New York: Tor Books, 2013; $34.99 hc/$21.99 tpb; 572 pages
We are confronted by the title of this big book. We do not know what to think. It is not likely that for David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden the title they have attached to their anthology of reprinted stories simply designates work published this century. 21st Century Science Fiction means way more than that to them, we reckon, on guard; a title like this, graven in stone, tells us that the 34 tales assembled here must be intended in some sense to represent like commandments the state of science fiction in this century; in which case, if sf is properly to be understood as a form uniquely shaped both to describe and instruct the world, 21st Century Science Fiction should be a lesson to us.