The last year’s best on Earth

The official part first. I am reading for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 3. It will be published in March 2009 by Night Shade Books and cover science fiction and fantasy short fiction published during the 2008 calendar year. I have to deliver the book to the publisher in the first week of November, so I need to have received any materials (PDFs, galleys, final books or magazines) no later than 1 October 2008, and earlier if possible. I will be sending out a general notice shortly, but if you write or publish short fiction I’d love to hear from you. I generally don’t like email submissions or reading on screen, but if it’s going to be unreasonably expensive to send me something, or if the deadline’s close, please drop me a line and we’ll work something out.

And now the fun part. I am a terribly ill-disciplined person. When faced with deadlines, or mounds and mounds of reading, I tend to develop a fascination with some awfully long television series that ran for 20-something seasons, and is only just now out on DVD. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does mean that I sometimes struggle to stay focussed when reading for the year’s best. To overcome that I’ve teamed up with the good folk at Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth. If you’re not familiar with the project, last year four intrepid readers (Alex, Alisa, Ben, and Tansy) attempted to read every short story published in the genre and to comment on those that they thought had merit. It was a crazy project, and one that I think changed their views on the field quite a bit. Anyway, they’ve decided to do it again, and this year will also act as readers for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 3. What does this actually mean? Well, the LSOE Gang will read away as they did this year, and kindly have offered to let me have access to their behind-the-scenes comments and recommendations, which should help point me towards more stuff that I might miss. We’ll also discuss what we’re reading from time-to-time through the year, which means I’m going to have to stay focussed and up to date, or I’m going to look a right twit. Kind of like having a study partner at Uni. It should be fun, and I’m very grateful to Alex, Alisa, Ben, and Tansy for offering to be involved.

Oh, and we’re hoping to put together a ‘year’s best’ / LSSOE kind of panel for Swancon, which we’re all attending. More on that closer to the time.