Review Round-Up: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 8
As soon as we knew Jonathan Strahan’s world-renowned series The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 8 was going to find a new home at Solaris we were overjoyed. Not just because it adds to our growing list of anthologies such as the Infinity and Solaris Rising series, and our horror/magic titles, but also because it continues the oldest science fiction tradition of them all – the short story.
The very foundations of SF are built of short stories but it’s a tradition that has faded over the past few decades in favour of the novel. That’s a real shame because not only did the greats cut their teeth on this format, they also demonstrated storytelling abilities that many novelists would struggle to replicate. It’s a point that Blackgate.com made in a recent article, in which they were so very nice about us.
So it’s wonderful for us to see such a warm reception for The Best SFF of the Year Volume 8 from reviewers, who seems to share our passion for the short story.
Jonathan has also talked a little about his career, The Best SFF 8, and the direction and future of the SFF field and it’s pleasing that his editorial efforts have been recognised – he’s been named as winner of the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence from Aurealis.
“Strahan remains confident and competent following his series’ move to a new publisher. Strahan’s work … compares favorably with Hartwell’s steadfast traditionalism and Dozois’s weighty tomes”
– Publishers Weekly
“…in the end it is a rich collection of stories which every reader can find something enjoyable within.”
“What I found in this continuation of Jonathan Strahan’s series of ‘Best of the Year’- anthologies with a new publisher, was a fantastic set of stories … The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year volume 8 is an excellent place to start.”
– A Fantastical Librarian
“What’s going on here? Is Solaris really trying to make a go of three mass market original anthology series(es)? Don’t they know that those days are over? Well, it’s obvious they never got that memo. And if it’s true that the primary ingredient in commercial success is the editor, I think they’ve make solid choices in their two, Ian Whates and Jonathan Strahan. But the very fact that Solaris is making such a determined attempt — series of attempts, really, since the first volume of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction appeared in 2007 — tells me that I overlooked another essential ingredient: a publisher willing to take risks and one clearly willing to experiment, to find the right way to sell short fiction in paperback format to a modern audience . Solaris looks like exactly that publisher.”
“Like any grab-bag, short story collections will necessarily have some stories that appeal and some that don’t; they’re usually guaranteed to have at least one story that suits each reader and one story that repels them. For me, this anthology was a remarkably good fit; there are a few real gems in the collection, and it left me with a host of new authors to explore. No matter your tastes, if you’re a fan of fantasy or science fiction, I would bet that at least one of these stories will leave you enthralled.”