cover image The Year's Best Science Fiction

The Year's Best Science Fiction

Gardner Dozois. Bluejay Books, $29.95 (624pp) ISBN 978-0-312-15702-9

Dozois again exhibits unswerving judgment in selecting the best SF writing in this 14th annual collection. Maureen P. McHugh shares a peek at her new novel, Mission Child, in which an interplanetary Peace Corps-like project runs amok with bloody consequences. Robert Silverberg tells the reassuring story of lasting wedded bliss among humans who take immortality for granted, while Gwyneth Jones depicts cyberspace as just another hot spot for cheap but necessary sex. The perennial topic of alien invasion is freshened in stories by Cherry Wilder and Walter Jon Williams, both of which are set in the past. The limits of humanity are probed by Pal Park, who envisions a near-future U.S. where politics steers science for its own patriotic purpose, and by Nancy Kress, who imagines a distant cousin of Homo sapiens left to confront the terror and loneliness of the human condition. On a lighter note, Bruce Sterling shows cyberpunk as an unlikely but delightful venue for a witty and comic romp. There's plenty more to be savored in the 28 stories here (and the long list of honorable mentions); where Dozois's nose leads, SF fans will want to follow. (July)