6 Must-Read Sci-Fi Anthologies (2023) Explore the Future of Science Fiction
Science fiction has a special place in our hearts. It may not be your favorite genre, but everyone can appreciate a good story.
Why? Simple. No matter how creative the authors are, the truth is the story is likely to happen at some point.
A few decades ago, we saw people in starships having video calls. Today, we make video calls to our moms when we don’t know what type of pasta to buy from a supermarket, just so they can see the available options.
Electric cars are becoming increasingly common, and chances are we’ll soon be able to see flying cars as well. Technology is becoming more and more present in our lives. And I could go on.
Now, if you’re not the type to enjoy a long book with lots of plot twists, how about a science fiction anthology instead?
How about a bunch of small stories that will hook you in straight away? If you’re into science fiction, these short collections will make your day.
What Are The Top Sci-Fi Anthologies of Our Time?
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38, by L. Ron Hubbard, Frank Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and others (2022)
The 38th volume in this collection is my favorite one. Sure, every other volume had its strengths, but it feels like all stories stand out in this one.
Now, each story has a unique line and scenario. Then, you have a unique level of art. There’s a different world in each of them. And finally, you have different extras. There’s a bit of everything.
There are 25 award-winning illustrators and writers in this volume, so literally each of the stories will impress you. New ideas, unexpected worlds, lots of plot twists, and the type of action you won't find in other stories, there's something for everyone out there.
Stories about the end of the world, saving humanity, the possibility of saving old gone mammoths, befriending monsters of the future, and so on…
I can’t mention all the authors in this list, but trust me when I say each of them will give you a different vibe.
Now, just to make it clear, the stories are not related. You don't necessarily need to go through the previous 37 volumes to understand what's going on in this one, either. Go randomly and pick a different story based on how you feel.
2022 SciFi Anthology, by S. A. Gibson, Kayelle Allen, Claudia Blood, and others (2022)
It’s hard for me to think of a more varied science fiction anthology. This sci-fi short story collection brings in 13 new stories, each of them based on speculative fiction.
I’m not sure how to describe this better, but it’s the type of science fiction that actually feels realistic, rather than monsters from another dimension.
There are a bunch of authors to look for, from Kayelle Allen and Claudia Blood to Marc Neuffer and Howard Loring. 13 stories, 10 authors, and four different countries.
I know you probably think it’s irrelevant, but I’ve read science fiction literature from different cultures and countries, and it hits differently.
I won’t give you too many spoilers, but you might end up in a toxic ocean filled with dragon eggs or perhaps communicating through vibrations. A financial metaverse could also become reality, not to mention a religious text written thousands of years ago… By androids
Other concepts in this book include time travel, loops in time, robots, and more. If there's one story that drew my attention, that's the story of a young woman painting herself in dimension bending corners.
It's a bit difficult to understand, but this story, in particular, will challenge your senses a little. I'll let you discover the rest.
The Reinvented Heart, by Lisa Norton, Jane Yolen, and others (2022)
A bunch of different authors contributed to this impressive science fiction anthology, with Lisa Norton and Jane Yolen dominating the crew.
Now, this isn't pure science fiction. I mean, sure, everything happens in a different reality, a different time, and a unique universe.
But if you think everything’s about saving humanity or fighting androids, you’re wrong.
In general, science fiction does bring in creative technologies and aims to challenge social structures. But this sci-fi short story collection is focused on something else. Love.
Yes, exactly, love is often overlooked in science fiction, yet it does have its role there. What would a relationship look like in a sophisticated future? What would love be with androids, advanced intelligences, and clones everywhere? How about body augmentation?
And the list can go longer than that, just take a moment to think about new genders too, things that may not necessarily make sense today.
The Reinvented Heart brings in a bunch of stories that make sex and love look more complicated than ever. They challenge genders and technologies, as well as social practices.
These stories are about love and aim to reinterpret classic romance. They aim to take romance to a different level. And since everything looks so new in this field, each of them will hook you in immediately.
They’re not just entertaining, but they’ll also challenge your perceptions a little.
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2022, by John Joseph Adams and Rebecca Roanhorse (2022)
You have two experts with years of experience in science fiction and some of the best stories out there, what else can you ask for? Rebecca Roanhorse is an award-winning author, while John Joseph Adams is the series editor.
The science fiction anthology brings in 20 unique stories. If you’re an avid science fiction reader, you might be familiar with a few of them. But if you’re just discovering such anthologies, chances are each of them will bring in a fresh adventure.
Now, this book is a bit different from other collections because it’s modern.
Today’s science fiction readers want something else. The genre is no longer about androids and aliens destroying the planet and a kid with superpowers who needs to save it.
Instead, there's a different perspective, a few different styles, and numerous voices. The old school idea of alien invasions is saturated now. The audience needs to push limits and explore future technologies instead.
And this is exactly what this science fiction anthology brings in.
Stories come from different authors, and I'll be honest with you, they’re extremely interesting. If I may say so, some of them can be a bit intriguing too, but at the end of the day, you’ll love the challenge.
Reclaim the Stars, by Zoraida Cordova and others (2022)
There is one main reason wherefore I was so eager to go through this sci-fi short story collection.
It’s a mix of top authors of the genre and new voices. You’ll have two different waves here. You’ll find a bit of classic science-fiction with a modern approach from acclaimed authors.
But then, there’s the new wave, with new authors, new ideas, and a completely different approach. It's a beautiful contrast that will draw your attention straight away.
Some stories take you towards the stars. Some others take you to different times and universes. Then, there’s the magic involved as well.
If you want a bit of exoticism too, you got it. Most of the action takes place around Latin America. You'll read ghost stories in Argentina, meet mermaids in the Caribbean, and so on. It's an amazing collection that flows from one concept to another.
I could say the change is a bit abrupt, but this is exactly what keeps boredom away.
There are 17 authors and 17 different stories. I won’t give you the full list, but get ready to be impressed by Zoraida Cordova, Vita Ayala, Isabel Ibanez, and Linda Raquel Nieves Perez, among many others.
Bliss Montage, by Ling Ma (2022)
Ling Ma gained notoriety and became a world renowned author with Severance, but Bliss Montage takes things in a different direction.
This is the type of book that will take you to a fantasy world, make you feel like you're in the middle of the action, and give you a different perspective on the universe.
Ling Ma has brought together eight different stories. It’s an impressive sci-fi short story collection. While all of them come from the same author, you’ll notice a completely different approach.
Some stories take you through the meaning of friendship. Some others are about love, but concepts like loneliness and possession are also tackled.
The idea of a home is completely distorted as well. Toxic relationships, love relationships, and supernatural powers, there's a little of everything in this book. It's heartbreaking at times, but it can also shock you.
No matter what your idea of science fiction is, this approach is more realistic than ever. It's a mix of science fiction, and social issues, and the two aspects blend in perfectly.
There are lots of options out there when trying to find the best science fiction anthology out there.
It makes no difference what science fiction means for you or what ideas you’re used to. These collections approach the genre from a different direction and aim to give you a completely new approach.
Check also our favorite all time sci-fi novels (ranked).
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has it's unique value.