Review of The Best American Series 2017 by a variety of different people and chosen by a variety of different editors

Posted by in netgalley copy

So I got to read an assortment of fiction, essays, mystery stories (also fiction), nonrequired reading (also some fiction - GODZILLA!), science fiction and fantasy (also fiction), travel pieces, science pieces, and sports writing -- two of each! Like a Forrest Gump sampler box of chocolates, except none with cherries in them or that time I had a chocolate the chocolatier put turmeric in and it was just weird. Even the sports writing, and I'm pretty much the least sports-interested person you could ever meet, was good.

Uh, Meghan as I am sure you are thinking, it's called the best series and you're surprised that it was actually good.

Yes. Shut up.

So here's the info, i.e. I copy and pasted the table of contents and put my thoughts in parentheses.

The Best American Short Stories 2017:
FIONA MAAZEL: Let’s Go to the Videotape (jerk dad story)
JESS WALTER: Famous Actor (jerk people have jerk sex with each other's jerk selves)

The Best American Essays 2017:
EMILY MALONEY: Cost of Living (yeah, Americans, I know that like 49% of you or whatever despise Obamacare, but seriously, your multi-payer system is ridiculous, seriously ridiculous);
ALIA VOLZ: Snakebit (ophidiophobia)

The Best American Mystery Stories 2017:
TRINA COREY: Flight (murder mystery in a nursing home)
BRENDAN DUBOIS: The Man from Away (revenge fantasy)

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017:
VIET DINH: Lucky Dragon (atomic bomb fallout, fiction)
MASHA GESSEN: Autocracy: Rules for Survival (Trump sucks)

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017:
JOSEPH ALLEN HILL: The Venus Effect (like Margaret Atwood's Happy Endings, but about race and brutal)
N. K. JEMISIN: The City Born Great (Cities live, didn't really grab me)

The Best American Travel Writing 2017:
STEPHANIE ELIZONDO GRIEST: Chiefing in Cherokee (one of the three that left me with a meh, the others being "Rules for Survival" and "The City Born Great".)
DAVID KUSHNER: Land of the Lost (he went to Iceland. I went to Iceland. Hooray!)

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017:
SONIA SMITH: Unfriendly Climate (Texas is weird)
DAVID EPSTEIN: The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene (some people are much better researchers than I am)

The Best American Sports Writing 2017:
BOMANI JONES: Kaepernick Is Asking for Justice, Not Peace (I can't remember reading this one, so I guess that might say something about it)
LUKE CYPHERS AND TERI THOMPSON: Lost in America (it was sad, but then it got better, but then I realised there were all these other people not profiled in the story for whom it didn't get better and so I was sad again 🙁 And, either "Lost in America" was the best one in the set or I'm a victim of the recency effect, but "Lost in America" is the piece that stuck with me. That and "The Venus Effect", which is in the middle, so I guess that one is truly, not only brain-trick, memorable.)

The Best American Series 2017 by assorted (like a Quality Street Tin!) went on sale October 3, 2017.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.