Saturday, January 30, 2010
Book Review: The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: 60th Anniversary Anthology, ed. by Gordon Van Gelder
Some of the finest short stories of the past sixty years in any genre are collected in The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: 60th Anniversary Anthology, edited by The Magazine of Fantasy &Science Fiction editor Gordon Van Gelder.
I haven't gone back to check the overlap with previous F&SF collections, but many of the stories have been new to me. One item of particular interest to me was the inclusion of several short stories from the last ten years that hold up very well against their older bookmates. It seems short sci-fi and fantasy is still alive and well, indeed.
The one downside to this book? I felt like a bit of a doofus when I read Peter S. Beagle's award-winning short story "Two Hearts" just two days after sharing the same dealer room for three days at the ConFusion convention. A reviewer who is less of a doofus would've read the table of contents, instead of being happy to just peruse these gems in the order they appear. Then I might've been able to say something relevant when I met him like, "Hey, I just read that 'Two Hearts' story and really enjoyed it," instead of just, "Nice to meet you." I suppose we should just be glad that my doofus-ness has limits and I didn't make a remark about owning a beagle.
But that's the way it is on the ol' Patio Boat, gentle reader. You're stuck with a reviewer who's a moderate doofus. But who's the bigger doofus? The doofus reviewer, or the doofus blog reader who's reading the reviews of a doofus?
Summary: This doofus says this is one of the best short-story collections he's read in quite some time.
Reviewing Bonus: For reviews of some of the stories herein, you can check out the short story reviews that I'm posting occasionally over on Dwarf Planet Press's blogsite.
Tachyon Publications: The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: 60th Anniversary Anthology, ed. by Gordon Van Gelder
Where and How Acquired: Science Fiction Book Club.