Year's Best series for Prime Books

Last Update: 27 February 2011
NEW: Complete Table of Contents now available for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 books.

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My Year's Best Anthologies

As a short fiction reviewer I have for years read as much of the new short SF and Fantasy published each year in English as I can, including all the prominent magazines, all the major online sites, and numerous small-press magazines, smaller websites, dozens of original anthologies, and chapbooks and story collections, for a total of somewhat over 2000 stories a year, in the neighborhood of 10,000,000 to 14,000,000 words per year. I naturally have listed my favorite stories every year in what I called a "Virtual Best of the Year" list, which was great fun to do, and also easy in the sense that I didn't have to hew to any particular word count limit. But in 2006, Sean Wallace at Prime Books asked me to compile two anthologies -- Science Fiction: The Best of the Year and Fantasy: The Best of the Year. Now I had to make the hard choices to limit each book to 125,000 words -- and those were hard choices. But I'm very proud of the books. In 2009 we changed the books to a combined edition of twice the size of the previous individual books, called The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. That year I also published another book with Wyrm Publishing, Unplugged, a selection of the best SF and Fantasy first published online in 2008 -- however, that series was discontinued after one volume. (Victim in part of the increasing prominence of online fiction -- approximately have of my latest volume originally appeared online.)


The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2011

Yoon Ha Lee, "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" (Lightspeed)
K. J. Parker, "Amor Vincit Omnia" (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Subterranean)
Amal El-Mohtar, "The Green Book" (Apex)
Alice Sola Kim, "The Other Graces" (Asimov's)
Geoffrey A. Landis, "The Sultan of the Clouds" (Asimov's)
Christie Yant, "The Magician and the Maid and Other Stories" (The Way of the Wizard)
Steve Rasnic Tem, "A Letter from the Emperor" (Asimov's)
Matthew Johnson, "Holdfast" (Fantasy)
Charlie Yu, "Standard Loneliness Package" (Lightspeed)
Rachel Swirsky, "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" (Subterranean)
Adam-Troy Castro, "Arvies" (Lightspeed)
Bill Kte'pi, "Merrythoughts" (Strange Horizons)
Samantha Henderson, "The Red Bride" (Strange Horizons)
Paul Park, "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" (F&SF)
Gene Wolfe, "Bloodsport" (Swords and Dark Magic)
Carol Emshwiller, "No Time Like the Present" (Lightspeed)
C. S. E. Cooney, "Braiding the Ghosts" (Clockwork Phoenix 3)
Neil Gaiman, "The Thing About Cassandra" (Songs of Love and Death)
Willow Fagan, "The Interior of Mr. Bumblethorn's Coat" (Fantasy)
Peter Watts, "The Things" (Clarkesworld)
Paul M. Berger, "Stereogram of the Gray Fort, in the Days of Her Glory" (Fantasy)
Alexandra Duncan, "Amor Fugit" (F&SF)
Robert Reed, "Dead Man's Run" (F&SF)
Matthew David Surridge, "The Word of Azrael" (Black Gate)
Charlie Jane Anders, "The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model" (
Damien Broderick, "Under the Moons of Venus" (Subterranean)
An Omowoyela, "Abandonware" (Fantasy)
Elizabeth Hand, "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" (Stories)


The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2010

Steven Gould, "A Story, with Beans" (Analog, May)
Theodora Goss, "Child-Empress of Mars" (Interfictions 2)
Peter Watts, "The Island" (The New Space Opera 2)
Robert Kelly, "The Logic of the World" (Conjunctions 52)
Holly Phillips, "The Long Cold Goodbye" (Asimov's, March)
Ann Leckie, "The Endangered Camp" (Clockwork Phoenix 2)
Alex Irvine, "Dragon's Teeth" (F&SF, December)
Sara Genge, "As Women Fight" (Asimov's, December)
Lucius Shepard, "Sylgarmo's Proclamation" (Tales of the Dying Earth; Subterranean, Spring)
Jo Walton, "Three Twilight Tales" (Firebirds Soaring)
John Meaney, "Necroflux Day" (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 3)
Paul Park, "The Persistence of Memory; or, This Space for Sale" (Postscripts 20/21)
Robert Charles Wilson, "This Peaceable Land; or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe" (Other Earths)
Jay Lake, "On the Human Plan" (Lone Star Stories, Feburary)
John Langan, "Technicolor" (Poe)
Eugene Mirabelli, "Catalog" (F&SF, February)
Paul McAuley, "Crimes and Glory" (Subterranean, Spring)
Rachel Swirsky, "Eros, Philia, Agape" (, March)
Nir Yaniv, "A Painter, a Sheep, and a Boa Constrictor" (Shimmer 10)
Dominic Green, "Glister" (Interzone, August)
Damien Broderick, "The Qualia Engine" (Asimov's, August)
Catherynne M. Valente, "The Radiant Car Thy Sparrows Drew" (Clarkesworld, August)
R. Garcia y Robertson, "Wife-Stealing Time" (Asimov's, October-November)
Nancy Kress, "Images of Anna" (Fantasy Magazine, September 14)
Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, "Mongoose" (Lovecraft Unbound)
Margo Lanagan, "Living Curiosities" (Sideshow)
Toiya Kristen Finlay, "The Death of Sugar Daddy" (Electric Velocipede, Spring)
Kelly Link, "Secret Identity" (Geektastic)
Genevieve Valentine, "Bespoke" (Strange Horizons, July 27)
John Kessel, "Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance" (The New Space Opera 2)


The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2009

Kij Johnson, "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" (Asimov's, July)
Elizabeth Bear, "Shoggoths in Bloom" (Asimov's, March)
Daryl Gregory, "Glass" (MIT Technology Review, November/December)
Christopher Golden, "The Hiss of Escaping Air" (PS Publishing)
Naomi Novik, "Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake" (Fast Ships, Black Sails)
Alice Sola Kim, "We Love Deena" (Strange Horizons, February 11)
Ted Kosmatka, "The Art of Alchemy" (F&SF, June)
Eugene Mirabelli, "Falling Angel" (F&SF, December)
Margo Lanagan, "The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross" (Dreaming Again)
Peter S. Beagle, "King Pelles the Sure" (Strange Roads)
Robert Reed, "Character Flu" (F&SF, June)
Delia Sherman, "Gift from a Spring" (Realms of Fantasy, April)
Rivka Galchen, "The Region of Unlikeness" (The New Yorker, March 17)
Jeffrey Ford, "Daltharee" (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
James Alan Gardner, "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story" (Asimov's, February)
Ann Leckie, "The God of Au" (Helix #8, Spring)
Will McIntosh, "The Fantasy Jumper" (Black Static, February)
Meghan McCarron, "The Magician's House" (Strange Horizons, July 14-21)
James L. Cambias, "Balancing Accounts" (F&SF, February)
Charlie Anders, "Suicide Drive" (Helix #7, January)
Holly Phillips, "The Small Door" (Fantasy, May)
Peter Watts, "The Eyes of God" (The Solaris Book of New SF, Volume 2)
Alex Jeffers, "Firooz and His Brother" (F&SF, May)
Garth Nix, "Infestation" (The Starry Rift)
Jay Lake, "A Water Matter" (
Beth Bernobich, "The Golden Octopus" (Postscripts, Summer))
Erik Amundsen, "Blue Vervain Murder Ballad #2: Jack of Diamonds" (Not One of Us, October)
Patrick Rothfuss, "The Road to Levinshir" (Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy)
Jeff VanderMeer, "Fixing Hanover" (Extraordinary Engines)
Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, "Boojum" (Fast Ships, Black Sails)
Karen Heuler, "The Difficulties of Evolution" (Weird Tales, July/August)
Paul Cornell, "Catherine Drewe" (Fast Forward 2)
James Maxey, "Silent as Dust" (Intergalactic Medicine Show #7, January)
Mary Robinette Kowal, "Evil Robot Monkey (The Solaris Book of New SF, Volume 2)
Richard Bowes, "If Angels Fight" (F&SF, February)
Liz Williams, "Spiderhorse" (Realms of Fantasy, August)
Ian McDonald, "The Tear" (Galactic Empires)



Beth Bernobich, "Air and Angels" (Subterranean, Spring)
Mercurio D. Rivera, "Snatch Me Another" (Abyss and Apex, First Quarter)
Nancy Kress, "First Rites" (Baen's Universe, October)
Tina Connolly, "The Bitrunners" (Helix, Summer)
Rebecce Epstein, "When We Were Stardust" (Fantasy, February)
Jason Stoddard, "Willpower" (Futurismic, December)
Peter S. Beagle, "The Tale of Junko and Sayiri" (IGMS, July)
David Dumitru, "Little Moon, Too, Goes Round" (Aeon Thirteen)
Hal Duncan, "The Behold of the Eye" (Lone Star, August)
Will McIntosh, "Linkworlds" (Strange Horizons, March 17-24)
Merrie Haskell, "The Girl-Prince" (Coyote Wild, August)
Brendan DuBois, "Not Enough Stars in the Night" (Cosmos Online)
Catherynne M. Valente, "A Buyer's Guide to Maps of Antarctica" (Clarkesworld, May)
Cory Doctorow, "The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away" (


Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2007 Edition

"Another Word for Map is Faith", Christopher Rowe (F&SF, August 2006)
"Okanoggan Falls", Carolyn Ives Gilman (F&SF, August 2006)
"Saving for a Sunny Day", Ian Watson (Asimov's, October/November 2006)
"The Cartesian Theater", Robert Charles Wilson (Futureshocks)
"Hesperia and Glory", Ann Leckie (Subterranean #4)
"Incarnation Day", Walter Jon Williams (Escape From Earth)
"Exit Before Saving", Ruth Nestvold (Futurismic, August 2006)
"Inclination", William Shunn (Asimov's, April/May 2006)
"Life on the Preservation", Jack Skillingstead (Asimov's, June 2006)
"Me-Topia", Adam Roberts (Forbidden Planets)
"The House Beyond Your Sky", Benjamin Rosenbaum (Strange Horizons, September 4, 2006)
"A Billion Eves", Robert Reed (Asimov's, October/November 2006)

Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2007 Edition

"Journey Into the Kingdom", M. Rickert (F&SF, May 2006)
"The Water Poet and the Four Seasons", by David J. Schwartz (Strange Horizons, May 1, 2006)
"Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)", Geoff Ryman (F&SF, October/November 2006)
"The Osteomancer's Son", Greg van Eekhout (Asimov's, April/May 2006)
"Salt Wine", Peter Beagle (Fantasy Magazine #3)
"The Original Word for Rain", Peter Higgins (Zahir, Spring 2006)
"The Lineaments of Gratified Desire", Ysabeau Wilce (F&SF, July 2006)
"Journey to Gantica", by Matthew Corradi (F&SF, January)
"Irregular Verbs" by Matthew Johnson (Fantasy Magazine #4)
"A Fish Story", Sarah Totton (Realms of Fantasy, October 2006)
"The Night Whiskey", Jeffrey Ford (Salon Fantastique)
"A Fine Magic" by Margo Lanagan (Eidolon 1)
"Naturally" by Daniel Handler (Zoetrope, Spring)
"Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge", Richard Parks (Realms of Fantasy, April 2006)
"Citrine: A Fable", Elise Moser (Room of One's Own, July)
"A Siege of Cranes", Benjamin Rosenbaum (Twenty Epics)


Here are my first books, from 2006.

Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2006 Edition

"Triceratops Summer", by Michael Swanwick ( Shorts)
"Bank Run", by Tom Purdom (Asimov's, October-November 2005)
"A Coffee Cup/Alien Invasion Story", by Douglas Lain (Strange Horizons, February 7, 2005)
"The Edge of Nowhere", by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's, June 2005)
"Heartwired", by Joe Haldeman (Nature, March 24, 2005)
"The Fate of Mice", by Susan Palwick (Asimov's, January 2005)
"The King of Where-I-Go", by Howard Waldrop (Sci Fiction, December 7, 2005)
"The Policeman's Daughter", by Wil McCarthy (Analog, June 2005)
"Bliss", by Leah Bobet (On Spec, Winter 2004/2005)
"Finished", by Robert Reed (Asimov's, September 2005)
"The Inn at Mount Either", by James Van Pelt (Analog, May 2005)
"Search Engine", by Mary Rosenblum (Analog, September 2005)
"You, by Anonymous", by Stephen Leigh (I, Alien)
"The Jenna Set", by Daniel Kaysen (Strange Horizons, March 14, 2005)
"Understanding Space and Time", by Alastair Reynolds (Novacon 2005 Program Book)

Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2006 Edition

"Pip and the Fairies", by Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons, October 3, 2005)
"Comber", by Gene Wolfe (Postscripts, Spring 2005)
"Three Urban Folk Tales", by Eric Schaller (Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #16)
"Wax" by Elizabeth Bear (Interzone, December 2005)
"The Emperor of Gondwanaland", by Paul Di Filippo (Interzone, January-February 2005)
"CommComm", by George Saunders (The New Yorker, August 1, 2005)
"Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died", by Samantha Henderson (Fortean Bureau, March 2005)
"Fancy Bread", by Gregory Feeley (TEL:Stories)
"Sunbird", by Neil Gaiman (Noisy Outlaws)
"The Secret of Broken Tickers", by Joe Murphy (Realms of Fantasy, August 2005)
"On the Blindside", by Sonya Taaffe (Flytrap, May 2005)
"Jane", by Marc Laidlaw (Sci Fiction, February 16 2005)
"Is There Life After Rehab?", by Pat Cadigan (Sci Fiction, August 17, 2005)
"Two Hearts", by Peter Beagle (F&SF, March 2005)
"Super-Villains", by Michael Canfield (Son and Foe #1)
"Empty Places", by Richard Parks (Realms of Fantasy, December 2005)
"Invisible", by Steve Rasnic Tem (Sci Fiction, March 2, 2005)
"By the Light of Tomorrow's Sun", by Holly Phillips (In the Palace of Repose)
"The Gist Hunter", by Matthew Hughes (F&SF, June 2005)