Strahan Best of 2015

Jonathan Strahan’s Best SF and Fantasy of 2015 comes out May 16.

Contents:

City of Ash”, Paolo Bacigalupi, (medium.com)
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
“The Machine Starts”, Greg Bear (Future Visions)
“The Winter Wraith”, Jeffrey Ford (F&SF, Nov/Dec)
“Black Dog”, Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning)
“Jamaica Ginger”, Nalo Hopkinson & Nisi Shawl (Stories for Chip)
“Drones”, Simon Ings (Meeting Infinity)
“Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones (Meeting Infinity)
“Dancy vs. the Pterosaur”, Caitlin R. Kiernan (self-published)
“Another Word for World”, Ann Leckie (Future Visions)
The Game of Smash and Recovery”, Kelly Link (Strange Horizons)
The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn”, Usman T. Mailk (tor.com)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan”, Ian McDonald (Old Venus)
“Little Sisters”, Vonda McIntyre (Book View Café)
“Calved”, Sam J. Miller (Asimov’s, Sept)
Ghosts of Home”, Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed)
“The Deepwater Bride”, Tamsyn Muir (F&SF Jul/Aug)
The Empress in Her Glory“, Robert Reed (Clarkesworld)
“A Murmuration”, Alastair Reynolds (Interzone, Mar/Apr)
Oral Argument”, Kim Stanley Robinson (tor.com)
Water of Versailles”, Kelly Robson (tor.com)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century”, Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip)
The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club”, Nike Sulway (Lightspeed)
“The Lily and the Horn”, Catherynne Valente (Fantasy Magazine, Dec)
“Blood, Ash, Braids”, Genevieve Valentine (Operation Arcana)
“Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’”, Kai Ashante Wilson (Fantasy Magazine, Dec)
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers”, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare, Oct)

Guran Best Novellas of 2015

Prime Books is continuing their anthology of the best novellas of the year, due out in August.

Contents:

“The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov 2015)
“The Bone Swans of Amandale” by C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans, Mythic Delirium Books)
“Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor (Binti, Tor.com)
“The Last Witness” by K. J. Parker (The Last Witness, Tor.com)
“Johnny Rev” by Rachel Pollack (F&SF, Jul/Aug 2015)
“Inhuman Garbage,” Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s March 2015)
“Gypsy,” Carter Scholz (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2015)
“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” Usman Malik (The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Tor.com)
“What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear” by Bao Shu, translated by Ken Liu (F&SF, Mar/Apr 2015)

Clarke Best of 2015

Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, tries his hand at a new best-of anthology, published by Nightshade in June, with these stories:

“Three Bodies at Mitanni” by Seth Dickinson (Analog, June)
“The Audience” by Sean McMullen (Analog, June)
“Empty” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, Dec)
“Calved” by Sam J. Miller (Asimov’s, Sept)
“No Placeholder for You, My Love” by Nick Wolven (Asimov’s, Aug)
“Wild Honey” by Paul McAuley (Asimov’s, Aug)
“Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson (Asimov’s, Aug)
“Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld, Aug)
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, Jan)
“So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, Nov)
“Meshed” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, Feb)
“Another Word for World” by Ann Leckie (Future Visions)
“Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions)
“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz (PM Press)
“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds (Interzone, Mar/Apr)
“Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, Sept)
“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii, Translated by Jim Hubbert (Lightspeed, July)
“The Smog Society” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan (Lightspeed, Aug)
“In Blue Lily’s Wake” by Aliette de Bodard (Meeting Infinity)
“The Cold Inequalities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Meeting Infinity)
“Cocoons” by Nancy Kress (Meeting Infinity)
“Outsider” by An Owomeyla (Meeting Infinity)
“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper (Mission Tomorrow)
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss” by David Brin (Old Venus)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan” by Ian McDonald (Old Venus)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century” by Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip)
“Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn (The End Has Come)
“The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu (The End Has Come)
“Damage” by David D. Levine (Tor.com, 1/21)
“Hold-Time Violations” by John Chu (Tor.com, 10/17)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (Uncanny, Jan/Feb)

Horton Best of 2015

Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction 2016 comes out in June, and will contain the following stories from 2015:

“The Daughters of John Demetrius”,  by Joe Pitkin (Analog, Oct)
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful”,  by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Analog)
“Twelve and Tag”,  by Gregory Norman Bossert (Asimov’s)
“Mutability”,  by Ray Nayler (Asimov’s)
“Acres of Perhaps”, by Will Ludwigsen (Asimov’s)
“Unearthly Landscape by a Lady”,  by Rebecca Campbell (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“The King in the Cathedral”,  by Rich Larson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“Little Sisters”,  by Vonda M. McIntyre (Book View Cafe)
“The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild”, by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld)
“Asymptotic”,  by Andy Dudak (Clarkesworld)
“Cat Pictures Please”,  by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld)
“Today I Am Paul”,  by Martin Shoemaker (Clarkesworld)
“The Deepwater Bride”,  by Tamysn Muir (F&SF)
The Two Paupers,  by C.S.E. Cooney (Fairchild Books)
“Hello Hello”,  by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions)
“The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red, Red Coal”,  by Chaz Brenchley (Lightspeed)
“Time Bomb Time”,  by C.C. Finlay (Lightspeed)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”,  by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed)
“The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club”,  by Nike Sulway (Lightspeed)
“My Last Bringback”,  by John Barnes (Meeting Infinity)
“Drones”,  by Simon Ings (Meeting Infinity)
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”,  by Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Idea Countness Rathagan”,  by Ian McDonald (Old Venus)
“The Graphology of Hemorrhage”,  by Yoon Ha Lee (Operation Arcana)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century”,  by Geoff Ryman (Stories for Chip)
“The Game of Smash and Recovery”,  by Kelly Link (Strange Horizons)
“This Evening’s Performance”,  by Genevieve Valentine (The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk)
“Please Undo This Hurt”,  by Seth Dickinson (Tor.com)
“Consolation”,  by John Kessel (Twelve Tomorrows)
“Folding Beijing”,  by Hao Jingfang (Uncanny)

Dozois Best of 2015

Gardner Dozois has identified 36 stories for the next edition of his year’s best retrospective.  But it won’t come out until July, so you need to seek these out elsewhere to consider them for the Hugo ballot.

“The Audience”, Sean McMullen (Analog, June)
“The Daughters of John Demetrius”, Joe Pitkin (Analog, Oct)
“The Children of Gal”, Allen M. Steele (Asimovs, Apr/May)
“No Placeholder for You, My Love”, Nick Wolven (Asimovs, Aug)
“The Muses of Shuyedan-18”, Indrapramit Das  (Asimovs, June)
“Inhuman Garbage”, Kristine Kathryn Rusch  (Asimovs, Mar)
“Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, Aliette de Bodard (Asimovs, Oct/Nov)
“Calved”, Sam J. Miller  (Asimovs, Sept)
“Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight”, Aliette de Bodard  (Clarkesworld)
“Meshed”, Rich Larson  (Clarkesworld)
“Ice”, Rich Larson  (Clarkesworld)
“The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill”, Kelly Robson  (Clarkesworld)
“Today I Am Paul”, Martin L. Shoemaker  (Clarkesworld)
“Trapping the Pleistocene”, James Sarafin  (F&SF, May/Jun)
“Machine Learning”, Nancy Kress  (Future Visions)
“Another Word for World”, Ann Leckie  (Future Visions)
“Hello, Hello”, Seanan McGuire   (Future Visions)
“Gypsy”, Carter Scholz  (Gypsy, PM Press)
“Silence Like Diamonds”, John Barnes  (lightreading.com)
“The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coal”, Chaz Brenchley  (Lightspeed Magazine)
“City of Ash”, Paolo Bacigalupi, (medium.com)
“Rates of Change”, James S. A. Corey  (Meeting Infinity)
“Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones  (Meeting Infinity)
“The Falls: A Luna Story”, Ian McDonald  (Meeting Infinity)
“In Panic Town, on the Backward Moon”, Michael F. Flynn  (Mission: Tomorrow)
“Ruins”, Eleanor Arnason  (Old Venus)
“Planet of Fear”, Paul McAuley  (Old Venus)
“Botanica Veneris”, Ian McDonald  (Old Venus)
“Billy Tumult”, Nick Harkaway  (Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany)
“The First Gate of Logic”, Benjamin Rosenbaum  (Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany)
“Capitalism in the 22nd Century”, Geoff Ryman  (Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany)
“The Game of Smash and Recovery”, Kelly Link  (Strange Horizons)
“Bannerless”, Carrie Vaughn  (The End Has Come)
“It Takes More Than Muscles to Frown”, Ned Beauman  (Twelve Tomorrows)
“Consolation”, John Kessel  (Twelve Tomorrows)
“A Stopped Clock”, Madeline Ashby  (War Stories from the Future)

Lois Tilton’s 2015 short fiction reviews from Locus Magazine

Analog

January/February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

July/August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Apex Magazine

68 January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

72 May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

73 June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

74 July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

75 August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

76 September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

77 October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Asimov’s

January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

April/May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

October/November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

 

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

164-165 January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

166-167 February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

168-169 March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

170-172 April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

173-174 May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

175-176 June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

177-178 July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

179-180 August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

181-182 September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

183-185 October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

186-187 November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

188-189 December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Clarkesworld

100 January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

101 February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

102 March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

103 April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

104 May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

105 June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

106 July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

107 August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

108 September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

109 October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

110 November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

111 December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

F&SF

January/February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

March/April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

May/June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

July/Aug 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

September/October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

November/December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Interzone

256 January/February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

257 Mar-Apr 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

258 May/June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

259 July/August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

260 September/October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

261 November/December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Lightspeed

56 January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

57 February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

58 March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

59 April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

60 May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

61 June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

62 July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

63 August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

64 September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

65 October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

66 November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

67 December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Shimmer

23 January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

24 March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

25 May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

26 July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

27 September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

28 November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Strange Horizons

January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

December 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

 

Tor.com

January 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

February 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

March 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

April 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

May 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

June 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

July 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

August 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

September 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

October 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

November 2015 • Review by Lois Tilton

The William Hartnell Screening Room, Part 2

An occasional series reviewing the screen appearances of William Hartnell, best known as the First Doctor in the long-running BBC series Doctor Who.

The Mouse That Roared (1959)

This may be the most famous movie in which William Hartnell ever appeared.  Considered to be Peter Sellars’ breakout movie, where he plays three different roles (including one as a woman), the story is based on a play that is supposed to be somewhat anti-imperialist political commentary but doesn’t hew too closely to that theme for long.  The smallest country in Europe (not counting Monaco or the Vatican) is going bankrupt, and they decide the best way to get an infusion of foreign aid is to attack the United States and then surrender, thereby becoming recipients of their very own Marshall Plan.

The country is so small that it is implied there was a certain amount of inbreeding, which gives a perfect reason for Sellars to play three different characters. Presumably the original play couldn’t carry this off. One of his roles is that of the hapless Tully, who is chosen to lead the ragtag army on their voyage across the sea to invade Manhattan.  Hartnell is in most of this movie right alongside Sellars, first as the chief butler to the Grand Duchess who then is made Tully’s second in command.  Unfortunately, while he has plenty of lines, Hartnell doesn’t get to do much, and his dialog is mostly of the sidekick variety and fairly uninspiring.  Someone watching this without knowing who Hartnell was would soon forget he was even in the movie, which is a shame considering the size of the role. There’s nothing particularly comedic about what he is asked to do, and unfortunately he ends up mostly back in his usual typecast role as an army sergeant, shouting at the troops to fall in and pay attention.

Even for a comedy, the movie takes a surprisingly cavalier attitude towards a bomb that is supposed to be powerful enough to destroy an entire continent yet gets passed around like a football (and in fact kind of looks like a football).  And while the captured US military people bumble about a little they’re not really being parodied, so in the end it’s a bit of a muddle to determine what the movie is trying to say, beyond the premise that the easiest way to get foreign aid from the US is to attack them.  The Marshall Plan may have seemed to the other Allies like a big handout to the bad guys, but the U.S. was uniquely in a position to do it and probably saved Europe from a lot of further conflict.  The movie doesn’t seem that upset about it, it’s just a jumping off point and the result is perfectly watchable and not too long, it’s only a shame that Hartnell wasn’t given more to work with.

The William Hartnell screening room, part 1

An occasional series reviewing the screen appearances of William Hartnell, best known as the First Doctor in the long-running BBC series Doctor Who.

Ghost Squad episode “High Wire” (1961)

Ghost Squad contains no ghosts, and the episode (either number 4 or 5 of the first season, depending on the source) features no high wire, but William Hartnell is the primary guest star in this installment of the ITC series. Ghost Squad ran for 3 seasons in the early 60s for a total of 52 episodes, of which the first 39 survive (the last season was shot on video and was apparently easier to lose). They’ve been released on DVD but only in the UK at a hefty £50 on 10 disks. YouTube and BitTorrent come up short, you have to go to French alternative Dailymotion, now owned by Vivendi, to find the episode online (in two parts but broken up by commercials every 5 minutes in the second part).

There’s no supernatural element here, the “ghost” part of the title apparently refers to a little-known wing of the British police that does undercover detective work. In this episode most of the story takes place in France and Belgium at a traveling circus. The lead character Nick Craig is an American, which they did fairly often in those days to broaden the market for overseas.

Hartnell plays a World War II vet Fred Rice, who is wanted 20 years after the war for unspecified war crimes but has disappeared. He’s traced fairly easily to the circus in France, and Craig goes undercover to get a job there to keep an eye on him but soon realizes Rice is being blackmailed into using his lock-picking skills to assist in a series of burglaries. This was a couple of years before Doctor Who and Hartnell looks exactly the same as he did in his signature role, although affecting a different accent and playing a much more savvy street-wise type of character. There are a couple of scenes where he’s doing his circus act of escaping from a bunch of locked chains while underwater, and it looks like it’s really him and not a stunt double. Considering his health took a precipitous decline during his time as the Doctor, this couldn’t have been ideal for him, but it is a welcome change from his usual role as an army sergeant.

One thing you notice in this episode is that Hartnell wasn’t very tall, the American star towers over him (making him an odd choice for undercover work in Europe). Hartnell doesn’t have any super-dramatic scenes given the conflict placed on his character, but gives a good dramatic performance, although even in the ’60’s were there really 50-something escape artists working in the circus? The hero signs up to learn enough motorcycle technique to ride the “Wall of Death”, but we only ever see him practicing riding the bike on rollers, which seemingly only exists so it can be sabotaged by the bad guys when they realize he’s on to them. But otherwise it’s a fairly compelling 50 minutes of TV, fairly dense in content and with several supporting characters. Guest stars in other episodes include Roger Delgado and Olaf Pooley, amongst other Doctor Who alumni; it would be worth checking out those too someday.

Nebula nominees 2014 – novelettes

This year’s Nebula nominees include the Machado and Miller stories that weren’t in the Locus list.  Both got a decent number of Hugo nominations but not enough that they would have made the ballot.

“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes (Tor.com 7/9/14)

“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)

“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)

“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)

“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)

“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 4/2/14)

Anthologized novelettes 2014

Of the 3 major year’s best anthologies, 3 stories made it into two of them:

“The Hand Is Quicker”, Elizabeth Bear (The Book of Silverberg) – Horton and Dozois
“Shadow Flock”, Greg Egan (Coming Soon Enough) – Strahan and Dozois
“Collateral”, Peter Watts (Upgraded) – Horton and Strahan

20 stories from the Locus list were included in one of the anthologies:

Horton:

“A Better Way to Die”, Paul Cornell (Rogues)
“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon”, Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)
“Petard: A Tale of Just Deserts”, Cory Doctorow (Twelve Tomorrows)
“Skull and Hyssop“, Kathleen Jennings (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 12/14)
“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i”, Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)
“Schools of Clay”, Derek Künsken (Asimov’s 2/14)
“Wine”, Yoon Ha Lee (Clarkesworld 1/14)
“I Can See Right Through You”, Kelly Link (McSweeney’s #48)
“Heaven Thunders the Truth”, K.J. Parker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 10/2/14)

Strahan:

“Tough Times All Over”, Joe Abercrombie (Rogues)
“Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)”, Holly Black (Monstrous Affections)
“Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No.8)”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Sirenia Digest)
“Kheldyu”, Karl Schroeder (Reach for Infinity)
“Tawny Petticoats”, Michael Swanwick (Rogues)
“The Insects of Love”, Genevieve Valentine (Tor.com 5/28/14)
“The Devil in America”, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 4/2/14)

Dozois:

“The Rider”, Jérôme Cigut (F&SF 9-10/14)
“The Fifth Dragon”, Ian McDonald (Reach for Infinity)
“Thing and Sick”, Adam Roberts (Solaris Rising3)
“The Colonel”, Peter Watts (Tor.com 7/29/14)