Solid anthology of recent short SF,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Year's Best SF 4: No. 4 (Year's Best SF (Science Fiction)) (Taschenbuch)I'd rate this one "good" though not "excellent". Several fine stories, a lot of OK ones, a couple of clunkers.
"Maneki Neko", by Bruce Sterling. I enjoy Sterling's novels, but sometimes I wish he'd just write short stories... he's that good. This one, about a world where informal Net networks are starting to dominate our behavior, is excellent.
"Story of Your Life", by Ted Chiang. One of the best stories I've ever read about communicating with aliens, combined with a heartbreakingly poignant tale of human loss.
"Rules of Engagement", by Michael Flynn. I'm not a big military SF fan, but this was a good little combat story with an unusual point, set in what's obviously a well-worked out future.
"That Thing Over There", by Dominic Green. Definitely the best treatment of the yeti/Abominable Snowman legend that I've ever read. And it makes it very clear just what was so abominable about them...
"The Radiant Doors", by Michael Swanwick. A deeply creepy story about time-travelling refugees from an unspeakable future. Swanwick does an excellent job of depicting horror by glimpses.
(Unfortunately, this otherwise excellent story is marred by a stupid ending; as in much of his work, Swanwick sacrifices logic for effect. Still, worth reading for its unpleasant answer to the "leisure question" -- what will we do when the machines are doing all the work for us?
"A Dance to Strange Musics", by Gregory Benford. Typical Benford, with utterly forgettable characters and large blocks of explication (will Benford ever learn how to tell us stuff without making it really obvious that he's Telling Us Stuff?). But I still enjoyed this, perhaps because it managed to compress most of the content on one of Benford's rather flabby novels into a mere 35 pages or so. I disagree with the story's main idea -- I don't think that humanity would be awed and moved by meeting a superior intelligence that doesn't actually *do* much of anything -- but it's still a good read, with some really novel worldbuilding.
"The Year of the Mouse", by Norman Spinrad. Someday, someone will manage to explain to me why Spinrad is supposed to be a major voice in our field. Anyhow, you can skip this story, a silly wish-fulfillment fantasy about Disney taking on
"The Allies", by Michael Geston. Overlong and clunky ecological morality tale. Geston has been writing SF since the 1960s, but this reads like a novice effort. Avoid.
"The Twelfth Album", by Stephen Baxter. An Alternate History (AH) story about the Beatles. Of interest only to hardcore Beatles fans.
"Near Enough to Home", by Michael Skeet. Another AH story, about Canada. Not that bad, but not remotely worth including in the "year's best" IMO. It's hard to write a really interesting AH story, to be sure...
"Life in the Extreme", by David Brin. Very minor piece about the earliest days of Uplift. Not bad, but disappointing -- if it wasn't Brin, one doubts whether this would have been in here. Another answer to the leisure question.
Final point: Hartwell doesn't seem to have arranged these stories in any order, at all. I mean, the first story is Alexander Jablokov's rather lackluster "Market Report". I would have put a shorter, more kick-butt story up front ("Rules of Engagement", say, or Sterling's "Maneki Neko") in order to draw the reader in and get some momentum going.
Still, a decent anthology with some very good stuff; worth a look.
Gebraucht & neu ab: EUR 0,56
Rezensentin / Rezensent