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The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012

(The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy #4)

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  17 reviews
From the publisher's web site: This fourth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, RJ Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov's, F&SF, S ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published July 4th 2012 by Prime Books (first published July 2nd 2012)
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Aphelia
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I love anthologies like this because they are a great way to find new authors! I bought this mostly for the Neil Gaiman story, which turned out to be disappointingly short, but there were several others I really liked too, especially the last and longest story.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5-Star Highlights:

5. The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, For A Little While" by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy):"'I have all the books I could need, and what more could I need than books? ... I am a practical girl and a life is only so lo
...more
Charles Frierman
A few stories were okay. A lot of them were over-descriptive and very hard to get through with very little reward for doing so. (there is always also the strong possibility that I'm just not on the same level with all these elite thinkers) I got about halfway through and couldn't get motivated to read the rest. Perhaps all the other stories are amazing, or at least down on a level I can appreciate. Maybe one day I'll pick it back up and find out.
Amy
Nov 02, 2012 rated it liked it
The stories I really liked were:

"The Sighted Watchmaker" by Vylar Kaftan
"The Choice" by Paul McAuley
"Windows in the World" by Gavin J. Grant
"The Summer People" by Kelly Link
"Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan
"Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed
"The Last Sophia" by C.S.E. Cooney
"The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu
and of course" The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson

So 9 stories out of 29. All in all, interesting to see what was out there from the previous year.
Jacob
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some stories were better than others, but overall, it's a solid read. I only skipped one: The Last Sophia, by C.S.E Cooney. It was from the perspective of a woman who was in & out of reality, but the attempt to create that narratively was just confusing.

The best of the bunch, in my opinion: "The Man who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson, "Fields of Gold" by Rachel Swirsky, "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu, and "The Adakian Eagle" by Bradley Denton.
Llewellyn
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of these stories were great, some were downright awful, and some were pretty mediocre. I thought the best of the bunch were:

The Adakian Eagle
The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland
Late Bloomer*
Rampion
Younger Women
Canterbury Hollow
The Summer People
Mulberry Boys*
The Silver Wind
A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong
Woman Leaves Room
My Chivalric Fiasco
The Last Sophia
The Man who Bridged the Mist

*Late Bloomer was my favorite, followed by The Mulberry Boys
Richard
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Two stories really stand out to me. The rest wasn't that special. And then there were quite a few which seemed totally out of place in a SF&F collection where the fantasy is reduced to the supernatural set into our regular world.

Some gems: The Sandal-Bride, The Sighted Watchmaker, The Choice, The Man Who Bridged the Mist.

The rest I thought were just alright or less than average.
Samantha
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Some really great stories here, some not so much. Without being negative and naming the poorer stories (some from inexperienced authors who just haven't found their voice yet) here are the highlights:
Late Bloomer
Neil Gaiman
The adaskian Eagle
Birdsong
Fields of Gold
Amy
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I skimmed a few of these, and wasn't caught up. I got this for Valente's Fairyland 0.5 story, and read Neil Gaiman's story as well. Those were great. But all in all it didn't engage me like some other anthologies.
Dan
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
By and large well-curated. Some standouts are sub-par, one or two very sub-par, but this may have been a bad year for speculative fiction. Nonetheless I would encourage the editor to seriously consider whether stories about hipsters meeting vampires truthfully belong in any serious anthology.
Chris Kasten
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Odd mix of stories and styles. I didn't love the majority of them, but yet there were a few that were really great and a couple more that were enjoyable. There were also a bunch that I couldn't even finish.
Jennles
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I loved "The Adakian Eagle", "The Sandal Bride" and "Martian Heart" but most of the other stories bored me to tears after the first page or so. Kind of disappointing. I love short stories but collections are usually a disappointment - will probably just stick to the magazines from now on.
Richelle
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Surprisingly disappointing. Some of the stories weren't very sci-fi/fantasyish at all. There were a few good stories, but mostly by already established authors I already knew about.
Jennifer Turner
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I love short stories, especially science fiction. This one was awesome, I'd recommend this to everyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy.
Cherie
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good stories of science fiction and fantasy, as usual.
Dawn Barnhart
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
4a best of the year book it left things to be desired there was some good stories but I wouldn't think anything works great
Wendy
Not sure if it's my poor attention span and distraction causing me issues (read: yeah, it probably is), but I just couldn't get into many of these short stories at all.
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