The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 6

Jonathan Strahan. Night Shade (www.nightshadebooks.com), $19.99 trade paper (500p) ISBN 978-1-59780-345-8
Strahan’s sixth annual genre-spanning anthology lacks the clarity (or perhaps narrowness) of purpose of a series focusing solely on fantasy or SF, but the 31 selections demonstrate a knowledge of and affection for the fantastic that rival editors would be hard-pressed to match. Strahan draws from sources across the anglosphere, and the stories are written by authors diverse in origin, gender, and age; venerable giants of the field like Peter S. Beagle and Bruce Sterling are accompanied by youthful newcomers like Hannu Rajaniemi and Princeton senior E. Lily Yu. Casting his net wide allows Strahan to harvest noteworthy fiction that more narrow-minded editors might have overlooked, including Libba Bray’s “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls,” a fascinating tale of an unwilling double agent, and Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” a fable of occupation and transformation. Short-fiction fans with broad tastes will enjoy this far-ranging anthology. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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