Edited by David G. Hartwell and me, a 576-page reprint anthology, coming from Tor on November 5, 2013, and in the UK, from Constable & Robinson on November 21.
“A bumper crop of 34 stories from authors who first came to prominence in the 21st century, compiled by two of the most highly respected editors in the business….Grab this book. Whether newcomer or old hand, the reader will not be disappointed.”From our preface to the volume:
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
That phrase “came to prominence” explains our approach. Many writers publish their first work long before they come to general attention. William Gibson exploded into the consciousness of science fiction, and then the world, with Neuromancer in 1984, but he had been publishing short fiction for years before that. Likewise, there are writers in this volume whose first stories appeared as early as the 1980s, but nobody in this book came to wide notice before 2000.Twenty-First Century Science Fiction contains stories by Vandana Singh, Charles Stross, Paolo Bacigalupi, Neal Asher, Rachel Swirsky, John Scalzi, M. Rickert, Tony Ballantyne, David Levine, Genevieve Valentine, Ian Creasey, Marissa Lingen, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, David Moles, Mary Robinette Kowal, Madeleine Ashby, Tobias Buckell, Ken Liu, Oliver Morton, Karl Schroeder, Brenda Cooper, Liz Williams, Ted Kosmatka, Catherynne M. Valente, Daryl Gregory, Alaya Dawn Johnson, James Cambias, Yoon Ha Lee, Hannu Rajaniemi, Kage Baker, Peter Watts, Jo Walton, and Cory Doctorow.
The idea of an anthology showcasing the SF voices of the new century seemed like a natural project for the two of us. Our tastes are not identical, but we can fairly well agree on good writers and good stories. And we are both students of the history of SF without holding all the same opinions about it. Neither of us is especially interested in being genre policemen, dictating what is and isn’t proper SF. And yet, both of us emerge from the core SF audience of the twentieth century—the SF subculture, professional and fannish, that emerged from the earnest and urgent desire to defend and encourage quality SF in the face of a dominant culture that seemed to hold it in contempt. Decades later, many of the battles of those days have been won. Others have become irrelevant. One of the interesting things about the stories presented here is that they were written in a world in which SF, far from being marginal, is a firmly established part of the cultural landscape.
Now open for pre-order as a hardcover or an e-book from the usual retailers.
UPDATE: From Publishers Weekly, September 9, 2013, signed review by Gardner Dozois:
In my more than 40 years working in the science fiction publishing industry, I’ve seen this notion crop up every 10 years or so: ‘Science fiction has exhausted itself. There are no good new writers coming along anymore. The genre is finished!’PW reviews are usually three to five column inches long, on a three-column page, and unsigned. This signed review, detailed and generous, takes up two-thirds of a page. I’m still kind of agog.
Tor editors Hartwell and Nielsen Hayden thoroughly refute such claims….Twenty-First Century Science Fiction will certainly be recognized as one of the best reprint science fiction anthologies of the year, and it belongs in the library of anyone who is interested in the evolution of the genre.