Friday, April 20, 2007


Best Short Novels: 2007

The TOC has been announced and the book is shipping this month, so I suppose it's kosher to mention here.

To find the best short novels of any given year, you have to read through dozens of genre magazines, anthologies and other media. And that makes it difficult for the ordinary reader to see them all. But for this fourth book in our exclusive annual series, editor Jonathan Strahan took on the job, compiling his choices for the best short novels of 2006—five science fiction and three fantasy stories by Kage Baker, Robert Reed, Chris Roberson, Robert Charles Wilson, Ysabeau Wilce, Michael Swanwick, Cory Doctorow and Jeffrey Ford.

A story sampling…
• The grass is always greener “Where the Golden Apples Grow,” and nothing could be truer for two Martian kids—a farmer's son and an ice-hauler's boy—who dream of living each other's lives.
• A device called the ripper has opened up a vast number of parallel worlds to polygamous pioneers, but ecologically-minded Kala refuses to be one of “A Billion Eves.”
• “The Voyage of Night Shining White” is a harrowing one for Celestial Empire Captain Zheng Yi and his crew, as they attempt to repair—and survive—a reactor failure on their way to Mars.
• Taking place in an IndustriaI Age future, “Julian: A Christmas Story” recounts the tale of two boys whose friendship is threatened by the plans of Julian's uncle—the tyrannical President of America's ruling Dominion.
• Set in a fun-house alternate California, “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” finds big-hair rocker Hardhands taking ever greater magickal risks to get back Tiny Doom, his four-year-old wife, whom he's managed to lose on the most riotous night of the year.
• Caught in a High Elf's plan to overthrow the nobility of “Lord Weary's Empire,” an outcast struggles against a set of circumstances that are not what they seem.
• “After the Siege” of a near-future Eastern European city—a city infested with bio-engineered “zombies”—a young woman sees a way to use an act of charity to win the infowar for her side.
• Three kids growing up in “Botch Town” are haunted by strange events and a mystery man they think may be the devil.

Here they are—compelling, original, thought-provoking novellas—the state of the art in one enthralling volume.
You may remember that I blogged about this collection before, and commented that Stephan Martiniere's cover originally intended for The Voyage of Night Shining White ended up being used here instead. So you could say, if you were of a mind to, that since my novella is in the collection, and the cover painted for my novella is on the cover, that I've got the cover to the collection. Of course, that's just semantics, but it warms my heart a bit to think that way, at least for a brief moment.

But check out that lineup, people! Baker, Reed, Wilson, Wilce, Swanwick, Doctorow, Ford, and me? How the heck did that happen?

Of course, if you'd like to get my brilliance without all these other jokers muddying up the stew, you could always pick up the PS edition of Night Shining White, which is still available. And with a nifty introduction by John Meaney to boot. Heck, buy both of them and make everybody happy!

Wow, Chris, that's awesome. Congratulations.
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