From Hugo Award-winning editor Neil Clarke, the best science fiction stories of the year are collected in a single paperback volume.
Keeping up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more―a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy Award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers.
The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.
The 29 stories in Clarke's excellent annual span the SF spectrum, and though they vary significantly in their approaches and tones, many are built around the idea of humankind's often uneasy relationship with advanced technologies. Elizabeth Bear includes both humor and grimness in "Okay, Glory," an account of a smart house that becomes a prison when extortionists hack its AI to blackmail the owner. Alyssa Wong's elegiac "All the Time We've Left to Spend" concerns a fan who spends her life in the company of simulations of dead members of a band she obsessively follows. Both Simone Heller's "When We Were Starless" and Sofia Samatar's "Hard Mary" are set in provincial human enclaves to whom high tech is a near-mystical revelation. Clarke has also selected distinguished stories by Ken Liu, Ian McDonald, Linda Nagata, and other well-known talents whose topics include rogue robots, first contact, and human consciousness downloads. The care with which he has drawn from both print and online sources makes this a year's-best that truly lives up to its title.