What I’m up to…

So, you ask, ‘Jonathan, you’re always complaining about being too busy. What are you actually doing?’  Well, good question, dear reader. As long-time readers know, I hold down a day job with a mysterious bureaucratic entity (no, I’m not going to name them because it’s kind of irrelevant here) in Perth, Western Australia where I perform project-managey kind of tasks in the web development area. This is a good thing. Last year I got a promotion, which was nice, and it continues to keep me busy.  The $$s also keep the family unit running, which the science fiction stuff helps with, but couldn’t maintain.

Now, how about the editing stuff, you ask? Well, there are three strands to that. Since 1997 I’ve been working in various capacities for what Tim Pratt calls ‘A Certain Magazine‘, but what others seem to see as the evil behemoth of death, that darned magazine, the evil semi-prozine Hugo eater, or sometimes just, Locus. I started as their Australian editor, which really was just cover so I could shack up with my girlfriend and get a visa. I had to sell galleys from the Locus Basement to cover costs, so it was an interesting start. Then I became a book reviewer, which I did on and off between 1997 and about 2003. I proofread the magazine for a bunch of years, and have been Reviews Editor since 2002. This means I allocate books for review (sometimes in consultation with the publisher) and edit the reviews that come in from our reviewers around the globe.  It means I’m corresponding a little every day, and then edit the columns in a rush around about now each month.

Then there are the anthologies.  I started doing that in the mid-1990s I then co-edited a pair of anthologies with Jeremy Byrne for HarperCollins Australia. I got my big break, though, from Karen and Bob Silverberg, when they brought me in to work on their year’s best SF.  I’ve since edited fourteen year’s best volumes of one stripe or another, and am finalising contracts now for the next couple. Working for Locus and doing the year’s bests led collectively to doing The Locus Awards, and some other reprint books I’m doing. My first original anthology was Eidolon 1. I’ve since completed six more, and have four in train.  The best way to follow these is to check out the Bibliography page, but coming up are Godlike Machines, The New Space Opera 2 (with Gardner), Eclipse Three, Conquering Swords (with Lou), Dreamtime: Legends of Australian Fantasy (with Jack), Life on Mars, and Engineering Infinity.  There are a couple others being discussed, but that’s most of the antho stuff.

The third, and less well known, kind of editing job I do involves assembling single author collections for various publishers. I did the first of these in 2007 when I edited The Jack Vance Treasury with Terry Dowling for Subterranean.  Truthfully, this came about because I was trying to get someone else to publish a book like that, and ended up doing it myself. I’ve since edited, or committed to edit, three further Vance books (The Jack Vance Reader, Wild Thyme, Green Magic, and Hard Luck Diggings). I also edited Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling, which was an amazing experience, and am currently working on a ‘Best of Fritz Leiber’ with Charles Brown, a collection of Walter Jon Williams stories, and am almost certainly doing three other books like this over the next year or two.  Oh, I’m also assembling a special issue of Subterranean Online.

So, that’s what’s keeping me busy. That and having a young family who like to see me occasionally too.

11 thoughts on “What I’m up to…”

  1. Ooh, I didn’t know about your special issue of Subterranean. This gives me something to look forward to.

  2. Love the Jack Vance Treasury. Well done!

    I’m so excited to hear about the Fritz Leiber book. That will certainly be a no-brainer when it comes to spending the money on it. Over the past two years I have become a big fan!

    Interesting to hear about all the various jobs you do. Not sure why in my mind I had you living in America. Makes no sense why I would think that. Glad to be corrected.

  3. Are any of these upcoming anthologies open for submissions or are they invitation-only?

  4. Ron, unfortunately the books are either delivered already or closed. I don’t usual do open reading periods, though I did for Eclipse Two.

    CarlV: Yep. Perth. Might have thought of the US because a lot of what I do is published there.

  5. Yeah, that’s what I figured. A general question then (for anybody really) about how, generally, to find anthologies that ARE doing open readings. It seems like the monthly magazine is dying and that anthologies are picking up the slack but there’s not the clear path to submission for anthologies that there was for magazines. Thoughts?

  6. Interesting to hear about the Fritz Leiber book. I remember when you did “The Jack Vance Treasury”, you looked at how much you had to choose from and went to the Vance fans for suggestions. If anything, I would think Leiber’s works would give you an even bigger choice and an even wider range of style and material. How are you handling it? Are you going to try to be representative of his work, or will you simply ignore things like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, or the Change War, or his Lovecraft pastiches? Will you be including his shorter novels like you did in the Vance book?

    Sorry. Starting to ramble. Looking forward to the book and to the Walter Jon Williams one.

  7. … and he leaps over tall buildings with a single bound!

    I truly didn’t know you had a day job as well. All I can say is hang in there, and keep those excellent books coming!

  8. Mmmmmm, Fritz Leiber Treasury.

    I’m restraining my usual obsessive-compulsive desire to generate my own list…but am losing the battle!

    A good place to start is that terrific Ballantine compilation: ‘The Best of Fritz Leiber’.

  9. Hi Jonathan,

    Just read Eclipse II, very nice. Do you have a table of contents for Eclipse 3?



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