Five years ago I was chatting on the phone with my good friend and publisher Jason Williams about our mutual love for short fiction and for the great science fiction anthologies of the 1970s, especially the books edited by Terry Carr. We share a deep admiration for his groundbreaking Universe series of anthologies, and for his annual ‘Best of the Year’ anthology series.
Those conversations changed my professional life and continue to impact on me every day. They lead directly to The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, which is currently heading into its seventh volume (I’ve actually been sending out contracts for stories and am working on assembling the book which has to be finished in December). It also led to Eclipse which, in many ways, is my dream project. An unthemed anthology series where I could feature what I thought was the best fiction I could find, one that blended science fiction and fantasy at a time when I believed that was what the field really needed.
Eclipse was successful. We published four volumes of the series, all to great critical acclaim, and some to a little controversy. I’m incredibly proud of each and every story we published, but when the time came to assemble Eclipse Five it became clear times had changed, and we needed to change with them.
After some discussion we decided we needed to relaunch Eclipse as an online magazine, Eclipse Online, which would feature two original stories every month and which would continue the work we’d done with the books. It’s taken some time, and we’re doing this on a tightrope over a yawning chasm, but at last Eclipse Online is ready to see the light of day. Next week the first story will launch, Christopher Rowe’s “The Contrary Gardner”, and it will be followed two weeks later by K.J. Parker’s “One Little Room an Everywhere”. Both are accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Kathleen Jennings.
I couldn’t be happier with our launch stories and hope readers everywhere will love them as much as I have. There’s much more to come, and soon!