I’ve just finished proofreading the manuscript of the third volume of my year’s best novellas anthology series. It’s set to be published by the Science Fiction Book Club in June of this year, but I thought readers of this blog might like some kind of advance sampler to see what they’ll get before they hand over their hard earned dollars.
While my budget is limited, there’s a surprising amount of stuff you can find out on the web already that will give you an advance taste of the final book. Stories have been published online for awards’ consideration, podcast, sneak peeked or whatever, so…
- The Little Goddess, Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald’s story of faith and fate in a near future India is once of the most celebrated stories of the year. Read it online at Asimov’s.
- The Gist Hunter, Matthew Hughes
Hughes is establishing himself as one of the best writers of science fantasy working today. This story sees investigator Hengis Hapthorn hoist by his own petard on the cusp between science and magic. You can’t read or sample this one online, but you can get a feel for it by reading some of the fiction published on Matt’s website.
- Human Readable, Cory Doctorow
Emergent networks, insect intelligences, politics in Washington, and a life and death emergency at Jewish funeral near the beach. What more could you want from a story? Cory has podcast his story from Future Washington on his website. You can subscribe to his podcast, or download it in seven parts.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 |
- Audubon in Atlantis, Harry Turtledove
An ageing John James Audubon, America’s most famous naturalist, travels to an unlikely land to catch his last great glimpse of nature (and kill it). You can read an excerpt at Analog.
- Magic For Beginners, Kelly Link
You can read Kelly’s strange and lovely story about a tv show that you wished existed over at the F&SF website.
- Fishin’ With Grandma Matchie, Steven Erikson
This one’s not online at all. You can order a lovely edition of this strange post-modern SFnal tale from publisher PS Publishing.
- The Policeman’s Daughter, Wil McCarthy
You can read an excerpt from Wil McCarthy’s novella of murder and intrigue in his Wellstone universe at Analog.
- Inside Job, Connie Willis
You can read Connie Willis’s story of love, superstition and H.L. Mencken over at Asimov’s
- Mysterious ninth story
And there’s still the mysterious ninth story.
- Online bonus
Year’s best editors often complain that, if they just had a little more space, they would have added this or that story to their book. If I could have added just one more story to my already overstuff book, it would have been James Patrick Kelly’s extraordinary short novel, Burn. While you can order it from the publisher or Amazon.com, you can also listen to it as a sixteen part podcast. Or if that doesn’t suit, it’ll be in Gardner Dozois’s next year’s best SF. It’s very cool.