As 2010 wraps up people are already putting together their lists of the year's best novels and stories. I'm no exception and should release my picks for the best stories of the year—and the stories I'll be nominating for the annual awards—in early December.
However, it's worth remembering that the year isn't over and amazing stories are still being published. Case in point: "Seeing" by Genevieve Valentine from the November issue of Clarkesworld Magazine.
"Seeing" focuses on a space explorer attempting to discover a habitable planet for humanity, whose own earth is facing an extremely slow and painful death. If that sounds rather straightforward and something which has been written a thousand times, prepare to be shocked. From the prose to the characterization to the worldview behind the story, Valentine has create a unique look at what not only drives people but at the strangeness lurking everywhere in our universe.
As N.K. Jemisin said in the comments below the story, "Seeing" features "Fantastic characterization, accurate science, literary experimentation that not only works but fits. Delicious." I couldn't agree more. (BTW, Jemisin also has an extremely good story called "On the Banks of the River Lex" in the same issue of Clarkesworld.)
"Seeing" is a story I'd have easily picked for my online SciFi Strange anthology. It will also be on my list of the year's best stories.