* Tales of wonder and adventure, set on distant planets or in the future of our own
* Stories that go beyond the limits of Space and Time
* David G. Hartwell has brought together only the best of this year's new SF from established pros and audacious newcomers, selecting only those that share the universal quality of great science fiction.
Our familiar world will look a little less familiar after you read one.
Ursula K. Le Guin
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April 30, 2006
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Excerpt from Year's Best SF by David G. Hartwell
Kamala Shastri came back to this world as she had left it -- naked. She tottered out of the assembler, trying to balance in Tuulen Station's delicate gravity. I caught her and bundled her into a robe with one motion, then eased her onto the float. Three years on another planet had transformed Kamala. She was leaner, more muscular. Her fingernails were now a couple of centimeters long and there were four parallel scars incised on her left cheek, perhaps some Gendian's idea of beautification. But what struck me most was the darting strangeness in her eyes. This place, so familiar to me, seemed almost to shock her. It was as if she doubted the walls and was skeptical of air. She had learned to think like an alien.
"Welcome back." The float's whisper rose to a whoosh as I walked it down the hallway.
She swallowed hard and I thought she might cry. Three years ago, she would have. Lots of migrators are devastated when they come out of the assembler; it's because there is no transition. A few seconds ago Kamala was on Gend, fourth planet of the star we call epsilon Leo, and now she was here in lunar orbit. She was almost home; her life's great adventure was over.