The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019
Ed. by Carmen Maria Machado

With the recent demise of two of the biggest “year’s best SF” anthology series, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, under series editor John Joseph Adams, is going to have to pick up some slack. Putting SF and Fantasy together though can sometimes be an awkward fit.

2019’s editor, Carmen Maria Machado, is dismissive of genre labels, but they do provide some idea of what readers can expect. The first story here, “Pitcher Plant,” sets the table well, with someone invading a haunted house full of booby traps that may be “more sorcery than engineering.” It’s a story set in the weird world of dark fantasy, and it’s typical of a line-up that skews toward horror. There’s also a political edge to much of the selection, though not as pronounced as in last year’s volume. Of course, horror and politics are a big part of what 2019 felt like, in SF, fantasy, and real life.

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