This came out in 2005, the year of the Glasgow Worldcon, and I guess that because I felt I had thoroughly chewed over that year’s short fiction in the Hugo process I didn’t urgently need to read this. That was wrong: Dozois has as ever pulled together an excellent set of stories, full of variety of approach and length. As noted below, I had read only the few stories which got shortlisted for the major awards, and one other which I had seen in its original anthology. Of the stories new to me, the standouts were Stephen Baxter’s “Mayflower II” – I often find his prose style annoying but this time it worked – and Walter Jon Williams’ “Investments”, a hard sf story with softer edges. But they are all good, and I should get back into the habit of reading the “Best of the Year” anthologies as soon as they come out.
The lack of overlap with the 2005 (and 2006 Nebula) award nominations is striking. Dozois includes three of the Hugo novelette nominees, and three novelettes and one novella which made it to the final Nebula ballots, but not “The Fairy Handbag” which won both Hugo and Nebula – indeed not a single winner in any category. (ETA: