Edited by Jonathan Strahan

Night Shade Books, $19.99, 536 pages

They call themselves the “Year’s Best Editors.” These are men and women who select the best work from the past year. These editors compile them into The Best of the Year anthologies. One of the most anticipated Best of the Year books is The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year. And this year, Jonathan Strahan is the editor of volume five of this much loved collection. Twenty-nine fantasy and sci-fi stories fill the pages. The authors featured include Ellen Kushner, Robert Reed, Bruce Sterling, Peter Watts, Elizabeth Hand and many more. If you are not familiar with the authors but want to start a story, do what I do and look for the title that catches your eye. If you use that approach you may find yourself reading “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn.” This is a great story because it blends sci-fi and fantasy, one of Strahan’s goals. If you tend to gravitate toward more classic sci-fi, there are many stories to choose from. The authors break boundaries between the genres and the result is a funny, thought-provoking, optimistic and refreshing anthology.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin