Sale over dude, sale over

Sat 29 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Or perhaps the quote was Game Over? Anyway. We have been too lazy to take down our sale page and so it has dragged on a bit past its sell-by date. Oops and all that. So. It will disappear soon. No, really.

In the new year there will be activity, linking to wonderful things about writers, news, all that stuff. In the meantime—

KSR @ Google

Fri 21 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Read Sixty Days and Counting, give them for Xmas (or your holiday of choice—happy solstice), read an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, and now watch (or listen) to this alternately depressing and hopeful talk he gave at Google (which annoyingly can’t be embedded for some reason).

Episode 5: Bottling Your Homebrew

Wed 19 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | 3 Comments| Posted by: Michael

Bottling is technical and tedious, nobody’s favorite part of the brewing process. So I’ll lead with the good stuff.

Ra came to where the beer stood waiting in seven thousand jars, and the gods came with him to see how by his wisdom he would save mankind.

“Mingle the red ochre of Abu with the barley-beer,” said Ra, and it was done, so that the beer gleamed red in the moonlight like the blood of men. “Now take it to the place where Sekhmet proposes to slay men when the sun rises.”

—from this great Egyptian myth retelling of the war-goddess Sekhmet’s transformation, via beer, into Hathor, goddess of fertility. Just pretend that jar of cobras on her head is a jar of blood-colored beer. Like an old timey St. Patrick’s Day!

Read more

Kelly’s daemon

Sat 15 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Gavin

Slightly different from the one she did last April(!), here’s Kelly’s new daemon:

First chance at John Kessel’s collection

Wed 12 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

baum.JPGThis week we got in a couple of boxes of galleys of John Kessel’s April collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence—John should be getting them soon (honest, they’re in the mail!) and they’ve gone out to the trades for review. Other reviewers and so on will be getting them soon.

We’re having fun with the design of this one (or, at least, the hardcover). Not going to say what we’re doing just in case it doesn’t pan out!

something.JPGThen, yesterday we came across something unusual (and we’re not saying where) that was so unexpected that we decided to see if anyone can identify it. If someone does, we’ll send them one of the hundred copies of John’s book that there are in the world.

Usual rules apply: you have to be alive and able to read to receive this book.

The Year’s Best No. 20

Tue 11 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

ybfh20.JPGCome ye to pre-industrial pastoral hills and villages where ye cheese and bread eaters mix with the ale swillers and fight ye evil orcs. Yea, verily, tis time to till the soils and put forth magick into ye lande (and also all ye e’s missing from A Void) in ye name of Ye Annum’s Superlative Phantasies & Politicians.

A few things happening on The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection front. First: the book is out there (and makes a wonderful holiday gift…).

There’s an online party at Green Man Review celebrating the 20-years-so-far run. There are reviews of all the volumes (don’t read them all at once, your head may explode), an interview with cover artist Tom Canty, an essay by packager Jim Frenkel, and an interview with Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant:

In any given year, approximately what percentage of writers have appeared in a previous YBFH? Do you seek out just the best, or do you like to showcase new talent?

Ellen: In 2006 in my horror half there were nine stories by writers from whom I’d never taken a story for YBFH. In 2005, there were twelve. So obviously, I showcase new talent all the time. I seek out the best and that often means discovering new talent. Some of the writers have been well-known but I’d never taken anything from them before because their earlier stories weren’t the best or maybe they were too long.

Gavin: We pick based on the stories. Who the author is has nothing to do with it. It drives me crazy that an editor would only read work by familiar writers. That would make the book The Best of Who You Know instead of it always being full of surprises. Every editor likes to discover new talent.

One of the best aspects for us is to reach out into the non-genre magazines, collections, and anthologies, select something to reprint, and then to hear from the editor or writer how excited they are by it. It’s also great to find out that many of those editors and writers are reading widely across different fields and are already familiar with the anthology.

Also out there on the internets is a new handy reference guide compiled by Rodger Turner at the SF Site: The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: by Volume:

In 1988, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling collected together what they thought was the best short fantasy and horror from the previous year. They went through as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1987 that they could find and chose those stories which they decided best represented the fantasy and horror field. Jim Frenkel arranged for its publication by St. Martins’s Press and it has been produced every year since then. In 2003, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant took over from Terri Windling as the fantasy editors.

Here’s our (rather basic) page for the books which includes the fantasy contents of this year’s book which has stories and poems from

  • magazines: the late-lamented Alchemy, F&SF (including M. Rickert’s World Fantasy Award-winning “Journey into the Kingdom”), Ninth Letter, Fairy Tale Review
  • online magazines: Strange Horizons, The Journal of Mythic Arts, Diagram
  • anthologies: Salon Fantastique, Twenty Epics, Firebirds Rising, Paraspheres
  • and collections: Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, Of Tales and Enigmas, Becoming the Villianess

as well the extensive summaries and lists of honorable mentions. We think we look at ~3,000 stories a year (will have to do the math properly sometime!) and in 2006 we listed 205 Honorable Mentions, or about 1 in every 15 stories we read. For the curious after the break there’s a list of where the HMs came from and how many per venue.
Links to previous volumes:

Meanwhile even as we celebrate the 20th edition, we are deep in the reading for the 21st edition—there’s always more to read!

Read more

Gavin’s daemon

Tue 11 Dec 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

A little late, as per usual, with the memes. Thought the film was quite good, although the rhythm of the ending was all wrong, but c’est la vie. Armored bears!