The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection • 2015 • SF Anthology by Gardner R. Dozois

★★★★

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Every year, Mr Dozois pulls together a huge anthology of last year’s best SF stories. I came to wait for July when it appears and at the same time fear it because it is really huge and takes a lot of time digging through it and reviewing it. I can’t say if this year is stronger or weaker than other years, but I was missing a mind-blowing story in it. There were some really awesome ones, lots of good stories and only one that I didn’t like, so the overall assessment is that I really liked the anthology.

My favourite ★★★★★ stories were

  • Passage of Earth by Michael Swanwick • review
  • Slipping by Lauren Beukes • review
  • Shooting the Apocalypse by Paolo Bacigalupi • review

Weakest ☆ or ★ stories

  • Weather by Susan Palwick • review

Contents:

  1. ★★★1/2 • “The Fifth Dragon” • novelette by Ian McDonald • dominating families struggle for control on the Moon • review
  2. ★★★1/2 • “The Rider” • Near SF novelette by Jérôme Cigut • AIs use humans as tools on their struggle for supremacy • review
  3. ★★★ “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile” • Space Opera short story by Aliette de Bodard • set in Xuyan future history, a mindship connects to a girl • review
  4. ★★★★“The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini” • alternate universe short story by Chaz Brenchley • Victorian British Empire on Old Mars • review
  5. ★★★★“The Regular” • Near Future SF novella by Ken Liu • Cyborg detective resolves prostitute murder • review
  6. ★★“The Woman from the Ocean” • short story by Karl Bunker • humanity isn’t capable to differentiate between us and them anymore • review
  7. ★★★★1/2 “Shooting the Apocalypse” • CliFi novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi • Arizona’s state border is closed for Texan water refugees • review
  8. “Weather” • posthumanity short story by Susan Palwick • speaking to the cyber-dead • review
  9. ★★★ “The Hand is Quicker” • Near SF novelette by Elizabeth Bear • perception control • review
  10. ★★★★ “The Man Who Sold the Moon” • novella by Cory Doctorow • 3D printing iglos for the burning man • review
  11. ★★★ “Vladimir Chong Chooses to Die” • Central Station short story by Lavie Tidhar • drowning in memories, Vladimir wants to commit suicide • review
  12. ★★★★ “Beside the Damned River” • short story by D. J. Cockburn • European bounty hunter strands in Thai community • review
  13. ★★ “The Colonel” • novelette by Peter Watts • bridge between Blindsight and Echopraxia • review
  14. ★★★★ “Entanglement” • novella by Vandana Singh • optimistic CliFi featuring ordinary people around the world • review
  15. ★★★1/2 “White Curtain” • shortstory by Pavel Amnuel • theory vs. practice of changing the futures • review
  16. ★★★★1/2 • “Slipping” • Near SF sports short story by Lauren Beukes • review
  17. ★★★★★ • “Passage of Earth” • first encounter short story by Michael Swanwick • dissecting and digesting intelligent alien worms • review
  18. ★★★“Amicae Aeternum” • near future SF short story by Ellen Klages • review
  19. ★★★★“In Babelsberg” • short story by Alastair Reynolds • referencing Fritz Lang’s movie „Metropolis“ • review
  20. ★★★“Sadness” by Timons Esaias • absurd posthumanity • review
  21. ★★★★“West to East” • short story by Jay Lake  • the author’s last story • review
  22. ★★★★“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)” • Rachel Swirsky • future golem incorporating the ego of a daughter • review
  23. ★★★1/2 • “Covenant” • Near SF short story by Elizabeth Bear • neurological serial killer turned to be prey • review
  24. ★★★1/2 • “Jubilee” • novelette by Karl Schroeder • hibernated Rome-Julia • review
  25. ★★★ •  “Los Piratas del Mar de Plastico (Pirates of the Plastic Ocean)” • short story by Paul Graham Raven • economy locusts in Spain • review
  26. ★★★ •  “Red Lights, and Rain” • short story by Gareth L. Powell • time travelling vampires in Amsterdam • review
  27. ★★★1/2 • “Coma Kings” • short story by Jessica Barber • gaming addiction • review
  28. ★★ • “The Prodigal Son” • novella set in the Arkwright series by Allen Steele • son needs to get faith for a privately financed starship program • review
  29. ★★★ •  “God Decay” • short story by Rich Larson • cyborg has medical problems • review
  30. ★★★ •  “Blood Wedding” • 2014 • novelette by Robert Reed • review
  31. ★★★★ • “THE LONG HAUL from the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009” • alternative history short story by Ken Liu • review
  32. ★★★ •  “Shadow Flock” • near SF novelette by Greg Egan • heist thriller using drones • review
  33. ★★1/2 • “Thing and Sick” • novelette by Adam Roberts • Fermi’s paradox mixed with Kant’s conceptualism in cold Antarctica • review
  34. ★★★★ • “Communion” • short story by Mary Anne Mohanraj • cannibalistic funeral ritus of aliens • review
  35. ★★★“Someday” • SF short story by James Patrick Kelly • human reproduction on a colonial planet • review
  36. ★★★“Yesterday’s Kin” • first contact SF novella by Nancy Kress • review

Meta: isfdb. This anthology of 36 short stories, novelettes and novellas was published 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin.

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