Of all the books I remember reading when I was growing up, there are few that I remember as fondly as The Year's Best Science Fiction series edited by Gardner Dozios. For several summers, getting the annual volume (which is usually published in July) became an event, one that I especially appreciated if it was released before my family went on a vacation that involved many hours with me cramped in to the back seat of our car. Though I stopped buying the books around the time I left for college (little money) and sold the volumes I had (even less bookshelf space), my affection for the story-packed volumes never faded.
So when I saw a couple of the volumes on a shelf of my local library last weekend, I decided to check one of them out. Of the two I chose the twenty-sixth volume because it had in it a story ( Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "G-Men") about which I have seen references but had not been able to find until now. Reading the book has been an unadulteratedly positive experience, mixing the nostalgia I have for the series with the pleasure of discovering great stories for the first time. I've only read a third of the stories so far, but I've already enjoyed a few (particularly James Alan Gardner's "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story and James L. Cambias's "Balancing Accounts") which will long remain with me. Once I'm done with this one I plan on getting the other volumes that my library has, as they're perfect for the short bursts of reading time that I sometimes have when engaging with anything longer can be frustrating.