Time is running out to nominate for the Ditmars. To help with nominations, Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt have published a remarkably useful list of short fiction by Australians published in 2005. You can find information on the Ditmars themselves here, and the nomination forms are here. Anyone can nominate for the awards, and you don’t need to have read everything published during the year. Voting is restricted to paid members of the national SF convention, Conjure. You can buy a membership here.
Collection news continues to tumble in here at Coode Street. I note that, according to the news page on his website, Alastair Reynolds has two collections due out in the second half of 2006: Galactic North from Gollancz/Orion will collect his future history stories, while Zima Blue and Other Stories from the good folk at Night Shade will collect the best of his other short fiction. This is good news, especially when you add in Jeffrey Ford’s The Empire of Icecream and M. Rickert’s Map of Dreams from Golden Gryphon, a cool new Kage Baker collection, Dark Mondays, from Night Shade, Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things, Alan DeNiro’s Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead, William Browning Spencer’s The Ocean and All Its Devices, Elizabeth Bear’s The Chains That You Refuse, a bunch of others I need to research, and I even heard a whisper of a rumour that someone out there may be planning a new Howard Waldrop collection. Sweet. All we need now are things like collections by Tom Purdom, William Barton, Wil McCarthy and a bunch of others and the world would be complete.
A quick follow-on about Charles de Lint. The first story set in de Lint’s fictional city of Newford, “Timeskip”, appeared in 1989. The first Newford novel, Memory and Dream, appeared in 1994, and there have now been four collections of short stories and eight (I think) major novels set in that city. The cast that started with Jilly Coppercorn and Christy Riddell has grown and grown, till it’s now a large ensemble of friends, musicians, artists, figures from myth and so on. It seems to me that this cast can be as much a burden as a gift. There’s so many of them, with so much history, that they begin to weigh down the story that’s being told. Could it be time to start fresh?
There are any number of good reasons for joining The Science Fiction Book Club. You get access to all kinds of cool books for very reasonable prices, they do their own nifty omnibuses and hardcover first editions, and they even do anthologies by people like me. However, this morning I heard one of the best reasons to join up yet.
Last year the good folk at Centipede Press produced an enormous retrospective of the best short fiction of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, Two-Handed Engine: Selected Stories. It was a great book, beautifully produced, finely crafted and full of top-notch stories. The only drawbacks were that the book was a little pricey and that the edition was fairly small. Well, apparently the SFBC has just reached an agreement to reprint Two-Handed Engine in a nicely affordable edition this May. If you can’t think of any other reason to join up, this is it. The book is wonderful, and this is probably the most accessible edition likely to be published for some time. Oh, and if you like beautiful books, check out the Centipede site because they still might have a copy or two of the first edition left.
PS: To follow on from something in the comments, if you’re not in the U.S. you can’t join the SFBC. You can, however, usually find SFBC editions of books on amazon.com with little difficulty.