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Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Short Fiction

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  22 reviews
An anthology of award-winning, eye-opening, genre-defining science fiction, fantasy, and horror from's first ten years

"A fresh new story going up at is always an Event." —Charlie Jane Anders

Since it began in 2008 has explored countless new worlds of fiction, delving into possible and impossible futures, alternate and intriguing pasts, and realms of
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by
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4.17  · 
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Tor is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and are coming out with this anthology that showcases some of the best short stories written this decade! Tor is my personal favorite publishing house. Not only have they always been amazing to me, they are putting out some of the most diverse, important, world changing literature on the market right now.

“Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders - ★★
Lord, I feel so bad doing this. But I really didn’t like the first story of the colle
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I love anthologies, but I’ve never read one anywhere near this size, so when I heard that TorDotCom was coming out with a collection of some of their best short stories for their tenth anniversary, I had to check it out. There are so many authors in this collection whose work I’d been dying to pick up, and short stories are such an efficient, wonderful way to get to know a few new authors.

The entire anthology is comprised of sci-fi and fantasy stories, with a touch of light horror here and ther
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Sep 07, 2018 marked it as on-my-shelf
There are forty stories in all within this collection, and basically, I'm terrified.

→Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders←
→Damage by David D. Levine←
→The Best We Can by Carrie Vaugn←
→The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin←
→A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel by Yoon Ha Lee←

→Waiting on a Bright Moon by J.Y. Yang← ★★★☆☆
✔I first read this here.

→Elephants and Corpses by Kameron Hurley←
→About Fairies by Pat Murphy←
→The Hanging Game by Helen Marshall←
→The Water That Falls
Hélène Louise
I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read this anthology, as I frequently feeling lazy towards short stories: most of the time I have to make an effort to begin a new story and, for a very short one, I may be frustrated by its shortness if I liked it or disgruntled to have spent some time and efforts for nothing if I didn't. This was the very occasion to make acquaintance with some unknown authors, to read more of others I like, or to try again with some I didn't appreciated in the past ...more
Peter Tillman
Great to see the publisher's selection of the "Best of So Far" as a handsome hardcover, courtesy of the Santa Barbara public library. I'll have some comments on individual stories, but they are all (I believe) still available at the website. The biggest omission from the book is the wonderful story art!
Some highlights:
My first reread was “Your Orisons May Be Recorded” by Laurie Penny, which I *loved* on first reading, and liked even more on reread. 5+ stars! https://www.goodreads
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
anthologies are always mixed in terms of quality, but this is a better anthology than most, with a solid hit rate. I loved getting to revisit The City Born Great, A Kiss With Teeth, and The Cage.

of the stories I hadn't read before, I particularly liked David Levine's Damage (We Love Ships Who Love Their Pilots In Complicated Ways), John Chu's The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere, Haralambi Markov's The Language of Knives (i am extremely over fiction about dead parents, but this one is really
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing has been my go-to for amazing short stories (of a variety of length) for a while now and this collection really highlights why. The stories are crazy and sweet and original and thought-provoking. And the authors (and the characters in the stories!) are all from diverse backgrounds.

Like most short story collections, there are highlights and less-highlights. For me, there were three standouts:

David Levine: Damage. I love science fiction that has robots/ships/mechanical things with human
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
I received a copy of Worlds Seen in Passing through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I'm unable to share all of them on here, because of the character limit. If you're curious about the rest, check out my blog.

This has to be one of the most impressive collection of short stories I’ve read in a long time. This year marks the tenth year that Tor has been publishing fiction, and this was their way of celebrating their success. What a way to celebrate, right?
Worlds Seen in Pas
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved making my way through this anthology. All the stories were top-notch, and I enjoyed reading well-executed stories in subgenres I wouldn't normally think to pick up.

Just a few of the stories I particularly enjoyed:

"Six Months, Three Days" by Charlie Jane Anders
"'There are a million tracks, you know. It's like raindrops falling into a cistern, they're separate until they hit the surface, and then they become the past: all undifferentiated. But there are an awful lot of futures wh
Dec 08, 2018 marked it as to-read
I've already read about half of these, but since some of those are among my favorite short stories and I am a huge fan of many of the other writers, I think I would be remiss not to read the rest.
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve been generally impressed with’s fiction, but I’m always running behind on their short stories. When I saw this “Best of” anthology up on Netgalley, I thought it was the perfect chance to catch up. And so far, Worlds Seen in Passing is my favorite short fiction anthology of 2018.

I was already familiar with some of the stories in the collection, either from anthologies collecting “best of the year” stories or from reading them on’s site. For the most part, I didn’t reread them
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
A lot of OK stories but as I read more and more I felt depressed. About of the way through I realized what was bothering me. The book surprisingly lacks diversity. This may seem odd but it is true. These stories have a stultifying uniform political correctness. Part of my disappointment also stems from the fact that most of the stories are in the fantasy (or magic realism camp) and not science fiction (which I would prefer). They are exclusively written from the perspective of college humanitie ...more
Akemi G.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent anthology of contemporary SFF.
Here are a few stories I particularly like:

Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky
Whether AI is capable to love is a big theme in SF. And for that matter, do humans know what it is? Like, there was a movie that seemed to define love as irreversible attachment; I respectfully disagree. Love in the absence of free will is not love, no matter how sweet or passionate it may be.

This novelette is beautiful. Even with the controversial Oedipal issue.

The Best We C
Laura Newsholme
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a comprehensive collection this is with stories from such talented authors as N. K. Jemisin, JY Yang, Seth Dickinson and many others. Spanning ten years of, one would expect the stories to be excellent and they are. Obviously not each story will be to everyone's taste and there are some in the collection that I definitely enjoyed far more than others, but I don't think it would be possible to find a more all-encompassing collection that so successfully showcases the breadth of talen ...more
Dan Polley
My favorites:

"Six Months, Three Days"
"The Best We Can"
"Waiting on a Bright Moon"
"Elephants and Corpses"
"About Fairies"
"The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere"
"Brimstone and Marmalade"
"The Shape of My Name"
"Eros, Philia, Agape"
"The Lady Astronaut of Mars"
"A Kiss with Teeth"
"The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections"
"Breaking Water"
"Your Orissons May Be Recorded"
"The Cage"
"Among the Thorns"
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like any story or essay collection, there are some hits and some misses, but the majority of these stories are compelling. Tor has pulled in so many of the best authors working in SFF these days, it makes for an enjoyable and occasionally surprising reading experience.
Catherine Linna
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This was a great introduction to 21st century sci-fi and fantasy. I DNF’d Jeff VanderMeer’s story (and I like to think I have an above-average tolerance for strangeness...). I really enjoyed almost all the others.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Easily one of the best collections of SF short stories that I've read. Very 21st century in attitude and content.
Karla Winick-Ford
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading them to help my writing, was inspiring. Very creative thoughts collected and bound. Thank you for contributing to the literature.
arkadi cloud
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book #30 in my Reading Challenge 2019
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