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Best of British Science Fiction 2016 edited by Donna Scott

Book cover

Best of British Science Fiction

Do you have to love every story in an anthology to count it as worthy of attention? I think not. It might be the case with a sole author but in a work that comes from numerous pens, that is too high a standard. Therefore, I’m happy to give Best of British Science Fiction 2016 a strong recommendation even though it has a number of stories that either didn’t engage me or which I’d be inclined to be critical of. Balanced against that, there were a decent number that stood out, either in the writing or in the concept.

For example, in Between Nine and Eleven by Adam Roberts, I immediately had to check back to see how the section numbering flowed. To Catch a Comet by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley was a wry commentary on the infuriating nature of email. Or, in Staunch by Paul Graham Raven, where I caught a Bladerunner reference (“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”) while doubtless missing others.

This isn’t necessarily the best science fiction ever but I’m inclined to trust Scott’s choice of it being a good selection of British sci-fi from 2016. It wasn’t consistently brilliant / consistently to my taste (delete as you please) but there are still plenty of people coming up with stories worth reading. So, worth reading.

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