I’ve spent a reasonable part of 2010 working on anthologies that will see print during 2011. The first of these, and one of my favorites, is Engineering Infinity, a hard SF anthology that I’ve edited for Jonathan Oliver at Solaris Books.
I’ll be honest and say that one or two of the stories in the book stretched my definitions of hard SF somewhat (though it’s all ‘pure quill SF’ Gardner). I’m very happy with the end result.Â It’sÂ my first book to be published in the UK and will be out in January (close to simulataneously in the US, UK and Australia), just in time for my 47th birthday.Â Here’s the ToC:
Malak, Peter Watts
Watching the Music Dance, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Laika’s Ghost, Karl Schroeder
The Invasion of Venus, Stephen Baxter
The Server and the Dragon, Hannu Rajaniemi
Bit Rot, Charles Stross
Creatures with Wings, Kathleen Ann Goonan
Walls of Flesh, Bars of Bone, Damien Broderick & Barbara Lamar
Mantis, Robert Reed
Judgement Eve, John C. Wright
A Soldier of the City, David Moles
Mercies, Gregory Benford
The Ki-anna, Gwyneth Jones
The Birds and the Bees and the Gasoline Trees, John Barnes
I am now thoroughly invested in the whole Read a Whole Buttload of Stories by WFC thing. I spent yesterday afternoon reading, did a bit last night, and then was catching up on F&SF reading this morning when I realised that I’m done with zombies for the moment. Â I was reading a perfectly good story by Steven Popkes called “The Crocodiles”, which is all about the Nazis developing zombies as a weapon for WW2, when I realised I didn’t need any more undead for a bit. Â I’m half way through Unicorns vs. Zombies, really enjoyed The Loving Dead and stories in Subterranean, F&SF and elsewhere, but I’m sort of done with the whole idea right now. Â I find myself craving hard SF.
I fly out for Columbus, Ohio and World Fantasy Convention on Saturday, 23 October.Â There are a lot of things that I need to do between now and then. One of the most urgent is to make significant headway on my 2010 short fiction reading. Why?
Well, most urgently, I have to deliver The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 5 in early December (heck, I expect to get asked about names for the cover shortly and I’m nowhere near ready to hand over that information!).Â That means reading a LOT of anthologies, collections, and magazines and FAST. Also chasing down those end-of-year stories I might otherwise miss.
All of this readingÂ will also directly inform the work I will be doing on compiling the Locus Short Fiction Recommended Reading list, which I expect to start work on in early November when I get home from Ohio. There is also a chance that I may end up doing a panel on the ‘Year in Review’ at World Fantasy. Having been admonished by Sophie, aged 8, that it wouldn’t hurt if I prepared for my panels, I’m eager to be as well-read as I can be when that time comes round.
All of this means I need to read, read, read! And I am.Â There’s oceans still to read, and I’m still actively seeking recommendations. Feel free to email me if you’ve seen a story you liked and let me know. I’m reading reviews, checking blogs and Twitter feeds for story recs, but I’d love yours.Â Really. I have thousands of stories to read and I’m not going get through them all, so your recommendation would help.
As to how I’m getting through everything? Well, first I’m reading a LOT. Fast (which is not how I read usually). I’ve also been in touch with my colleagues at Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth, and it seems we’re working out some deadlines and incentives so we can all get as much covered as possible (that means four or five more sets of eyes looking at things). I’m also considering getting an intern to help. Hmm. An intern. Anyone interested?Â I believe we may be tweeting some of our story reading progress, but that’s still up in the air.