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The 1984 Annual World's Best SF

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The latest collection of the finest science fiction tales published over the last year includes works by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Frederik Pohl, Tanith Lee, and other masters of the genre.


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The latest collection of the finest science fiction tales published over the last year includes works by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Frederik Pohl, Tanith Lee, and other masters of the genre.

51 review for The 1984 Annual World's Best SF

  1. 4 out of 5

    J. Bone

    As with most collections each reader will find their favourites. What is crap to one might be a delight to another (though I think we can all agree that THE NANNY by Thomas Wylde is sexist bullshit). My favourites by far are THE LEAVES OF OCTOBER by Don Sakers and HOMEFARING by Robert Silverberg. Both speculate a future where man isn’t the only, or dominant, intelligence on the planet. The Hlut, in the Leaves of October, reminded me of the Ents from Tolkien’s world though lacking mouths they comm As with most collections each reader will find their favourites. What is crap to one might be a delight to another (though I think we can all agree that THE NANNY by Thomas Wylde is sexist bullshit). My favourites by far are THE LEAVES OF OCTOBER by Don Sakers and HOMEFARING by Robert Silverberg. Both speculate a future where man isn’t the only, or dominant, intelligence on the planet. The Hlut, in the Leaves of October, reminded me of the Ents from Tolkien’s world though lacking mouths they communicated through colour patterns on their trunks. A beautiful image to consider. I disagree with the final decision made by the Hlut collective - which you’ll have to read if you want to know what I think about humans as a destructive force. The HOMEFARING unfolds in such a fascinating way that you really need to read it yourself. To have it described would ruin the experience.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    I have been enjoying Wollheim's anthologies immensely, albeit a mite tardily. He has attracted the best writers in science fiction. The short stories are generally top of the line, future Hugo and Nebula Award winners. If you're reading this, and haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. Reading time is precious, and I wish I had more, especially when I find a book like this that I can hardly put down. I have been enjoying Wollheim's anthologies immensely, albeit a mite tardily. He has attracted the best writers in science fiction. The short stories are generally top of the line, future Hugo and Nebula Award winners. If you're reading this, and haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. Reading time is precious, and I wish I had more, especially when I find a book like this that I can hardly put down.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    My favorite story was the last one...beautifully written and almost the perfect length. I wanted more of a denouement, but it was the only story in the bunch that I didn't want to put down. I've found at least one "new" author to read! My favorite story was the last one...beautifully written and almost the perfect length. I wanted more of a denouement, but it was the only story in the bunch that I didn't want to put down. I've found at least one "new" author to read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Isaak

    One of the stories was more-or-less outdated, and a few others had minor lapses in forecasting new technologies, but on the whole one of the best anthologies I have read lately. The stories are quite diverse in subject and tone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Anderson

    Since this is the 1984 edition, this collection has a strong dystopian sub-theme but not so much that you'd notice if you didn't know this was the 1984 edition, possibly because dystopian worlds are generally not uncommon in Science Fiction anyway. In the introduction, the editor makes note of the year and how it did and did not impact the selections but it's all really beside the point because when it comes down to it, Science Fiction is about the impact of current and potential future science Since this is the 1984 edition, this collection has a strong dystopian sub-theme but not so much that you'd notice if you didn't know this was the 1984 edition, possibly because dystopian worlds are generally not uncommon in Science Fiction anyway. In the introduction, the editor makes note of the year and how it did and did not impact the selections but it's all really beside the point because when it comes down to it, Science Fiction is about the impact of current and potential future science on humanity (It doesn't matter if the potential science is nonsense. There are many cases of nonsense science in older science fiction that proved to be prophetic facsimiles of future realities) and every impact is easily taken to the nth degree in regards to it's ultimate contribution towards whichever side of the utopian/dystopian scale (For recent examples think of Ray Bradbury or the artist formerly and once again known as Prince and the reasons behind their strong aversions to the internet. Or there's the issue of GMOs and how some see them as the eventual final cure for world hunger while others go so far as to see them as the final step in human extinction). But let's not fool ourselves with an evenly balanced scale because I'm pretty sure the dystopian side is touching the ground. This is because humanity has a very "devil you know" attitude towards change and in reality, I think most dystopian fears are really rooted in a misplaced fear of change and the unknown. I guess what it comes down to, is that I'm on vacation and am taking advantage of this rare opportunity to write this long and rambling review of what is basically a decent collection of short stories. There's what I felt to be one long stinker in there, but otherwise the rest range from ok to really-quite-good. My favorite of the bunch was one that I started out disliking and in the end was won over by. In closing, I'll be re-donating these books back to the thrift shop when I'm done with them so if you run into them, I'd recommend picking them up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a decent collection of Science Fiction short stories. I don't know if I'd really refer to them as the World's Best, though. I guess that's subjective. The first story, "Blood Music" was a rather shocking and slightly stomach-turning. The concept of injecting self-replicating intelligent microbes into one's blood has some far-reaching implications. What will they decide to do to you? The most fascinating, yet also the most confusing (to me, at least) was "Knight of Shallows." Roger is told This is a decent collection of Science Fiction short stories. I don't know if I'd really refer to them as the World's Best, though. I guess that's subjective. The first story, "Blood Music" was a rather shocking and slightly stomach-turning. The concept of injecting self-replicating intelligent microbes into one's blood has some far-reaching implications. What will they decide to do to you? The most fascinating, yet also the most confusing (to me, at least) was "Knight of Shallows." Roger is told by a mysterious corporation that an alternate Roger from another 'potential timeline' is going about murdering other Rogers in lots of other timelines. This corporation commissions this Roger (dubbed 'Roger Prime') to track the murdering 'Roger Rogue' and try to capture him. The timelines and multiple Rogers were a little hard to keep track of, as well as the time-jumping. I had to read the ending of this story a couple of times and I'm still not sure I understand it as the author intended it. Fascinating concept, though. "The Leaves of October" is a heartbreaking tale of a sentient tree from another planet who may hold the fate of the world in it's...um...branches. The concept is familiar: sentient extra-terrestrials decide humanity is too dangerous, war-mongering, and insane; they must be completely wiped out, however; the particular extra-terrestrial involved, the tree, has such an unique and compelling voice that it seems singularly distinct. The remaining tales in this collection were, like I said earlier, decent. "As Time Goes By" started well, ended poorly. "In the Face of My Enemy" was rather long for a short story, and the payoff at the end not really worth it. In fact, now that I think about it, the other stories all can be described as "interesting concept, decent beginning, disappointing ending."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

    Good authors, but one of the more depressing in the series. Lots of armaggedon's and bleak views of humanity. Good authors, but one of the more depressing in the series. Lots of armaggedon's and bleak views of humanity.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  9. 5 out of 5

    Letande D'Argon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chad Eaton

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Anderson

  13. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  14. 5 out of 5

    Atrackbrown

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashok Banker

  17. 5 out of 5

    John

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steven Delaney

  19. 4 out of 5

    George Nap

  20. 5 out of 5

    René Beaulieu

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maria Park

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott Walker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jüri

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Trollip

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Don Sakers

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Suhajda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bernard

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.A.

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ransufodo

  32. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Brad Thompson

  34. 4 out of 5

    Germbug

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ca53buckeye

  36. 4 out of 5

    Leana

  37. 4 out of 5

    Amystraub2004 straub

  38. 4 out of 5

    James

  39. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  40. 4 out of 5

    Clay

  41. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  42. 5 out of 5

    Inithello

  43. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  44. 4 out of 5

    Gary Fauteux

  45. 5 out of 5

    Jacek

  46. 5 out of 5

    Neil Leckman

  47. 5 out of 5

    Rob Westfall

  48. 4 out of 5

    Paul Dayton

  49. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Triska

  50. 4 out of 5

    Peter Centorcelli

  51. 5 out of 5

    Paige

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