Year Six – The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1954 (ed. E. F. Bleiler and T. E. Dikty) on
After last year’s (mostly) G-rated interest in romantic escapades, this year finds sexuality becoming more relatively explicit, and also reverts entirely to male protagonists (except for three stories which don’t feature a central human protagonist at all: “DP!”, “The Big Holiday,” and “A Bad Day for Sales”). One story by a woman. Zero stories by people of color. Post-apocalyptic works come to the lead again (4), while there is a surprising absence of time travel this year.
The authors continue to be interested less in alien/weird/interesting settings than in introducing a slight change close to home:
10 take place on Earth, 1 on Mars, 1 on a moon of Saturn, and 1 out in the galaxy.
6 are set contemporaneously, 6 in the future, and 1 in the far future (the intergalactic one, of course). This means that none are in what I would have called the near future, but these boundaries are kind of fuzzy and arbitrary anyway.