Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 (The Best American Series ®)

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The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 is edited by Diana Gabaldon (she wrote the Outlander series) and John Joseph Adams. The stories come from a variety of publications, Lightspeed, New Suns, Amazing Stories, and The New Yorker among them. As with any “best of”, a reader will enjoy some more than others. But, in total, I thought these were excellent picks.

My favorite selection is by Elizabeth Bear, entitled Bullet Point. In this story, Bear’s protagonist is the last person on earth, or so she believes and is in Las Vegas. She thinks in bullet points of all the things on earth that she no longer worries about after all the people have disappeared. Bear manages to have quite a bit of depth in this story, as the female protagonist has a history of domestic abuse. The ending of the story is terrific.

A second selection that I really enjoyed is the first one in the book, Life Sentence, by Matthew Baker. It reminds me quite a bit of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, which I am fascinated by and have read many times. In this story, Wash, the main character, has had his memory wiped as a punishment, instead of the old-fashioned notion of a prison. It has a dreamlike, surreal yet horrifyingly plausible tone.

I will continue to enjoy these stories and will re-read many of them. It’s a fun collection for science fiction and fantasy fans.


Reviewed By:

Author Edited by Diana Gabaldon
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 432 pages
Publisher Mariner Books
Publish Date 2020-Nov-03
ISBN 9781328613103
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2021
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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