From Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, here are the best stories of 2002, written by four of the most respected writers of our day: Robert Silverberg, James Patrick Kelly, Ian Watson, and Gregory Benford. Also try The Best of Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 2002.
"Mislabeled but good"
Modern gods and goddesses, remote, revered - and like the pantheon of heroes and heroines of ancient myth - possessing great power tempered with flaws. Now, find within this anthology great tales by gifted and award-winning authors who move superheroes from the four-color panels of comic books to the fantastic pages of fiction, stories that will remind anyone who ever wanted to wear a cape or don a cowl of the extraordinary powers of the imagination!
"Pretentious tired old concepts"
"The woman's cries floated down the passage and bubbled out through the front door in helpless, anguished, tortured spasms. It was a sound that echoed down the ages. The horror of mothers from any species that might ever have lived on the planet. A parent trying to deal with the impossible: the death of her young ones. It was a sound to chill the blood." A notorious killer escapes from prison. Heart-rending scenes show the kinds of trauma faced by victims of crime.
"The dog's the hero"
Midnight on a moonlit beach. Six cops execute four thugs after a heinous crime. They are unaware that there is a witness to the executions. Thrilling action explores tactical, ethical, and criminal choices made by officers of the law. A stark image of moral ambiguity underpins their struggle to maintain courageous and precarious control of all-engulfing crime. Plain-dealing cops face scrutiny in an emotional journey through choices made in the day-to-day confrontation with evil.
A top police investigative unit breaks an illegal gambling operation in the context of rampant police corruption and drug-fueled gangster violence in the city. Lead detective Jeremy Ryder is a physically powerful, quiet and meticulous investigator. His partner Navi Pillay is a small and exceptionally strong Tamil martial arts instructor, and she provides the speed and physical power to complement Ryder's incisive sleuthing abilities.
"Better than the book"
This sequel to the action-packed Devil Dealing depicts the ongoing search by detectives Jeremy Ryder and Navi Pillay for the evil gangster Skhura Thabethe, dealer in stolen weapons, drugs and murder. The secondary plot shows the detectives uncovering a link between stolen weapons and the local trade in drugs.
"Thoroughly enjoyable to listen to in the car"