In his blog, IC London, IC France, Howard Waldrop begins a discussion of this year’s retro-Hugo Awards. They’re something I have problems with, but Howard is always worth reading and, who knows, he might even persuade me to vote.
It may not look like it from a distance, but being an anthologist can be hard work, and doing year’s bests takes a lot of time and effort. Now, no-one who does it that I know is complaining, but you do need to take the time every now and then to appreciate the good moments. So, many, many congrats to Kathryn and David on this piece of news. You should all go buy their book, and then check out Gardner’s too (I know you’ve already got mine). In fact, this year more than any other of late, is a good year to pick up the various ‘year’s bests’ and compare them. I think they all have something good to offer.
I don’t know why this makes me happy, but it does. Paul Di Filippo has a new website at www.pauldifilippo.com, which is a good thing. I find Di Filippo a fascinating writer to follow. In some ways, he reminds me of Elvis Costello. Very prolific and just as likely to produce something you love as something that leaves you going “huh?”. It makes it exciting to check out what he does. The only flaw in the site, for me, is the lack of a ‘Forthcoming work’ section. But, you can’t complain. Speaking of Di Filippo, the good folks at ibooks are reprinting his novel Fuzzy Dice in October. If you don’t have the PS Publishing edition, then grab this when it goes by.
On unrelated news, there’s a good interview with Jack Dann over at SciFi.com. He talks about his cool new novel, and other good stuff. Worth reading.
I’m feeling out of sych with people around me. Everyone I know is happily enjoying being in the middle of 2004, and I find myself almost completed focused on 2005. I’ve already received three or four books due out in ’05 (a Graham Joyce novel, a George Alec Effinger collection and a Pete Crowther anthology), and have just finished reading the Oct/Nov double issues of F&SF and Asimov’s. One more issue apiece, and I’ll have finished with reading on the major print ‘zines for ’04. On that, I was a little surprised that there’s only one novella in the Asimov’s double, but it does have excellent stories by Robert Reed and Michael Swanwick, as well as the end of Charlie Stross’s “Accelerando” sequence. I’ve no doubt that at least one or two of the stories from this issue will end up in year’s bests, but I’m curious to see the December issues. I’m also really interested to see the couple issues of Interzone due before Christmas, and the stories that show up on SciFiction, which has had a great year so far.
Given that I’m reaching year’s end (with, of course, still a lot of anthologies, collections and online pubs still to see), I can say that it’s been a pretty good year. Surprisingly, not as strong as last year for novellas, but some great novelettes and good shorts. I do think that there’ve been fewer really outstanding science fiction short stories around, with a lot of the magazines focusing more and more on fantasy and the slipstream kind of stuff, but there’s still enough to keep a year’s best editor busy. On that, if you have any recommendations for stories I should check out, I’ve started a thread over on my discussion board. Feel free to pop over and let me know what you think.
Upgrading Coode Street
I tried to expand and redesign Coode Street a year ago, but it all came to nothing. This was partly due to lack of time, lack of resources, and lack of a good design idea for the whole project. I’ve come to think, though, that Coode Street needs an upgrade and some love and affection, so I’m putting it into the workflow for the next couple months. I want to expand the blog, add a few features, and include something meaningful on the anthologies I’m doing. So, I’m open to suggestions. If you have any ideas, think there’s something I should do more (or less) of, then just let me know. Use the email address in the right column, or post to the message board. Also, I’m interested in suggestions about moving away from blogger.com. I’m not sure it’s the best available option, though it is cheap and easily accessible.