I’m taking a moment. I’m terrible at taking a moment, but I’m trying. About an hour ago there was a knock at the door. It was a courier with a box, a carton of books. This one contained my contributor’s copies of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12, which is just out from Solaris Books. It contains 29 stories, all published in 2017, that I think represent the very best in science fiction and fantasy at the moment.
I edited my first year’s best annual in 1996 and have been doing at least one a year since 2003. I love doing it and I love reading other editors books too. These are often hard times for books so, if there’s any chance at all this might be your jam, then please consider ordering a copy. While I’m working on the next book in the series, volume 13, your support will help make sure there is a volume 14.
My thanks on this book to cover artist Adam Tredowski and my editors Jonathan Oliver and David Moore.
Oh! And this is my 47th anthology and 75th book editing project overall. I’m signed up for a few more. It’s a joy and a privilege to do.
This week, Jonathan and Gary discuss the parameters of climate-influenced SF, the usefulness or not of the term ‘cli-fi’ (with increasing numbers of SF works set all or partly in the Arctic or Antarctic) and, inevitably, the beginning of the awards season, with the Aurealis and Ditmar awards, the BSFA awards, and the nominees announced this past weekend for the 2018 Hugos. Who is being celebrated on the ballot, and which works were we surprised to see omitted?
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
Gary is back from the International Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, where he chatted quite a bit with guests of honour John Kessel and Nike Sulway while managing to not attend some very interesting talks and panels. We touch upon the problems of identifying an SF audience in today’s fluid environment, and the feeling of some older writers that their books may be no longer part of the overall discussion. But is there an overall discussion anymore? Has the SF readership atomized into so many different readerships, some more vertical than horizontal, that even when senior writers are still being read widely, it’s difficult to find out who those readers are. Have we gotten to the point of “everyone their own canon,” where only a handful of books each year make it into the general discussion of where SF is headed?
With nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards closing shortly, Jonathan and Gary headed to the Gershwin Room to discuss nominating for the Hugos, the recent proposal to change the name of the young adult (not a Hugo) award and to discuss at length their respective nominees for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards.
Towards the end of the podcast, Jonathan and Gary became aware of the sad news that Kate Wilhelm had died, and spend some time remembering one of the most important SF and mystery writers of the 20th century.
We don’t usually get to this, but in a rare moment of organisation, we’re providing a combined copy of Jonathan and Gary’s draft World Fantasy ballots below. These will change (they’re drafts) but it may serve as a useful pointer to some good reading etc.
As always we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week!
World Fantasy Awards 2018
- Gardner Dozois
- Howard Waldrop
- Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, John Crowley (Saga)
- Wintertide, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)
- The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
- A Skinful of Shadows, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan; Amulet)
- The River Bank, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
- The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge (Penguin)
- The Changeling, Victor LaValle (Spiegel and Grau)
- The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, Philip Pullman (Knopf; Fickling UK)
- The Twilight Pariah, Jeffrey Ford (Tor.com Publishing)
- Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com Publishing)
- Agents of Dreamland, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Tor.com Publishing)
- Passing Strange, Ellen Klages (Tor.com Publishing)
- Mightier than the Sword, K.J. Parker (Subterranean)
- The Process is a Process (All its Own), Peter Straub (Subterranean)
- “Probably Still the Chosen One“, Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed 2/17)
- “This is Our Town”, John Crowley (Totalitopia)
- “Come See the Living Dryad“, Theodora Goss (Tor.com 3/9/17)
- “The Faerie Tree“, Kathleen Kayembe (Lightspeed 11/17)
- “The Smoke of Gold Is Glory“, Scott Lynch (The Book of Swords)
- “The Resident”, Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)
- “Sidewalks”, Maureen F. McHugh (Omni)
- “Carnival Nine“, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)
- “The Lamentation of Their Women”, Kai Ashante Wllson (Tor.com)
- The New Voices of Fantasy, Peter S. Beagle & Jacob Weisman eds (Tachyon)
- Black Feathers, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Pegasus)
- Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Ellen Datlow ed. (Tor)
- The Book of Swords, Gardner Dozois, ed. (Bantam; HarperCollins UK)
- The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin, eds. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
- You Should Come With Me Now, M. John Harrison (Comma)
- Dear Sweet Filthy World, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
- Wicked Wonders, Ellen Klages (Tachyon)
- Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)
- Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers, Tim Powers (Baen)
- Tender: Stories, Sofia Samata (Small Beer)
- The Emerald Circus and Other Stories, Jane Yolen (Tachyon)
- Rovina Cai
- Kathleen Jennings
- Gregory Manchess
- Victo Ngai
- Omar Rayyan
Special Award, Professional
- Irene Gallo, for Tor.com Publishing
- Joe Monti and Navah Wolfe for editing Saga Press
- Jonathan Oliver for editing at Solaris
- The Locus Publications editorial team for Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Fields
Special Award, Non-professional
- Scott H. Andrews for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
When Carmen Maria Machado‘s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was shortlisted for the National Book Award it went to the top of everybody’s “to read” piles. A smart, sensitive and thoughtful look at issues to do with sex, gender, violence and horror, it proved to be one of the very best books of 2017, and one that’s sure to hold everyone’s attention through 2018.
This week Carmen was kind enough to join Gary and Jonathan on the podcast to discuss her work, her reading and writing life, and much more. Our thanks to Carmen for making the time to talk to us. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.