Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection” as Want to Read:
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection (The Year's Best Science Fiction #29)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  389 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life & art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: 29th Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas ...more
ebook, 704 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Year's Best Science Fiction, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Year's Best Science Fiction

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Earl Biringer
Individual stories rated as follows:
5* - A classic.
4* - A really good story, recommended reading.
3* - A decent story
2* - Not a good story, something seriously inhibited any enjoyment
1* - Unreadable and/or a complete waste of time

I'll try to give a brief reason for each story whose rating deviates from the default three stars.

McAuley, Paul: "The Choice" ***

Moles, David: "A Soldier Of The City" ***

Broderick, Damien: "The Beancounter's Cat" ***

Bear, Elizabeth: "Dolly" ***

Barnes, John: "Martian Hea
Erik Graff
May 11, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: sf
I've not read much science fiction in recent years, intending instead to devote my reading to nonfiction. A gift, however, has power. Since it was so recommended, I gave the Dozois collection a chance and was impressed. I don't know if it's representative of the current sf genre or if it's a matter of editorial preferance, but the quality of the writing was very good--much better than I'd come to expect from a fair sampling of the science fiction classics of the twentieth century.
Voodoo Shampoo
Aug 13, 2016 Voodoo Shampoo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This year's collection was alarmingly bad! I won't buy Dozois's anthologies ever again, simply because quality kept dropping year after year since i first started reading these yearly collections.

The following reviews on amazon further reveal how i feel about these stories:

This book doesn't contain the years best and for most part they ARE NOT SCIENCE FICTION.

1st story - The Choice by Paul McAuley : very slow
Jan 27, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason this collection had a lot less of interesting novels than I'm used to in this series. I guess I'm either just getting picky, or it was just a bad year for scifi, or maybe Dozois has a different taste from mine. I don't know what happened here, but not too many short stories in here made an impression. There were even a few that I just wished would be done already, but can't even remember their names anymore. Might be partly because I read this in pieces, a few short stories ther ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it
I always look forward to receiving this anthology. I enjoy short stories (probably due to short attention span problems...) and eagerly await the latest edition. And I usually enjoy the heck out of the stories.


This year's selections seemed to be a bit pedestrian. Or maybe my tastes have changed a bit. Of the selections I had not already read (I have a subscription to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), there were few that blew me away and I even had to quit reading one about ha
Jul 31, 2013 Leilani rated it really liked it
Started reading this just after it came out, and I have finished it just after the next volume was released. Being able to read this in a e-version instead of carting around a massive tome helped, in that I could read stories every now & then on my lunch break, but it still took so long that I've forgotten which ones I particularly liked.
I love the longevity and dependability of this series and Dozois's excellent choices, but I can't remember the last time I actually read one from cover to
Yes, that's right...after more than two years of on-and-off reading of this book (only during my lunch hour, in between waiting for holds to come in) I have finally finished this impressive tome. Sadly, I do not have the clearest memory of several of the stories within. However, overall I can confidently say that I enjoyed it, and that I appreciated getting a taste of many different authors and styles. My library currently owns volumes 27-32 of this series, so I think next time I am between hold ...more
Clay Brown
Feb 22, 2014 Clay Brown rated it really liked it
A Tour De Force!
-Kindle Clay’s Review of Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction 29th Collection (2012) (48)
A feat requiring great virtuosity or strength, often deliberately undertaken for its difficulty

Here is the next Chapter in Science Fiction by Gardner Dozois, the 29th year in fact of this Venerable Collection.

This is the one yearly Anthology that we try not to miss. This time we’ll put in some excerpts of some if not most of the Short Stories and have a summation at the end or the qua
Apr 02, 2013 Kendra rated it did not like it
Quite possibly the worst anthology I've ever tried to read.
There is a vast amount of science fiction published in any given year. For almost thirty years Gardner Dozois has culled through the published stories to compile The Year's Best Science Fiction. This edition contains a breadth of stories that spans from fantasy and horror to hard science fiction and space opera. The anthology was included in my reading for a summer course at the University of Chicago. In addition to preparation for our discussion each week the stories share another aspect that k ...more
Alison C
Mar 13, 2015 Alison C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every year, I look forward to Gardner Dozois's anthology, The Year's Best Science Fiction, this year up to the Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection. I'm a fan of short-length science fiction, but these days regularly only read one magazine in that genre, so this volume gives me the chance to discover the best work in that format from the previous year. Of course, my taste and that of Dozois are not identical, and there are stories here that did not appeal to me (mostly the farther ranges of the "hard ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it

"The Choice" – Paul McAuley
"A Soldier of the City" – David Moles
"The Beancounter's Cat" - Damien Broderick
"Dolly" – Elizabeth Bear *
"Martian Heart" – John Barnes *
"Earth Hour" – Ken MacLeod **
"Laika's Ghost" – Karl Schroeder
"The Dala Horse" – Michael Swanwick
"The Way It Works Out and All" – Peter S. Beagle
"The Ice Owl" – Carolyn Ives Gilman *
"The Copenhagen Interpretation" – Paul Cornell
"The Invasion of Venus" – Stephen Baxter
"Digging" – Ian McDonald
"Ascension Day" – Alastair Reynolds
Stories are generally high quality, as one should expect from a Year's Best anthology. Many won awards in other venues this year. There were only two stories I was unable to finish.

My favorite of the bunch is Michael Swanwick's "The Dala Horse," a seamless blending of Scandinavian fairy tale and far-future science fiction.

One theme that pops up several times is nostalgia for the Cold War, and the old Soviet Union.

There is also a notable lack of optimism and joy in these stories. Many have tragic
Voodoo Shampoo
Aug 11, 2016 Voodoo Shampoo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1st story - The Choice by Paul McAuley : very slow paced and very long introduction into a boring and not very plausible world build. For example humans sell the secret of coca cola to aliens.
Overall a dull story bombarded with descriptive narrative trying to make a poorly thought sci-fi idea look interesting. You can skip this story half way through as it's rather disappointing in regards of how poor the idea itself is.
In fact it's 3.5 pages worth of story diluted into 35 pages.
(view spoiler)
May 08, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Huge collection, and I'd rate most of the contributions as solid "B"s. The only real duds, I thought, were the Moles, the MacLeod, the Baxter, the Valente and the Tidhar.

But you really shouldn't miss Michael Swanwick's first story, Ryman's, the Kletcha/Buckell, Flynn (great use of language), Yoon Ha Lee (nanotech origami!), Hawkins, Ball (future spaghetti western SF) and especially the capper, by Kij Johnson, which is full of likeable people doing good work in a strange environment.

Money Lines:
Robert Hepple
Feb 09, 2016 Robert Hepple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mammoth Book of the Best New SF 25 was published in 2012 and includes 36 stories first published in 2011, each with a short intro about the author excepting a couple of instances where more than one story by that author is included. A lengthy foreword summarises the years developments in the genre, whilst an afterword lists other good stories from the year that failed to make the list. The use of the term ‘best’ is bound to be subjective, but I did find most of the stories rather good with o ...more
Joshua Isaac
Jun 16, 2015 Joshua Isaac rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
It took me a very long time to read this, but one of my favorite stories was the last: "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" - Kij Johnson

I really enjoy these anthologies. The stories are short, so you get the cool sci-fi idea without the author being forced to invent some book length plot. One downside is it can sometimes be hard to get into a new story every half-hour or so, but the counter-argument is that you're not stuck in a story you don't like for very long. Great read!
Jeanette Greaves
This is more of a mixed bag than I'm used to from this editor's choices. I've been dipping into it for a few weeks now. I struggled to manage even a page or two of some stories, but others were an absolute delight. There are a couple from the anthology 'Engineering Infinity' which I read last year and loved, so it was a bit of a treat to meet them again. Special mention to the Gwyneth Jones story for being amazing.
Stephen Graham
Feb 04, 2013 Stephen Graham rated it really liked it
Dozois is always my favored Best of the Year Collection. Particular favorites in this volume were Elizabeth Bear's "Dolly", Karl Schroeder's "Laika's Ghost", Michael Swanwick's "The Dala Horse", Catherynne Valente's "Silently and Very Fast", Tom Purdom's "A Response from EST17" and Kij Johnson's "The Man Who Bridged the Mist". Whether the last is science fiction is debatable; it's about the effects of technology on lives but it's arguably a secondary-world fantasy.
May 26, 2013 Laurie rated it liked it
Like all compilations it had its ups and downs. I felt it started off slow, meaning the earlier stories were not as good as the later ones, but all in all it was enjoyable. I had some favorites: "Silently and Very Fast" and "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" were both quite beautiful. "The Incredible Exploding Man" was creative, and truly made use of the science in science fiction. "The Cold Step Beyond" was also good: somehow tragic, horrific, and sweet all at the same time.
May 11, 2016 Lana rated it really liked it
Though many stories in this collection were good, I had trouble figuring out how they were classified as science fiction.

I had trouble making myself finish this one. It took me well over two months, with several renewals, as opposed to two or three days to read an average book.

I might try another of these collections, probably will, but I will adjust my expectations before I do so.
Lord Humungus
Sep 02, 2013 Lord Humungus rated it really liked it
Maybe I'm growing soft in my old age, but this collection had a substantial number of good and/or memorable stories, and one story that I really really liked. Cumulatively, I think that adds up to 4 stars rather than 3.

I liked this particular collection enough to buy it for a friend, which I don't always do for this series.
Spike Gomes
Oct 17, 2012 Spike Gomes rated it really liked it
I've been reading these collections since high school, so for nearly 20 years. It's one of the highlights of my summer. While this isn't the best of 'em, it's still pretty damn good. As always, I feel the strongest stories bookend the collection. Granted, the avid reader of hard science fiction is going to be a bit disappointed, but I'm not one of them.
Sep 18, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
I would rate about one-third of the stories as good SF, and about six of those as great. I admit that I'm a little picky (I like writers with a solid command of the English language and stories that keep me awake!). My favorites: A Response from EST17 by Tom Purdon, The Dala Horse by Michael Swanwick, and The Vorkuta Event by Ken MacLeod.
David Marshall
Nov 13, 2012 David Marshall rated it really liked it
This easily matches the high standard set in this long-running series of anthologies. This is a must read for everyone who, like me, does not read the magazines but likes to keep up with what's good in the short story field.
David Scrimshaw
Feb 01, 2015 David Scrimshaw rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Some excellent stories. But I am in the mood for novels and series right now. I like reading the anthologies to find new authors to try, but I don't think there was a single author in this that I didn't already know.
Baal Of
May 13, 2013 Baal Of rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can always count on this series of collections, and this volume is no disappointment. Consistently high quality stories, with only a few of them not being to my taste. The final story by Kij Johnson was an outstanding closer.
Jul 15, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it
A good but not great collection. A couple of standouts by Peter Beagle, Jim Hawkins, and Kij Johnson. This is always a good way to catch up on the year's short Science Fiction if you don't get the magazines.
Dec 31, 2012 Thomas rated it really liked it
My favorites: Dolly (Elizabeth Bear), Martian Heart (John Barnes), Silently and Very Fast (Catherine M. Valento), A Militant Peace (David Klecha and Tobias S. Buckell), The Man Who Bridged the Mist (Kij Johnson)
Sue Davis

Good stories:
"The Choice" Paul Mcauley
"The Ice Owl" Carolyn Ives Gilman
"The Invasion of Venus" Stephen Baxter
"after the Apocalypse" Maureen McHugh (also in her collection of the same tittle).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 6
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2012
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012
  • The Best of Michael Swanwick
  • Best New Horror 23 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #23)
  • The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2012
  • Some of the Best from 2012 Edition
  • Lightspeed: Year One
  • A Liaden Universe® Constellation: Volume Two
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories
  • The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six
  • Year's Best SF 6
  • Upgraded
  • Aliens: Recent Encounters
  • Ancient, Ancient
Gardner Raymond Dozois (born July 23, 1947) is an American science fiction author and editor. He was editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine from 1984 to 2004. He has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, both as an editor and a writer of short fiction.
Wikipedia entry: Gardner R. Dozois
More about Gardner R. Dozois...

Other Books in the Series

The Year's Best Science Fiction (1 - 10 of 33 books)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Second Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventh Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Ninth Annual Collection
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Tenth Annual Collection

Share This Book

“He was annoyed at his anger. He had failed to contain himself.” 0 likes
More quotes…