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The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twentieth Annual Collection (The Year's Best Science Fiction #20)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Widely regarded as the one essential book for every science fiction fan, The Year's Best Science Fiction (Winner of the 2002 Locus Award for Best Anthology) continues to uphold its standard of excellence with more than two dozen stories representing the previous year's best SF writing. This year's volume includes Ian R. MacLeod, Nancy Kress, Greg Egan, Maureen F. McHugh, R ...more
softcover, 672 pages
Published July 23rd 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
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This is a book I read mainly between May and August 2004 so, in writing a review of it over eight years later, I would not be drawing on any detailed recollections of the stories in this anthology! Rather, I thought I would add some brief handwritten notes I took at the time I read the book. Should I re-read this book at any stage, I might flesh out my comments a bit more.

Ian R. Macleod's novella, 'Breathmoss', is a coming of age tale set on a culturally Arabic planet where the majority of human
Jan 01, 2013 Princessjay marked it as cannot-finish
BREATHMOSS. Ian R. MacLeod. 3.5 STARS.


THE PASSENGER. Paul McAuley. 3 STARS. A working crew in space found themselves with a special passenger(view spoiler). Straight-forward narrative.

THE POLITICAL OFFICER. Charles Coleman Finlay. 2.5 STARS. Claustrophobia & political shenanigans war with one another on a space s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This anthology series is really excellent for the science fiction fan who doesn’t have lots of time to read. I own a copy of an earlier installment of this series, so after reading through two volumes I have to give them two thumbs up. Dozois starts off with a very useful and concise overview of the year in science fiction, ranging from small zines to Hollywood movies. For those of us who are getting into publishing for the first time, this overview is really helpful.

This anthology contain short
Lord Humungus

My copy of this collection is water damaged and well worn. Though it didn't have any "all-time great" pieces, the stories were consistently very good and this would probably be a good collection to start with. In fact I probably bought this as a gift for at least one person.

Great stories by Ian R MacLeod, Kress, McHugh, Sterling, Ian McDonald, John Kessel, Chris Beckett, Geoffrey Ryman, Swanwick, Eleanor Arnason, Kage Baker and Alastair Reynolds. This was probably my first introduction to Kage B
2007 was not a good year for "The Year's Best Science Fiction". Comparatively speaking, this was by far the worst of this annual anthology that I have read yet. There were a few gems in here but all in all, it was dry, anti-climactic, and boring as can be. I was really disappointed with this particular one. Not enough to make me avoid the rest of them because some of the the others have been amazing. But, if you're looking to start reading through all of these I would advise you to grab another ...more
I was only able to get halfway through it. Out of all of the short stories I read, I didn't find a single one that I genuinely liked, and only two got to "OK".

All of the stories seemed to be trying very hard to be artistic and/or weird. At first I was going to go through the entire book because it's a book of short stories - each new story is a chance for a fresh start. But after getting halfway through, I decided to bag it.
If you read one sci-fi book a year, this is the one. Always stories of high caliber with a few tossed in that will keep you thinking weeks later, not to mention the collection is a primer for what science and technology everyone will be talking about five to ten years from now.
12/27/11: "The Passenger" by Paul J. McAuley
12/27/11: "The Millennium Party" by Walter Jon Williams
12/30/11: "The Political Officer" by Charles Coleman Finlay
12/30/11: "Slow Life" by Michael Swanwick
Dec 18, 2009 Jar added it
This is comment, not a review.
Different stories have the same name--Robin--in them. Rather universial, that name.
Best stories:

Halo – Charles Stross
Winters Are Hard – Steven Popkes
The Potter of Bones - Eleanor Arnason
Adam Ross
An excellent anthology of hard science fiction stories and novellas.
Typical collection of short stories, with nothing extraordinary.
Paul Bryant
Nov 01, 2008 Paul Bryant marked it as sf-anthologies-to-finish
Shelves: dozois
Best so far:

In Paradise, Sterling

Loved it as usual with Dozois work.
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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 32 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: Sixth Annual Collection
  • 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
The New Space Opera The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction The New Space Opera 2: All-new stories of science fiction adventure The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection

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“The gifts we received from the dead: those were the world's only genuine gifts. All other things in the world were commodities. The dead were, by definition, those who gave to us without reward. And, especially: our dead gave to us, the living, within a dead context. Their gifts to us were not just abjectly generous, but archaic and profoundly confusing.

Whenever we disciplined ourselves, in some vague hope of benefiting posterity, in some ambition to create a better future beyond our own moment in time, then we were doing something beyond a rational analysis. Those in that future could never see us with our own eyes: they would see us only with the eyes that we ourselves gave to them. Never our own eyes: always with their own. And the future's eyes always saw the truths of the past as blinkered, backward, halting. Superstition.”
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