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The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages
Stephen Greenblatt, Alfred David, James Simpson, M.H. Abrams
Progress: 367/543 pages

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine - Lauren Beukes, Joe Abercrombie, Rachel Swirsky, K.J. Parker, Paolo Bacigalupi, Jonathan Strahan

Another excellent Best Of collection from Mr. Strahan. Below are my favorites. Many stories in this collection are good, but these are the best of the best.


Moriabe's Children, by Paolo Bacigalupi. A beautiful story of monsters from the sea, lyrical and terrifying.


Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind), by Holly Black. A farm-girl from Mars becomes a smuggler on her uncle's ship, but not in the usual way. This story knows the rules and bends them gleefully. Funny, sweet, thrilling.


Cold Wind, by Nicola Griffith. A sensual tale, engaging the senses. Revel in the ambiance as ancient hunters take shape.


Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8), by Caitlin R. Kiernan. Not really fantasy, unless you count the main characters' delusions. Still, a gut-wrenching tale, with powerful writing.


Grand Jete (The Great Leap), by Rachel Swirsky. A man loses his wife and daughter but gets loving kindness in return, from his new, virtual daughter. After Eros, Philia, Agape, Swirsky leads us in another beautiful exploration of love.


The Devil in America, by Kai Ashante Wilson. Blacks in reconstruction-era America face a new kind of Devil. A powerful and painful allegory on the evil of racism.


The Truth About Owls, by Amal El-Mohtar. Coming of age through owls and flowers and literature, a girl learns just what it is to be.


Covenant, by Elizabeth Bear. A fine and complex story of a change from hunter to hunted, as a serial killer undergoes rehabilitation, with fascinating twists of morality.


Collateral, by Peter Watts. Peter Watts takes another shot at military A.I. moral calculus. As usual, he hits his mark.