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SF Signal Reviews the Dozois The Good New Stuff

I'm really pleased to see SFSignal doing a detailed, intelligent review of an anthology. Anthologies don't get nearly enough of that kind of review attention. SFSignal reviews Gardner Dozois's The Good New Stuff: Adventure in SF in the Grand Tradition and contrasts it, I think, interestingly to our book,The Space Opera Renaissance, in terms of approach:

In the introduction to The Good New Stuff, Dozois uses the term adventure synonymously with space opera. Thus, I cannot help but compare his two anthologies to the more recent (2006) collection of space opera, The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer. While the Hartwell/Cramer anthology seemed more concerned with critical analyses and all the myriad definitions of space opera (including some forays into military sf), the Dozois books seem to (mostly) center on stories of adventure. However, the inclusion of some stories here also seemed questionable, like "The Blind Minotaur" which came across more like a literary fantasy than adventure story. To be sure, both anthologies succeed at their own goals and there is only one overlapping story between them (Hamilton's "Escape Route").

I look forward to seeing the Dozois book which I'm sure I'll enjoy.

What the reviewer describes is not just a distinction between these books, but a distinction in the personal styles of the editors, myself included. I view myself as an anthologist in the rhetorical tradition of Judith Merrill.

One thing that made me wince about the SFSignal review was the decision to give star ratings to individual stories. People's likes are more interesting than their dislikes. While I am all for  discussing the merits of individual stories in review of  anthologies, I somehow doubt that anything by, say, Michael Swanwick is deserving of only one star. Perhaps the reviewer wasn't in the mood or it isn't a good fit for the book? Giving it one star seems to me a bit extreme.

I co-edit two Year's Best volumes. You don't want to know my personal opinion of some of the stories that make it onto awards ballots! What is of lasting value to the reading public is what I have to recommend.

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