The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection

THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION

THIRTY-FIFTH ANNUAL COLLECTION

Edited by Gardner Dozois

Acknowledgments

The editor would like to thank the following people for their help and support: Jonathan Strahan, Sean Wallace, Neil Clarke, Gordon Van Gelder, C. C. Finlay, Andy Cox, John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Sheila Williams, Trevor Quachri, Nick Gevers, Peter Crowther, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, William Shaffer, Ian Whates, Paula Guran, Liza Trombi, Robert Wexler, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Joseph Eschrich, Jonathan Oliver, Stephen Cass, Lynne M. Thomas, Gavin Grant, Kelly Link, Katherine Canfield, Ian Redman, Wendy S. Delmater, Beth Wodzinski, E. Catherine Tobler, Carl Rafala, Emily Hockaday, Edmund R. Schubert, Alma Alexander, Atena Andreads, Nick Wood, Joanne Merriam, Mike Allen, David Brin, Richard Thomas, Rich Horton, Mark R. Kelly, Tehani Wessely, Navah Wolfe, Lucus Law, Dominik Parisien, Aliette de Bodard, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Lavie Tidhar, Rich Larson, Bill Johnson, Carter Scholz, Ian McHugh, Eleanor Arnason, Katherine Canfield, Michael F. Flynn, R. S. Benedict, Kelly Robson, Indrapramit Das, Nancy Kress, Michael Swanwick, Greg Egan, James S. A. Corey, Naomi Kritzer, Maureen F. McHugh, Linda Nagata, Ray Nayler, Jessica Barber and Sara Saab, Jaine Fenn, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Harry Turtledove, Bruce Sterling, Suzanne Palmer, Kelly Jennings, Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courier, Sean McMullen, Tobias S. Buckell, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Alec Nevala-Lee, Madeline Ashby, Finbarr O’Reilly, Karl Schroeder, Kathleen Ann Goonan, James Van Pelt, Gregory Frost, Sean Wallace, Brenda Cooper, Maggie Clark, Martin L. Shoemaker, Joe Pitkin, David Hutchinson, Gregor Hartmann, Sam J. Miller, Gwyneth Jones, Sarah Pinsker, Yoon Ha Lee, Jack McDevitt, Damien Broderick, Eric Brown, Jim Burns, Vaughne Lee Hansen, Mark Watson, Sean Swanwick, Jamie Coyne, and special thanks to my own editor, Marc Resnick.

Thanks are also due to the late, lamented Charles N. Brown, and to all his staff, whose magazine Locus [Locus Publications, P.O. Box 13305, Oakland, CA 94661. $63 in the U.S. for a one-year subscription (twelve issues) via periodical mail; $76 for a one-year (twelve issues) via first-class credit card orders (510) 339-9198] was used as an invaluable reference source throughout the Summation; Locus Online (www.locusmag.com), edited by Mark R. Kelly, has also become a key reference source.

Summation: 2017

Like last year, 2017 was another relatively quiet year in the SF publishing world, once the reverberations from last year’s restructuring of Penguin Random House, which had included mergers with Berkley, Putnam, and Dutton, had mostly settled down, although aftershocks and consequences will probably be felt for some time to come.

Penguin Random House phased out their Roc imprint, while Hachette axed Weinstein Books in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Amanda Ridout resigned as CEO of Head of Zeus, replaced by Anthony Cheetham. Tim Hely Hutchinson retired as CEO of Hachette UK, replaced by David Shelley. Jane Friedman stepped down as board chair and executive publisher of Open Road Integrated Media. Emma Coode left her position as editorial director of Voyager. Navah Wolfe was promoted to senior editor at Saga Press. Jennifer Heddle was promoted to executive director at Disney/Lucasfilm Publishing. Brit Hvide was promoted to senior editor at Orbit. Sam Bradbury joined Hodder as an editor. Nancy Miller was promoted to associate publisher at Bloomsbury, and Mary Kate Castellani was promoted to executive editor at Bloomsbury Children’s, with Hali Baumstein promoted to associate editor. Kaelyn Considine joined Parvus Press as an editor. Lucille Rettino joined Tom Doherty Associates as vice president of marketing and publicity. David Pomerico was promoted to executive director of publicity for Tor, Forge, Tor Teen, and Starscape.

The year 2017 was again fairly stable in the professional print magazine market; the magazines didn’t register spectacular gains, but neither did they suffer the precipitous decline in subscriptions and circulation of some other years.

Asimov’s Science Fiction had a strong year this year, their first as a bimonthly publication after years of publishing ten issues a year, publishing good work by Rich Larson, Ray Nayler, Harry Turtledove, Suzanne Palmer, Ian McHugh, R. Garcia y Robertson, Michael Swanwick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Carrie Vaughn, Tom Purdom, Damien Broderick, and others. As usual, their SF was considerably stronger than their fantasy, usually the reverse of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Asimov’s Science Fiction registered a 4.2 percent gain in overall circulation, up to 18,043 copies. There were 7,627 print subscriptions and 8,155 digital subscriptions, for a total of 15,782, up from 2016’s 15,269. Newsstand sales were up to 2,261 from 2016’s 2,044. Sell-through rose to 39 percent, up from 2016’s at 37 percent. Sheila Williams completed her fourteenth year as Asimov’s editor.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact; also in its first year as a bimonthly magazine, had good work by Michael F. Flynn, Alec Nevala-Lee, Bill Johnson, Maggie Clark, Rich Larson, Joe Pitkin, James Van Pelt, and others. Analog registered a 2.7 percent loss in overall circulation, down to 18,278 from 2016’s 18,800. There were 12,249 print subscriptions, and 6,029 digital subscriptions. Newsstand sales were down slightly to 2,711 from 2016’s 2,773. Sell-through fell to 38 percent from 2016’s 43 percent. Editor Trevor Quachri completed his fourth full year as editor, and is doing a good job of widening the definition of what’s usually thought of as “an Analog story,” and bringing new writers into the magazine.

It will be interesting to see what affect, if any, the switch to bimonthly format has next year on the sales figures for Asimov’s and Analog.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction had a stronger than usual year for science fiction, publishing good work by R. S. Benedict, Michael Swanwick, Samuel R. Delany, Matthew Hughes, Rachel Pollack, Kelly Jennings, Larry Niven, Robert Reed, Naomi Kritzer, and others. F&SF registered a 7.3 loss in overall circulation from 10,055 to 9,322. Subscriptions dropped slightly from 7,247 to 6,935, with 2,387 copies sold on the newsstands as compared to 2016’s 2,808; sell-through was 25 percent. Since digital sales figures for F&SF are not available since they switched to Kindle subscriptions, there’s no way to be certain what the magazine’s overall circulation figures actually are. Charles Coleman Finlay completed his second full year as F&SF editor, having taken over from Gordon Van Gelder, who had edited the magazine for eighteen years, with the March/April 2015 issue. Van Gelder remains as the magazine’s owner and publisher, as he has been since 2014. Finlay is doing a good job of getting good stories by new authors into the magazine, and seems to be especially strengthening the quality of the magazine’s science fiction content.

Interzone is technically not a “professional magazine,” by the definition of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), because of its low rates and circulation, but the literary quality of the work published there is so high that it would be ludicrous to omit it. Interzone had a weakish year in 2017, but still managed to publish good stuff by Sean McMullen, Malcom Devlin, Erica L. Satifka, T. R. Napper, Laura Mauro, and others. Exact circulation figures not available, but is guessed to be in the 2,000 copy range. TTA Press, Interzone’s publisher, also publishes a straight horror or dark suspense magazine Black Static, which is beyond our purview here, but of a similar level of professional quality. Interzone and Black Static changed to a smaller trim size in 2011, but maintained their slick look, switching from the old 7 ¾″-by-10 ¾″ saddle-stitched semigloss color cover sixty-four page format to a 6 ½″-by-9 ¼″ perfect-bound glossy color cover ninety-six page format. The editor and publisher is Andy Cox.

If you’d like to see lots of good SF and fantasy published every year, the survival of these magazines is essential, and one important way that you can help them survive is by subscribing to them. It’s never been easier to do so, something that these days can be done with just the click of a few buttons, nor has it ever before been possible to subscribe to the magazines in as many different formats, from the traditional print copy arriving by mail to downloads for your desktop or laptop available from places like Amazon (www.amazon.com), to versions you can read on your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. You can also now subscribe from overseas just as easily as you can from the United States, something formerly difficult to impossible.

So in hopes of making it easier for you to subscribe, I’m going to list both the internet sites where you can subscribe online and the street addresses where you can subscribe by mail for each magazine: Asimov’s

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