threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
I have managed to get a few things done in the last day or so...

I got the plumber back yesterday and have hot water back. Ahhh the joys of a hot shower.

I turned a big pile of pruned branches into wood chips and spread them on the garden making things look a lot more civilised.

I got my way through my ISP's rather confusing forms to get my internet connection upgraded to a higher speed and more importantly a higher download cap.

I finished reading The Best of the Best - 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois. I have to say I was a little disappointed by this collection. I was expecting something really special - a distillation of the various "best of" collections created by taking the finest of what is already a top collection. In theory you might expect that this would be so much more than the individual collections. But instead I found it no better than any one of the individual collections and perhaps not even that good. Don't get me wrong, this is a collection of very good stories with a few really superb ones but that is the standard set by the annual volumes. The writers concerned are all top names, but the stories are not what I would consider their top work.

This collection illustrates that the tastes and whims of the editor drive the shape of any anthology. It would seem that in this case, my definition of best does not match up with that of the editor. In the introduction, Dozois even hints that he is aware that this is an idiosyncratic collection and perhaps not what people are expecting.

I might have been happy if the collection had attempted to be representative of the styles along the years but although the stories are spread out along the 20 years they are not especially indicative of the types of stories being told at the time. What the stories do have in common is a strong retrospective theme. A very high proportion of them are told in a first person retrospective voice recounting a past tale. There are a few others which are told in a conversational style relating to distant action. Finally there are a few which are told in a more present tense action style - but these are time travel stories. So there is a theme there, but it isn't what it is advertised - hence the disappointment

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threemonkeys

June 2015

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