For readers accustomed to massive "year's best" anthologies, this Australian import may seem lightweight with only 11 tales, but it's a fine sampling of mostly cross-genre fiction from Down Under. Lynette Aspey's endearing, character-driven "Dreaming Dragons" plays with Vietnamese myth. Terry Dowling's "Flashmen," a gripping tale of a future Earth beset by a truly alien invasion, explores the meaning of heroism. Brendan D. Carson's "Occam's Razing" is a short but highly imaginative story of religious contagion. Damien Broderick offers a thoughtful postnanotech fable, "The Meek." In "The Dreaming City" by Ben Peek, Mark Twain dreams of an encounter with an aboriginal spirit and is moved to write a book in defense of Australia's native population. Congreve and Marquart provide an excellent introduction to the vicissitudes of the Australian genre market, as well as information about publications and some recommended reading.
Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy
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