Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Solaris, $19.99, 614 pages
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight is a lovely collection of 28 short stories that showcase the strength of the genre in recent years. This is a very even collection, and while a couple of stories might particularly stay with you, no one story dominates the collection. The stories chosen for inclusion, while not confined to a single theme or topic, do highlight the highly international tenor of modern SF. There are not only interesting imaginary cultures here, many of those imaginary cultures have their roots somewhere other than the Western hemisphere.
This book is probably not for people looking for hard SF, as there are relatively few spaceships or astronauts here. Instead what this book showcases is a “science fictional way of thinking,” a stunning imagination and an acceptance (often without explanation) of cultures that don’t correspond to the world as we know it. Although the collection as a whole is a hefty book, it is good to dip in and out of. You can start reading on the bus or train, knowing you won’t get sucked into a long story and miss your stop!
Reviewed by Katie Richards