I read and listen to a lot of short fiction. I love the genre. So much depth packed into such small packages, so much writerly skill to celebrate in that packing. I love the way it feels to be the reader as a story unfolds, explodes or morphs in my mind in only a few pages. I love the way my mind is later pulled back to ideas presented in short stories.
Not this time. All I can figure is that the editors of this anthology look for different qualities in short sci fi than I do. Listening to these stories I found my mind wandering. I didn't finish several because I just didn't care how they ended. And a few weeks after listening to this anthology, I only remember one of the stories and all I remember about it is its premise.
This is an unfair review in that way and should be taken with a grain of salt. I can't comment on individual stories, only my general takeaway. It could be that the stories I didn't finish were great, that I gave up on them too fast because other stories had disappointed me, and if I'd finished them I'd be saying, "Wow, you ROCK!" to those individual authors.
Nevertheless. My takeaway from the collection as a whole is a big fat yawn.
I think sci fi is a very difficult genre to do well in short form. The writer has to do everything a general fiction writer does, but has the added task of creating a world in which the story transpires. Still, it seems to me that the stories in a collection entitled 'The Year's Top Ten" should succeed at this as well as everything else a writer of short fiction must succeed at: believable characters, verisimilitude in action and dialogue, satisfying or troubling or otherwise worthwhile conclusions, yada yada.
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