Personal ‘Best of 2005’

There are many practicalities that govern assembling any book, especially something like a year’s best annual. I’ve been reading for three of them again this year and, while it’s been rewarding, the final books are always impacted on by all sorts of real world considerations.

Realising that, I began to think about what stories I’d put into a year’s best, if the only restrictions I had to face were 1) the book was a single volume and 2) the stories were ones I really liked. After a bit of thought, I came up with a list of thirty-five stories that straggled across genres, but might just sneak between a single set of covers.

Looking at the list, it occurred to me that I should probably try to sequence them, but this is an idle thought experiment, and I only have so much time. Still, if you’re interested in such things, here’s my ‘Best Stories of 2005’. Oh, and should you wonder, this list was winnowed down from well over 300 stories, a number of which were damn fine.

“The Calorie Man”, Paolo Bacigalupi
“The Language of Moths”, Chrisopher Barzak
“Two Hearts”, Peter S. Beagle
“Leviathan”, Simon Brown
“The Emperor of Gondwanaland”, Paul Di Filippo
“I, Robot”, Cory Doctorow
“Boatman’s Holiday”, Jeffrey Ford
“The Road to Recovery”, Gregory Frost
“Sunbird”, Neil Gaiman
“Pip and the Fairies”, Theodora Goss
“The Pirate’s True Love”, Seana Graham
“Heads Down, Thumbs Up”, Gavin J. Grant
“Echo”, Elizabeth Hand
“The Cape”, Joe Hill
“The Fulcrum”, Gwyneth Jones
“The Edge of Nowhere”, James Patrick Kelly
“Intelligent Design”, Ellen Klages
“Magic for Beginners”, Kelly Link
“Monsters”, Kelly Link
“The Policeman’s Daughter”, Wil McCarthy
“The Little Goddess”, Ian McDonald
“Written in the Stars”, Ian McDonald
“Little Faces”, Vonda McIntyre
“The Second Coming of Charles Darwin”, James Morrow
“The Gypsies in the Wood”, Kim Newman
“Finished”, Robert Reed
“Zima Blue”, Alastair Reynolds
“Anyway”, M. Rickert
“The Last Ten Years in the Life of Hero Kai”, Geoff Ryman
“The Blemmye’s Stratagem”, Bruce Sterling
“Snowball’s Chance”, Charles Stross
“Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play”, Michael Swanwick
“Triceratops Summer”, Michael Swanwick
“The Farmer’s Cat”, Jeff VanderMeer
“The King of Where I Go”, Howard Waldrop
“A Knot of Toads”, Jane Yolen

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