Probably didn’t hear you

There are all sorts of things I have not been doing, and all sorts of things that I have not been enjoying, that I normally do. I’ve been on vacation for a week, enjoying cooler climes and more relaxed environs, but I’ve had to devote time to writing year-in-review essays, and to working on compiling my Best of the Year anthology (final ToC announced any day now) which has gotten in the way of really relaxing.

That’s not what’s stopped me, though. The sorts of things I’ve not been doing too much of are watching TV and movies, sitting around chatting a lot, and even reading as much as I want. The reason for it is that, once again, my ears are acting up. I was very fortunate when I was overseas in France, the UK and the US this year that my ears not only didn’t trouble me; they functioned pretty well (for me). I felt relaxed, confident and that things might be slowly improving.

Since I got back from the US in November, though, things have slowly deteriorated. My right ear particularly is problematic right now. It feels blocked and the hearing out of it is very poor and muffled. If you sit on my right side you’ll notice me turning around a lot because it helps me make out what you’re saying. If you’re directly opposite me we should be fine, but it depends on how noisy the place is. And if you’re more than 15-20 feet away the probability is I just can’t make out what you’re saying.

I’ll go see the doctor again this week. I don’t know if it’s simple external blockage (i.e. wax), which is unlikely but possible, or if there’s been a Meniere’s-related issue. It’s sometimes hard to know. In fact, one of the hardest things to explain about my experience with Meniere’s is that it means my hearing can be very variable depending on time of day, whether it’s acting up or not, weather etc. etc. Right now I’m trying to be optimistic and hope it settles back to France levels. If it does, I’ll arrange hearing aids to offset the moderate permanent hearing loss I do have, and I should be fine. If it doesn’t, it’ll be worse than that.

Communicating and enjoying film and music aside, the real problem with my Meniere’s is that the experience is so variable, with ears feeling blocked or not, or hearing being good or not, that I am aware of it every day. It never quite settles to the point, or seldom settles, to where I can just forget it and get on with the day to day. It distracts me, even beyond the mechanical issues of watching or listening to things.

That said, in some ways I’ve been lucky of late. Thanks to various medications, I’ve not been having Meniere’s attacks. Every year for the past three I’ve been struck down over Christmas and in April. If it weren’t for my right ear being blocked, I’d barely have noticed it. I’ve had a moment or two of light-headedness, but nothing like an attack or even the precursors to an attack.

Given that I need to relax, become creative and get my 2015/16 schedule settled pretty much immediately I hope things improve. Back to the day job on Monday, too, which will be fun! I love working with my team, but the work occasionally can be trying.

Home tomorrow!

Episode 215: On Short Stories, the Possibility of Ruts and other matters


Suddenly our intrepid heroes, still mostly living on vacation time,realised that they needed to put out another episode of the podcast. Plans for a leisurely hiatus were abandoned and, somewhat the worse for New Year wear, they sat down in front of their microphones, and began to ramble. 

This week’s discussion starts with a look at some end of the year comments made by Locus Online short fiction reviewer Lois Tilton, which had Jonathan nodding his head in some agreement, and wandered on to his vague thoughts on genre cohesiveness (or something) and ended with thought from Gary on who will we remember this year from the Class of 1915 (or something).
All in all, a typical Coode Street. Next week, finally as promised, Guy Gavriel Kay! As always we hope you enjoy the episode, and will see you next week!

Call for stories: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 10

bestsff9I edit The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year anthology series for Solaris Books. The ninth volume in the series will be published in May 2015, and the tenth will appear in May 2016.

I am currently reading for the 2015 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.

Eligibility

This is a reprint anthology. Stories must have been published between 1 January and 31 December 2015 to be considered.

Deadline

The submission deadline for this year’s book is:

 1 October 2015

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 2014 please send galleys or manuscripts so that I can consider the stories in time.

Publication date

The tenth volume of the series is tentatively scheduled for publication in May 2016.

Format

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 inconvenient. 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.

Postal address

When sending material please put “Best SF/F of the Year” on the envelope.

Jonathan Strahan
PO Box 544
Mt Lawley WA 6929
Australia

Email submissions, recommendations, or information on publications can be sent to me via email at:

jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com

For publishers

  • 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 2015.
  • 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.

For writers

  • I do not need to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive regularly (I get , Analog, 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.

Note: Edited to correct some stupid date errors on my behalf caused by my repurposing last year’s post.  The new book is for stories published during 2015 and is due out in 2016. Apologies for muddleheadedness.

2014 in Books and Stuff

It was a busy year.  In addition to travelling to England to attend Loncon 3 and Washington DC to attend World Fantasy Convention 2014, I managed to guest edit an issue of Subterranean magazine, co-edit a collection of stories, and edit three anthologies of my own.  I’m pretty proud of them, and delighted that my friend and colleague Gardner Dozois has been so kind when talking about Reach for Infinity and Fearsome Magics.

My 2014 projects were:

  1. Special issue of Subterranean Online, Subterranean Press, January 2014
  2. Minding the Stars: The Early Jack Vance Volume 4, Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan eds., Subterranean Press, May, hc
  3. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8, Jonathan Strahan ed., Solaris Books, April 2014, tp
  4. Reach for Infinity, Jonathan Strahan ed., Solaris Books, London, June 2014, tpb.
  5. Fearsome Magics: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy Vol. 2, Jonathan Strahan ed. Solaris Books, London, October 2014, tp

I was also fortunate enough to be nominated for some awards during the year.  I was deeply honoured to be presented with the Aurealis Peter McNamara Award for Professional Achievement, and to be nominated for the Hugo, World Fantasy, Aurealis, Ditmar, and Locus Awards. Along the way, Gary and I also snuck out 40 episodes of the podcast! Oh, and I edited and curated the reviews section for another 12 monthly issues of Locus and compiled their Short Fiction Recommended Reading List. I would have done more, had it not been for the day job.

I’ll be a little quieter in 2015 than I was in 2014. Personal issues kept me occupied when I wasn’t working, and I frankly didn’t spend enough time pitching books (which I  need to work on quite furiously at the moment). This means 2015 will only see two anthologies and a collection I’ve worked on come out.  Those books will be:

  1. Grand Crusades The Early Jack Vance Volume 5, Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan eds., Subterranean Press, 2015, hc
  2. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 9, Jonathan Strahan ed., Solaris Books, April 2015, tp
  3. Meeting Infinity, Jonathan Strahan ed., Solaris Books, London, September 2015, tpb.

I really wish I’d been able to fit in another fantasy book in the Fearsome series, but that wasn’t to be.  I’m also a little saddened that Grand Crusades will almost certainly be the final Jack Vance book I do (only, I should add, because we’ve done them all!).

I expect to deliver The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine on time at the end of January and Meeting Infinity in March.  I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with two great publishers – Solaris Books and Subterranean Press – on most of these projects and look forward to doing many more (if only Bill would bring back the magazine!) While I hope to work with additional publishers in 2015 and 2016, I’m very happy and grateful for what I do get to do in the field.

My thanks to all of the writers who wrote for me on the projects above (it was a pleasure and honour to deal with all of you and I hope to work with you all again soon) and a privilege to work with  Jonathan Oliver and  Ben Smith at Solaris, Bill Schafer and Yanni Kuznia at Subterranean, and Liza at Locus.

While the New Year has begun, I’d like to wish everyone in the field the best of 2015s where everyone has books coming out and they all do brilliantly!

Happy New Year

The Coode Street Podcast is a truly international effort, with Gary in Chicago and Jonathan in Perth, and listeners the world over.  2014 was great year for the podcast. Our audience was up more than 30%, which is gratifying, and we managed to get 40 (of a possible 52!) episodes out.  We recorded our 200th episode live in London with Stan Robinson, Bob Silverberg and Jo Walton, and then backed it up with only our second ever live podcast from World Fantasy with Caitlin Kiernan and Peter Straub.

We were desperately lucky to get to speak to all sorts of interesting people, and hopefully we interested, informed and possibly made you think a little about the genre during the year. We also announced we’d be joining Tor.com, which is pretty exciting.  We’re both sure 2015 should be an even better year here on the Street.
In the meantime, we hope you’re safe, healthy and having fun during the holidays, and that we’ll get the chance to talk to you during the year ahead. Happy New Year!

…science fiction and other stuff from jonathan strahan…