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Contents 9 • Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois 26 • Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling 60 • Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr. 76 • Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson 101 • Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • shortstory by Poul Anderson 119 • Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) Contents 9 • Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois 26 • Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling 60 • Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr. 76 • Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson 101 • Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • shortstory by Poul Anderson 119 • Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) • shortstory by Howard Waldrop 136 • Hardfought • (1983) • novella by Greg Bear 195 • Manifest Destiny • (1983) • novelette by Joe Haldeman 209 • Full Chicken Richness • (1983) • shortstory by Avram Davidson 219 • Multiples • (1983) • shortstory by Robert Silverberg 237 • Cryptic • (1983) • shortstory by Jack McDevitt 253 • The Sidon in the Mirror • (1983) • novelette by Connie Willis 281 • Golden Gate • (1982) • shortstory by R. A. Lafferty 295 • Blind Shemmy • (1983) • novelette by Jack Dann 316 • In the Islands • (1983) • shortstory by Pat Murphy 329 • Nunc Dimittis • (1983) • novelette by Tanith Lee 348 • Blood Music • (1983) • novelette by Greg Bear 371 • Her Furry Face • (1983) • shortstory by Leigh Kennedy 387 • Knight of Shallows • (1983) • novelette by Rand B. Lee 419 • The Cat • [Solar Cycle] • (1983) • shortstory by Gene Wolfe 426 • The Monkey Treatment • (1983) • novelette by George R. R. Martin 452 • Nearly Departed • [Deadpan Allie] • (1983) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 467 • Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine • (1983) • novelette by John Kessel 486 • Carrion Comfort • (1983) • novelette by Dan Simmons 522 • Gemstone • (1983) • novelette by Vernor Vinge 546 • Black Air • (1983) • novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson 571 • Honorable Mentions: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois


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Contents 9 • Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois 26 • Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling 60 • Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr. 76 • Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson 101 • Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • shortstory by Poul Anderson 119 • Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) Contents 9 • Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois 26 • Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling 60 • Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr. 76 • Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson 101 • Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • shortstory by Poul Anderson 119 • Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) • shortstory by Howard Waldrop 136 • Hardfought • (1983) • novella by Greg Bear 195 • Manifest Destiny • (1983) • novelette by Joe Haldeman 209 • Full Chicken Richness • (1983) • shortstory by Avram Davidson 219 • Multiples • (1983) • shortstory by Robert Silverberg 237 • Cryptic • (1983) • shortstory by Jack McDevitt 253 • The Sidon in the Mirror • (1983) • novelette by Connie Willis 281 • Golden Gate • (1982) • shortstory by R. A. Lafferty 295 • Blind Shemmy • (1983) • novelette by Jack Dann 316 • In the Islands • (1983) • shortstory by Pat Murphy 329 • Nunc Dimittis • (1983) • novelette by Tanith Lee 348 • Blood Music • (1983) • novelette by Greg Bear 371 • Her Furry Face • (1983) • shortstory by Leigh Kennedy 387 • Knight of Shallows • (1983) • novelette by Rand B. Lee 419 • The Cat • [Solar Cycle] • (1983) • shortstory by Gene Wolfe 426 • The Monkey Treatment • (1983) • novelette by George R. R. Martin 452 • Nearly Departed • [Deadpan Allie] • (1983) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan 467 • Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine • (1983) • novelette by John Kessel 486 • Carrion Comfort • (1983) • novelette by Dan Simmons 522 • Gemstone • (1983) • novelette by Vernor Vinge 546 • Black Air • (1983) • novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson 571 • Honorable Mentions: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois

30 review for The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    I bought this book when I was a teenager, but only read a little bit of it way back then. So it feels like a wonderful full-circle moment to complete it now. There are many strong stories in this volume, and no real clunkers. My favorite is Tanith Lee’s “Nunc Dimittis.” It’s the first story of hers I’ve ever read, and I was so impressed with her poetic voice, the lush moodiness and menace of her tale, and the aching heart that coursed through it. Some of the work is uneven, and there is perhaps I bought this book when I was a teenager, but only read a little bit of it way back then. So it feels like a wonderful full-circle moment to complete it now. There are many strong stories in this volume, and no real clunkers. My favorite is Tanith Lee’s “Nunc Dimittis.” It’s the first story of hers I’ve ever read, and I was so impressed with her poetic voice, the lush moodiness and menace of her tale, and the aching heart that coursed through it. Some of the work is uneven, and there is perhaps a bit too much of a sense that the writers at the time were wanting to build in reversals and twists for their own sake. But it’s a vivid time capsule of what was happening in the SFF field 35 years ago. I’m planning to make my way through all 35 volumes, honoring the exhaustive work that the late Gardner Dozois did to celebrate emerging and established voices in the genre I love so much.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    It’s always a bit difficult for me to rate story anthologies. So most of the time I just go for a felt average of the ratings I would have given the single stories. Yet this does not take into account the meticulous work that was put into the collection and presentation. The stories would get a 3 stars average from me, the fourth is for Dozois. The broad range of topics in this issue is wonderful, stretching from Bruce Sterling’s hard SF „Cicada Queen“ to Kim Stanley Robinson’s „Black Air“, a his It’s always a bit difficult for me to rate story anthologies. So most of the time I just go for a felt average of the ratings I would have given the single stories. Yet this does not take into account the meticulous work that was put into the collection and presentation. The stories would get a 3 stars average from me, the fourth is for Dozois. The broad range of topics in this issue is wonderful, stretching from Bruce Sterling’s hard SF „Cicada Queen“ to Kim Stanley Robinson’s „Black Air“, a historical story with just a hint of magic. No matter in which direction the personal taste sways, there certainly will be a story to satisfy it. For my special preferences the outstanding stories were: „Slow Birds“ by Ian Watson, a beautiful and allegorical search for truth. „Blood Music“ by Greg Bear, a ‚mad scientist‘ story with devastating consequences (I was told by English speaking readers that the writing here is very simple. Since I’m not very versed in English, this didn’t bother me, I loved the concept). „Knight of Shallows“ by Rand B. Lee, a fast paced timetravel story that turns into soul-searching. „Carrion Comfort“ by Dan Simmons, a brutal and misanthropic narration, that had me completely mesmerized. „Gemstone“ by Vernor Vinge, a touching and quite different kind of First Contact. And now on to the other 34 volumes in search for my personal short story gems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jordi

    Crom bless ebooks for putting old collections like this within easy reach. If only I had the time to read everything I want to read... Here’s some of the best SF short stories published in 1983, selected by the late, great Gardner Dozois, in the volume that kicked off his legendary year’s best series. A year where you get a peculiar mix of classic authors like Poul Anderson, R.A. Lafferty and Robert Silverberg, sharing space with newer authors at that time like Bruce Sterling, Greg Bear, Connie W Crom bless ebooks for putting old collections like this within easy reach. If only I had the time to read everything I want to read... Here’s some of the best SF short stories published in 1983, selected by the late, great Gardner Dozois, in the volume that kicked off his legendary year’s best series. A year where you get a peculiar mix of classic authors like Poul Anderson, R.A. Lafferty and Robert Silverberg, sharing space with newer authors at that time like Bruce Sterling, Greg Bear, Connie Willis, Kim Stanley Robinson, Dan Simmons and John Kessel. You also get outstanding authors that had already been established in the previous 10 years or so, like Gene Wolfe, James Tiptree Jr, Joe Haldeman, Ian Watson, George R.R. Martin, Jack Dann and Tanith Lee. As you can see from the list of names, this is a great SF collection. Highlights for me were the stories from Kim Stanley Robinson (“Black Air”), Greg Bear (“Blood Music”), George R.R. Martin (“The Monkey Treatment”), Ian Watson (“Slow Birds”), Tanith Lee (“Nunc Dimittis”) and Connie Willis (“The Sidon in the Mirror”). But there’s so much more good stuff... “Cicada Queen”, by Bruce Sterling (4 stars) Nebula award-nominated for best novelette. The characters may be hystrionic, the dialogues confusing, the plot jagged, but the writing cracks your skull, and the atmosphere is as alien as the cicada queen from the title. Post-humanism at its best. It sounds cliche, but I don’t think they do stuff like this anymore. I wonder if we got better writing in SF but lost some of the wild imagination. “Beyond the Dead Reef”, by James Tiptree, Jr. (3 stars) A horror story with an ecologist motif set in the Caribbean Sea. Good writing, but not the best from Tiptree. “Slow Birds”, by Ian Watson (5 stars) An intriguing Hugo and Nebula award-nominated novelette set in an alternate reality where slow moving metal birds appear from time to time in unexpected places, and nobody knows what they are or where they come from. An interesting allegory. “Vulcan’s Forge”, by Poul Anderson (3 stars) Classic space age SF. Astronauts surveying an asteroid. As much as I like Poul Anderson’s work, this story fell flat, loaded with technical mumbo jumbo. “Man-Mountain Gentain”, by Howard Waldrop (4 stars) Even if at the beginning the whole premise of using kinetic powers for a variant of Sumo didn’t appeal to me at all, the story slowly grabs you. Great stuff. “Hardfought”, by Greg Bear (4 stars) Hugo award-nominated and Nebula award-winning novella exploring war and the experience of the other. Bold, but with a steep learning curve to get familiar with the setting, where both the human and the alien (the Senexi), feel equally strange. “Manifest Destiny”, by Joe Haldeman (4 stars) Odd ball from master Haldeman. A story set in the Mexican-American War, with thin fantastic elements. Great voice though. “Full Chicken Richness”, by Avram Davidson (3 stars) A witty, somewhat silly, short story set in a burger place frequented by eccentric characters. And a time machine used for the most atypical purposes one could have for it. “Multiples”, by Robert Silverberg (4 stars) A smart exploration of a different form of consciousness with multiple personalities, and its effects on relationships. Brilliant. “Cryptic”, by Jack McDevitt (3 stars) A quite typical Asimov’s magazine story, centered in the SETI project. It was nominated to the Nebula awards for best short story. “The Sidon in the Mirror”, by Connie Willis (5 stars) Hugo and Nebula award-nominated novelette. Set in mine on a dying star, it reads like a strange Western. Intriguing and wonderfully written. A must read. “Golden Gate”, by R.A. Lafferty (4 stars) This is the closest that SF writing can get to magic. The plot felt irrelevant, but the picturesque characters and the witty humor makes it worth reading. I just love Lafferty’s crazy writing. “Blind Shemmy”, by Jack Dann (3 stars) Nebula award-nominated novelette. Proto-cyberpunk story revolving around the use of electronic psychic connections for a special kind of gambling. Great weird atmosphere. “In the Islands”, by Pat Murphy (4 stars) A great take on the worn out mermaid trope, using it as a metaphor to talk about the difficult balance of a misfit existence. “Nunc Dimittis”, by Tanith Lee (5 stars) There’s a vampire lurking in these lines. A vampire, and a spoken enchantment. Bravo. “Blood Music”, by Greg Bear (5 stars) Mind-blowing, nightmarish SF postulating the evolution of microorganisms up to the point of achieving intelligent life without individuality. Masterpiece. It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novelette. No wonder. “Her Furry Face”, by Leigh Kennedy (4 stars) Nebula award-nominated short story. A love triangle between a scientist, his girlfriend and a smart orangutan. Unsettling. “Knight of Shallows”, by Rand B. Lee (2 stars) A dull exploration of the concept of alternate universes. Sappy. “The Cat”, by Gene Wolfe (4 stars) A story set in The Book of the New Sun universe. Cryptic and strange as only Gene Wolfe could make it, but the writing is just absorbing. “The Monkey Treatment”, by George R.R. Martin (5 stars) Hugo and Nebula award-nominated novelette. A nightmarish take on the obsession of weight loss that will give you the creeps. Must read. “Nearly Departed”, by Pat Cadigan (4 stars) A dangerous journey into the mind of a mad dead poet… A bold, experimental story playing with the idea of being able to explore other people’s minds. “Hearts Do Not In Eyes Shine”, by John Kessel (4 stars) A compelling story about memory and the inevitable poisoning of relationships. Once trust is broken, you can’t really go back to square one, even if we could get a fancy technological treatment to erase selective memories… “Carrion Comfort”, by Dan Simmons (4 stars)
 A great horror novella that Simmons would later expand into a longer novel. Mind vampires using people at will to satisfy their murderous cravings. The first half is a masterclass in storytelling. “Gemstone”, by Vernon Vinge (4 stars) A hidden gem (no pun intended). A peculiar first contact story set in a small Northern California town, Eureka. Part a homage to The Thing from Outer Space, the strength of the story is in the narrative of a teenager spending the last summer with her Grandma, and the tension growing between them, as she’s not longer the small kid that Grandma would like her to be. And also, that they happen to have an alien in the house, yes. “Black Air”, by Kim Stanley Robinson (5 stars) One of the strongest stories in the anthology. It was nominated to both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novelette. A halfbreed between fantasy and historical fiction, set in the last battle of the Spanish Armada (la Armada Invencible) in the 16th century. The fantastic element comes from making the catholic theology real, so saints fly, and the main character, a boy kidnapped from a monastery, develops the ability to see the souls of his fellow sailors. Even the grandmother of God (!) saves his life a couple of times. Of course, everything could be explained by the fevers he suffers during his long stay aboard La Lavia… A small masterpiece, the main highlight is the haunting description of the battle between la Armada Invencible and the English ships, from the eyes of this kid that sees saints and souls.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Here starts one of the most iconic series in science-fiction literature!, make no mistake about it. For the next 35 years, if you wrote short-form science-fiction and wanted to be heard of, you had to have stories in late Gardner Dozois' year's best anthologies. He had tried his hand in year's best anthologies before (see Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year series, volumes 6 through 10), but now he's alone in the driver's seat with a new "brand" to his name. Funny enough though, of all I've Here starts one of the most iconic series in science-fiction literature!, make no mistake about it. For the next 35 years, if you wrote short-form science-fiction and wanted to be heard of, you had to have stories in late Gardner Dozois' year's best anthologies. He had tried his hand in year's best anthologies before (see Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year series, volumes 6 through 10), but now he's alone in the driver's seat with a new "brand" to his name. Funny enough though, of all I've read so far, this first volume appears to have the smallest number of actual science-fiction stories. Minimalist fantasy and some vaguely-alternate history stories dominate here. Regardless, a lot of fun is to be had. Story breakdown: • Cicada Queen • novelette by Bruce Sterling: 1* I have in the past attempted to read Sterling's Schismatrix. It just wasn't for me. Skipping it as it's from the same universe. • Beyond the Dead Reef • shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr.: 2* Man goes scuba diving into a very polluted part of the oceans and sees a garbage monster. Yey! • Slow Birds • novelette by Ian Watson: 4* Industrial revolution era humans on a different planet have run-ins with strange "birds" from alternate universes. "Classical" adventure/mystery story. The only one of this anthology. • Vulcan's Forge • shortstory by Poul Anderson: 2* Bunch of astronauts survey an asteroid. Boring and unoriginal. • Man-Mountain Gentian • shortstory by Howard Waldrop: 2* Everything that this story needed to convey was done so in phrase #1: "... it was realized that some of the wrestlers were throwing their opponents from the ring without touching them". For the rest we are simply treated to several sumo (?!) no-contact matches. I can't get enough of this kind of stories in sci-fi anthologies... NOT! • Hardfought • novella by Greg Bear: 4* One of the most difficult stories I ever read. A war between humans and an alien race extends into the extreme far-future. I liked the theme and the aliens; minus one star for the narration style though. • Manifest Destiny • novelette by Joe Haldeman: 3* Well-written, but totally out of place. Again. Couple of American adventurers join the army to fight in the Mexican-American War. • Full Chicken Richness • shortstory by Avram Davidson: 1* People hang around a restaurant and discuss recipes. According to the editor, some time travel element is involved. I was unable to keep reading to find it. • Multiples • shortstory by Robert Silverberg: 1* Probably the worst Silverberg story I ever read. Lost me completely after three pages. • Cryptic • shortstory by Jack McDevitt: 2* Pointless story about SETI messages. • The Sidon in the Mirror • novelette by Connie Willis: 3* Finally another interesting typical science-fiction setting. A very hot planet with an unstable atmosphere. Even some cool characters. Unfortunately the plot is just characters sitting around in a bar discussing the piano. • Golden Gate • shortstory by R. A. Lafferty: 1* Another boring non sci-fi story that I abandoned half-way through. One hour later I was unable to remember what it was about. • Blind Shemmy • novelette by Jack Dann: 2* In a dystopian future, a group of people enter a casino to play some kind of mind baccarat. Instead of focusing on the setting, or the characters, or any kind of action, we're getting pages and pages on what the game rules are. Ugh! • In the Islands • shortstory by Pat Murphy: 1* More non sci-fi bull***t about swimming. Didn't we already have a story on this theme? • Nunc Dimittis • novelette by Tanith Lee: 5* The aging servant of a vampire seeks a replacement for himself. Non-sci-fi-ish like most of the stories here, but very catchy and atmospheric. • Blood Music • novelette by Greg Bear: 4* One of the earliest stories to tackle the "bio-tech goes crazy and takes over the world" theme. Not the best writing here, but it's quite cool. • Her Furry Face • shortstory by Leigh Kennedy: 1* Talking orangutans! Next! • Knight of Shallows • novelette by Rand B. Lee: 4* With the advent of parallel-world travel, a man is tasked with finding an alternate version of himself who is killing other alternates. Interesting idea. The execution becomes a little sloppy towards the end, but not enough to ruin it. • The Cat • shortstory by Gene Wolfe: 1* I did not like Wolfe's Sun series. This is set there and I'm not liking it any better. • The Monkey Treatment • novelette by George R. R. Martin: 5* If you have non sci-fi in a Year's Best Sci-fi, it'd better be good. No, wait, this was actually excellent. Can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a story. And it's a GRRM story. Showing that in other lifetime he HAD been a show-runner for the Twilight Zone, this story follows the exploits of an obese man trying an extreme diet plan. • Nearly Departed • shortstory by Pat Cadigan: 2* In this future, reading dead people's minds is a thing. Yuck! • Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine • novelette by John Kessel: 2* A barely sci-fi-ish lovers' quarrel story. • Carrion Comfort • novelette by Dan Simmons: 3* Mind vampires play their power games with humans as collateral damage. Better than the novel that was derived from it, because everything that was useful is here, in this novelette. The novel is unnecessarily long and boring. • Gemstone • novelette by Vernor Vinge: 3* A kid and her grandma fight off some less than human home invaders. • Black Air • novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson: 4* Only fitting to end a Year's Best Science Fiction anthology with another non-sci-fi story. Fortunately, another well-written one. A poor African boy is forcefully drafted into the famous Spanish Armada sailing to defeat England. The story of their defeat is somewhat different, and a few supernatural events insue, giving this story enough salt and pepper to forget I was actually reading a sci-fi anthology. Weighted average turned out to be 2.8. As an interesting statistic, this is the shortest of all 35 anthologies, one of only two to contain only one novella, but not the one with the fewest titles.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Often the trouble with anthologies is that they 'make do'. They find two or three amazing pieces, back them up a good two or three stories and then fill the gaps with mediocre or self serving material to the detriment of the reading experience. Not so with this amazing volume, where all the stories are connected by an overwhelming urge to grab readers by the throat and make us live the choices we made. Often the trouble with anthologies is that they 'make do'. They find two or three amazing pieces, back them up a good two or three stories and then fill the gaps with mediocre or self serving material to the detriment of the reading experience. Not so with this amazing volume, where all the stories are connected by an overwhelming urge to grab readers by the throat and make us live the choices we made.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... as you move to the next volume in every single one of these collections is essential reading for true fans of science fiction short stories... each lengthy volume has a stellar array of all mini-genres and areas of powerfully influential science fiction: hard science, speculative, steampunk, alien invasions, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, aliens, monsters, horror-ish, space travel, time travel, eco-science, evolutionary, pre-historic, parallel universes, extraterrestrials... as you move to the next volume in the series you will be witness to how the tales have advanced and grown in imagination and detail with our ability to envision greater concepts and possibilities... Rod Serling said, "...fantasy is the impossible made probable. science fiction is the improbable made possible..." and in the pages of these books is the absolute best the vastness of science fiction writing has to offer... sit back, relax, and dream...

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Devlin

    Lucky to get this on Kindle since it sells for $400 as an actual book. I've read something like 25 of the last 30 years of these Best Ofs(I'm only missing 2,5,and 6). They're always well done and now w/Kindle the'yre a great deal. One small point I was struck by how contemporary the fiction felt though it's science fiction written in 1983. Further proof of my point that Sci-fi is the best kind of literature because it better reflects our lives which seem to be more and more science fiction as sc Lucky to get this on Kindle since it sells for $400 as an actual book. I've read something like 25 of the last 30 years of these Best Ofs(I'm only missing 2,5,and 6). They're always well done and now w/Kindle the'yre a great deal. One small point I was struck by how contemporary the fiction felt though it's science fiction written in 1983. Further proof of my point that Sci-fi is the best kind of literature because it better reflects our lives which seem to be more and more science fiction as science fact.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philip Hollenback

    You can never go wrong with this series. The first collection is surprisingly hard to find but worth the effort.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    I love these collections. My five-star rating may reflect only my enjoyment at these collections rather than objective analysis, but that’s true about everything. I was sad to learn that Dozois died recently, but realized there were about 35 years of these collections (plus best of the best) so I decided to make my way through all of them. In this first annual collection it’s interesting to see some writers that are currently well known but that here were just starting out eg, Kim Stanley Robins I love these collections. My five-star rating may reflect only my enjoyment at these collections rather than objective analysis, but that’s true about everything. I was sad to learn that Dozois died recently, but realized there were about 35 years of these collections (plus best of the best) so I decided to make my way through all of them. In this first annual collection it’s interesting to see some writers that are currently well known but that here were just starting out eg, Kim Stanley Robinson it George R. R. Martin. Mainly I appreciate Gardner Dozois’ efforts at putting these collections of great reading together. Note-I has thought these stories would be good sources of books to read, however my experience so far has been better short stories than novels, however I see a lot of writers whose books I had read and enjoyed before I saw them here, so I will keep trying.

  10. 5 out of 5

    York

    Favorite stories in this one: "Cicada Queen", "Slow Birds, "Man-Mountain Gentian", "Multiples", and "Gemstone". Favorite stories in this one: "Cicada Queen", "Slow Birds, "Man-Mountain Gentian", "Multiples", and "Gemstone".

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kij

    Some very good short stories, but also some duds.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Glen Engel-Cox

    ***** Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois ***** Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling ** Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • short story by James Tiptree, Jr. **** Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson ** Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • short story by Poul Anderson *** Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) • short story by Howard Waldrop * Hardfought • (1983) • novella by Greg Bear *** Manifest Destiny • (1983) • short story by Joe Haldeman * ***** Introduction: Summation: 1983 • essay by Gardner Dozois ***** Cicada Queen • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1983) • novelette by Bruce Sterling ** Beyond the Dead Reef • [Quintana Roo] • (1983) • short story by James Tiptree, Jr. **** Slow Birds • (1983) • novelette by Ian Watson ** Vulcan's Forge • (1983) • short story by Poul Anderson *** Man-Mountain Gentian • (1983) • short story by Howard Waldrop * Hardfought • (1983) • novella by Greg Bear *** Manifest Destiny • (1983) • short story by Joe Haldeman **** Full Chicken Richness • (1983) • short story by Avram Davidson **** Multiples • (1983) • short story by Robert Silverberg *** Cryptic • (1983) • short story by Jack McDevitt **** The Sidon in the Mirror • (1983) • novelette by Connie Willis ** Golden Gate • (1982) • short story by R. A. Lafferty *** Blind Shemmy • (1983) • novelette by Jack Dann *** In the Islands • (1983) • short story by Pat Murphy **** Nunc Dimittis • (1983) • novelette by Tanith Lee ***** Blood Music • (1983) • novelette by Greg Bear **** Her Furry Face • (1983) • short story by Leigh Kennedy **** Knight of Shallows • (1983) • novelette by Rand B. Lee *** The Cat • [Solar Cycle] • (1983) • short story by Gene Wolfe ***** The Monkey Treatment • (1983) • novelette by George R. R. Martin *** Nearly Departed • [Deadpan Allie] • (1983) • short story by Pat Cadigan **** Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine • (1983) • novelette by John Kessel ***** Carrion Comfort • (1983) • novelette by Dan Simmons **** Gemstone • (1983) • novelette by Vernor Vinge **** Black Air • (1983) • novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson I originally read this back in 1986, three years after most of the stories were published and a couple of years after the collection came out. I had met Bruce Sterling by then, and was on speaking terms with several of the other writers that appear in this collection and would appear in future ones, and had determined that I, too, would someday have a story included. Alas, the dream was not to be. While I did publish a few stories in the next three decades, none of them met Dozois' high standard and with his death this year, I no longer have the opportunity to try and meet that hurdle. Dozois hadn’t started this from scratch. In the late 70s he had taken over a more modest Dutton-published Best SF series from Lester del Rey, ending up doing five additional volumes to the five that del Rey had edited. But what he did do was somehow convince Bluejay Books to commit to a much more massive compilation, nearly three times the Dutton volumes. I’m not sure about the logistics, but I suspect that it may have been due to offering a slightly lower rate per word, so that while individual authors included may not have reaped as much monetarily, they may have become better known because these volumes became nearly a necessary buy for anyone interested in the field. So, in this one case, the exposure may indeed have been worth the reduced rate. In any case, it was “found money”—i.e., authors had already earned 3-7 cents per word on the original publications. It was fun to re-read. While I started picking these huge volumes up when they first appeared, but stopped buying them after about the 20th annual collection because they threatened to implode and collapse in on themselves due to their combined heft and breadth. Still, for someone without the time to commit to reading all the short fiction magazines, these were indispensable to keep up with the trends in the field. As always, Dozois' summary provides the most objective measure of the good and bad the industry was going through at the time. His story selections remained strong. I only had real problems with one, Greg Bear's "Hardfought," which I found annoying more than interesting and found myself skimming, but that was more than made up for by Bear's "Blood Music," which I thought the best story of that year. Some of the other stories started off slow, and then I found myself caught up in them, like Ian Watson's "Slow Birds," Vernor Vinge's "Gemstone," and Dan Simmons' "Carrion Comfort."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Byrd

    For those who want a straightforward rating and a simple recommendation list for these stories, here’s the short version. I give this collection 3.5 stars, and I recommend that you read the following stories (listed in the order they appear): Cicada Queen (14k) Slow Birds (10k) Man-Mountain Gentian (6k) Hardfought (23k) Manifest Destiny (6.5k) Cryptic (6k) Golden Gate (5.5k) Blood Music* (9k) Knight of Shallows (13k) The Monkey Treatment* (12k) Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine (8k) Carrion Comfort* (16k) Black Ai For those who want a straightforward rating and a simple recommendation list for these stories, here’s the short version. I give this collection 3.5 stars, and I recommend that you read the following stories (listed in the order they appear): Cicada Queen (14k) Slow Birds (10k) Man-Mountain Gentian (6k) Hardfought (23k) Manifest Destiny (6.5k) Cryptic (6k) Golden Gate (5.5k) Blood Music* (9k) Knight of Shallows (13k) The Monkey Treatment* (12k) Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine (8k) Carrion Comfort* (16k) Black Air (11k) * These are the cream of the crop, in my view. (Oddly, they are all horror stories.) Parentheses show the approximate number of words in each story. I recommend avoiding: Vulcan’s Forge; The Sidon in the Mirror; Her Furry Face. The other stories range from Decent to Pretty Good, and it’s entirely possible that one of them will strike other readers as much better than they did me. Out of this secondary group, I would suggest the following as quite interesting: Beyond the Dead Reef; Full Chicken Richness; Multiples; Gemstone. For more detail on any one of these, please continue reading for a complete review. [edit: You can view my entire review of these stories on Librarything as it will not fit within the allowed character limits here.]

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Wow. I used to read these collections when I was in High School...yep, a ways back...now with my Kindle, it was easy to go all the way back to the one that began this series from Mr. Dozois. Lots of great stories in here. Most interesting thing for me, was his intros to each author, and reading, for example, the intro to George R. R. Martin's story, and seeing no references to any of the great works he has done since they came after that. Song of Ice and Fire? Nope...his story in here was excell Wow. I used to read these collections when I was in High School...yep, a ways back...now with my Kindle, it was easy to go all the way back to the one that began this series from Mr. Dozois. Lots of great stories in here. Most interesting thing for me, was his intros to each author, and reading, for example, the intro to George R. R. Martin's story, and seeing no references to any of the great works he has done since they came after that. Song of Ice and Fire? Nope...his story in here was excellent, I might add...so, do I want to continue the trip down memory lane and get vol. 2? Not sure...I may wait a while so I can catch up on other things...it will be there waiting for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    The best short stories of the year collected in one place. Dozois is the best editor in the genre.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    Excelente recopilacion de relatos publicada en 1983. Lo unico molesto es que no todos los relatos son de ciencia ficcion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Looking forward to the rest.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Frahn

  19. 5 out of 5

    BookishLinda (Lateniteknitter)

  20. 4 out of 5

    karen kraus

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tj Woody

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joshua kabari

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nongingercat

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Basile

  25. 5 out of 5

    李云金

  26. 5 out of 5

    robin hrdesty

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harry Rappaport

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