Episode 352: A Surplus of Us

With the Nebula Award winners about to be announced, we took a look this week at the question of whether science fiction has demonstrated much continuity of theme and style since the 1969 Nebulas, or whether the field has essentially reinvented itself in the last few decades.

But before we even get around to that, we note the death of bestselling author Herman Wouk, whose only science fiction work was the relatively undistinguished The “Lomokome” Papers, which raised the issue of mainstream writers who attempted SF with limited success vs. those who approached the material with respect.

Then we spent some time talking about the different generations of science fiction writers, the role of nostalgia in science fiction, the value of differing perspectives even on familiar themes, and somehow touched upon the New Wave somewhere in there as well.

As usual, we started with interesting ideas and ended up with a farrago.  

Episode 350: Updated

This year has been something of a whirlwind. When we published Episode 350 we did so without managing to upload the full recording. Apparently, 10 minutes or so were missing. A new file has now been uploaded for your listening pleasure which you can listen to or download from here:

https://jonathanstrahan.podbean.com/e/episode-350-hey-well-how-about-that/

Our apologies and we hope you enjoy the extra tidbit.

Episode 351: A Quick One

After a much longer than expected hiatus, we’re back (sort of)! Gary’s been working and travelling and Jonathan’s been working and planning to travel and it’s made it very difficult to squeeze recording time in.  Or even to plan recording time.

Still, for a moment, early on Mother’s Day in Australia and late in the evening in Chicago, Gary and Jonathan stop to discuss the books they’ve been reading, the movies they’ve been watching, the stuff they’ve been working on, awards and ballots, and  Joanna Russ. There are mentions of fiction in translation, Chen Qiufan’s Waste Tide (and Liz Bourke’s Tor.com review of it), Avenger’s Endgame, and much more.

I don’t think either of our hosts is sure the conversation is coherent or intelligible but here it is, along with a promise to try to do better in the coming months.

Episode 350: Hey, well how about that?

For our 350th(!) episode, Jonathan and Gary basically just ramble on. We begin with the question of how long to stick with a novel which seems to be going off the rails, and comment a bit on what different kinds of readers expect from long novels.

Later we move on to questions about anthologies, and what to expect from recent anthologies of Chinese, Korean, South Asian, and Israeli science fiction: should they try to represent an entire national tradition, or simply focus on excellent stories? And can readers not from those cultures ever fully appreciate the full nuances of such fiction?

That, in turn, leads us to discuss anthologies that have been historically important, although not always widely recognized, such as Vonda McIntyre and Susan Anderson’s Aurora: Beyond Equality from 1976, and anthologies widely celebrated, like Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions.  On a personal note, anthologies that shaped our own reading included (for Gary) Judith Merril’s horribly titled England Swings SF and (for Jonathan) Michael Bishop’s Light Years and Dark. And we end briefly discussing an issue, raised by Fonda Lee, about writers gaining shelf space in bookstores amid all the perennial classics and bestsellers.

Call for stories: Year’s Best Science Fiction 2020: The Saga Annual Anthology of SF

Saga Press

I edit the Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology series for Saga Press. The first volume in the series will be published in mid-2020, and the second will appear in mid-2021.

I am currently reading for the 2020 volume and am looking for stories from all branches of science fiction — space opera to cyberpunk and beyond (pretty much, if you think it’s science fiction it is) — that were published anywhere in the world during 2019. Stories published in translation are eligible provided they appeared in English for the first time during 2019. If in doubt, please send your work.

Eligibility

This is a reprint anthology. Stories must have been published for the first time in English* between 1 January and 31 December 2019.

Deadline

The submission deadline for this year’s book is:

1 November 2019

Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you are in or that you edit is coming out before 31 December 2019 please send galleys or manuscripts so that I can consider the stories in time.

Publication date

The first volume of the series is scheduled for publication in mid-2020.

Format

Where possible, I prefer to receive book-length works in print (especially anthologies).  Books, stories etc can be sent to me via email. I prefer ePub, .mobi, .rtf or .doc files. PDFs are not accepted. I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies out to me, as I don’t have the resources to follow-up every publisher to get material.

Postal address

When sending material please put “Year’s Best Science Fiction” on the envelope.

Jonathan Strahan
P.O. Box 544
Mt Lawley, WA 6929
Australia

Email submissions, recommendations, or information on publications can be sent to me via email at:

jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com

For publishers

I am eager to consider work you are publishing. If you produce a magazine, chapbook, collection or anthology with any original stories in it please let me know. I am happy to accept email submissions. The most important thing is to make sure that I get to consider the best science fiction and fantasy published in 2019.

If you are publishing online please email copies of stories to jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com as early as possible. This is particularly important for stories published between October and December which may otherwise be overlooked.

For writers

I do not need to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive regularly (I get Analog, Asimov’s, F&SF, Interzone, Black Static, Postscripts etc, but not many of the smaller ‘zines and publications).

Please do not send an SASE. This is not a submission, and I’m unable to return manuscripts or respond directly to stories sent to me.

Rights

If I am considering your story for inclusion in Year’s Best Science Fiction, I will be acquiring non-exclusive World anthology rights in English and foreign languages in print, audio and ebook.

News and information

I will be published an overview of science fiction in 2019 as an introduction to the volume. Please send news and information to jonathan.strahan (at) Gmail (dot) com.