"Paul Kincaid on Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction : Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection, Richard Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy : 2012 Edition and Nebula Awards Showcase 2012"
The overwhelming sense one gets, working through so many stories that are presented as the very best that science fiction and fantasy have to offer, is exhaustion. Not so much physical exhaustion (though it is more tiring than reading a bunch of short stories really has any right to be); it is more as though the genres of the fantastic themselves have reached a state of exhaustion.
In the main, there is no sense that the writers have any real conviction about what they are doing. Rather, the genre has become a set of tropes to be repeated and repeated until all meaning has been drained from them.