One things ends, another begins…

The first volume of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year appeared way back in 2007. There’d been talk about it coming out the year before, so I’ve probably been working on the series consistently for the thirteen years or more it’s taken to get to the volume that will be out this April from Solaris.

During that time I’ve worked with multiple editors, two publishers (four if you look back), an editing partner (Marty Greenberg), and hundreds of fabulous, talented writers. I’m grateful to each of them for every minute of it. But volume thirteen is the end of the road for the series. It’s done. Complete. I thought it would go on forever, but that’s not to be.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year will finish this April, meaning that for the first time since 2006 I don’t have a commitment to edit a series of books. Infinity wound up in July and now the best of the year. So it goes…or so it appears.

Actually, I’m not done. I can’t tell you what’s happening – I wish I could, but I want the ink dry on the contract before I do – but I will be editing a new year’s best series for 2020. It’s a change of theme for the year’s best and a move from the UK to New York for the publisher, and I’m actually delighted with this. It’s pretty huge. My editor is fabulous (in fairness, all of my editors have been), the publishing house is an exciting one, and I think the revamped series will be exciting to work on.

So, on to 2019. I’ll issue a call for stories as soon as I can, but for the moment, publishers please keep sending me work. The Year’s Best goes on…!

Episode 341: 2018 Year in Review

The Coode Street Book of the Year

After another long hiatus, Jonathan and Gary return with a ramble saying farewell to 2018 (actually recorded when it was still 2018 in Chicago and already 2019 in Perth).

This time we look back on some of our favourite novels, novellas, collections, anthologies, and nonfiction from the past year, agreeing enthusiastically about Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City, Kelly Robson’s Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Gardner Dozois’s The Book of Magic, Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction (diverting into a side discussion of whether “golden ages” actually mean anything), and several other books and stories which one or both of us liked. We also name Blackfish City as our official Coode Street Book of Year!

Did we draw any insightful conclusions about the overall health of the field last year, or what the field seems to be becoming? Of course not, but we have our opinions, and we had some fun. And who knows? We should be back sooner than you’d think.

ToC Reveal: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen


Cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen by JIm Burns
Coming in 2019! (Art by Jim Burns)


The year is moving a little closer to done. Yesterday afternoon I sent the manuscript for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen to my wonderful editor, David Thomas Moore. There are still some things to do – copyedits and so on – but it is complete.

I could easily have added more stories – especially more novellas – but any book has to fit between a single set of covers and I’m very happy with these selections:

  • “Dreadful Young Ladies”, Kelly Barnhill (Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories)
  • “Okay, Glory”, Elizabeth Bear (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)
  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”, Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, 11/31/18)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, P Djeli Clark (Fireside Magazine)
  • “Flint and Mirror”, John Crowley (The Book of Magic)
  • “An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
  • “The Bookcase Expedition”, Jeffrey Ford (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth”, Daryl Gregory (
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”, Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine)
  • “You Pretend Like You Never Met Me, and I’ll Pretend Like I Never Met You”, Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed,)
  • “When We Were Starless”, Simone Heller (Clarkesworld)
  • “The Woman Who Destroyed Us”, SL Huang (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • “Golgotha “, Dave Hutchinson (2001: An Odyssey in Words)
  • “The Storyteller’s Replacement”, N K Jemisin (How Long Till Black Future Month?)
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny)
  • “Field Biology of the Wee Fairies”, Naomi Kritzer (Apex, 9/4/18)
  • “Meat and Salt and Sparks”, Rich Larson (
  • “Firelight”, Ursula K Le Guin (The Paris Review 225)
  • “The Starship and the Temple Cat”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “Quality Time”, Ken Liu (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “A Brief and Fearful Star”, Carmen Maria Machado (Slate)
  • “The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto”, Annalee Newitz (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “The Staff in the Stone”, Garth Nix (The Book of Magic)
  • “Blessings”, Naomi Novik (Uncanny)
  • “Mother Tongues”, S. Qiouyi Lu (Asimov’s Science Fiction)
  • “Intervention”, Kelly Robson (Infinity’s End)
  • “Widdam”, Vandana Singh (F&SF)
  • “Yard Dog”, Tade Thompson (Fiyah #7)
  • “Olivia’s Table”, Alyssa Wong (A Thousand Beginnings and Endings)

My sincere thanks to all of the authors, agents, and editors who’ve helped make the book possible.  The book will be out in April 2019.

Note: The cover has placeholder names on it. This ToC is accurate.


Episode 340: Andy Duncan and the Road to Utopia

The 2018 World Fantasy Convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland over the first weekend of November. People from all over the globe gathered, including Gary and Jonathan, to engage in discussion, appreciate art, and generally share their love of the fantasy genre. 

Somewhere in there, Gary and Jonathan found time to sit down with Andy Duncan to discuss his brand new short story collection, Agent of Utopia. The book is a fine one and the conversation was wonderful.  As always, we’d like to thank Andy for making the time to talk to the podcast, and we’d like to thank you for listening.