The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 2
The depth and breadth of what science fiction and fantasy fiction is changes with every passing year. The two dozen stories chosen for this book by award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan carefully maps this evolution, giving readers a captivating and always-entertaining look at the very best the genre has to offer.
drunk a tankard of lead. The eldest judge glanced at Lord Iron with a pitying expression. "Let me also make some few observations," Olaf said, fighting to keep the desperation from his voice. "I have met with several physicians in the last few days. I am sorry to report that overindulging in strong liquor is thought by the medical establishment to reduce life expectancy by as much as five years. A habit of eating rich foods may reduce a man's span on the earth by another three to four years. A
the room, and who should it be but Bashaarat, twenty years younger than when I'd seen him in Baghdad. "Welcome, my lord," he said. "I am Bashaarat." "You do not know me?" I asked. "No, you must have met my older self. For me, this is our first meeting, but it is my honor to assist you." Your Majesty, as befits this chronicle of my shortcomings, I must confess that, so immersed was I in my own woes during the journey from Baghdad, I had not previously realized that Bashaarat had likely
broken lumps of other people's stones and statues in the graveyard, but, Bod knew, that would have been entirely the wrong sort of thing to bring to the grey-eyed witch in the Potter's Field. It was going to take more than that. He decided not to tell anyone what he was planning, on the not entirely unreasonable basis that they would have told him not to do it. Over the next few days his mind filled with plans, each more complicated and extravagant than the last. Mr Pennyworth despaired. "I do
pricked where it was caught between her shirt and her skin. She picked up the constable on his ribbon and held him cupped in her hands. "Am I still beautiful?" she said. You have dirt on your face, the constable said. The sun was high in the sky when Zilla came back. She was wearing a modest gray dress and a white kerchief covered her hair. There was a man with her. He paid no attention to Ozma. Instead he went over to the horses and ran his hands over them. He picked up their feet and rapped
fell off a cliff. I don't remember. Give him back." "It's a good thing," Lady Fralix said, "that most people can't see or talk to ghosts. Watching them scurry around, it makes you dread the thought of death and yet what else is there to do when you die? Will some careless child carry me around in her pocket?" Ozma shrugged. She was young. She wouldn't die for years and years. She tried not to think of the handsome young constable in her pocket, who had once thought much the same thing. By