New Treasures: The Best of David Brin
The Best of David Brin (Subterranean Press, July 31, 2021). Cover by Patrick Farley
Subterranean Press has done a flat-out fabulous job of producing memorable single-author collections over the last decade.
For one thing, Subterranean mastermind William Schafer has terrific taste. He edited a delightful small press magazine (titled, appropriately enough, Subterranean) for many years, and demonstrated admirable skill at selecting and editing short fiction. For another, he’s been working at it tirelessly for decades, and it shows. He’s produced dozens of Best of retrospective collections from many of the top SF, fantasy and horror writers in biz, including Lucius Shepard (two volumes!), John Kessel, Walter Jon Williams, Elizabeth Hand, Elizabeth Bear, Michael Marshall Smith, Harry Turtledove, Greg Egan, Chaz Brenchley, Alastair Reynolds, Gregory Benford, Nancy Kress, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Joe Haldeman, Kage Baker, Neal Barrett, Jr., Robert Silverberg, Peter S. Beagle, Michael Swanwick, Larry Niven, and many others.
And thirdly — these are really gorgeous books. They’re generously sized hardcovers, published in both deluxe limited formats and very reasonable-priced trade hardcover editions, usually around 40 bucks retail. The one that grabbed my eye recently was The Best of David Brin, released just last year. It’s a feast of a book, just the thing I need to settle down with after a long and tiring week.
A few previous Subterranean collections: Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds,
Mirror Kingdoms: The Best of Peter S. Beagle, and The Best of Michael Marshall Smith
The Best of David Brin contains an introduction by Catherine Asaro and a delightful sampling of David Brin’s best stories, including the Hugo and Locus Award-nominated novella “The Postman” (basis for the Kevin Costner movie of the same name), and the Hugo nominee and Locus Award winner “Thor Meets Captain America,” a horrifying alternate history that imagines the Holocaust as a blood sacrifice orchestrated by Hitler to successfully return the Norse gods to power.
Other notable tales include the novella “The Loom of Thessaly,” the Hugo award-winning “The Crystal Spheres,” Hugo nominee “The Giving Plague,” and the short play “The Escape: A Confrontation in Four Scenes,” original to this collection.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
Introduction by Catherine Asaro
“Insistence of Vision” (Twelve Tomorrows, 2013)
“The Crystal Spheres” (Analog, January 1984) — Hugo Award winner, Locus Award nominee
“The Loom of Thessaly” (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, November 23, 1981)
“Transition Generation” (Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, 2014)
“The Giving Plague” (Interzone #23 Spring 1988) – Hugo, Locus nominee
“Chrysalis” (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2014)
“Dr. Pak’s Preschool” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1990) — Locus nominee
“Piecework” (Interzone #33 January-February 1990)
“The Logs” (Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe, 2013)
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” (Old Venus, 2015)
“Detritus Affected” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1993)
“Mars Opposition” (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2005)
“Toujours Voir” (The River of Time, 1986)
“The River of Time” (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, May 1982)
“The Tell” (Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft, 2015)
“The Escape: A Confrontation in Four Scenes” (play, original to this collection)
“The Postman” (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, November 1982) — Hugo, Locus nominee
“A Need for Heroes” (The Atlantic Council Art of Future Warfare Project: War Stories from the Future, 1990)
“Thor Meets Captain America” (The River of Time, 1986) – Hugo nominee, Locus Award winner
“Stones of Significance” (Lamps on the Brow, 1998)
“Reality Check” (Nature, March 16, 2000)
Here’s a closer look at the eye-catching wraparound cover by Patrick Farley.
Patrick Farley’s wraparound artwork for The Best of David Brin
The Best of David Brin was published by Subterranean Press on July 31, 2021. It is 624 pages, priced at $40 in hardcover and $5.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Patrick Farley.
See all our recent coverage of the best new SF & fantasy here.