Two great stories : R&R by Lucius Shepard and Hatrack River by Orson Scott Card, wonderful prose stylists with a story to tell. The rest is surpri...moreTwo great stories : R&R by Lucius Shepard and Hatrack River by Orson Scott Card, wonderful prose stylists with a story to tell. The rest is surprisingly blah. (less)
This one's actually got a nice cover (many of the others in this series are truly nasty). This was the first Dozois I got, having lapsed from SF years...moreThis one's actually got a nice cover (many of the others in this series are truly nasty). This was the first Dozois I got, having lapsed from SF years previously. Okay, what could possibly be new? I thought. Then I found one cracking story after another - Cilia-of-Gold by Stephen Baxter, Flowering Mandrake by George Turner, a trenchant view of the search for the gay gene in Cocoon by Greg Egan, the wonderful Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick, a funny and moving alternative-Elvis where Jesse survives in the womb, not Elvis, replicates his brother's career precisely except he sees the light, joins the workers' struggle, resists the draft and eventually takes the bullet for Martin Luther King. And more. Anyway, I now have all of Gardner Dozois' large annual collections except the first two which were small-press productions and therefore very rare and sell for stupid prices (hint - how about a reprint?). And science fiction seems to be very healthy - which is surprising. In the days of Wells and Verne and Conan Doyle it was new and engaging. Then in the 20s and 30s it became the pulpiest of all genres, the mags all had insanely lurid covers
It was truly despised. But gradually its potential began to emerge in the 40s and burst into flower in the 50s and 60s. Like the similarly teenage-focused musical genre of rock & roll, it grew and grew until it had taken over vast areas of popular culture. Rock became the default form of popular music after Elvis and SF became the default form of big fat adventure movies after Star Wars. Has there been a kids' movie in the last 20 years which hasn't been SF or fantasy? The big loud in-your-face science fiction is what gets noticed, but underneath all the Hollywood megabudget spinoff hysteria there is still a lot of great writing being done, in the form of short stories and novellas. What Hollywood thinks of as science fiction is what fans think of as space opera, a sub-genre, and you can see the attraction because it's loud and there are a lot of effects, but the SF of sparkling, challenging, convoluted, infuriating and (this was not always the case) beautifully written SF is still here like a river hidden behind a mountain.(less)
After the fun and frolics of the 12th Annual Dozois, which was stuffed with good stories and was responsible for getting me interested in sf again aft...moreAfter the fun and frolics of the 12th Annual Dozois, which was stuffed with good stories and was responsible for getting me interested in sf again after many years of ignoring it, this one thwaps back to earth and shines a screeching white light on some of the less happy aspects of modern sf. It also comes to us with a nasty hipdippy cover featuring whales and dolphins. This bunch were kind of blah, often longwinded blah, except for two great ones, making the this anthology even more annoying because you can't just write the whole anthology off as an unlucky-thirteen bag of bollocks. The two great ones were David Marusek's "We Were Out of Our Minds With Joy" and "Mortimer Gray’s ‘History of Death’" by Brian Stableford - these were exciting, poetic, daring, and they left all the others in the space dust.