Well, things are progressing here at Coode Street Productions. I’m waiting to see some copyedits on The Jack Vance Treasury. Those should be fairly minor, and I’m hoping to handball most of them over to Terry, who’s been the real hero of the project. Still can’t believe we should have final books just after Christmas, but there you go. What a way to celebrate the New Year!
As I mentioned here earlier, Gardner and I delivered The New Space Opera, and so far the feedback from the publisher has been very positive. We’re hoping, if readers like the book as much as we do, that we’ll get the chance to do a second book. This one was a lot of fun, and we’d love to do another. I’ll post a final cover here when I have it, and a final table of contents shortly.
The book that’s been occupying most of my attention at the moment, though, has been The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year. It’s proven to be an interesting and weirdly difficult book to do, balancing what I see as the best of two genres in a single large-ish book. I suspect, though you can never tell, that the major criticism of the book may end up being that it overlaps other year’s bests too much. If that’s the case, it’ll be because in some ways it’s the shortest of any year’s best being done. Most single volume bests are 125,000 words plus. At 200,000 words to cover both fantasy and SF, it’s a good 20% shorter. That means tighter selections, which is good for the reader, but means a greater likelihood of overlaps if there’s a consensus on what the ‘best of the year’ is. I’m not too concerned by that, though. What I’m hoping is that readers will respond to this book, and see it for what it is, rather than worry overly about what’s happening elsewhere. Anyway, it looks like the book should contain twenty-five stories by twenty-four authors. Permissions for the first twenty-one stories in the book have gone out, and the remaining four will go out on Monday. I’ll be emailing everyone involved this week to say hi and double-check that they’re cool with being in the book. From there, I just have to write a short introduction and twenty five story notes, get clean copies of all of the stories, and then work out a running order so I can do a final ms. for November 7. Sheesh.
Oh yeah, and the year’s best is closed. I’m not reading any 2006 short fiction from here on. The only exception is novellas. Feel free to drop me a line about your novella, or to recommend a novella you like or are publishing. I’ve seen some terrific novellas this year, but want to see as many as I can.
What else? I’ve got two exciting projects sitting in the background that I’ll let you all know about shortly. One is at the offer stage, so I should be able to let you know about soon, and the other is pretty much together, but we need to dot some ‘i’s and cross some ‘t’s’ before going public. Still, exciting and busy times.