Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and F&SF

Clarkesworld 3/18 Lightspeed 3/18 F&SF 3-4/18

The best story in the March Clarkesworld, and one of the best stories published so far this year, is “The Persistence of Blood” by Juliette Wade. This is a novella set in the midst of a complex alien culture made up of several different, rigidly enforced castes (as far as I can tell, no humans appear in the story), with the ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed

Asimov’s 3-4/18 Analog 3-4/18 Clarkesworld 2/18 Lightspeed 2/18

The March/April Asimov’s is a strong issue. Ray Nayler’s “A Threnody for Hazan” is melancholy story about a scientist who is trying to develop a dangerous, potently fatal method of time-travel, and her complex relation­ship with her colleague (and, eventually, lover) who is willing to give up everything in order to support her, even if it means losing her. ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies and The Father of Lies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2/1/18, 2/15/18 The Father of Lies, K.J. Parker (Subterra­nean) January 2018.

Science-fantasy” is a slippery term, one that’s changed over time, as demonstrat­ed in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, issues #244 and #245, the annual science-fantasy double issue. Using the strictest definition, any story that features “impossible” technol­ogy, technology far in advance of what can be achieved by today’s technical capabilities, is “science-fantasy.” I give a break to ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed

Asimov’s 1-2/18 Analog 1-2/18 F&SF 1-2/18 Clarkesworld 1/18 Lightspeed 1/18

2018 is off to a good start – perhaps nothing exceptional enough to make the Hugo bal­lots was published in January, but there was lots of good, entertaining reading.

The January/February Asimov’s featured solid storytelling that took us to a number of exotic lo­cales. “Barren Isle” by Allen M. Steele takes us back to the still partially unexplored ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Analog, and F&SF

Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collec­tion of Space Futures, Ed Finn & Joey Eschrich, eds. (Arizona State University) December 2017. Lightspeed 12/17 Asimov’s 11-12/17 Analog 11-12/17 F&SF 11-12/17

With 2018 looming on the horizon, only a few days away as I write these words, let’s do some mop-up of things I haven’t covered yet.

Last month we discussed futurology/Think Tank anthologies. The strongest of this grouping snuck in under ...Read More

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2017 Year-in-Review by Gardner Dozois

Last year I mentioned that most of the stories I was seeing were of short-story length, with few long novelettes or no­vellas. Although perhaps most of this year’s stories were still of short-story length, this year saw a dramatic resur­gence of novellas. By one count, there were over 80 novellas published in the SF/fantasy/horror genres in 2017. Most of these were published as standalone chapbooks, and the ambitious new pro­gram ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Clarkesworld

Clarkesworld 6/17, 7/17, 8/17, 9/17, 10/17, 11/17, 12/17

The last half of the year was uneven for Clarkes­world; while a few of the issues were unexciting, they also published some of the year’s best stories along the way.

The June Clarkesworld was another good issue, with three strong stories, “My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun” by Julia K. Patt, which follows the owner of ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction

Global Dystopias, Junot Díaz, ed. (Boston Re­view) November 2017.

Children of a Different Sky, Alma Alexander, ed. (Kos Books) November 2017.

Mad Hatters and March Hares, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor) December 2017.

There’s no pretense of optimism about the future in Global Dystopias, a special issue of the Boston Review edited by Junot Díaz. The title tells you just what you’re going to get, and most ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Shadows & Reflections, Omni, and The Hainish Novels and Stories

Shadows & Reflections: Stories from the Worlds of Roger Zelazny, Trent Zelazny & Warren Lapine, eds. (Positronic Publishing) 9/17.

Omni Winter ’17

The Hainish Novels and Stories, Ursula K. Le Guin (Library of America) August 2017.

In the last few years, we’ve had trib­ute anthologies dedicated to Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg, Poul Anderson, and Samuel R. Delany, and now we have one dedicated to Roger Zelazny: ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World edited by David Brin & Stephen W. Potts

Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World, David Brin & Stephen W. Potts, eds. (Tor) January 2017.

Last month we discussed one grouping that the year’s original SF anthologies naturally falls into: the space opera/mili­tary SF group. The other major group is what we probably could call futurology anthologies, featuring near-future stories that deal with the effect of technological change on society. Many of them concern the reshaping ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction

Infinity Wars, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris) September 2017. Infinite Stars, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, ed. (Titan) October 2017.

There were a number of original SF anthologies this year that presented themselves as offering a mix of space opera and military SF, among them the two anthologies under consideration here, Infinity Wars, edited by Jonathan Strahan, and Infinite Stars: The Definitive Anthology of Space Op­era and Military SF, ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction 8/9/17, 7/19/17, 8/2/17, 5/17/17 F&SF 9-10/17 Overview: Stories of the Stratosphere, Mi­chael G. Bennett, Joey Eschrich & Ed Finn, eds. (ASU Center for Science and the Imagination) August 2017. has had a run of strong stories in the past couple of months. Best of them is Greg Egan‘s “Uncanny Valley“, posted on August 9, which deals shrewdly and poignantly with the question of whether ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction

A Flight to the Future, Kathryn Cramer, ed. (XPrize/ANA). The Best of Subterranean, William Schafer, ed. (Subterranean Press) July 2017.

A Flight to the Future is a multimedia proj­ect edited by Kathryn Cramer (although Eric Desatnik is also listed as “Creator and Producer”). Sponsored by XPrize and the Japanese airline company ANA, A Flight to the Future collects 30 very short stories, many by leading science fiction authors, ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Extrasolar by Nick Gevers, ed.

Extrasolar, Nick Gevers, ed. (PS Publishing) August 2017.

For the last several years, I’ve proclaimed one book or another by Jonathan Strahan to be the Best Science Fiction Anthology of the Year, but this year Extrasolar, edited by Nick Gevers, may give Strahan a decent run for his money. Unlike many of Gevers’s past Postscripts an­thologies, which have tended toward slipstream and soft horror with only a ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction

Clarkesworld 2/17, 3/17, 4/17, 5/17

The best story in the February Clarkes­world is “Assassins” by Jack Skilling­stead & Burt Courtier, which makes good use of a clever idea: an assassin who “kills” popular characters in computer games rather than people in real life – something that eventually leads her to be targeted by a rival who wants to do the same thing to her, or, rather, to ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction: August 2017

Lightspeed 1/17, 2/17, 3/17, 4/17, 5/17 Wired 1/17

Online magazine Lightspeed got off to a bit of a weak start in 2017, with the reprint stories stronger than the original stories in both the January issue (reprints by James S.A. Corey and Mary Rosenblum) and the February issue (reprints by Ian R. MacLeod and Seanan McGuire), although there were solid but unex­ceptional stories such as “Nine-Tenths of the Law ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction, June 2016

Asimov’s 4-5/16 1/6/16 – 4/13/16

Lightspeed 4/16

Slate 4/26/16

The April/May Double Issue of Asimov’s is a substantial one, full of good stories, almost all of them core SF. Probably few if any will make awards ballots next year, but taken together in entertainment value they make the issue more than worth the money it takes to buy it. The best story here is also the most ambitious one:

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction, April 2016

Clarkesworld 1/16, 2/16 Asimov’s 2/16 Interzone 1-2/16

Clarkesworld is off to a good start in 2016, with two strong issues in January and February. (As a conflict-of-interest disclaimer, I’m the reprints editor for Clarkesworld, but since I have absolutely nothing to do with the selection of the original fiction, it seems like I ought to be able to get away with reviewing it as I would stuff from any other

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Gardner Dozois reviews Ian R. MacLeod

Frost on Glass, Ian R. MacLeod (PS Publishing) May 2015.

This month brings another early contender for the title of Best Collection of the Year, Frost on Glass by Ian R. MacLeod, a collection of 11 stories and copious interstitial material (forewords, afterwords, and autobiographical non-fiction pieces), mixing science fiction, fantasy, and harder-to-classify slipstreamish stuff. It’s hard not to compare this to Ian McDonald’s collection, The Best of

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