cover image The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction

The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction

Edited by Gardner Dozois. Griffin, $39.99 (720p) ISBN 978-1-250-29619-1

The 38 stories in this culling of the last 15 annual anthologies edited by the late Dozois testify to the breathtaking scope of science fiction and the diversity and talent of its writers. Eleanor Arnason’s “The Potter of Bones” concerns an artist in a primitive society applying the scientific method to her work. John Kessel’s “Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance” is set on a world where technology and religious superstition dovetail. Michael Swanwick’s “Tin Marsh” and John Barnes’s “Martian Heart” both elaborate on the challenges humans face in extraterrestrial environments, while Charles Stross’s “Rogue Farm” and Pat Cadigan’s “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” speculate on the strange forms future life might take. Forward-looking as all the stories are, several are tributes to the groundbreaking genre fiction of Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Rice Burroughs by, respectively, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, and Allen M. Steele. Dozois was one of the great editors of science fiction over the last 50 years, and this book features some of the best science fiction written in the 21st century. Agent: Vaughne Lee Hansen, Virginia Kidd Agency. (Feb.)