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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-first Annual Collection
Gardner Dozois, editor
St. Martin's Press / 704p
$19.95 trade paper/ISBN: 0312324790
$35 hardcover / ISBN: 0312324782 Cover

If you've somehow missed the first twenty volumes of this essential anthology series, this twenty-first entry is a fine place to start. Like more and more of the best sf/f/h fiction, the stories showcased here often cross over more than one genre line. Among the more than two dozen writers there's a healthy mix -- terrific newcomers like Paolo Bacigalupi (who emerged from Gordon van Gelder's slush pile at The Mag of Science Fiction and Fantasy), Jack Skillingstead, Paul Melko, and Dominic Green; talented writers like Kage Baker, Charles Stross, and Paul di Filippo who are not so new, but finally moving to a well-deserved forefront; welcome returns from Judith Moffett and John Varley: and simply superb fiction from some of the best fictionists around (like Howard Waldrop, Michael Swanwick, John Kessel, Terry Dowling, Nancy Kress). A summation of the year and list of "honorable mentions" is also included. Dozois recently announced he is stepping down as editor of Asimov's (after close to 20 years), but reassured fans that he'll continue helming Year's Best. That welcomed news assures this literate, varied, vital annual anthology will continue to thrive.

--review originally appeared in Cinemafantastique Aug/Sept 2004

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Copyright © 2004 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.