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Reviews of Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection, the (1996)

Review by clong (2007-03-05)
Another solid collection from editor Gardner Dozois, this one covering short fiction initially published in 1995. I found my responses to the individual stories pretty well split, although I can say that even in some of the stories that didn't really work for me I could acknowledge the author's efforts to take on an interesting, or intriguing or novel topic. I found it interesting that many of these stories were about artists or the future.

My favorites included "Starship Day" by Ian MacLeod, a story which had me quite skeptical until everything clicked together near the end; "Death in the Promised Land" by Pat Cadigan, a fairly average little detective story set within one of the more compelling VR descriptions I can remember reading; "The Death of Captain Future" by Allen Steele, a story that offered plenty of adventure and humor, with a little dollop of unexpected pathos at the end; "Radio Waves" by Michael Swanwick, a very original story about the hereafter; and my personal favorite "Looking for Kelly Dahl" by Dan Simmons.

The biggest disappointment was Greg Egan’s “Luminous,” where I found both the basic premise, and how people responded thereto, not to be even slightly credible. There were quite a few stories that I rated as only “average,” including Maureen McHugh's Hugo winning "The Lincoln Train."

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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