I’m always pleased to see a new Best of the Year volume join the ranks — especially when it comes from Neil Clarke, one of the most gifted editors in the field. As regular readers of Black Gate are aware, Neil is the Editor-in-Chief and publisher of Clarkesworld and Forever magazines, and he’s been awarded three Hugo Awards, a World Fantasy Award, and a British Fantasy Award. He has a keen and very discerning eye for the best in modern short fiction.
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume One kicks off a handsome new annual series from Night Shade. It’s a thick (512 page) volume, to be released in trade paperback and digital editions this June. It contains 31 short stories, novelettes, and novellas from Aliette de Bodard, Ann Leckie, Carrie Vaughn, David Brin, Geoff Ryman, Ian McDonald, Ken Liu, Nancy Kress, Paul McAuley, Robert Reed, Seanan McGuire, and many others. Here’s the book description.
To keep up-to-date with the most buzzworthy and cutting-edge science fiction requires sifting through countless magazines, e-zines, websites, blogs, original anthologies, single-author collections, and more — a task accomplishable by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the inaugural volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a new yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers.
The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor in chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.
And here’s the complete Table of Contents.
“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds (Interzone, March/April 2015)
“In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
“Outsider” by An Owomeyla (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
“Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie (Future Visions, edited by Microsoft & Melcher Media)
“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper (Mission Tomorrow, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt)
“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, September 2015)
“Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn (The End Has Come, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey)
“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz (PM Press)
“The Smog Society” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan (Lightspeed, August 2015)
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin (Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois)
“Damage” by David D. Levine (Tor.com, January 21, 2015)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip, edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (Uncanny, January/February 2015)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald (Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois)
“Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu (Tor.com, October 17, 2015)
“Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson (Asimov’s, August 2015)
“The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu (The End Has Come, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey)
“Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld, August 2015)
“Cocoons” by Nancy Kress (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
“So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, November 2015)
“No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven (Asimov’s, August 2015)
“Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley (Asimov’s, August 2015)
“Meshed” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, February 2015)
“Empty” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, December 2015)
“Calved” by Sam J. Miller (Asimov’s, September 2015)
“The Audience” by Sean McMullen (Analog, June 2015)
“Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions, edited by Microsoft & Melcher Media)
“Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson (Analog, June 2015)
“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii, Translated by Jim Hubbert (Lightspeed, July 2015)
“The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
I didn’t have the opportunity to read as much short fiction as Neil last year, but a glance at his TOC reveals that a handful of anthologies and magazines dominated the field. Going just by his choices, Meeting Infinity was the strongest anthology of the year (with 4 selections), and Asimov’s, Clarkesworld and Lightspeed the top magazines (with 12 selections between them).
Asimov’s (5 selections)
Meeting Infinity (4 selections)
Clarkesworld (4 selections)
Lightspeed (3 selections)
Old Venus (2 selections)
Future Visions (2 selections)
The End has Come (2 selections)
Analog (2 selections)
Tor.com (2 selections)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume One was edited by Neil Clarke and will be published by Night Shade Books on June 7, 2016. It is 512 pages, priced at $17.99 in trade paperback and $10.99 for the digital edition.
See all our coverage of the best upcoming books here.