The run for home

Well, reading for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Vol 2 stops on 1 October.  That gives me 28 days to nail the contents for the book. I’m very, very happy with the fantasy that I’ve read, and I’ve even read some great horror, but I’m reading SF eagerly looking for great stories to round out that part of the book. If you have any suggestions, drop me an email. I know it’ll come together, and overall I think it’s been an excellent year, but this is where I need to focus. Of course, it’s crazy time at the zoo here, with more things going on that you can shake a stick it, but that’s how it goes. I’m mostly trying not to think about it.  Basically, the work schedule from here is read for three weeks (except for the mildly terrifying notion of a pile of proofreading dropping through the front door), go to Conflux, come back and assemble the final manuscript for the book. That gives me from October 2 to October 21 to write the story notes and main intro, before I get on the plane for the US. If I can do that, I can read over the interstitial stuff in San Francisco, and leave it with the Night Shade guys when I head for Manhattan. The key here is that there’s no wiggle room. The book must be finished by the day after World Fantasy. No wiggle room at all. Yay. I’m feeling very relaxed .

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  1. I haven’t been reading nearly as much short fiction as usual this year, but Daryl Gregory’s “Dead Horse Point” and Holly Phillips’ “Three Days of Rain” are probably the two sf stories I’ve been most impressed by.

  2. I read and really admired Gregory’s story and need to re-read the Phillips’ story. She did an amazing story, “Gin”, that we published in Eidolon last year.

  3. October to October? That is interesting to know, does most new stuff generally come out by then?

    I haven’t read a whole heap, but this is what I liked so far :-

    The best two of year year I have read so far, that I think are new:

    Verthandi’s Ring – Ian McDonald
    Both 5 stars, for me.

    Below that , that I can think of at the moment

    Wikiworld – Paul Di Filippo
    Ice Dwarves – Doug Goodman
    Inducing – Paul Haines
    Father Muerte and the Joy of Warfare – Lee Battersby
    Glory – Greg Egan
    Muse of Fire – Dan Simmons

    All 4.5 out of 5

    same for this one, which I dunno if you would want to call, sf, horror, fantasy, or what :)

    Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack In the Kingdom of Purple Flowers – John Langan

  4. Because of deadlines, almost all of my year’s bests have been done on an October to October basis. Virtually all of the magazines and anthologies are either published, or in galley form, by then. I do have to milk my contacts a little to make sure I get the November/December stuff, but it usually works pretty well.

    I like a number of the stories you do quite a bit, and several are headed for my year’s best. One question: only one of your 5 star choices showed up. What’s the other?

  5. Those editor ‘summon story’ superpowers are good it seems. :) Thanks for the clarification.

    Oh, the other 5 star was Cory Doctorow’s When Sysadmins ruled the Earth, but I think that is a 2006 story, that I just got around to actually reading this year, having had a reasonable JBU backlog. :) So I don’t think that qualifies? Pretty sure it was earlier than October, anyway.

    Sorry for not changing the text after deleting that from my list.

    Here’s another one though, a 4.5 that I forgot, Kevin Veale’s A Day In Her Lives.

    If it is useful for you, I’d be happy to dig up the 4’s as well, that I have read. (The Robert Reed one mentioned on other post before is, whereas Kress I called 3.5).

    I am hanging out for when Fictionwise delivers the Asimov’s for another look at Egan, too.

  6. Like Langan, where do you put Lucius Shepard’s Dead Money?

    The zombie thing means I didn’t think of it straight away as SF, but a possible I suppose. (4.5).

    Zombie poker is funky for a blurb, anyway. :)

  7. Robert Reed’s “Roxie” is my favourite short sf story of the year. Sentimental issues, close to home, set off against cosmic problems. Mind you, it helps if you’re a dog lover!

  8. Hey Blue – Yup. Editorial superpowers. There’s nothing quite like ’em. You just have to remember to wear your underwear on the INside of your pants. “Sysadmins” was terrific, but was definitely last years. I’ve not read that issue of ASIM yet, but will check it out (they’re terrific about sending me copies). As to Egan, “Dark Integers” in the Oct/Nov Asimov’s is one of his best. If I were doing a book like Gardner’s, I’d definitely include both it and “Glory”. Right now I’m tossing up. “Dark Integers” is a sequel to “Luminous”, whereas “Glory” has all that space stuff. A hard choice – Jonathan.

  9. Where do I put Lucius’s “Dead Money”? Right now I’m not thinking about novellas. I have 200k worth of space, and need to cover SF and fantasy. Readers want at least 20 stories or so, so that means no novellas in the book. If Best Short Novels gets picked up next year, though, then that’ll be something else. – Jonathan

  10. I liked the dog story too, btw. (4)

    It is a bit sneaky in that, I will write a story about my dog. How can it be an SF story? Ok, how about a killer asteroid lurking. :)

    I don’t think about space like that I guess on the novella thing, didn’t cross my mind, not being a publishing type.

    I love the Luminous story, so if you say the sequel is great, then fantastic. :)

    If it is good, maybe it is worth putting that one in, given Glory is in book form in what I presume is a somewhat popular anthology already?

    The Veale is absolutely worth a look. A ground (and actually city) based identity/personality story, for one part.

  11. Fair enough. I will look at it again, too.

    In the November Analog – Barry B. Longyear’s Murder In Parliament Street was LOL, multiple.

    4.5 for that one.

    It is in the ‘Novella’ category by their classification in the contents, so too long presumably as you mention earlier.

  12. Found another one I really liked.

    Titanium Mike Saves the Day, by David D. Levine. (FSF 660)

    Maybe the strangest one of the year – Telefunken Remix – A. A. Attanasio in FSF 661, which was a tweener I thought of 4.25 for.

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