That terrible Jeff VanderMeer made me squirt coffee through my nose
Bill Gibson: "Lovecraft & Me" (1981) & more

Negative reviewing: A guy who hates everything in Year's Best SF 13 & more

Noted without comment: Why Science Fiction Is Dead from Space Ramblings:

That and the fact that David G. Hartwell, a Tor senior editor, and Kathryn Cramer, a reviewer at the New York Review of Science Fiction, think the mess that is The Best of SF 13 actually represents the best of Science Fiction. I can only hope that this collection was the product of the old boys\girls network in SF and that Hartwell and Cramer were just playing favorites with their friends. Because the only alternative is that they genuinely think that [John Kessel's] The Last American or [Terry Bisson's] Pirates of the Somali Coast or [Marc Laidlaw's] An Evening’s Honest Peril or [Nancy Kress's] End Game really are the best that Science Fiction has to offer. And from two people in a key position to shape what printed Science Fiction actually looks like, that is a very scary thought. Scarier than anything in this volume.

I'm not clear on whether the site is a group blog for unsigned reviews or whether it is the work of one person. The site seems to specialize in reviews of TV shows.

MEANWHILE, our newest volume gets only 1 star from usually-supportive Blue Tyson, who is annoyed at HarperCollin's and Amazon's pricing structure. (HarperCollins experienced a 20% loss [as opposed to profit] in the first quarter of 2009.) Note that what is under discussion is a paperback with the price of $7.99 printed on the cover.


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

1.0 out of 5 stars Free SF ReaderMay 27, 2009

By Blue Tyson "-"

Ebook more than the paperback price? Ripoff. Do not buy this and encourage that sort of ludicrous pubishing and pricing. $14.99 intead of $7.99 and $9.99 here? That is inexcusable. 

(update - Amazon appears to have changed it to 7.99, well done Amazon!) Doesn't help the rest of the world, of course, but at least that's vaguely approaching reasonable now, as opposed to ludicrous. 

Here are the stories you can get free online :- 

Boojum - Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (3.5 stars) 

Exhalation - Ted Chiang (5 stars) 

Glass - Daryl Gregory (3.5 stars) 

Message Found In A Gravity Wave - Rudy Rucker (3.5 stars) 

N-Words - Ted Kosmatka (4 stars) 

Pump Six - Paolo Bacigalupi (4 stars) 

In fact you'll find electronic versions of several of the other stories in Asimov's magazine etc. cheap, DRM free, and the same price as last year. 

Anyone needs a hand with any of that, get in touch via profile. 

Don't buy this, get the Horton Year's Best instead, from a publisher that hasn't inflicted a 25% or 87.5% price rise on you from the year before, depending on if you can buy the Kindle version or not. 

Also a down year for this series unless the two I haven't read are brilliant, which is pretty unlikely given the writers are Singh and VanderMeer. The rest is only around the 3.60 average by the looks. 

I am bothered by the implication that as Year's Best editors we should discriminate against stories that writers choose to put online. Really, do people feel ripped off buying a book if some of the stories are already available for free on the Internet?