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The Best of the Best, Volume 2 20 Years of the Best Short Science Fiction Novels

Edited by Gardner Dozois

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

656 Pages



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For more than twenty years The Year's Best Science Fiction has been recognized as the best collection of short science fiction writing in the universe and an essential resource for every science fiction reader. In 2005 the original Best of the Best collected the finest short stories from that series and became a benchmark in the SF field. Now, for the first time ever, Hugo Award-winning editor Gardner Dozios sifts through hundreds of stories and dozens of authors who have gone on to become some of the most esteemed practitioners of the form, to bring readers the ultimate anthology of short science fiction novels from his legendary series.
Included are such notable short novels as:

Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg
In the fiftieth century, people of Earth are able to create entire cities on a whim, including those of mythology and legend. When twentieth-century traveler Charles Philip accidentally lands in this aberrant time period, he is simultaneously obsessed with discovering more about this alluring world and getting back home. But in a world made entirely of man's creation, things are not always as they seem on the surface.

Forgiveness Day by Ursula K. Le Guin
Le Guin returns to her Hainish-settled interstellar community, the Edumen, to tell the tale of two star-crossed lovers who are literally worlds apart in this story of politics, violence, religion, and cultural disparity.

Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds
On a sea-wold planet covered with idyllic tropical oceans, peace seems pervasive. Beneath the placid water lurks an ominous force that has the potential to destroy all tranquility.

Contributors include: Greg Egan; Joe Haldeman; James Patrick Kelly; Nancy Kress; Ursula K. Le Guin; Ian R. MacLeod; Ian McDonald; Maureen F. McHugh; Frederik Pohl; Alastair Reynolds; Robert Silverberg; Michael Swanwick; Walter Jon Williams

With work spanning two decades, The Best of the Best, Volume 2 stands as the ultimate anthology of short science fiction novels ever published in the world.


Praise for The Best of the Best, Volume 2

"Stories that couldn't be squeezed into 2005's Volume 1: a baker's dozen of novellas and short novels, 1985-2002, arranged chronologically. Some of these tales originally appeared as standalone books, such as Robert Silverberg's 'Sailing to Byzantium' (a man from the 1980s adrift in a future so remote that technology has become magic), and Michael Swanwick's 'Griffin's Egg,' wherein new brain chemicals enable controlled mental evolution. Others were expanded into full-length novels: Joe Haldeman's reality-shifting 'The Hemingway Hoax,' Nancy Kress's sleepless 'Beggars in Spain' and Maureen F. McHugh's wayfaring 'The Cost to Be Wise.' Others represent the forefront of the new British invasion: 'Tendeleo's Story' is Ian McDonald's take on post-colonial Africa; Ian R. MacLeod's 'New Light on the Drake Equation' rescues the last and forgotten advocate of SETI from the depths of drunken despair; and Alastair Reynolds extends his far-future Demarchist/Conjoiner universe to look more closely at the incomprehensible alien Pattern Jugglers. If these aren't sufficiently diverse, Walter Jon Williams's researcher, in 'Surfacing,' struggles to communicate with cryptic marine animals while being distracted by romance and a god-like alien. James Patrick Kelly's 'Mr. Boy' depicts a world where parents deliberately render their children's bodies permanently juvenile. Veteran writer-editor Frederik Pohl weighs in with 'Outnumbering the Dead,' examining the role of mortality in a world of immortals. Ursula K. Le Guin returns to planets Werel and Yeowe and its South African-descended populace, in 'Forgiveness Day.' And Greg Egan, famed for his hard sci-fi, offers 'Oceanic,' in which a young boy's religious convictions are put to the test. No question as to the quality of the material here"—Kirkus Reviews

"Beginning with Robert Silverberg's poignant 'Sailing to Byzantium,' this outstanding follow-up to Dozois's Best of the Best Volume 1 pays homage to the science fiction novellas of the past two decades and by extension to the entire genre in all its varied glory. Michael Swanwick's 'Griffin's Egg' holds down the hard SF end, while Joe Haldeman's 'The Hemingway Hoax' is more of a fantastical mystery. Nancy Kress's 'Beggars in Spain' and Ian McDonald's heartwrenching 'Tendeléo's Story' describe two very different near futures where gifted minorities battle societal envy and fear. Far future ruminations on age and death include James Patrick Kelly's demented 'Mr. Boy,' Frederik Pohl's somber 'Outnumbering the Dead' and Ian R. MacLeod's tender 'New Light on the Drake Equation.' Otherworldly culture clash appears in Ursula K. Le Guin's 'Forgiveness Day' as well as the bittersweet trio of Alastair Reynolds's 'Turquoise Days,' Maureen F. McHugh's 'The Cost to Be Wise' and Walter Jon Williams's 'Surfacing.'"—Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents
Robert Silverberg: "Sailing To Byzantium"
Walter Jon Williams: "Surfacing"
Joe Haldeman: "The Hemingway Hoax"
James Patrick Kelly: "Mr. Boy"
Nancy Kress: "Beggars In Spain"
Michael Swanwick: "Griffin's Egg"
Frederik Pohl: "Outnumbering The Dead"
Ursula K. Le Guin: "Forgiveness Day"
Maureen F. McHugh: "The Cost To Be Wise"
Greg Egan: "Oceanic"
Ian McDonald: "Tendeléo's Story"
Ian R. MacLeod: "New Light on The Drake Equation"
Alastair Reynolds: "Turquoise Days"

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

sailing to Byzantium
Robert Silverberg is one of the most famous SF writers of modern times, with dozens of novels, anthologies, and collections to his credit. As both writer and editor (he was editor of the original anthology...



  • Edited by Gardner Dozois

  • Gardner Dozois has won the Locus Award for best anthology editor twenty-two times. The editor of Asimov's SF magazine since 1985, he lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Gardner Dozois M.C. Valada