cover image The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 45th Anniversary Anthology

The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 45th Anniversary Anthology

. St. Martin's Press, $23.95 (350pp) ISBN 978-0-312-11246-2

This rewarding collection is chock-full of innovative, inventive and impressive tales drawn from the past five years of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. A number of the stories, award-nominated or -winning, have been anthologized elsewhere, but they still carry an impact and, happily, are ushered in here by introductions by Ferman, retired editor of the bimonthly, and Rusch, its new guiding light. The stories fall, albeit not so neatly, into several categories that indicate recent trends in the field. These include the folkloric/world-building arena (represented here by Mike Resnick and Carolyn Ives Gilman), Vietnam-inspired fiction (Joe Haldeman, Karen Joy Fowler, Alan Brennert), horror with a twist (Harlan Ellison, Thomas Ligotti) and alternate history (James Morrow, Terry Bisson). Elsewhere, Ray Aldridge's ``Steel Dogs'' mingles old-fashioned mythic heroism with futuristic technology to create an impressive and touchingly original fairy tale, while comedy mixes well with nanotech in Ray Vukevich's delightful bungee-jumping adventure, ``Mom's Little Friends.'' And for what editor Rusch believes to be almost a ``quintessential'' F&SF story, there's Robert Reed's ``Coffins,'' which explores just how inventive humanity can be when it is finally set free among the stars. (Oct.)