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.

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