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John DeNardo on How to Start Reading Science Fiction: Short Stories

Saturday, June 11th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Year's Best Science Fiction 8 Dozois-smallSF Signal editor John DeNardo has been writing some fine articles for Kirkus Reviews recently — like February’s Speculative Fiction Books You Can’t Miss, and The Best of the Best of 2015. I’ve been browsing through some of his earlier articles, and particularly enjoying his 6-part series on How to Start Reading Science Fiction from 2011. Here’s a snippet from Part 4: Short Stories, which packs in some terrific recommendations for SF readers old and new.

Just like snacks, SF/F anthologies — collections of stories by a variety of authors — come in an assortment of flavors.

Some great anthologies for folks starting down the road of science fiction include Science Fiction 101 edited by Robert Silverberg; The Science Fiction Hall of Fame series, edited by various editors; The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction edited by Arthur B. Evans, et. al.; and The Secret History of Science Fiction edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel — all these offer fantastic, well-rounded selections of stories.

A handful of retrospective anthologies offer editors’ picks for best stories. Popular ones include Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction series, the longest-running retrospective series in print… The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series edited by Jonathan Strahan; [and] The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Year’s Best Fantasy series edited by Rich Horton…

Sometimes anthologies are centered on a common theme… Anthologies don’t necessarily need a theme to be good. Some notable unthemed anthologies include Lou Anders’ Fast Forward series; George Mann’s The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction series; Sharyn November’s Firebirds series; and Jonathan Strahan offers Engineering Infinity, Life on Mars, as well as the Eclipse series of sf/f. Top-notch fiction abounds!

Read the complete article here.

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