TOC – The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Vol 8

From As always, it’s an honor to be in such company. As has already been pointed out elsewhere, a fairly large percentage of the stories are drawn from online sources, venues that didn’t really exist just a few short years ago. I don’t know if I’d call it a trend, but I do think it is significant.

•Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
•“Some Desperado”, Joe Abercrombie (Dangerous Women)
•“Zero for Conduct”, Greg Egan (Twelve Tomorrows)
•“Effigy Nights”, Yoon Ha Lee (Clarkesworld)
•“Rosary and Goldenstar”, Geoff Ryman (F&SF)
•“The Sleeper and the Spindle”, Neil Gaiman (Rags and Bones)
•“Cave and Julia”, M. John Harrison (Kindle Singles)
•“The Herons of Mer de l’Ouest”, M Bennardo (Lightspeed)
•“Water”, Ramez Naam (An Aura of Familiarity)
•“The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
•“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (
•“Cherry Blossoms on the River of Souls”, Richard Parks (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
•“Rag and Bone”, Priya Sharma (
•“The Book Seller”, Lavie Tidhar (Interzone)
•“The Sun and I”, K J Parker (Subterranean)
•“The Promise of Space”, James Patrick Kelly (Clarkesworld)
•“The Master Conjurer”, Charlie Jane Anders (Lightspeed)
•“The Pilgrim and the Angel”, E. Lily Yu (McSweeney’s 45)
•“Entangled”, Ian R Macleod (Asimov’s)
•“Fade to Gold”, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (End of the Road)
•“Selkies Stories are for Losers”, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons)
•“In Metal, In Bone”, An Owomoyela (Eclipse Online)
•“Kormack the Lucky”, Eleanor Arnason (F&SF)
•“Sing”, Karin Tidbeck (
•“Social Services”, Madeline Ashby (An Aura of Familiarity)
•“The Road of Needles”, Caitlín R Kiernan (Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales)
•“Mystic Falls”, Robert Reed (Clarkesworld)
•“The Queen of Night’s Aria”, Ian McDonald (Old Mars)
•“The Irish Astronaut”, Val Nolan (Electric Velocipede)

Tis the Season…Again


Now that the contracts are signed I can go ahead and mention that Jonathan Strahan is picking up “Cherry Blossoms on the River of Souls”  from the October 2013 BCS for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 8. This is the first time I’ve made it into one of Jonathan’s year’s bests, so I’m pretty chuffed. It almost makes up for the fact that we just had to spend three grand to repair and upgrade our hall bath. Nothing like a forced remodel at Christmas to put things in perspective.

Speaking of which, I’m still not done with my Christmas shopping, but that’s pretty typical. One present is definitely going to be late and another might be. I just don’t handle the holidays as well as I should and the stress doesn’t really end until after Easter. A character flaw in me, I know, but there it is.

The next step in the publication of To Break the Demon Gate is the final selection of the artist (which is the publisher’s remit) and reviewing the preliminary designs of the cover. I have to say that I like this part of the process, since other than rendering an opinion—something I usually have no problems with—I don’t have to actually do anything. It’s all on the artist and the publisher at that point. When the book is out, of course, that’s another story. And I like that part too.

Come January I have two novel manuscripts to send off to Prime Books. One’s publication is already settled (the reprint), the other’s isn’t. That’s stress, too. But it still doesn’t compare to the holidays. I hope ya’ll are handling it better than I am.