The Very Best of the Best

35 Years of The Year's Best Science Fiction
Length: 39 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A 2020 Locus Award Finalist for Best Anthology

"[Vivienne Leheny and Will Damron's] characterizations are poignant and widely varied, their delivery soulful and immersive, and their pacing attuned to each new world. Ideal for fans of short stories and science fiction." (AudioFile magazine)

For the first time in a decade, a compilation of the very best in science fiction, from a world authority on the genre.

For decades, The Year's Best Science Fiction has been the most widely read short science fiction anthology of its kind. Now, after 35 annual collections comes the ultimate in science fiction anthologies. In The Very Best of the Best, legendary editor Gardner Dozois selects the finest short stories for this landmark collection, including short fiction from authors such as Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Nancy Kress, Greg Egan, Stephen Baxter, Pat Cadigan, and any many more.

©2019 Gardner Dozois (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

2020 Locus Awards Nominee

What listeners say about The Very Best of the Best

Average Customer Ratings
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Would be amazing if not for spoiler prefaces

Introducing the author before each story is one thing; explaining the story I’m about to hear is unforgivable.

35 people found this helpful

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Another excellent collection of stories.

This is another great collection of Science Fiction short stories. I highly recommend this book.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent survey of the current state of the field

I grew up reading the "year's best" anthologies, and this meta-collection was a great return to short sci-fi. There's something in here for everyone with VERY few duds (perhaps unsurprising given it's the Best of the Best, but nevertheless a welcoming surprise in any anthology), It covers a wide range of soft to quite hard sci-fi, and features both established names (Alastair Reynolds offers a touching and devastating perspective flip on space opera) and newer authors (I absolutely loved My English Name by RS Benedict).

A word of advice - if you don't like a story, feel free to hit the "next chapter" button! I did a couple of times (admittedly the first story in the collection sorta bounced off me) and after each dud was a completely different story that sucked me right back in again.

16 people found this helpful

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Great value ..! hours of listening for 1 credit..

Hours of listening for one credit. Some pretty weird stories, a couple modern sexual mentions that may be offensive. But mostly good stories. I listen at night as a distraction to go to sleep.

6 people found this helpful

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very enjoyable listen

Narrators were varied and all good.
The stories were also varied in tone and type, really enjoyed this book

2 people found this helpful

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So Worth a Credit!

This is a HUGE collection of phenomenal fiction; and it’s all SOOOO good!
Almost 40 hours of the stories deemed the absolute best by the long time editor of the Year’s Best series, Gardner Dozois.
(My favorite one was the short story upon which the classic Sci-fi Horror movie The Thing was based.)
The title really says it all. If you enjoy sci-fi short stories, you will not be disappointed by this brilliant collection!

2 people found this helpful

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Finally a book title which is true in every sense

Arguably the best of the best, each story is a masterpiece, thank you for collating the stories in one edition.
A time space above the rest.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth every second of it

Worth every second of it. GD at its best. Don't hesitate go ahead and jump in.

3 people found this helpful

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NOT WORTH 1/10 OF A CREDIT

There is a distinct line between "real" sci-fi and fantasy-the subjects are different, even though the line is sometimes blurred. The first story is something of a coming of age lesbian story of fur covered mammals, Sorry not sci-fi. Listens to half of the first story and gave up. A couple of fair fantasy stories-then I gave up. Just not my cup of tea.

21 people found this helpful

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Boring

What if the Starship enterprise discovered brave new worlds with astonishingly bizarre technologies, fantastic and surprising eco systems, and unimaginably exotic cultures and social systems.

Then, nothing happens. There is no story. No beginning, middle or end. No protagonist, or one that is simply mildly dis-likeable. No antagonist. No climax. No resolution.

Just depressing boredom.

7 people found this helpful

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  • htspider
  • 05-20-20

some excellent stories

but the last third of the book is less excellent than the first two thirds, and is populated with 'relationship' stories, which aren't really my thing...

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  • Steven Nash
  • 01-07-20

A Struggle

Really struggled with this short Stories didn't seem to have any conclusions to them. pppp

1 person found this helpful

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  • Georgie Adamson
  • 08-04-20

Great Collection!

This collection is a long listen with many wonderful and fascinating stories and worlds. Sci fi covers such a wide range of topics that no two stories are similar. I recommend this audio book and especially to those people that may be looking for an intro into the genre without too much commitment. After all, this is not Star Wars or Star Trek.