Ten years ago Rich Horton, who’d already published several highly detailed survey articles in the print edition of Black Gate (including “Building the Fantasy Canon: the Classic Anthologies of Genre Fantasy” and “The Big Little SF Magazines of the 1970s”) wrote the first installment of what was to become a highly ambitious series: Rich Horton’s Virtual Best of the Year.
Rich surveyed virtually every piece of short fiction published in the genre in 2005 (an astounding 9.5+ million words), and compiled a list of the best, and we published it here at Black Gate. He repeated that feat in 2006 and 2007, and his reports on the field became more in-depth and insightful each year.
In 2006, Rich also began publishing two anthologies with Prime Books: Fantasy: The Best of the Year and Science Fiction: The Best of the Year. In 2009 those books merged into one massive volume, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, which quickly became one of the most respected and acclaimed anthology series in our industry. It has been published every year since.
Last week Prime Books released the cover of the 2016 edition (at right, click for bigger version), the eighth volume in the series, alongside the Table of Contents. This one contains fiction from C.S.E. Cooney, Kelly Link, Vonda M. McIntyre, Catherynne M. Valente, Naomi Kritzer, Seanan McGuire, Chaz Brenchley, Elizabeth Bear, Ian McDonald, Geoff Ryman, Genevieve Valentine, and many others.
Here’s the complete TOC.
“The Daughters of John Demetrius” by Joe Pitkin (Analog)
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Analog)
“Twelve and Tag” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Asimov’s)
“Mutability” by Ray Nayler (Asimov’s)
“Acres of Perhaps” by Will Ludwigsen (Asimov’s)
“Unearthly Landscape by a Lady” by Rebecca Campbell (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“The King in the Cathedral” by Rich Larson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“Little Sisters” by Vonda M. McIntyre (Book View Cafe)
“The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld)
“Asymptotic” by Andy Dudak (Clarkesworld)
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld)
“Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker (Clarkesworld)
“The Deepwater Bride” by Tamysn Muir (F&SF)
The Two Paupers by C.S.E. Cooney (Fairchild Books)
“Hello Hello” by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions)
“The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red, Red Coal” by Chaz Brenchley (Lightspeed)
“Time Bomb Time” by C.C. Finlay (Lightspeed)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed)
“The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club” by Nike Sulway (Lightspeed)
“My Last Bringback” by John Barnes (Meeting Infinity)
“Drones” by Simon Ings (Meeting Infinity)
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” by Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Idea Countness Rathagan” by Ian McDonald (Old Venus)
“The Graphology of Hemorrhage” by Yoon Ha Lee (Operation Arcana)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip)
“The Game of Smash and Recovery” by Kelly Link (Strange Horizons)
“This Evening’s Performance” by Genevieve Valentine (The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk)
“Please Undo This Hurt” by Seth Dickinson (Tor.com)
“Consolation” by John Kessel (Twelve Tomorrows)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang (Uncanny)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction 2016 will be published by Prime Books in June 2016.
We’ve covered several previous volumes of Rich Horton’s Year’s Best:
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2012
The Year’s Best SF & Fantasy 2011
The Year’s Best SF & Fantasy 2009
Rich Horton’s Virtual Best of the Year: 2007
Rich Horton’s Virtual Best of the Year: 2006
Rich Horton’s Virtual Best of the Year: 2005
See all of our coverage of the best upcoming fantasy books here.