The Best Science Fiction of the Year (2015) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@5%

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Title: The Best Science Fiction of the Year (2015)
Series: The Best SF of the Year #1
Editor: Neil Clarke
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF Short Story Collection
Pages: DNF@5%
Words: DNF@5%


Table of Contents

“Introduction: A State of the Short SF Field in 2015” by Neil Clarke

“Today I Am Paul” by Martin Shoemaker

“Calved” by Sam J. Miller

“Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson

“The Smog Society” by Chen Quifan

“In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard

“Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfiang

“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman

“Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu

“Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley

“So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer

“Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn

“Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie

“The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee

“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper

“The Audience” by Sean McMullen

“Empty” by Robert Reed

“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz

“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii

“Damage” by David D. Levine

“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin

“No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven

“Outsider” by An Owomeyla

“The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu

“Cocoons” by Nancy Kress

“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim

“Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer

“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald

“Meshed” by Rich Larson

“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds

2015 Recommended Reading List

My Thoughts:

I made it to the 3rd story before giving up. Horribly depressing. Perverse. Self-righteous. Smug.

While Clarke didn’t write these stories, he did choose them as the Best of 2015. That is just horrible. I think I’m going to be avoiding anything else with his name on it from now on.

If Woke Cli-Fi is your thing, then have at it. As for me, I’m going to go read something that is actually good.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

24 thoughts on “The Best Science Fiction of the Year (2015) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@5%

  1. Didn’t you skim around a bit for one you might like more? Most of these annual anthologies vary quite a bit in their quality, but they usually try to get something in there for everyone.
    Was it already woke in 2015? That would have been early.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d heard some recommendations for this particular editor and so I was hoping it was going to be different from the ones edited by Gardner Dozois. Obviously it wasn’t any better.

      Wokeness started, imo, with the election of Prz Obama. A year either side anyway. So, proto-wokeness perhaps? 😀


        1. I believe there are 5 books in this collection? Don’t know if there will be one for ’20 or not.
          I’m honestly not even sure where I got the recommendation from.
          That’s usually how it goes though….


    1. Yep. In the last 5 years, climate fiction has really taken off as a niche sub-genre. I don’t like it, for a variety of reasons, so stories about it will drive me away from an antholog.


    1. When it comes to Science Fiction, I haven’t had a lot of good luck. At least not ones that are stories put together by an editor. Now, if a single author releases a bunch of their stuff (like Arthur Clarke did in More Than One Universe) that has turned out pretty good.

      I think I’m done with anthologies and editors I don’t know. Even though I dnf’d this so early, I still had to write up the review and sometimes writing up something like this is just discouraging. And energy sapping.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, maybe if that Twilight Zone episode happens where the guy is left with all the books.
      But even then, I might choose to read the ingredients lists on food 😉

      This was more an indictment of Clarke as an editor. However, looking at the rest of the authors, if I had paid more attention, I definitely would not have picked this up.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll read current SF if it’s more military oriented. The Literati haven’t infiltrated and destroyed that bit of SF yet. Of course, it has its own perils to deal with….


  2. I remember reading McGuire’s “Hello, hello” on an online SF magazine some time ago, and it was a good story – not climate-related at all. I should be the last person to recommend more patience 😀 but maybe 3 stories out of 32 are not an accurate sample… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your inducement isn’t much of one after my experience with McGuire.
      And looking at the rest of the authors (which I should have done, but I made the mistake of trusting the editor), I would have dnf’d this at some point anyway.

      But if you read and review this and tell me that every story is great, after the first 3, I’ll seriously consider giving it another chance.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Climate Fiction.
      It’s the equivalent of 1950’s science fiction where every family had a nuclear powered car, the father went to the moon for work on his nuclear rocket, the Missus did all the ironing with a nuclear iron and little Johnny tinkered with his nuclear skateboard :-/

      In other words, they extrapolate forwards, very badly.

      There is a series of SF that is an annual thing. I’d have to go see who’s editing it now. But much like this collection, the people involved in the writing are people I’d rather choke to death than read 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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