Something for Every Lover of Science Fiction

Article excerpt

THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION:

THIRTEENTH ANNUAL COLLECTION

Edited by Gardner Dozois 624 pages, St. Martin's, $29.95 ***** PERUSING "best of" collections in any medium runs the risk of finding a few (or more) thorns among the roses, and annual collections of short science-fiction stories and novellas are no exception. However, when the pruning is performed by Gardner Dozois, a multiple-Hugo Award winner, the risks are minimized, and his selections for "The Year's Best Science Fiction" is no exception. Featuring work by acknowledged masters Ursula LeGuin and Poul Anderson sprinkled among that of rising stars such as Greg Egan and Ian A. MacLeod, the anthology provides an excellent sampler of currently popular themes and styles. The breadth and scope of the subjects included throughout the volume are at times breathtaking; some concepts are so esoteric as to be barely understood by a humble 20th century intellect, while others require enough detailed knowledge of mathematics to leave more than a few readers behind. The beauty of such an anthology, however, is that there is something for almost every science-fiction aficionado. It was a delight to learn that a particular favorite, "The Death of Captain Future," comes from a St. Louisan, Allen Steele; his contribution hearkens back to the type of fiction that gave the genre its lifeblood a generation ago. …