Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor—a leading writer in the field—then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind. Science fiction and fantasy can encompass so much, from far-future deep-space sagas to quiet contemporary tales to unreal kingdoms and beasts. But what the best of these stories do is the same across the genres—they illuminate the whole gamut of the human experience, interrogating our hopes and our fears. With a diverse selection of stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Charles Yu, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 continues to explore the ever-expanding and changing world of SFF today, with Yu bringing his unique view—literary, meta, and adventurous—to the series’ third edition.

Praise

This mostly dystopic, sometimes darkly humorous collection of 20 hard-hitting stories feels timely, confronting contemporary cultural crises such as racism, xenophobia, police brutality, barriers to health care access, and the social misuses of technology.

—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Twenty clever tales for fans of the fantastical. […] [In his introduction, guest editor Charles Yu] suggests that science fiction and fantasy, genres unique in imagining other realities, offer hope, because they are proof that “at least a few people [are] interested in imagining better worlds, other worlds, the existence of alternative points of view.” It’s a strong argument for the importance of genre fiction as both a salve and a step toward a solution for a world in which reality has become a subjective term. That might be too heady a claim to lay upon any one book, but regardless of how well the various stories in this anthology reach that height—or even attempt it—the sentiment feels true. Anthologies often suffer from variable quality, forcing a reader to wade through a lot of mediocrity to reach the gems. Adams and Yu have managed to avoid that pitfall. All of the stories in the 2017 Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy are good, and many are brilliant.

—Washington Independent Review of Books

Fresh and original perspectives and clever storytelling.

—Library Journal