So, I’ve been reading some anthologies of late, in a bid to get a move on with the ‘year’s best’ reading. Worked my way through Al Sarrantonio’s Flights, which is a very mixed bag. It’s a 200,000 word anthology with some great stories by Liz Hand, Tim Powers, Gene Wolfe, and others. There’s also an interesting Narnia story by Neil Gaiman. And, if your tastes run to the train-wreck kind of thing, it includes a Larry Niven story which is just about the worst thing I’ve seen to appear under a professional by-line in years. Should you go read it? Yes. There’s 100,000 words of good to great stuff (if it was just that 100,000 words Flights would be the fantasy antho of the year), and some very ordinary material. Surprise of the book, for me, was Janny Wurts, who has a very good story that was marred a little for me by a New Agey ending. Looking back on it, Flights isn’t as strong or consistent as The Faery Reel (which I expect will be the fantasy anthology of the year), but it is worthwhile.

The other anthology I’m checking out is Deborah Noyes’ Gothic!, which has ten original gothic tales by the likes of Joan Aiken, Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman. The Gaiman story, “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire”, is terrific and worth the price of admission by itself. More soon…



Justine rightly points out that I got the title of Scott’s very fine novel Touching Darkness wrong. Eternal darkness, it turns out, is where such errors belong, and a correction has been made. In the meantime, get thyself to a bookshop and buy (or order if you’re in Australia) a copy of Midnighters: The Secret Hour. The author is Westerfeld, Scott Westerfeld. This has been a community service announcement.


Epochal changes, or we don’t live there anymore

Just heard that, following the recent announcement that David Pringle was leaving Interzone after 22 years, that Gardner Dozois is stepping as editor of Asimov’s after 19 years! I’m in shock. Dozois is/has been our most important editor and will be very sorely missed. Reports are that Dozois is moving on volountarily to pursue his writing career, which is wonderful news, but … wow.


What I did on my holidays

Work. Nah, that’s not strictly true. I had two weeks (mostly) away from my main place of work when I got to get taxes done, finish up last year’s books, play with my kids, and get a little reading done. The best things about the time off were not getting up at 5.30 every morning, playing with the kids a lot, meeting Tim and Serena Powers, getting to catch up with Stephanie and everyone at Swancon, finding out that Karen and my year’s best SF is already in its second printing, and clearing the decks a little.

That, of course, doesn’t mean things are slowing down. I’m in the middle of talking to two possible new reviewers for Locus, which hopefully will work out. I’ve got to write up three new proposals for a publisher, and I didn’t get to anywhere near enough short fiction on my break. Oh, and I broke my finger, which still kinda hurts.

I did get to read Bruce Sterling’s new novel The Zenith Angle, which I have mixed feelings about. I think it’s a great book, but a not very good novel. It jumps all over the place like someone with Asperger’s and reads more than a little like a series of metafictional Hunter S. Thompson articles on cyberwarfare as written for Wired, than a traditional narrative, and the ending is silly. But, it’s also cool.

Speaking of cool, I’m half-way through Minister Faust’s The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad. I hated the opening chapter or two, which just bugged me, but it really picked up after that, and so far is pretty terrific. It is a geeky nerd-fest with Egyptian stuff thrown in. I don’t know how it will end or what people will make of it, but so far it looks like a darn fine debut.

More soon, and apologies for being away…


Well, it’s 10.35pm on Sunday night and I’ve just finished the corrections to the US edition of the Locus Awards anthology, which I started 7.30pm Thursday. That’s 200,000 words. Whew. Now I’ve got to transpose the corrections from the US edition on to the galley of the Australian edition, send the US pages back, and start in on checking the Australian copy. Whew. I also have to get some proofing done on Locus over the next few days. And when that’s done…ah, what the heck. There’s more stuff. Still I’m getting some stuff done.

…unavoidable stuff from jonathan strahan…