Monday, April 23, 2012

The Mammoth Book of the Best SF Short Novels - Gardner Dozois

The Best Of the Best 2 - Gardner Dozois
In his introduction Dozois says he has chosen from his favorite novellas in the first twenty volumes of his Year's Best Series, barring leaving out a couple that were being published at the time.

A length of which he is a fan, apparently : "Unlike many of today's novel, all too many of which strike me as novellas grossly padded-out to be five hundred pages long, there are rarely any wasted words in a novella".

Padding is right in a lot of books, couldn't agree more, but presumably length sells - although editors of course make heaps more work for themselves with longer novels. If you have to fix 120K words rather than 80K, anybody can work that one out.

This book came about, he says because the first volume, Best of the Best had novellas, too, but there were lots more to fit in. Apparently he has selected 100-120 over the life of the series, or thereabouts.

Seeing this volume is considerably shorter, as far as story count goes, it will run the risk of not having the chance to appeal to as many people on probability, I would think, given a selection of his own exactly particular taste, rather than a deliberate wider ranger.

Holds true for me, I think, as none of my own particular favorites of those volumes I have read, here, but The Hemingway Hoax is rather good.

So the score is only 3.69, which is lower than your standard 3.80 average score for his Year's Best series.


Best of the Best 2 : Sailing To Byzantium - Robert Silverberg
Best of the Best 2 : Surfacing - Walter Jon Williams
Best of the Best 2 : The Hemingway Hoax - Joe Haldeman
Best of the Best 2 : Mr. Boy - James Patrick Kelly
Best of the Best 2 : Beggars In Spain - Nancy Kress
Best of the Best 2 : Griffin's Egg - Michael Swanwick
Best of the Best 2 : Outnumbering The Dead - Frederick Pohl
Best of the Best 2 : Forgiveness Day - Ursula K. LeGuin
Best of the Best 2 : The Cost To Be Wise - Maureen F. McHugh
Best of the Best 2 : Oceanic - Greg Egan
Best of the Best 2 : Tendeleo's Story - Ian McDonald
Best of the Best 2 : New Light On The Drake Equation - Ian R. MacLeod
Best of the Best 2 : Turquoise Days - Alastair Reynolds


Tedious travelogue and artificial lifetime constraints.

3 out of 5


Undersea communication research alien possession accomodation.

4 out of 5


Multiple serial murder mayhem over Ernie's multiversal missing manuscript mania.

4.5 out of 5


Not wanting to grow up attitude certainly isn't helped by mum's mechanical approach to parenting.

3.5 out of 5


Sleeping is a waste of time.

4 out of 5


Terran nuclear nightmare, moon mental mimetic mayhem amidst crisis predicted canoodling.

3.5 out of 5


Famous actor guy unluckily gotta die through space will fly.

3.5 out of 5


Ekumen embassy explosion entrapment unrest.

4 out of 5


Having to eat your dog will make you sad.

3 out of 5


A boy growing up in a backward fundamentalist community on another planet begins to understand how much the local biology has altered the people that live there, and why a religion surrounds this.

3.5 out of 5


A Kenyan woman and her community come to terms with an alien infestation, as the outsider who fancies her adapts as well.

4 out of 5


A story about a hermit-like SETI astronomer and his past relationships.

4 out of 5


I sea we have a problem.

3.5 out of 5





4.5 out of 5

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