The best science fiction and fantasy stories of 2021, selected by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Veronica Roth.
This year’s selection of science fiction and fantasy stories, chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and bestselling author of the Divergent series Veronica Roth, showcases a crop of authors that are willing to experiment and tantalize readers with new takes on classic themes and by exchanging the ordinary for the avant-garde. Folktales and lore come alive, the dead rise, the depths of space are traversed, and magic threads itself through singular moments of love and loss, illuminating the circulatory nature of life, death, the in-between, and the hereafter. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2021 captures the all-too-real cataclysm of human nature, claiming its place in the series with compelling prose, lyrical composition, and curiosity’s never-ending pursuit of discovering the unknown.
About the Author
VERONICA ROTH is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection) and the Carve the Mark duology (Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide). Divergent received the 2011 Goodreads Choice Award for Favorite Book, Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of 2011, and was the winner of the YALSA 2012 Teens’ Top Ten. The trilogy has been adapted into a blockbuster movie series starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James. Carve the Mark published in January 2017, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and remained on the list for eighteen weeks. The Fates Divide, the second installment of the Carve the Mark series, also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Though she was born in Mount Kisco, New York, Veronica’s family moved to Hong Kong and Germany before settling in Barrington, Illinois. In elementary school, Veronica read constantly, but it wasn’t until she got a “make your own book!” kit from her mother as a gift that she thought to write anything of her own. From that time on, she knew she would write for the rest of her life, whether she was published or not. She wrote the manuscript that would become Divergent in her free time while attending Northwestern University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing in 2010.
She is a board member of YALLFest, the biggest YA book festival in the country, and YALLWEST, its sister festival. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and their dog, Avi, whose adorable existence is well-documented on Instagram.
JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS is the series editor of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and is the editor of more than thirty anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead, and The Dystopia Triptych. He is also the editor the Hugo Award-winning Lightspeed, and is also publisher of Lightspeed as well as its sister-magazines Nightmare and Fantasy. For five years he was the editor of the John Joseph Adams Books novel imprint for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
"With these phenomenal selections, Roth nimbly demonstrates the genre’s continued potential for rich ideas." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)