cover image Year’s Best SF 18

Year’s Best SF 18

David G. Hartwell. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3820-4

The 18th volume in this venerable series is marked by changes in format (formerly mass market), publisher (formerly Harper Voyager), and the return to solo editing by Hartwell (formerly paired with Kathryn Cramer). A gender-balanced selection of 28 stories draws primarily on the talents of American authors, though authors from Britain, Canada, India, and France also appear. Hartwell acknowledges the emergence of a new crop of SF writers and does include relatively new talents like Yoon Ha Lee and Indrapramit Das, but the focus is on veterans with decades of experience, like Gene Wolfe, Megan Lindholm, and Pat Cadigan. Stories of particular note include Lee’s mannerist space opera, “The Battle of Candle Arc”; Sean McMullen’s informed steampunk tale, “Electrica”; and Linda Nagata’s elegant police procedural, “Nahiku West.” Hartwell’s introduction laments the decline of particular elements of short SF, but this anthology makes it clear that the field is still well able to surprise and entertain. (Dec.)