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The End of an Era: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

The Year’s Best Science Fiction Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection-small The Year’s Best Science Fiction Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection-back-small

We lost Gardner Dozois last month. It was a terrible blow to the field. I’ve seen plenty of somber discussion among fans about whether or not Gardner was the finest editor science fiction has ever seen, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s in the running.

Gardner devoted his entire career to science fiction, and his accomplishments were extraordinary. He won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor 15 times during his 19-year tenure at Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Nineteen years is an amazing run, but it’s barely half the 35 years he spent as editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, the de facto SF yearbook. I read the sixth volume in 1989 and I’ve looked forward to every one ever since.

The last volume will be published in less than two week, and its publication is bittersweet. It’s not the final book we’ll have from Gardner. His huge fantasy anthology The Book of Magic — with brand new stories by George R.R. Martin, John Crowley, Tim Powers, Scott Lynch, Eleanor Arnason, Garth Nix, Ysabeau Wilce, Liz Williams, Kate Elliott, and many others — is coming in October, and The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction is scheduled to be published in February. But the arrival of the final Dozois Year’s Best is very definitely the end of an era.

There will never be another editor like him. Cherish this book while you can.

Here’s the complete table of contents.

THE MOON IS NOT A BATTLEFIELD, Indrapramit Das
MY ENGLISH NAME, R.S. Benedict
AN EVENING WITH SEVERYN GRIMES, Rich Larson
VANGUARD 2.0, Carter Scholz
STARLIGHT EXPRESS, Michael Swanwick
THE MARTIAN OBELISK, Linda Nagata
WE WHO LIVE IN THE HEART, Kelly Robson
WINTER TIMESHARE, Ray Nayler
DEAR SARAH, Nancy Kress
NIGHT PASSAGE, Alastair Reynolds
THE DRAGON THAT FLEW OUT OF THE SUN, Aliette de Bodard
WAITING OUT THE END OF THE WORLD IN PATTY’S PLACE CAFE, Naomi Krtizer
THE HUNGER AFTER YOU’RE FED, James S.A. Corey
ASSASSINS, Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courtier
THE MARTIAN JOB, Jaine Fenn
THE ROAD TO THE SEA, Lavie Tidhar
UNCANNY VALLEY, Greg Egan
THE WORDLESS, Indrapramit Das
PAN HUMANISM: HOPE AND PRAGMATICS, Jessica Barber and Sara Saab
ZIGEUNER, Harry Turtledove
THE PROVING GROUND, Alec Nevala-Lee
ZEN AND THE ART OF SPACESHIP MAINTENANCE, Tobias Buckell
THE INFLUENCE MACHINE, Sean McMullen
CANOE, Nancy Kress
THE HISTORY OF THE INVASION TOLD IN FIVE DOGS, Kelly Jennings
PRIME MEREDIAN, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
TRICERATOPS, Ian McHugh
MINES, Eleanor Arnason
THERE USED TO BE OLIVE TREES, Rich Larson
WHENDING MY WAY BACK HOME, Bill Johnson
DEATH ON MARS, Madeline Ashby
ELEPHANT ON TABLE, Bruce Sterling
NUMBER 39 SKINK, Suzanne Palmer
A SERIES OF STEAKS, Vina Jie-Min Prased
THE LAST BOAT-BUILDER IN BALLYVOLOON, Finbarr O’Reilley
THE RESIDUE OF FIRE, Robert Reed
SIDEWALKS, Maureen F. McHugh
NEXUS, Michael F. Flynn

This is one of many fine Year’s Best volumes to appear in 2018. Our coverage of the others includes:

The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three edited by Neil Clarke (Night Shade Books, April 3, 2018))
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris, April 17, 2018))
The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 4, edited by David Afsharirad (Baen, June 5, 2018)
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade, June 12, 2018)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois (St. Martin’s Griffin;, July 3, 2018)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2018, edited by Rich Horton (Prime, August 7, 2018)
Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen (Pyr, August 7, 208)
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018, edited by Paula Guran (Prime, September 11, 2018)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams (Mariner Books, October 2, 2018)
The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Five, edited by Robert Shearman and Michael Kelly (October 2018)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection will be published by St. Martin’s Griffin on July 3, 2018. It is 720 pages, priced at $40 in hardcover, $23.99 in trade paperback, and $7.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Jim Burns.

See all our recent coverage of Gardner’s work here.

5 Comments »

  1. I enjoyed Gardner Dozois’s massive YEAR’S BEST anthologies for decades. I have his last books on order. But what a void after that!

    Comment by kelleyg@ecc.edu - June 24, 2018 8:43 am

  2. I wonder if St. Martin’s Press will hire someone to continue the series. It certainly has an established audience in libraries, etc.

    Comment by John ONeill - June 24, 2018 10:42 am

  3. At the time of Gardner’s untimely death, there was another volume in the “Book of . . .” series. The Book of Legends was due out in the fall of 2019. I had submitted a story that Gardner accepted, as had a handful of other writers. We’re now waiting to know if the book will proceed under a new editor.

    Comment by Matt Hughes - June 24, 2018 12:18 pm

  4. Fascinating to hear, Matt. I really hope it does!

    Comment by John ONeill - June 24, 2018 1:51 pm

  5. Yeah, I also hope we get the third book (which I also didn’t until now know existed).

    Comment by Joe H. - June 25, 2018 3:16 pm


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