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Future Treasures: The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Five edited by Neil Clarke

Friday, September 25th, 2020 | Posted by John ONeill

The Best Science Fiction of the Year- Volume Five-smallThe 2020 pandemic has thrown a wrench into publishing schedules this year, and no mistake. Seems like less than half the books I was looking forward to this summer appeared at all. So I’m relieved to see that this year’s class of Year’s Best anthologies — edited by Rich Horton, Jonathan Strahan, Paula Guran, John Joseph Adams, and others — are still in the pipeline. A little delayed maybe, but none the worse for wear.

Jonathan’s volume arrived on Sept 8; next on the docket is Neil Clarke’s The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Five, which will be published by Night Shade Press late next month. It contains fiction by N.K. Jemisin, Cixin Liu, Tobias S. Buckell, Gwyneth Jones, Dominica Phetteplace, Alastair Reynolds, Vandana Singh, Ann Leckie, Annalee Newitz, Alec Nevala-Lee, Aliette de Bodard, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Yoon Ha Lee, Indrapramit Das, A.T. Greenblatt, and many others. Here’s the description.

From Hugo Award-Winning Editor Neil Clarke, the Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year Collected in a Single Paperback Volume

Keeping 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 that can be accomplished by only the most determined and voracious readers. For everyone else, Night Shade Books is proud to present the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a 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.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

“The Painter of Trees” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld Magazine, June 2019)
“Emergency Skin” by N.K. Jemisin (Amazon Original Stories, September 17, 2019)
“In the Stillness Between the Stars” by Mercurio D. Rivera (Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October 2019)
“Sympathizer” by Karin Lowachee (Do Not Go Quietly, edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Connor)
“Knit Three, Save Four” by Marie Vibbert (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December 2019)
“Moonlight” by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Broken Stars, edited by Ken Liu)
“By The Warmth of Their Calculus” by Tobias S. Buckell (Mission Critical, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
“Deriving Life” by Elizabeth Bear (Tor.com, January 31, 2019)
“The Little Shepherdess” by Gwyneth Jones (Current Futures, edited by Ann VanderMeer)
“Such Thoughts Are Unproductive” by Rebecca Campbell (Clarkesworld Magazine, December 2019)
“The River of Blood and Wine” by Kali Wallace (Asimov’s Science Fiction, November/December 2019)
“One Thousand Beetles in a Jumpsuit” by Dominica Phetteplace (Lightspeed Magazine, August 2019)
“Permafrost” by Alastair Reynolds (Tor.com Publishing)
“The Work of Wolves” by Tegan Moore (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July/August 2019)
“Song Xiuyun” by A Que, translated by Emily Jin (Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2019)
“Mother Ocean” by Vandana Singh (Current Futures, edited by Ann VanderMeer)
“Cratered” by Karen Osborne (Future Science Fiction Digest, June 2019)
“The Justified” by Ann Leckie (The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)
“Old Media” by Annalee Newitz (Tor.com, February 20, 2019)
“At the Fall” by Alec Nevala-Lee (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May/June 2019)
“The Ocean Between the Leaves” by Ray Nayler (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July/August 2019)
“Rescue Party” by Aliette de Bodard (Mission Critical, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
“Close Enough for Jazz” by John Chu (The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)
“On the Shores of Ligeia” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Lightspeed Magazine, March 2019)
“The Empty Gun” by Yoon Ha Lee (Mission Critical, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
“Kali_Na” by Indrapramit Das (The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)
“Painless” by Rich Larson (Tor.com, April 10, 2019)
“Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld Magazine, February 2019)

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Five will be published by Night Shade on October 27, 2020. It is 624 pages, priced at $34.99 in hardcover, and $19.99 in paperback and digital formats. The cover is by Pascal Blanche. Get all the details at Neil Clarke’s blog here.

See all our recent coverage of the best upcoming SF and fantasy releases here.

8 Comments »

  1. Sounds great, and reminds me I still haven’t gotten last years, #4.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - September 25, 2020 3:29 pm

  2. They look pretty good side-by-side together on the shelf.

    I think this is the first year there’s been a hardcover edition as well?

    Comment by John ONeill - September 26, 2020 1:01 am

  3. Not sure, I have thick paperbacks.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - September 26, 2020 1:34 pm

  4. Thanks!

    The hardcovers started with volume four, so this will be the second to have one. I believe that there will also be an audiobook edition, but they’ve been released on a weird schedule.

    Comment by Neil Clarke - September 27, 2020 4:09 pm

  5. Thanks Neil!

    I’m tempted by the hardcover editions…. but of course then they won’t match the first three paperbacks on my shelf! Nobody appreciates the agonies collectors have to deal with. :)

    I assume the hardcover appeals to the library market?

    Comment by John ONeill - September 27, 2020 5:51 pm

  6. As a fellow collector, I feel your pain. Yes, the library market and collectors like us. It’s the only hardcover year’s best at the moment.

    Comment by Neil Clarke - September 28, 2020 9:49 am

  7. But…I want trade paper to match the others!

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - October 1, 2020 1:45 pm

  8. Ah, I see they are all available in paperback. Excellent.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - October 1, 2020 7:11 pm


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