Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction 16 (1999)

One of the strongest Year’s Best anthologies that have appeared over the years, number 16 has many good and excellent stories. Best of them all is Ian McDonald’s story, which is really a whole future history compressed into one tiny story. Then we have Landis story about a jump into a black hole, with an ending that is even better than that of the similar story by Greg Egan (not Oceanic, which is an interesting story about a young man who finds out how much his religion owes the oceans of his world).

Wilson’s story is a good mix of idea and character, the story of a man who finds out that he can’t die, never, but not in the sense of most immortality stories in SF or Fantasy. Reeds story is about a bunch of kids, and also about a man who wanted to give something worthy to humanity by using the worst possible way.

Craphound by Doctorow is the story of friendship and aliens and stuff. Baxter’s and Barton’s stories are about a future where mankind is already in space, but our race is also at a crossroad, either death or survival looms ahead. In Taklamakan we enter a secret project where something went wrong, and in Swanwick’s story we follow an astronaut who is doomed, or so it seems. Chiang’s story is about aliens and how their language makes them see reality in a completely different way.

The last story by Ian R. MacLeod is a very atmospheric piece, an alternate history, not the stuff I generally like, but the writing and the story was excellent.