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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 1

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 1 - Christopher Rowe, Paul Di Filippo, Tim Powers, Gene Wolfe, Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, Jeffrey Ford, Ian McDonald, Jonathan Strahan, Ellen Klages, Robert Charles Wilson, Margo Lanagan, M. Rickert, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Elizabeth Hand, Paolo Bacigalupi, Robert Reed, Jay Lake, Pe

For the first time ever, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan has assembled the best science fiction and the best fantasy stories of the year in one volume. More than just two books for the price of one, this book brings together over 200,000 words of the best genre fiction anywhere. Strahan's critical eye and keen editorial instincts have served him well for earlier best of the year round-ups in the Best Short Novels, Science Fiction: Best of and Fantasy: Best of series, and this is his most impressive effort yet.


An interesting collection—in anthologies like this one, a reader will obviously encounter some stories that they enjoy more than others. I do have to say, however, there was only one that I found rather opaque and several that I really, really enjoyed.

My favourites:

In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages, which I have reviewed separately.

I, Row-Boat by Cory Doctorow, a tale of a sentient machine (said row-boat) who ponders Asimovian philosophy and the nature of life.

The Night Whiskey by Jeffrey Ford, in which a whiskey distilled from a certain fruit can provide the drinker with a one night encounter with a dead friend or family member. The amount of whiskey is limited & distributed by lottery in the small town where this plant grows.

Eight Episodes by Robert Reed, in which a television show of debatable provenance seems to be manipulating people into abandoning space exploration—or is it?

D.A. by Connie Willis, which, as the introductions states, hails back to Robert A. Heinlein, but this time with women that I can actually admire. Hectically paced, smart, and funny.

A worthwhile read if you enjoy SF/F short stories.