FEATURING GREG EGAN • YOON HA LEE • NEIL GAIMAN • E LILY YU • K J PARKER • GEOFF RYMAN • M BENNARDO • RAMEZ NAAM • TED CHIANG • PRIYA SHARMA • RICHARD PARKS • LAVIE TIDHAR • THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT • BENJANUN SRIDUANGKAEW • ELEANOR ARNASON • IAN R MACLEOD • SOFIA SAMATAR • AN OWOMOYELA • KARIN TIDBECK • MADELINE ASHBY • CAITLÍN R KIERNAN • ROBERT REED • IAN MCDONALD • VAL NOLAN
From the inner realms of humanity to the far reaches of space, these are the science fiction and fantasy tales that are shaping the genre and the way we think about the future. Multi-award winning editor Jonathan Strahan continues to shine a light on the very best writing, featuring both established authors and exciting new talents.
Within you will find twenty-eight incredible tales, showing the ever growing depth and diversity that science fiction and fantasy continues to enjoy. These are the brightest stars in our firmament, lighting the way to a future filled with astonishing stories about the way we are, and the way we could be.
Strahan remains confident and competent following his series' move to a new publisher. He makes a point of invoking the venerable tradition of "annual snapshot of the SF field," name checking editorial luminaries like Judith Merril, David G. Hartwell, and Gardner Dozois. While there are one or two false notes, such as Val Nolan's interminable "The Irish Astronaut," most of the 28 stories reward reading. Of particular note are Yoon Ha Lee's "Effigy Nights," in which an occupied people turn to books to protect themselves from an occupying force; Eleanor Arnason's "Kormack the Lucky," whose protagonist struggles to win freedom in a world founded on slavery; K.J. Parker's cheerfully amoral "The Sun and I"; and Ian McDonald's comic "The Queen of Night's Aria." Small-press anthologies and independent zines are well represented in the table of contents; the Big Three print magazines are notable mainly by their absence an indication of the evolving face of speculative fiction. Strahan's work doesn't quite achieve Merril's literary range, but it compares favorably with Hartwell's steadfast traditionalism and Dozois's weighty tomes.