Mice in the pantry…

There are mice in the kitchen pantry, and I’m not sleeping well. Two nights running, I’ve either woken by myself or been awoken by children at around 2.00am, and struggled to get back to sleep. I still have to be up for work at 5.00am, so you could argue I’m a bit jetlagged, and this post may not be as sprightly as it could be.

First, books I’m waiting for rather eagerly. In amongst all of the other stuff being talked about, Margo Lanagan has mentioned she’s almost finished her novel Little Peach, set in the same world as ‘Singing My Sister Down’, and I can’t wait to see it. Then, I note from Jeff Ford that Small Beer will be publishing Alan DeNiro’s collection Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead, next year. Given that Jeff’s saying good things about it, and that Gavin and Kelly are publishing it, I’m pretty excited about checking it out. I also see that Bill over at SubPress is publishing a new Tim Powers story, ‘The Bible Repairman‘. For all sorts of reasons, the only way you’ll see this one is in the SubPress chapbook (which will be way cool), so go order it. I did.

Second, I wrote and lost a post about anthologies. To quickly synopsise: where are all of the fantasy anthologies this year? I’ve not seen a really top-flight mainstream fantasy anthology this year, and I’d have expected to by now. That said, I did like Marvin Kaye’s The Fair Folk, which has very good stories by Kim Newman and Megan Lindholm. It’s only available from the SFBC, so go join. The best SF antho of the year, so far, is Pete Crowther’s Constellations. It’s from Pete, so it’s as good as you’d expect. I have read some good slipstream, mixed, oddball, or whatever anthologies as well. Polyphony 5 stands out, as does Nova Scotia, and I know there are others. More, in detail, when I’m more awake.

Third, things are moving on the year’s best front. The first contracts for stories for the year’s best SF and the year’s best fantasy volumes should be winging their way to authors around the globe by now. I’m some time away from announcing any contents, but there’s some good stuff around and I think the books will be strong. The only problem will be leaving things out.

What else? It’s only four weeks till I leave for World Fantasy. Still have to get an ms. together for the YA book, finalise the year’s bests contents, write story notes for everything, do this crazy Australian SF catalogue, and get started on Locus’s recommended reading. All on top of cool, fun life stuff like a best friend’s wedding and a daughter’s birthday. Busy, busy.

Oh, and Clive Barker is now doing weird kids toys….