Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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Years Best

On the doorstep this morning was my contributer copies of the latest edition of the Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. It came with a cheque. Clearly, every morning I have should begin this way.

If you haven't heard, the contents of the book are:

'Dead Sea Fruit', Kaaron Warren.
'The Cup of Nestor', Simon Brown.
'Hero Vale', Margo Lanagan.
'When the World Was Flat', Geoffrey Maloney.
'La Profonde', Terry Dowling.
'The Dying Light', Deborah Biancotti.
'Father Muerte and the Flesh', Lee Battersby.
The Souls of Dead Soldiers are for Blackbirds, Not Little Boys', Ben Peek.
'Hieronymus Boche', Chris Lawson.
'Terning tha Weel', Kim Westwood.
'The Legend of Greatmother June,' Alistair Ong.

Oddly, I've read all but two of these stories--the Dowling and Ong--going in, so I can tell you that it's a pretty solid collection, and worth your cash, as with the previous editions. There are only two pieces that I dislike (that would be the Lanagan and the Biancotti, if you're curious), and the Maloney is, I think, the best thing he's written in years, the Lawson just superb, and the Westwood a fine use of voice. Battersby's Father Muerte story here is the best of the four published, and while it contains the structural flaws of the series as a whole, it's still worth the read, as there's some nice ideas and writing in it. The Brown and Warren pieces were solidly written, but didn't do anything for me in a taste level, but that's how it is at times.

Anyhow, like I said, it's a good, solid collection, with a nice mix of voices. If you've not read any of the local work in anthologies or magazines last year, this is a good place to start. There's even a recommended reading list, which is on the the publisher's site, and which lists 'theleeharveyoswaldband' and 'under the red sun', if you're curious about that sort of thing.


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