VanderMeer, Errata, Penguins and What You Hate…

Back in the dim, dark past when I was working on both a year’s best science fiction and a year’s best fantasy volume for iBooks with my dear friend and co-editor Karen Haber, I was sent a story by Jeff VanderMeer. It was a captivatingly odd piece titled “Errata” that was due to appear in Argosy Quarterly. I loved it, and spent some time twisting Karen’s arm to see if it could fit into our fantasy volume.

Illustration for Sadly, Argosy ceased publication and “Errata” didn’t appear. Jeff and I corresponded about the story once or twice, but it remained unpublished until now. Patrick Nielsen Hayden, editor of the landmark Starlight anthology series, has picked it up in his capacity as fiction editor for, and you can check it out here and see just why it knocked me out. And if you loved it too, let them know in the comments over at, at Jeff’s blog, or even here.

Jeff also has two interesting posts over at Ecstatic Days. In between his crazed and quixotic quest to read the Penguin Great Ideas series in just sixty days (60 in 60 – which is both nutty and kinda cool, because then you’ve read those books, which maybe you never otherwise would), he has posted about the Top Five Things Editors Hate – And What Do You Hate? and the Top Five Things This Writer Hates–Writers Out There, What Do YOU Hate?.  I love, love, love these two posts. Why? Not so much for what is or isn’t said – either by Jeff or his commenters, though they’re interesting and worth reading – but because it creates a venue for a dialogue in an area where one doesn’t usually exist.  Writers and editors are co-dependent, but that doesn’t mean we discuss our problems, so anything that promotes that is terrific.