting to the stories.

Then, you have a chronological progression of tales, or various types chosen by the editor to be presumably representative. He appears to have done a rather good job, too, averaging 3.73 over a wide range of eras. Should be able to, though, if taking your pick. Pretty minor Wolfe and Le Guin stories, and a useless Disch tale drag it down a little.

With that, and the intro, probably a 4.75 anthology I think, definitely excellent.

Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Land Ironclads - H. G. Wells
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Finis - Frank L. Pollock
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : As Easy as A.B.C. - Rudyard Kipling
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Metal Man - Jack Williamson
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : A Martian Odyssey - Stanley G. Weinbaum
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Night - John W. Campbell, Jr.
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Desertion - Clifford D. Simak
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Piper's Son - Lewis Padgett
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Monster - A. E. van Vogt
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Second Night of Summer - James H. Schmitz
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Second Dawn - Arthur C. Clarke
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Crucifixus Etiam - Walter M. Miller
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Tunnel Under the World - Frederik Pohl
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Who Can Replace a Man? - Brian W. Aldiss
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Billenium - J. G. Ballard
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Ballad of Lost C'Mell - Cordwainer Smith
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Semley's Necklace - Ursula K. Le Guin
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : How Beautiful with Banners - James Blish
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : A Criminal Act - Harry Harrison
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Problems of Creativeness - Thomas M. Disch
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : How the Whip Came Back - Gene Wolfe
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Cloak of Anarchy - Larry Niven
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : A Thing of Beauty - Norman Spinrad
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Screwfly Solution - Raccoona Sheldon
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : The Way of Cross and Dragon - George R. R. Martin
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Swarm - Bruce Sterling
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Burning Chrome - William Gibson
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Silicon Muse - Hilbert Schenck
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Karl and the Ogre - Paul J. McAuley
Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories : Piecework - David Brin


Give tanks a try.

3.5 out of 5


Flame on, lights out.

4 out of 5


Air travel advancing control.

4 out of 5


Amazing scientifiction.

3 out of 5


Interplanetary interpersonal communication.

4 out of 5


Showing your flight age.

3.5 out of 5


Altered man mission adds a mutt.

4.5 out of 5


Dead race destruction discovery toasting.

3 out of 5


Grandma has a pony. All the better to help her defeat alien invastions.

4 out of 5


Composite Mind War accomodation.

3.5 out of 5


Martian labor aeration.

4 out of 5


Brain capacity reduction circuit.

3 out of 5


Human lack machine chaos conflict.

4 out of 5


Population space premium.

4 out of 5


Underpeople Lord assisted capital punishment escapage.

4.5 out of 5


Dowry delay death.

3 out of 5


Bubble suit Titan tearaway.

4 out of 5


Breeding punishment volunteer.

4 out of 5


Classification.

2.5 out of 5


Slave vote.

3.5 out of 5


Free Park experiment not bright.

4 out of 5


Got a bridge to sell you.

4 out of 5


S8x and violence.

4 out of 5


Betrayer Star Knights.

3.5 out of 5


Interspecies business shocks.

4 out of 5


Cracking victim charity.

4 out of 5


Total access story program plan.

4 out of 5


A whole generation of children with enhanced intelligence wipe out all the adults via bacteria, and these superbright changelings go hunting the remnants that haven't been killed outright.

3.5 out of 5


Dropping your bundle and bundle.

4 out of 5





5 out of 5

Semley's Necklace - Ursula K. Le Guin

Dowry delay death.


3 out of 5

Year's Best SF 04 - David G. Hartwell

A good, solid, Year's Best entry, with a 3.80 average. Don't really care at all about Beatles alternate history, though. The Baxter story was the low point. On the other side, I thought Mark S. Geston's 'The Allies' was great, and the Chiang and Swanwick and Brin are excellent.

Hartwell says in his intro, there were 60-70 or maybe 100 really good SF stories published.

Year's Best SF 04 : Market Report - Alexander Jablokov
Year's Best SF 04 : A Dance to Strange Musics - Gregory Benford
Year's Best SF 04 : The Year of the Mouse - Norman Spinrad
Year's Best SF 04 : The Day Before They Came - Mary Soon Lee
Year's Best SF 04 : This Side of Independence - Rob Chilson
Year's Best SF 04 : The Twelfth Album - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best SF 04 : Story of Your Life - Ted Chiang
Year's Best SF 04 : Whiptail - Robert Reed
Year's Best SF 04 : The Eye of God - Mary Rosenblum
Year's Best SF 04 : Rules of Engagement - Michael F. Flynn
Year's Best SF 04 : Radiant Doors - Michael Swanwick
Year's Best SF 04 : Unravelling the Thread - Jean-Claude Dunyach
Year's Best SF 04 : That Thing Over There - Dominic Green
Year's Best SF 04 : The Allies - Mark S. Geston
Year's Best SF 04 : My Pal Clunky - Ron Goulart
Year's Best SF 04 : Life in the Extreme - David Brin
Year's Best SF 04 : Near Enough to Home - Michael Skeet
Year's Best SF 04 : A Game of Consequences - David Langford
Year's Best SF 04 : State of Nature - Nancy Kress
Year's Best SF 04 : Maneki Neko - Bruce Sterling


Parental smilodon hideout help.

4 out of 5


Zap pow intrusion response broadcast communication.

4 out of 5


Disney Mao Panda threat.

3.5 out of 5


Aliens an AI shoe-in for arrival.

3 out of 5


Scrap planet.

3.5 out of 5


Beatle debris.

2.5 out of 5


Predicting language.

4.5 out of 5


Colouring the cackleberries.

3.5 out of 5


Gateway descent deception.

4 out of 5


Louie, louie, oh, boy, the way you're suiting...

3.5 out of 5


Future Ownership fightback.

4.5 out of 5


Knotty story.

3 out of 5


Super race jizzimistic implementation.

4 out of 5


Alien war deurbanisation unextinction uplifting dog day destruction Sixth Ship return discovery, we Mind.

5 out of 5


Dogbot showbiz.

3.5 out of 5


Rocket club dolphin rescue uplifting hobby change.

4.5 out of 5


New civil war power.

3.5 out of 5


Quantum solar thermostat boo-boo possibilities.

4 out of 5


Wealthy minority enclave rejection.

4 out of 5


Network of favors.

4 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

The Eye Of God - Mary Rosenblum

Gateway descent deception.


4 out of 5

Fantasy the Best of the Year 2006 - Rich Horton

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I pretty much know I am not going to like experimental plotless pieces, and in fantasy anthologies like this there is a fair chance there will be some, as some people like 'em, so broad selecting Super Editors should pick them for those people.

Such is the case here, but there are more 4 star stories than I thought I would find, too, so good stuff. In fact, it averages 3.55, above the good line, as such. To shamelessly steal his own phraseology, there was good work here from Wolfe, Bear, Di Filippo, Gaiman, Taafe, Cadigan, Parks and Hughes, with the standout piece being Beagle's.

The editor also says not much 'Heroic' fantasy to be found in general, so not much here, and by this I presume he is using it as an umbrella term for High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery and other such secondary world type offerings, in general.

Which is interesting, as I had been wondering if there are enough good fantasy stories in a year to fill such a volume of more mainstream fantasy adventure type stories that are more in the vein of what Lin Carter might have chosen, or Silveberg's Legends anthology, compared to what Kelly Link or her predecessors prefer.

The only annoying thing now is no electronic versio of the 2007 book, whereas there is for the 2006.


Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Pip and the Fairies - Theodora Goss
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Comber - Gene Wolfe
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Three Urban Folk Tales - Eric Schaller
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Wax - Elizabeth Bear
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : The Emperor of Gondwanaland - Paul Di Filippo
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : CommComm - George Saunders
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died - Samantha Henderson
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Fancy Bread - Gregory Feeley
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Sunbird - Neil Gaiman
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : The Secret of Broken Tickers - Joe Murphy
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : On the Blindside - Sonya Taaffe
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Jane - Marc Laidlaw
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Is There Life After Rehab? - Pat Cadigan
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Two Hearts - Peter S. Beagle
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Super-Villains - Michael Canfield
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Empty Places - Richard Parks
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : Invisible - Steve Rasnic Tem
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : By the Light of Tomorrow's Sun - Holly Phillips
Fantasy Best of the Year 2006 : The Gist Hunter - Matthew Hughes

Obit teaparty flashback.

2.5 out of 5


Swiftly tilting city.

4 out of 5


Love to go postal, you rat.

2.5 out of 5


Forensic sorcery monster murder triangle.

4 out of 5


Online getaway hookup.

4 out of 5


Dead can be quite smelly.

3 out of 5


Possibly better story topics.

3 out of 5


Pommie snacks.

3.5 out of 5


"I have a presentiment of doom upon me," ..."And I fear it shall come to us with barbecue sauce."

4 out of 5


Blockhead storm.

3 out of 5


Crossover promises.

4 out of 5


One glove is all you get.

3.5 out of 5


Maybe undead again.

4 out of 5


Griffin snacking leads to senile sovereign's swan song.

4.5 out of 5


An aging hero has run out of enemies to fight, and he has always used his crusade to prevent him coming to close to the woman he desires.

An old foe of his is released from prison and said woman decides to do something about it, accompanying the villain to an exhibition where the Venus diamond is on display, a stone with reputedly magical properties.

When Ginny gets the diamond, a new super villain is born, Fevre, and the Wing again has an opponent to chase.

3.5 out of 5


"Just what is Timon the Black's arrangement with those men?"

"A simple one: They don't interfere with my business and I don't rip the flesh from their bones. You'd be surprised at how reasonable men can be, when the alternative is explained to them."

4 out of 5


Spontaneous Human Invisibility.

3 out of 5


Not a Peachy finish.

3.5 out of 5


Discriminating integration opposition intercession accomodation.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

The Gist Hunter - Matthew Hughes

Discriminating integration opposition intercession accomodation.


4 out of 5

The Light Of Tomorrow's End - Holly Phillips

Not a Peachy finish.


3.5 out of 5

Empty Places - Richard Parks

"Just what is Timon the Black's arrangement with those men?"

"A simple one: They don't interfere with my business and I don't rip the flesh from their bones. You'd be surprised at how reasonable men can be, when the alternative is explained to them."


4 out of 5

On the Blindside - Sonya Taaffe

Crossover promises.


4 out of 5

The Secret Of Broken Tickers - Joe Murphy

Blockhead storm.


3 out of 5

Sunbird - Neil Gaiman

"I have a presentiment of doom upon me," ..."And I fear it shall come to us with barbecue sauce."


4 out of 5

Fancy Bread - Gregory Feeley

Pommie snacks.


3.5 out of 5

Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died - Samantha Henderson

Possibly better story topics.


3 out of 5

The Emperor Of Gondwanaland - Paul Di Filippo

Online getaway hookup.


4 out of 5

Piecework - David Brin

Dropping your bundle and bundle.


4 out of 5

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Silicon Muse - Hilbert Schenk

Total access story program plan.


4 out of 5

How the Whip Came Back - Gene Wolfe

Slave vote.


3.5 out of 5

Problems Of Creativeness - Thomas Disch

Classification.


2.5 out of 5

Billenium - J. G. Ballard

Population space premium.


4 out of 5

The Terminal Beach - J. G. Ballard

The centre has a hold.


3 out of 5

Who Can Replace Man? - Brian Aldiss

Human lack machine chaos conflict.


4 out of 5

A Thing Of Beauty - Norman Spinrad

Got a bridge to sell you.


4 out of 5

Spectrum 5 - Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest

A really pretty decent anthology, given I remember it decades later, with several good stories. Not quite a 3.50.

Spectrum 5 : Student Body - F. L. Wallace
Spectrum 5 : Big Sword - Pauline Ashwell
Spectrum 5 : The Far Look - Theodore L. Thomas
Spectrum 5 : Grandpa - novelette by James H. Schmitz
Spectrum 5 : Commencement Night - Richard Ashby
Spectrum 5 : Mother of Invention - Tom Godwin
Spectrum 5 : Crucifixus Etiam - Walter M. Miller
Spectrum 5 : Noise Level - Raymond F. Jones


Things change really fast around here.

4 out of 5


Mini seed people biology telepathic revelation.

2 out of 5


Moon team handover.

3 out of 5


Big ol' beast ride.

4 out of 5


Fast growth.

3 out of 5


Martian labor aeration.

4 out of 5


Genius opposition.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Commencement Night - Richard Ashby

Fast growth.


3 out of 5

Noise Level - Raymond F. Jones

Genius opposition.


3.5 out of 5

The Far Look - Theodore L. Thomas

Moon team handover.


3 out of 5

Crucifixus Etiam - Walter M. Miller

Martian labor aeration.


4 out of 5

Second Dawn - Arthur C. Clarke

Composite Mind War accomodation.


3.5 out of 5

A Criminal Act - Harry Harrison

Breeding punishment volunteer.


4 out of 5

Microcosmic God and Other Stories - Sam Moskowitz

A short, older SF anthology, with the best stories at the start,and at the end, the 'title track' and Philip Jose Farmer's 'Mother'. Overall, it is good, averaging right on 3.50.

Microcosmic God : Microcosmic God - Theodore Sturgeon
Microcosmic God : Night - John W. Campbell, Jr.
Microcosmic God : Adaptation - John Wyndham
Microcosmic God : Enchanted Village - A. E. van Vogt
Microcosmic God : Huddling Place - Clifford D. Simak
Microcosmic God : Wake for the Living - Ray Bradbury
Microcosmic God : Mother - Philip José Farmer


Genius idea factory proves impenetrable.

4.5 out of 5


Showing your flight age.

3.5 out of 5


Martian birth.

2.5 out of 5


City of sand transform.

3.5 out of 5


Homebody scaredy-cats.

3.5 out of 5


Packaged funeral.

3 out of 5


Stay at home's mobile mate misunderstandings hard on the in-laws.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Wake For the Living - Ray Bradbury

Packaged funeral.


3 out of 5

Enchanted Village - A. E. Van Vogt

City of sand transform.


3.5 out of 5

Adaptation - John Wyndham

Martian birth.


2.5 out of 5

Night - John W. Campbell

Showing your flight age.


3.5 out of 5

Three Urban Folk Tales - Eric Schaller

Love to go postal, you rat.


2.5 out of 5

Comber - Gene Wolfe

Swiftly tilting city.


4 out of 5

Asimov's 273 - Gardner Dozois

An excellent issue, with one 4.5 story, and one dodgy one, ending with McAuley's rather cool underwater adventure.

There's a rather epic Spinrad book review cum column, that espouses upon some small press and French books including a Di Filippo novel called Ciphers which is apparently replete with rock 'n roll jokes. That can't be bad.

A couple of quotes :-

"Years ago, Ron Busch, president of Pocket Books, in cancelling David Hartwell's Timescape line, explained in the pages of the New York Times that he was doing it because the books were too intelligent. He wanted to start a new line that would publish stupider books.
Really. No shit. You could look it up.
"Trop hardi."
Welcome to the Corporate Monkey House.
...
Yes, it would seem that it is now possible for a science fiction novel to be rendered commercially non-viable in the eyes of the publishing powers that be by an excess of literary virtues!
What further sign do we need that the "story" of science fiction, its genre publishing apparatus, its subculture of fans, its dedicated idealistic science fiction writers, its passionate editors, has reached an ending, and not a happy one?
Well, only one, much more dire, not merely for science fiction, but, I would contend, for our planetary civilization itself.
And, alas, we have it.
Science fiction would seem to have lost its visionary raison d'être. Our civilization would seem to have lost its positive evolutionary concept of "the future."
Perhaps you've noticed that even the best science fiction of the past few years and more seems to be dystopian to one degree or another, dealing at best with idealistic heroic figures attempting to revive the visionary virtues in a future devolved in one way or another from the present.""


ASIMOVS273 : Market Report - Alexander Jablokov
ASIMOVS273 : With Arms to Hold the Wind - Mark W. Tiedemann
ASIMOVS273 : Xiaoying's Journey - Robert L. Nansel
ASIMOVS273 : How Meersh the Bedeviler Lost His Toes - Gregory Frost
ASIMOVS273 : Radiant Doors - Michael Swanwick
ASIMOVS273 : Sea Change with Monsters - Paul J. McAuley


Parental smilodon hideout help.

4 out of 5


Pilot psyche repair.

3.5 out of 5


Babyloss defection.

3 out of 5


Dead fish, people, maybe not genitals though.

2.5 out of 5


Future Ownership fightback.

4.5 out of 5


Dragon hunter's misogynist defiance discovery.

4 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

How Meersh the Bedeviler Lost His Toes - Gregory Frost

Dead fish, people, maybe not genitals though.


2.5 out of 5

Xiaoying's Journey - Robert L. Nansel

Babyloss defection.


3 out of 5

With Arms To Hold the Wind - Mark W. Tiedemann

Pilot psyche repair.


3.5 out of 5

A Game Of Consequences - David Langford

Quantum solar thermostat boo-boo possibilities.


4 out of 5

Near Enough To Home - Michael Skeet

New civil war power.


3.5 out of 5

Life In the Extreme - David Brin

Rocket club dolphin rescue uplifting hobby change.


4.5 out of 5

My Pal Clunky - Ron Goulart

Dogbot showbiz.


3.5 out of 5

The Allies - Mark S. Geston

Alien war deurbanisation unextinction uplifting dog day destruction Sixth Ship return discovery, we Mind.


5 out of 5

That Thing Over There - Dominic Green

Super race sperm implementation.


4 out of 5

Unravelling the Thread - Jean-Claude Dunyach

Knotty story.


3 out of 5

Radiant Doors - Michael Swanwick

Future Ownership fightback.


4.5 out of 5

Rules Of Engagement - Michael F. Flynn

Louie, louie, oh, boy, the way you're suiting...


3.5 out of 5

Whiptail - Robert Reed

Colouring the cackleberries.


3.5 out of 5

The Twelfth Album - Stephen Baxter

Beatle debris.


2.5 out of 5

The Day Before They Came - Mary Soon Lee

Aliens an AI shoe-in for arrival.


3 out of 5

A Dance To Strange Musics - Gregory Benford

Zap pow intrusion response broadcast communication.


4 out of 5

The Year's Best Science Fiction 22nd Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois

A really solid entry in the Year's Best Science Fiction Series, resplendent with epic introduction and 'season overview'. Very consistent, this one. Nothing brilliant, but nothing poor, either. Just all around good, really, with an average of 3.80. Bacigalupi and Moles the two best.


Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Inappropriate Behavior - Pat Murphy
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Start the Clock - Benjamin Rosenbaum
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Third Party - David Moles
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Voluntary State - Christopher Rowe
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Shiva in Shadow - Nancy Kress
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The People of Sand and Slag - Paolo Bacigalupi
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Clapping Hands of God - Michael F. Flynn
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Tourism - M. John Harrison
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Scout's Honor - Terry Bisson
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Men Are Trouble - James Patrick Kelly
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Mother Aegypt - Kage Baker
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Synthetic Serendipity - Vernor Vinge
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Skin Deep - Mary Rosenblum
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Delhi - Vandana Singh
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Tribes of Bela - Albert E. Cowdrey
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Sitka - William Sanders
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Leviathan Wept - Daniel Abraham
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Defenders - Colin P. Davies
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Mayflower II - Stephen Baxter
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Riding the White Bull - Caitlín R. Kiernan
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Falling Star - Brendan DuBois
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Dragons of Summer Gulch - Robert Reed
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Ocean of the Blind - James L. Cambias
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : The Garden: A Hwarhath Science Fictional Romance - Eleanor Arnason
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Footvote - Peter F. Hamilton
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Sisyphus and the Stranger - Paul Di Filippo
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Ten Sigmas - Paul Melko
Year's Best Science Fiction 22 : Investments - Walter Jon Williams


An autistic girl, operating a remote robot as part of an experiment finds a stranded man that needs rescuing. The man running this experiment has problems with priorities.

3.5 out of 5


Arrested development decision.

3.5 out of 5


Barbarians are smarter than they look.

4.5 out of 5


Southern Somatype.

3 out of 5


Stellar observation science ship conflict upload event horizon existence.

4 out of 5


Immortal ruined future's lack of taste for pets.

4.5 out of 5


World walking war woe.

4 out of 5


Shadow operators.

3 out of 5


Time travel for the NT, low battery means HS.

4 out of 5


Dame overload detection devilish.

4 out of 5


Devil too chicken for Company.

3 out of 5


Adult education.

3 out of 5


Filial facsimile repair choice declined.

4 out of 5


Past advice.

4 out of 5


Bearpig breeding betrayal last stand.

4 out of 5


Jack London calling war Time expedition.

3.5 out of 5


Organisation network conflict is complex.

4 out of 5


Conflict evolution sacrifice.

4 out of 5


Long trip oversight.

4 out of 5


Unreliable First Contact takeover takedown agent story.

4 out of 5


After a serious virus destroys computer chips, years later an old astronaut has to deal with the religious idiot peasants in his town.

4 out of 5


Dracaleology weaponry.

4 out of 5


Deep sea sneak suit surveillance story search snaring slice.

4 out of 5


Alien girl stay at home story.

4 out of 5


Exodus rules.

4 out of 5


Frenchie N-Ray cultural conquest.

3.5 out of 5


Millions of me.

3 out of 5


Corporate corruption x-radiation.

4 out of 5





5 out of 5

The Garden - Eleanor Arnason

Alien girl stay at home story.


4 out of 5

The Ocean Of the Blind - James L. Cambias

Deep sea sneak suit surveillance story search snaring slice.


4 out of 5

Riding the White Bull - Caitlin R. Kiernan

Unreliable First Contact takeover takedown agent story.


4 out of 5

The Defenders - Colin P. Davies

Conflict evolution sacrifice.


4 out of 5

Sitka - William Sanders

Jack London calling war Time expedition.


3.t out of 5

The Tribes of Bela - Albert E. Cowdrey

Bearpig breeding betrayal last stand.


4 out of 5

Scared Stiff - Ramsey Campbell

A short selection of Campbell's story wherein he is dealing more explicitly with
sexuality, from the disturbed and the alone kind, to the volunteer for group ritual with bad end variety. They are pretty decent, overall, with a 3.45 average.

Scared Stiff : Dolls - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Other Woman - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Lilith's - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Seductress - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Stages - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Loveman's Comeback - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Merry May - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Limits of Fantasy - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Body in the Window - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Kill Me Hideously - Ramsey Campbell


Coven lubrication.

3 out of 5


Throat art.

3.5 out of 5


Artificial Love Mate.

3 out of 5


Must satisfy.

3.5 out of 5


It's a trip to not do it by myself.

3.5 out of 5


Sexual summoning.

4 out of 5


Ritual ending.

4 out of 5


New scenes.

3 out of 5


Spin show recognition.

3.5 out of 5


Like to be a victim, please.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

Kill Me Hideously - Ramsey Campbell

Like to be a victim, please.


3.5 out of 5

The Limits Of Fantasy - Ramsey Campbell

New scenes.


3 out of 5

Merry May - Ramsey Campbell

Ritual ending.


4 out of 5

Supermen - Martin H. Greenberg and Isaac Asimov and Charles G. Waugh

An anthology with a science fictional take on various characters with more than human abilities. A pretty good bunch of stories, too, averaging 3.54.

Supermen : 01 Angel Dark Angel - Roger Zelazny
Supermen : 02 Worlds to Kill - Harlan Ellison
Supermen : 03 In the Bone - Gordon R. Dickson
Supermen : 04 What Rough Beast? - Damon Knight
Supermen : 05 Death by Ecstasy [The Organleggers; Gil Hamilton] - Larry Niven
Supermen : 06 Un-Man - Poul Anderson
Supermen : 07 Muse - Dean R. Koontz
Supermen : 08 Resurrection [The Monster] - A. E. Van Vogt
Supermen : 09 Pseudopath - Philip E. High
Supermen : 10 After the Myths Went Home - Robert Silverberg
Supermen : 11 Before the Talent Dies - Henry Slesar
Supermen : 12 Brood World Barbarian - Perry A. Chapdelaine


Agents of 'Death', chosen for exception physical abilities and then enhanced and given cool toys. They also get two coffee breaks a day.

4 out of 5


Planet destroying is a lonely job, and everybody hates you.

3.5 out of 5


No powersuit means a few problems.

3 out of 5


Can't cure everything.

3 out of 5


Hamilton investigates the death of someone who knows. It seems that he has died of wirehead overdose, but Gil doesn't believe it and check sit out.

3 out of 5


"The world was too chaotic and violent--it still is--for anything less than a brotherhood of supermen."

4 out of 5


A muso needs his writer, dad, you moron, even if he is a slug!

4 out of 5


Dead race destruction discovery toasting.

3 out of 5


A man really good at the body language thing has a plan to bring down a criminally run government and associated organised crime.

3.5 out of 5


Don't really need you supernatural good types any more.

3.5 out of 5


A mutant with telepathy and chamelon powers tries to ensure a succession.

3.5 out of 5


A gladiator champion escapes and wants to bump off the ruler of the planet where he was used for entertainment, multi-planet escape and capture sequence ensues.

4 out of 5




4 out of 5

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Persistence Of Vision - John Varley

There are only 9 stories here, but most of some length, novelettes and novellas, including the best story here, the last, and the 'title track'.

A very high quality collection, and all science fiction.

Persistence of Vision : The Phantom of Kansas - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : Air Raid - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : Retrograde Summer - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : The Black Hole Passes - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : In the Hall of the Martian Kings - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : In the Bowl - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : Gotta Sing Gotta Dance - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : Overdrawn at the Memory Bank - John Varley
Persistence of Vision : The Persistence of Vision - John Varley


Recording robbed revenant revenge Rat.

4 out of 5


Plane crash Time Snatch paraleprosy repopulation.

4 out of 5


Clone twin meeting.

3 out of 5


Message filtering separation singularity
shakeup.

4 out of 5


Local accomodations mostly plastic.

4 out of 5


Venusian outfitting issues.

3.5 out of 5


Music lovers planted.

3 out of 5


A man's virtual vacation is extended rather too long.

3.5 out of 5


Communication fuller but lots weirder with fewer senses.

4.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Gotta Sing Gotta Dance - John Varley

Music lovers planted.


3 out of 5

In the Bowl - John Varley

Venusian outfitting issues.


3.5 out of 5

The Black Hole Passes - John Varley

Message filtering separation singularity shakeup.


4 out of 5

Retrograde Summer - John Varley

Clone twin meeting.


3 out of 5

The Phantom Of Kansas - John Varley

Recording robbed revenant revenge Rat.


4 out of 5

The Best Science Fiction of the Year 14 - Terry Carr

A better than usual anthology this one, and also from the mid-80's, so more impressive for that, the average being 3.88 overall. 13 stories, and four are excellent. Carr has managed to start with the best, have two of them in the middle, and funny, at that, and end with the other. Impressive organisation.

Best SF of the Year 14 : PRESS ENTER [] - John Varley
Best SF of the Year 14 : Blued Moon - Connie Willis
Best SF of the Year 14 : Summer Solstice - Charles L. Harness
Best SF of the Year 14 : Morning Child - Gardner R. Dozois
Best SF of the Year 14 : The Aliens Who Knew I Mean Everything - George Alec Effinger
Best SF of the Year 14 : A Day in the Skin - Tanith Lee
Best SF of the Year 14 : Instructions - Bob Leman
Best SF of the Year 14 : The Lucky Strike - Kim Stanley Robinson
Best SF of the Year 14 : Green Hearts - Lee Montgomerie
Best SF of the Year 14 : Bloodchild - Octavia E. Butler
Best SF of the Year 14 : Trojan Horse - Michael Swanwick
Best SF of the Year 14 : Fears - Pamela Sargent
Best SF of the Year 14 : Trinity - Nancy Kress


Electronic entity killer discovery.

4.5 out of 5


Coincidental project.

3.5 out of 5


Alien astronomical advice.

4 out of 5


Weapon parental effects.

4 out of 5


Don't you worry about that, nuhp nuhp.

4.5 out of 5


Out of body can make no sense.

3.5 out of 5


Interdimensional chess test.

4 out of 5


Japan nuke near miss punishment.

4.5 out of 5


Fashion for the growing.

3 out of 5


Parasite pregnancy punishing for people.

3 out of 5


Experimental theology brainwipe.

3.5 out of 5


Girls not popular.

4 out of 5


Clone twin teleological trance test.

4.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

Fearzone Ellen Datlow Interview

http://www.fearzone.com/blog/ellen-datlow

Wherein she talks some more about Year's Besting and anthologising.

Fears - Pamela Sargent

Girls not popular.


4 out of 5

Green Hearts - Lee Montgomerie

Fashion for the growing.


3 out of 5

Instructions - Bob Leman

Interdimensional chess test.


4 out of 5

A Day In the Skin - Tanith Lee

Out of body can make no sense.


3.5 out of 5

The Aliens Who Knew I Mean Everything - George Alec Effinger

Don't you worry about that, nuhp nuhp.


4.5 out of 5

Morning Child - Gardner Dozois

Weapon parental effects.


4 out of 5

Summer Solstice - Charles L. Harness

Alien astronomical advice.


3.5 out of 5

Delhi - Vandana Singh

Past advice.


4 out of 5

Blued Moon - Connie Willis

Coincidental project.


3.5 out of 5

Best SF 67 - Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss

In a 'Credo' piece at the start of the book, this is part of what James Blish has to say about a Year's Best:-

"1. Its contents should be science fiction which means that at the worst, every story ought to contain some trace of some science, and at best they ought to depend on it. This means no fantasies, nothing put in solely because the author wrote a best-selling mainstream novel in 1920, no political parables and no what-is-its.

2. Its contents should be science fiction meaning no cartoons, psuedoscientific articles, how-to-write-it pieces or bad verse.

3. It ought to be reasonably honest about what it is offering. Just to begin with, no such volume can hope to include the best SF of its year, regardless of length. Furthermore, not even all the best short fiction is available; some of it gets tied up in exclusive contracts by other anthologies or collections, and occasionally some of it is even priced too high. Both these limitations ought to be made known to the reader.

4. It ought to be responsible. If the editor is actually being overruled by another editor, or the publisher, that ought to be made known, too, naming names.

I am carefully not adding that within these limits its "bests" ought really to be the best; it isn't humanly possible for any such volume to satisfy everybody on that count. But it ought at least to try."

The editors then go on to disagree with him a bit, and of course put stories in outside this selection.

There is also an afterword that at times is a bit of an unrelated to the book rant.

For a 40 year old volume, or close enough, this is pretty reasonable, with a 3.43 average.


Harrison Aldiss 01 : Hawksbill Station [short story] - Robert Silverberg
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Ultimate Construction - C. C. Shackleton
Harrison Aldiss 01 : 1937 A.D.! - John T. Sladek
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Fifteen Miles - Ben Bova
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Blackmail - Fred Hoyle
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Vine - Kit Reed
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Interview with a Lemming - James Thurber
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Wreck of the Ship John B. - Frank M. Robinson
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Left-Hand Way - A. Bertram Chandler
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Forest of Zil - Kris Neville
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The A55a55ination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race - J. G. Ballard
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Answering Service - Fritz Leiber
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Last Command - Keith Laumer
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Mirror of Ice - Gary Wright
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes - Harlan Ellison


The authorities have come up with an unconventional but effective way of controlling dissidents. Send them back a billion or so years into the past. A bit hard to escape from there, really.

When a new prisoner is sent back, the current top dog, an aging main with a recent serious injury has to try and hang onto his life, and work out what is up with the new guy.

3 out of 5


Deserted planet boy. With spade and bucket, luckily.

3.5 out of 5


Time Engine to look yourself up.

3 out of 5


"Wonder how many Jesuits have been carried home on their shields?"

3.5 out of 5


Only a bunch of monkeys would watch a lot of tv.

3.5 out of 5


Grape growers are wroth.

3.5 out of 5


Surprised humans don't off themselves.

3.5 out of 5


Spacegoing slum.

4 out of 5


Contemplative metal monks.

4 out of 5


Tree history.

3.5 out of 5


Finishing gun.

2.5 out of 5


Old style phone convo.

4 out of 5


A Bolo is a cybernetic supertank, basically. In this story, an old inactive one comes to life.

3 out of 5


Possible sledicide.

3.5 out of 5


Maggie, I wish I had something to say to you. But you're dead.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5