Eclipse Three, Ted Chiang and the future…


I’ve just returned from Sydney, San Francisco, Montreal and Melbourne.  There’s way too much to report to fit into one post (and I’m awful at recording events), but one of the highlights was accepting the Hugo Award on behalf of Ted Chiang, whose brilliant short story “Exhalation” from Eclipse Two, was honored by the members of the World Science Fiction Society in the Best Short Story category.  I love the story and was delighted that it won.

The Hugo results were announced the day after I delivered Eclipse Three to Night Shade Books for an expected October 2009 publication (it should be out for World Fantasy).  There might be some tiny changes but the table of contents for the book is:

  • The Pelican Bar, Karen Joy Fowler
  • A Practical Girl Lotion, Ellen Klages
  • Don’t Mention Madagascar, Pat Cadigan
  • On the Road, Nnedi Okorafor
  • Swell, Elizabeth Bear
  • Useless Things, Maureen F. McHugh
  • The Coral Heart, Jeffrey Ford
  • It Takes Two, Nicola Griffith
  • Sleight of Hand, Peter S. Beagle
  • The Pretender’s Tourney, Daniel Abraham
  • Yes We Have No Bananas, Paul Di Filippo
  • Mesopotamian Fire, Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple
  • The Visited Man, Molly Gloss
  • Galápagos, Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • Dolce Domum, Ellen Kushner

I’m also delighted to be able to show you the cover for the book, which was done by the late Richard Powers (1). It’s a peach. It’s the one on right in the trio of images above.  Oh, and yes, there will be an Eclipse Four! I’ve not had a chance to work anything much out about it yet, but it looks like it’ll definitely happen.  More on it soon.

  1. I should note that, while the cover image is final, there are changes to be made to the cover text.  The names on the front etc will change since this tentative design was completed.  I’ll get the final up here when it’s done. Still, it looks!
  2. Edited 23/08/09.  Author Ellen Klages has changed the title of her story from “Lotion” to “A Practical Girl”.

25 thoughts on “Eclipse Three, Ted Chiang and the future…”

  1. It looks interesting.The Abraham, Beagle and Fowler stories particularly intrigue.
    Patiently waiting for your Science Fiction Book Club volume to come out. No sigh of it yet. At least not in Canada. We do tend to trail the Americans somewhat.

  2. Wow! When I saw that cover, I immediately thought “Cool retro look they’re going for. Very Powers-ish.” So what’s the story? Is this some unused piece recently discovered, or what?

  3. Bravo!

    Lovely colour, again – nice to see some warm earth colouring for contrast.

    Any thoughts on the balance of this book in the SF/fantasy continuum? Or are these label-free, unclassifiable stories?

  4. That is going to be one hell of anthology! I am so proud to be in it.

    It was swell getting to spend time with you at Worldcon. So glad you’re too tired to write a full report. They must never know about the maple syrup & the panthers.

  5. That is a great line-up – some favorites and some newer names hat I haven’t read much from. I’m really looking forward to it. And the cover is copacetic. Reminds me of when I started reading SF with all those Powers covers on the paperbacks I bought!

  6. There are some things that should remain unwritten, and the story of Montreal is such a thing. I’m delighted, btw, to have your story in the book.

  7. I love the cover. It’s striking and bright and is all thanks to Night Shade’s Jeremy Lassen. This one sits between #1 and #2. It’s about 45% SF and 55% fantasy. There’s no space opera or real hard SF, but there is excellent and rather chilling near future SF. The fantasy ranges from a gentle ghost story of sorts to a mermaid story to other stuff.

  8. That’s exactly what it is. No one knows what it was done for, but all of our research says it’s an unused piece done in the early 70s.

  9. This TOC looks like the opposite of Mike Ashley’s Mindblowing SF anthology which came out recently. Ashley took loads of flack for it being male dominated. This one has 11 women and only 4 men and people all praise you for it. Very very strange.

    I’m glad to see Ford & Beagle in there at least, they usually have a good story.

  10. I’m very happy with ALL of the stories in the book. The writers really outdid themselves and I’ll be very curious to see what people think of the book when they finally get the chance to read it.

  11. An unusually high hit of my “fav” authors even for you. :) I’m glad to see the cover getting away from the very Apollonian blue-and-white, as well. The prospect is energizing!

  12. @ Calibandar, Ashley’s volume had zero women, and all men, which is nothing like Eclipse 3. With this, the balance is very much better, and I can’t imagine that there would be any criticism. You don’t always need balance, per se, as much as a good representation. Either way it’s really nice to see a varied line-up and a sharp retro cover!

  13. having gone through a period of disgust with SF-F I am glad to say that my interest is piqued by this one– the TOS is so exciting!

  14. Sean,

    I know. Ashley didn’t have any women in his retrospective, reprint SF only anthology. And a lot of people with feminist sensibilities were extremely upset about that, as we have seen in on the blogs. Not just a little, but very upset. That was just terribly unfair to all the excellent female writers out there, who should be positively discriminated, such was the sentiment.

    But now we get a TOC from Strahan, who has been criticized in the past for not having the right mix as well. Earlier Strahan was told he didn’t have enough women in his anthology. Now he has 11 women and 4 men, and now it’s fine. When it’s 11 men and 4 women the editor takes a beating, because that just isn’t fair is it? But the reverse? That’s fine, man we’d love to see that all the time.

    Uhm… no. That’s a skewed worldview, and it irritates me a lot. I’m sure this book will have interesting stories by both men and women. I’m also sure I will buy it, in October even. I am however noting a very strange political correctness to the responses. More men than women in the TOC is to be criticized. The reverse is to be applauded.

    No. People need to do some reflecting on the extreme agenda’s they have and how biased they are, and how ironic that bias is considering they accuse the male anthologist of bias himself.

  15. @Calibandar. I’m afraid you’re mistaken about Ashley’s volume being reprint only. The SF Signal blog entry that prints the TOC marks five stories with the footnote “New story written for this anthology.”

    Also, as you have pointed out, the Ashley anthology did not have any women at all. That’s hardly the same thing as an anthology with 11 men and 4 women. The latter wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much attention. The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 3 is a recent anthology with only one female author. I don’t recall that editor taking a beating.

    The crux of your argument begs the question of male and female authors are already being treated in a gender-neutral manner. Since that’s the point of contention, assuming the answer is decidedly poor form. Add your factual inaccuracies to this mix and I’m afraid that you should take your own advice and reflect.

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