Monday, July 16, 2007


The Year's Best Science Fiction

I happened to check out a copy of Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection over the weekend, and was jazzed to see that a few of my stories had made it into the Honorable Mention list.

“Companion to Owls," Asimov's, March
"Contagion,” FutureShocks
"Eventide," Forbidden Planets
"The Jewel of Leystall," Cross Plains Universe
"Last," Subterranean #4
"The Voyage of Night Shining White," PS Publishing

There are several other stories from Cross Plains Universe that made the honorable mention list, as well:

Neal Barrett, Jr., "The Heart"
Scott A. Cupp, "One Fang"
Mark Finn, "A Whim of Circumstance"
Lawrence Person, "The Toughest Jew in the West"
Carrie Richerson, "The Warrior and the King"
Howard Waldrop, "Thin, On the Ground"
Gene Wolfe, "Six from Atlantis"

(Unfortunately, though, Gardner makes the assumption that Cross Plains Universe is difficult to find because it's small press and therefore not distributed; I'm not sure what we could have done to address this misconception, but it appears to be somewhat prevalent, since the Locus review said much the same thing. Cross Plains Universe wasn't widely available or distributed to the trade, like all other MonkeyBrain titles, because it was intended only as a giveaway to the attendees of last year's World Fantasy Convention, paid for by the Fandom Association of Central Texas. That's why the book doesn't have a price or a barcode on the cover, because it was never meant for the trade. There are apparently still talks underway about doing a trade edition, but if one came about it wouldn't be a MonkeyBrain title, nor a FACT one, for that matter. Oh well...)

In his summary for the year, Gardner mentions several other MonkeyBrain titles, including Blood & Thunder, Myths for the Modern Age, The Man from the Diogenes Club, and Cover Story, though in each case the mention is simply that the books existed, without much in the way of valuative statements attached (though the Newman is included in a list of "good collections").

As I've mentioned before, I've long held that Dozois's yearly summations are invaluable, my own personal Baedecker's to the field, and the fact that anything I was even vaguely associated with gets mentioned (or honorably mentioned) is always an unalloyed joy. And when it's got my name on it? Hell yeah...

6 honorable mentions? That's awesome!
I was, shall we say, gobsmacked myself. I've had one or two mentions for the last few years, starting with "O One" in the 21st Annual Collection, then "In the Frozen City" and "Red Hands, Black Hands" in the 22nd, then "Prowl Unceasing" and "The Trouble with Superman" last year. But this was the first time to have so many in the same year. There are a number of writers with as many, but only a few with more. Unless I'm misremembering and/or miscounting, the most nods this year went to Robert Reed and Elizabeth Bear, though poor Bear comes off looking like a tyro like me because three of her stories are attributed incorrectly to Peter Beagle who precedes her alphabetically, making it appear that she has six nods instead of her actual nine.
All your honorable mentions are belong to us! You rule!
Thanks, D!
Only read a couple, but Contagion is worth one for sure.
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