Has been a while now since I actually read this book and these stories. Long enough that my memory of them has faded somewhat. I meant to write up an index post with maybe some overall thoughts like this approximately at the time. But I've been busy with school and especially I've been lax in cross-posting these from Tumblr to elsewhere; I wanted to wait until I had locations to actually link to with this one. In retrospect I suppose I could have written this sometime in the past and held onto it, but I wouldn't have spared the time to do so while I was so anxious about doing / not doing my assignments for school.
In retrospect, "R & R" might actually have been the finest story in the collection, or nearly so. Even though it didn't wow me so much, neither did the collection over all impress me as much as the previous year's did. Although The Year's Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection was exceptionally good, even compared to the others I've read so far.
Others I especially liked according to a quick glance through my notes:
"Fiddling for Waterbuffaloes" was a refreshing change after a stretch of stories centred in North American and Anglophonic perspectives (in some ways, a very, very long stretch), and probably especially with having reached a saturation point of frustrated alienation in Robert Silverberg's immediately preceding story. It was also a lot of fun in its own right, and this too distinguished it from the other stories.
"Into Gold" had some problems, but I rather liked it as a take on the story of Rumpelstiltskin.
"Surviving". Difficult to say exactly was good about it, except in being intriguingly different and capturing my attention. Perhaps in having a spirited attempt to capture being both human and not-human.
"The Gate of Ghosts". Again I struggle to describe in what way exactly, but thinking back on this collection without checking the contents "The Gate of Ghosts" stood out immediately as one to call among the best of the book.
Other stories that provoked a lot of attention from me without necessarily being my favourites: "Covenant of Souls", "The Pure Product", "Tangents", "The Beautiful and the Sublime", "Night Moves", "Down and Out in the Year 2000". I didn't like all of those exactly, but I didn't hate them either, and they all got some strong enough response from me to still be memorable a few months later.
- "R & R" by Lucius Shepard
- "Hatrack River" by Orson Scott Card
- "Strangers On Paradise" by Damon Knight
- "Pretty Boy Crossover" by Pat Cadigan
- "Against Babylon" by Robert Silverberg
- "Fiddling for Waterbuffaloes" by Somtow Sucharitkul AKA S. P. Somtow
- "Into Gold" by Tanith Lee
- "Sea Change" by Scott Baker
- "Covenant of Souls" by Michael Swanwick
- "The Pure Product" by John Kessel
- "Grave Angels" by Richard Kearns
- "Tangents" by Greg Bear
- "The Beautiful and the Sublime" by Bruce Sterling
- "Tattoos" by Jack Dann
- "Night Moves" by Tim Powers
- "The Prisoner of Chillon" by James Patrick Kelly
- "Chance" by Connie Willis
- "And So To Bed" by Harry Turtledove
- "Fair Game" by Howard Waldrop
- "Video Star" by Walter Jon Williams
- "Sallie C." by Neal Barrett Jr.
- "Jeff Beck" by Lewis Shiner
- "Surviving" by Judith Moffett [bonus: "Her Furry Face" by Leigh Kennedy in The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection]
- "Down and Out in the Year 2000" by Kim Stanley Robinson
- "Snake Eyes" by Tom Maddox
- "The Gate of Ghosts" by Karen Joy Fowler
- "The Winter Market" by William Gibson