The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 26
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For nearly three decades, Gardner Dozois has been presenting his weighty and eclectic annual selection of short science fiction that deserves to be better known to a wider audience. It has consistently been voted Year's Best Anthology by the readers of Locus magazine, overwhelmingly more often than any other collection. Unfailingly, Dozois's selection offers the very best stories of the year, showcasing outstanding new talents alongside acknowledged masters of the genre. This year's collection is no exception, including the work of over 30 writers, including: Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley, Linda Nagata, Indrapreamit Das, Pat Cadigan, Andy Duncan, Brit Mandelo, Carrie Vaughn and many more. It includes, as ever, Dozois's magisterial summation of 2012 in SF. Praise for previous editions:This annual compilation of the previous year's best short stories and novellas, together with a comprehensive summation of the state of the genre and...
pulled her to a stop. Behind, a pale wash of light blinked on, then off. A suit light on ultradim, just enough for easier pursuit. He’d seen it several times before, a little closer each time. “We can’t beat him this way,” he said. “We’ve got to do something about the footprints.” “What?” “I don’t know. Find firmer terrain. Or a beaten path. Anything that at least makes him work to follow us.” The helmet-to-helmet contact stuttered as Sarah looked around—for what little good that did in the
vacuum organisms were soaking up sunlight, Lexi said, after a while. Turning light into electricity, powering something that responded to changes in the structure of the ice. Strain gauges perhaps, coupled to transmitters. “The sunlight warms the ice, every so slightly,” she said. “It expands asymmetrically, the embedded circuitry responds to the microscopic stresses. . . .” “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” “Yes . . .” It was beautiful. A wild, aleatory chorus rising and falling in endless circles
thinks you’re his rebirth, Greta Bryn, his heaven-sent successor.” I don’t get this. “He thinks I’m not I?” “I guess not. Grief has fuddled his reason, but maybe just temporarily.” “I am I,” I say to Mama awful hot, and she agrees. But I remember the Dalai Lama. When I was four, he played Go Fish with me in Amdo Bay during my second up-phase. Daddy sneak-named him “Yoda,” like from Star Wars, but he looked more like skinny Mr. Peanut on the peanut tins. He wore a one-lens thing and a funny
too, for the way it silvered the peaks and saddles of the mountains and cast spidery tree-shadows over the unpaved road. That was how it happened that Onyx first saw the skydancer vaulting over a mountain pass northwest of Buttercup County. Jasper didn’t see it because he was looking at the road ahead. Jasper was a tall boy, two breadloaves taller than Onyx, and he owned a big head with eyes made for inspecting the horizon. It’s what’s in front of you that counts, he often said. Jasper believed
cropped. Like a corpse, he seemed unnaturally comfortable. Just once, he took a deep breath, and she lifted her head high enough to look down on his face, watching the wet balls of his eyes bounce beneath their brown lids, dreaming who-knew-what kind of dream while he slept unaware. Silently, she reached across her body with her old left hand, one finger and the tip of the thumb gently touching both sleeping eyes. He woke instantly, totally. What charmed her, then and forever, was that he