Experience New Realms
Acclaimed editor and anthologist David G. Hartwell returns with this fifth annual collection of the year's most imaginative, entertaining, and mind-expanding science fiction.
Here are works from some of today's most acclaimed authors, as well as visionary new talents, that will introduce you to new ideas, offer unusual perspectives, and take you to places beyond your wildest imaginings. Contributors to The Year's Best SF 5 include:
Kim Stanley Robinson
and many more...
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June 01, 2000
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Excerpt from Year's Best SF 5 by David G. Hartwell
Geoff Ryman is a Canadian-born writer who moved to the USA at age 11, and has been living in England since 1973. He began publishing occasional SF stories in the mid-1970s, and has also written some SF plays, including a powerful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982). The first work to establish his international reputation as one of the leading writers of SF was "The Unconquered Country: A Life History" (1984, rev 1986), which won the World Fantasy Award. It is reprinted in his only collection to date, Unconquered Countries: Four Novellas (1994). Ryman's first novel was The Warrior who Carried Life (1985), a fantasy. His second, The Child Garden (1988), won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and confirmed him as a major figure in contemporary SF. His most recent books are not SF. Was (1992) is the supposed true story of the real-life Dorothy who was the inspiration for L. Frank Baum's first Oz book, and of a contemporary man dying of AIDS. 253 (1998) is a work of hypertext fiction linking the lives of characters in a subway car. It won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1999.
This story, from Interzone, is uncharacteristically short for Ryman (most of his stories are novellas) and utopian (most of his works are dystopian, or at least seriously grim). As we enter a new century and a new millennium, leading the Year's Best with a utopian vision seems appropriate. Here's to a brighter future!
When we knew Granddad was going to die, we took him to see the Angel of the North.
When he got there, he said: It's all different. There were none of these oaks all around it then, he said. Look at the size of them! The last time I saw this, he says to me, I was no older than you are now, and it was brand new, and we couldn't make out if we liked it or not.
We took him, the whole lot of us, on the tram from Blaydon. We made a day of it. All of Dad's exes and their exes and some of their kids and me Aunties and their exes and their kids. It wasn't that happy a group to tell you the truth. But Granddad loved seeing us all in one place.
He was going a bit soft by then. He couldn't tell what the time was any more and his words came out wrong. The Mums made us sit on his lap. He kept calling me by my Dad's name. His breath smelt funny but I didn't mind, not too much. He told me about how things used to be in Blaydon.