Best of British Science Fiction 2021, Donna Scott, ed. (NewCon Press 978-1-91495-324-8, £26.99, 368pp, hc) August 2022. Cover by Ian Whates.
Donna Scott has edited the Best of British Science Fiction for NewCon Press since 2016. For 2021 she has brought together 23 stories that she calls a “snapshot” of British science fiction, some of which reflect the issues of 2021 on a global scale, in terms of the pandemic, as well as British-specific concerns.
As with all anthologies, I didn’t love every story, and I’m not across all of the short fiction published by British authors in 2021 so I can’t speak to whether this is “the best.” It does, though, cover a wide variety of stories; some of the pieces included are short, and more like vignettes than narratives (Phillip Irving, Teika Marija Smits), which tends not to be my cup of tea; others are longer and have intense worldbuilding built in (Gary Couzens, Keith Brooke and Eric Brown). The stories also hit a variety of science fiction tropes: for example, some I would classify as “weird” (those from Paul Cornell and A.N. Myers, for example); a few focus on that beloved question, what makes us human (David Gullen, Tim Major, Aliya Whiteley). Technology is a significant part of many of the stories, especially in the form of robots (most notably Liz Williams, Martin Sketchley, Ryan Vance, Peter Sutton, Fiona Moore, Russell Hemmell, Emma Johanna Puranen). Interestingly, there are not many stories set off Earth (Michael Crouch, Rus sell Hemmell, David Cleden; only the Cleden is set on a spaceship).
Continue reading at: Alexandra Pierce Reviews Best of British Science Fiction 2021 by Donna Scott, ed.
Source: Alexandra Pierce Reviews Best of British Science Fiction 2021 by Donna Scott, ed.