Awards season is once again moving into full swing, with nominations now open for the Nebula Awards, Hugo Awards and World Fantasy Awards.
Having been fairly busy during 2015, I’ve been fortunate enough to help publish a number of what I think are really excellent works of fiction that I think are worthy of your consideration. It was a year when I edited or co-edited new novellas for Tor.com, a collection of Jack Vance fiction (Grand Crusades, the final book in the series of Vance reprints), two anthologies (see below), appeared on and produced than 48 episodes of The Coode Street Podcast episodes, and acted as reviews editor for Locus.
The anthologies, of which I’m very proud, are:
Meeting Infinity (Solaris)
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine (Solaris)
As a guide, fiction in Reach for Infinity is science fiction, in Fearsome Magics is fantasy/dark fantasy, and in Subterranean Magazine is mixed.
Fiction edited in 2015
- Memento Mori, Madeline Ashby (Meeting Infinity)
- Aspects, Gregory Benford (Meeting Infinity)
- Rates of Change, James S.A. Corey (Meeting Infinity)
- In Blue Lily’s Wake, Aliette de Bodard (Meeting Infinity)
- Body Politic, Kameron Hurley (Meeting Infinity)
- Drones, Simon Ings (Meeting Infinity)
- Emergence, Gwyneth Jones (Meeting Infinity)
- Cocoons, Nancy Kress (Meeting Infinity)
- The Cold Inequalities, Yoon Ha Lee (Meeting Infinity)
- The Falls, Ian McDonald (Meeting Infinity)
- Exile from Extinction, Ramez Naam (Meeting Infinity)
- Outsider, An Owomoyela (Meeting Infinity)
- Desert Lexicon, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Meeting Infinity)
- Pictures from the Resurrection, Bruce Sterling (Meeting Infinity)
- All the Wrong Places, Sean Williams (Meeting Infinity)
- My Last Bringback, John Barnes (Meeting Infinity)
- The Last Witness, K.J. Parker (Tor.com)
Editor, Short-Form (Hugos)/Professional Achievement (WFA)
- Jonathan Strahan (Meeting Infinity, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine, Locus [reviews editor], Grand Crusades)
I hope you’ll consider supporting the talented people that I’ve worked with during the year.
I edit The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year anthology series for Solaris Books. The tenth volume in the series will be published in May 2016, and the eleventh will appear in May 2017.
I am currently reading for the 2016 volume, and am looking for stories from all branches of science fiction and fantasy: space opera to cyberpunk, fairy tales to the slipstream, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, please send it.
This is a reprint anthology. Stories must have been published between 1 January and 31 December 2016 to be considered.
The submission deadline for this year’s book is:
1 November 2016
Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you are in or you edit is coming out before 31 December 2016 please send galleys or manuscripts so that I can consider the stories in time.
The eleventh volume of the series is tentatively scheduled for publication in May 2017.
Where possible, I prefer to receive book-length works in print, but this is optional. Books, stories etc can be sent to me via email. I prefer ePub, .mobi, .rtf or .doc files. PDFs are acceptable but not preferred. I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies out to me, as I don’t have the resources to follow-up every publisher to get material.
When sending material please put “Best SF/F of the Year” on the envelope.
P.O. Box 544
Mt Lawley, WA 6929
Email submissions, recommendations, or information on publications can be sent to me via email at:
jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com
- I am eager to consider work you are publishing. If you produce a magazine, chapbook, collection or anthology with any original stories in it please let me know. I am happy to accept email submissions. The most important thing is to make sure that I get to consider the best science fiction and fantasy published during 2016.
- If you are publishing online please email copies of stories to jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com as early as possible. This is particularly important for stories published between October and December which may otherwise be overlooked.
- I do not need to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive regularly (I get Analog, Asimov’s, F&SF, Interzone, Black Static, Postscripts etc, but not many of the smaller ‘zines and publications).
- Please do not send an SASE. This is not a submission, and I’m unable to return manuscripts or respond directly to stories sent to me.
- If I am considering your story for inclusion in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, I will be acquiring non-exclusive World anthology rights in English and foreign languages in print, audio and ebook.
I think this is as late as I’ve ever done this, but here we go! I have the all-clear, so without further ado, here’s the table of contents (in alpha order) for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Vol 10.
As I said last year, while there are one or two stories that got away, and while if I had a smidgeon more room I might have opted for a novella in one spot, I’m basically very happy with this list.
- “City of Ash”, Paolo Bacigalupi
- “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, Elizabeth Bear
- “The Machine Starts”, Greg Bear
- “The Winter Wraith”, Jeffrey Ford
- “Black Dog”, Neil Gaiman
- “Jamaica Ginger”, Nalo Hopkinson & Nisi Shawl
- “Drones”, Simon Ings
- “Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones
- “Dancy vs. the Pterosaur”, Caitlin R. Kiernan
- “Another Word for World”, Anne Leckie
- “The Game of Smash and Recovery”, Kelly Link
- “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn”, Usman T. Mailk
- “Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan”, Ian McDonald
- “Little Sisters”, Vonda McIntyre
- “Calved”, Sam J. Miller
- “Ghosts of Home”, Sam J. Miller
- “The Deepwater Bride”, Tamsyn Muir
- “The Empress in Her Glory”, Robert Reed
- “A Murmuration”, Alastair Reynolds
- “Oral Argument”, Kim Stanley Robinson
- “Water of Versailles”, Kelly Robson
- “Capitalism in the 22nd Century”, Geoff Ryman
- “The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club”, Nike Sulway
- “The Lily and the Horn”, Catherynne Valente
- “Blood, Ash, Braids”, Genevieve Valentine
- “Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’”, Kai Ashante Wilson
- “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers”, Alyssa Wong
The striking cover art, inspired by an Ian McDonald story, is by Domenic Harman. The book is available to pre-order in all of the usual places, so please do!
Finally, I am hard at work on finishing the manuscript for the book, but I can announce I’m reading for the 2017 volume.
Having just recorded the Coode Street Year in Review episode with Gary, Paul Kincaid, and Adam Roberts (more possibly to come), my mind turned to the coming year: 2016. Magazines and anthologies are already falling in to my inbox, as are advance copies of some novels and collections. I’m also getting whispers about how good (or not) some particular books might be.
I confess that I have over the years become a skittish and easily distractible reader. One negative whisper about a book and I’m already re-assigning my ridiculous short and overburdened reading time to something else. Without naming names, I’ve already read one book by a long-time favourite that disappointed and have been mostly put off reading a book by another. And thinking about the major books of 2015 – books like Aurora, Europe at Midnight, Clade, The Water Knife, Luna, and others – I began to think that 2016 was probably going to be a weak year following what I think was a very strong one.
So I thought I’d put together quick list of books I want to read next year. I already knew I wasn’t going to read certain titles, and I always have a lot of books fall onto lists as the year unfolds, but I wondered if I could scrape together a worthwhile list of books I wanted to read. It proved surprisingly, and happily, easy to compile. I didn’t overthink this list. I didn’t do a lot of research. I just worked from memory and one or two lists I have lying around. Suddenly there was substantial space opera here, a great debut there, some old favourites in epic fantasy, and a handful of great collections.
You never know what a reading year is going to be like till it’s done. There will be surprises. There will be unexpected brilliance. There will also be eagerly anticipated books that turn out to be turkeys, but this list makes me pretty happy. With these books coming, and with others sure to show up, I’m looking forward to it. (PS: If you’re a publicist and would like to send me any of these, that would be swell).
- Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie
Joe’s writing some of the best short fantasy fiction out there, and is one of the very few writers doing anything interesting with classic Leiber-influenced fantasy at short lengths. Essential.
- Hwarhath Stories, Eleanor Arnason
This collection should have come out a decade ago. Pithy, perceptive sociological SF from a great writer.
- Company Town, Madeline Ashby
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this one for years. I love Madeline’s work and it’ll be fascinating to see her first post-series novel.
- A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford
A new collection from Ford is a celebration and a treat.
- The Stars Are Legion, Kameron Hurley
Hurley adds space opera to her bibliography in a book that should be pithy and strange.
- Europe in Winter, Dave Hutchinson
The best SF series to come out of the UK in a decade draws to a close on the icy streets of a bleak near-future Europe.
- Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay
The single book I’m looking forward to the most in 2016 from one of the best novelists we have.
- Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
The debut novel from Lee, a brilliant short story writer, builds on her short work and looks to be one of the books of the year.
- The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu
The most awaited short story collection of the past decade, and sure not to disappoint. Also essential.
- The Corporation Wars 1: Dissidence, Ken Macleod
New space opera from the greatest libertarian socialist in the field. Can’t wait!
- Into Everywhere, Paul McAuley
The second Jackaroo novel. Enough said. And America? Pay attention! This guy is good and the first book was brilliant.
- The Locomotive’s Graveyard, Ian McDonald
A new novella from McDonald. Always great stuff, and will tide us over until Luna 2.
- Kingfisher, Patricia McKillip
McKillip’s first new fantasy novel in five years. I’ve read everything she’s written and wouldn’t miss it.
- The Last Days of New Paris, China Mieville
I love China’s work. I love the title. I’m in!
- The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller
Miller had an outstanding year with short fiction in 2015. His debut, a YA novel, is due in 2016. I wouldn’t miss it.
- Summerland, Hannu Rajaniemi
A major novel about defeating death. Hannu’s The Quantum Thief was a great book. I’m convinced.
- Everfair, Nisi Shawl
Nisi Shawl’s debut novel, I believe. Steampunk and stuff. I have loved her short fiction and wouldn’t miss this.
- Vigil, Angela Slatter
Having told Angela that I thought her story “Brisneyland by Night” should be a novel, she went and wrote it. Can’t wait!
- The Last Mortal Bond, Brian Staveley
I’ve read the reast of the series. Epic fantasy fun.
- Central Station, Lavie Tidhar
This is one my top 5 for the year. I’ve read the individual stories, but have been impatiently waiting for the book for a while. It’s one of those braided mega-narrative kind of novel thingies, but it’s SF and weird and interesting. What’s not to love?
- Crosstalk, Connie Willis
New Connie. Frankly, the last one sucked a bit. So did Passage, but she’s too smart and funny and readable not to give another shot.
And that’s it. I will read others. Definitely. None of these may end up on my best of the year list (though I would be surprised), but they all look worth chasing. What new books are you looking forward to in 2016?