Book Review: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by N. K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams

Cover of the book The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by N. K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018
edited by N. K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams
HMH/Mariner, 2018

This review was first published by Booklist on October 26, 2018.

**STARRED REVIEW** If these annual best-of anthologies indicate where speculative fiction is heading, readers should be excited for the future of the genre. The 20 stories collected here aren’t necessarily the most popular of the year. Indeed, they are selected from a wider variety of publications than the typical mainstream sf magazines. These tales are the year’s most innovative and interesting, prime examples of artists seeking to push the boundaries of their art. This collection brings to mind Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthologies, starting in 1967, in the way it showcases cutting-edge work, ranging from hard-science fiction to fantasy, to dystopia. There’s also a stronger emphasis on the eerie horror than most best-of collections. According to Jemisin (The Stone Sky, 2017), guest editor for this installment, these are stories of revolution—some literally, while some revolt against the style and tropes of the genre, while others offer revolutionary reimaginings of the world and society. These are stories to take your breath away, to make you laugh, to bring you to despair, to give you hope, to creep you out, and even to break your heart. Some work better than others, but all are interesting, vibrant, and worthy.

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