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YBFH #18

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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 05:34 pm:   

Winter 2004

I co-edit the World Fantasy Award winning anthology series The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's Press) with Kelly Link & Gavin Grant. The 17th annual collection will be out in August 2004. We are now reading for the 18th volume, which will include all material published in the year 2004.
I am looking for stories from all branches of horror: from the traditional-supernatural to the borderline, including high-tech science fiction horror, psychological horror, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, send it. This is a reprint anthology so I am only reading material published in or about to be published during the year 2004. Submission deadline for stories is December 15th 2004. Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you’re in or you edit is coming out by December 31st 2004 you can send me galleys or manuscripts so that I can judge the stories in time. No email submissions. I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies out to me as I don’t have time or energy to nag publishers to get me material. I request it once (maybe twice) and that’s it.

There are summations of "the year in horror," and "the year in fantasy" in the front of each volume. These include magazine and publishing news concerning the horror and fantasy fields, novels we've read and liked, and in my section, "odds and ends"-- material that doesn't fit anywhere else but that I feel might interest the horror reader (like strange nonfiction titles, art books, etc). But I have to be aware of this material in order to mention it. The deadline for this section is January 30th, 2005.
When sending me material please put YEAR'S BEST HORROR on the envelope.
Ellen Datlow
PMB 391
511 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011-8436

Kelly Link & Gavin Grant
176 Prospect Avenue
Northampton, MA 01060

Kelly & Gavin cover fantasy and I cover horror. If you consider something both, send a copy to each of us. We do not confer on our choices.
****I do not want to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive regularly (like Interzone, The Third Alternative, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales, F&SF etc) or from anthologies and collections, unless I don't have or can’t get that anthology or collection. And please do not send a SASE. If I choose a story you will be informed. If you want to confirm that I‘ve received something, enclose a self-addressed-stamped postcard and I will let you know the date it arrived. For stories that appear on the web, please send me (or have the publisher send me) print-outs of your story.
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Mark Shiney
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 10:19 am:   

Hi Ellen, just a quick question: I wanted to find out if you'd received Scared Naked Magazine Issue#1 Volume#2 for this year? The reason I'm asking is that I have a story in that issue and it looks as though the magazine is no longer publishing.
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EDatlow
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 05:58 pm:   

Nope. Doesn't look like I"ve gotten any this year. Can you still contact them to ask that they send me copies of whatever issues they did publish in 2004?
Thanks.
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JackC
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 02:56 pm:   

EDatlow, I'm curious how authors that are selected for inclusion in YBFH are notified--by you or their publisher?
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EDatlow
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 10:49 pm:   

I can only respond about the horror. If the author is someone I know, I notify them. If the story is from a genre magazine/anthology/collection and I don't know them personally, I contact their publisher and ask for their contact info (and I assume the publisher lets them know).

If it's a non-genre venue (such as The New Yorker or Esquire or a mainstream collection or anthology, the packager, Jim Frenkel, contacts the magazine or the book publisher.

Mainstream book publishers, or rather their subrights depts, will often sell us the rights to reprint the story or poem but do not always contact the author. This has happened more than once that a mainstream author found out he/she was in our book by accident, many years later. I think this sucks, but it's not our call since we often are not given contact info for the author at all.
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TL Morganfield
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

Ellen,

For those of us sending material ourselves, should we include a coverletter with it, and if so, what information do you need on that? My story's from Gothic.net (I'm assuming that isn't a magazine you read frequently) and I'm not sure that all the pertinent pub information appears on the printable version.

Thanks!

Best,

Traci
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   

Traci,
I've printed out some of the stories from Gothic.net already.

When was yout story published? If in the last month then yes, I need it and would appreciate where and when it was published.
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TL Morganfield
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 04:31 pm:   

Ellen,

My story went up the last week of March. It's called "The Wonder Tower." If you don't already have a copy, I'll send one on to you via snail mail.

Thanks for your time.

Best,

Traci
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 06:31 pm:   

Traci,
Please do.
Thanks
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EDatlow
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 06:24 pm:   

There's been a sighting of YBFH #17 for sale (but not in NYC).
Also, we got a starred review in Publishers Weekly this week.
It can be read on my website:
http://www.datlow.com/reviews/index.html
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W. Olivia
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 02:57 pm:   

Mark, I'm not sure your info on Scared Naked is correct. I've got a story appearing in the next issue. It's the June 2004. Per Anthony Beal, it was held up due to a major printer error however it looks as if the new cover is up the website.

W. Olivia

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Mark Shiney
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:16 pm:   

W. Olivia, yes, I received word from Anthony himself that the publication is alive and well.
--Mark
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:35 am:   

Ellen,
Thanks so much for the HMs in YBFH#17 for "Sophie's Sixpence" and "The Bush of Ghosts". It was great to see so many Aussies make it onto the HMs - we all get excited about this stuff down here - makes us feel that we are finally getting out of the woods and per head of population in the English language maybe we ain't doing so bad.

BTW Do you get Sarah Endacott's "Orb"? The latest issue has just come out and it has some good things in it. If not I'll have a word to Sarah.

cheers

Geoff
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:52 am:   

Geoff, "Sophie's Sixpence" was on my short list but ultimately I had too many stories about children.

Is Orb a magazine? Never seen it and yes, I would like to.
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EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 06:58 pm:   

So far I've chosen three stories for YBFH #18:
"Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland" by John Farris from Elvisland

"Ding-Dong-Bell" by Jay Russell from the forthconing anthology edited by Steve Jones Don’t Turn Out the Light

"Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan from the Australian collection Black Juice.
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Ahmed A. Khan
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 08:26 am:   

Ellen, I have a question. In the first post of this thread you stated "no email submission". Does this restriction extend to sending you links for stories published online? And do these rules apply to submissions to Kelly Link too?

Ahmed
http://whortleberrypress.9f.com
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

Hi Ahmed. I want hard copies of submissions. Ohterwise I forget to check out links. Same with Kelly and Gavin. Hard copies--always!
THanks
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Eric Marin
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 03:29 pm:   

Hi, Ellen. Do you prefer to receive hard copies of webzine issues all at once near the deadline or an issue at a time as each issue goes online? My speculative fiction and poetry 'zine, Lone Star Stories, has two more issues to go before year's end, but I'd be happy to send the prior 2004 issues in to you now.

Thanks!
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 04:48 pm:   

Eric,
I'd be happy to get what you've got now. I hate getting huge batches of stuff at the end of the year.
Thanks for asking.
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Eric Marin
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   

Ellen,

Will do!
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:39 pm:   

Ellen,

Have you seen Judy Budnitz's story "Miracle," from The New Yorker?

http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/content/?040712fi_fiction

I'm not really even sure if this would be considered horror, but it certainly creeped the hell out of me. It starts out as a somewhat light surrealist piece, then grows progressively darker as the story continues. I'm pretty desensitized when it comes to horror stories, but the ending of this one left me feeling pretty queasy.

Anyway, I highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet.

Chris Dodson
Tugboat Veteran for Truth
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EDatlow
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

Chris,
I have read it and I liked it but I did't love it enough to take for the horror section.
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Roger
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 06:54 pm:   

Ms. Datlow,
Right now the PS Publishing website lists Stephen Jones' Don't Turn Out The Light as "Early 2005". If this book is indeed not published until 2005, will you still include Jay Russell's "Ding-Dong-Bell" in YBFH 18, or will we have to wait until #19?
Roger
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 07:04 pm:   

Uh oh. If it doesn't make 2004 then it goes into volume 19--I'll have to check with Peter Crowther to see what he says.
Thanks for the heads-up.
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SaraT
Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 07:19 pm:   

Ellen, have you made all your picks for YBFH #18? If so, will you be listing your selections for the anthology soon?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 08:00 pm:   

Sara,
Not even close. I've only chosen about 36,000 words so far.
"Ding Dong Bell" by Jay Russell dropped out till next year.
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brian
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 09:01 am:   

Ellen, how many words do you have to make? Also, when do you announce the stories you've selected, and when does the book get released?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   

Brian,
I have about 130,000 words or so. I'll announce the entire list once I choose them all(although I've already listed a couple above). I leave for three weeks in NZ and Australia in a week so I'll be making a bunch of final decisions this week. I'll announce them before I leave.

The book comes out in August.
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Robert Burke Richardson
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 05:18 pm:   

Chris;

Thanks for posting the link to "Miracle." I hadn't read it before -- it's pretty good.
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brian
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 08:48 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen, I'm looking forward to it.
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Benny
Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 06:50 pm:   

Ellen, wha'happened? You never announced those final decisions for YBFH #18 before you left. Hope you list them sometime soon. Oh, and enjoy your trip.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 02:33 am:   

Benny,

I'm not done choosing. Sorry. I will when I'm finished :-)

I'm having fun.
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shawna
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 06:04 pm:   

Ms. Datlow, what criteria do you use to select the stories for "The Years Best. . ."? The short stories that always stand out to me are the ones that I remember the characters more than the situations. I like good characters and witty dialogue.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 08:43 am:   

Shawna,
My reactions to each story are paramount. I don't analyze why the story works or doesn't. Occasionally, I'll read a story and know immediately that I want it for my half of YBFH. More often it's a process of elimination. I note the stories that I like best and then go back to them over and over again until I have 125,000 words of horror or so.

So it's the stories that stay with me and that I still think are multi-layered and creepiest or most disturbing or whatever else makes up "horror"--at the end of the process.
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Daniel
Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 08:33 pm:   

I thought I'd add my two cents here, for what it's worth. A few years back I bought the YBFH anthology and, with all due respect, I was greatly disappointed. It's only my opinion, but I found a lot of the horror stories to have long-winded passages of description and unmemorable people inhabiting those tales. I, too, enjoy stories with interesting characters and lively dialogue. I would really like to see more of that in the horror field in general. But I suppose maybe there's a dearth of writers who can write people well. So maybe you don't have much in that area to select from. The best writers are all doing novels, I guess.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 09:32 pm:   

Obviously, that is your opinion and I disagree with it heartily on every point or I wouldn't be editing short fiction. :-)\

I think there are excellent short horror stories being published and I believe I'm reprinting them. Last year and this I could have filled the horror half of YBFH two times over.

Name some horror stories you've read in the past couple of years that you have liked.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 05:26 am:   

I'm trying to figure out where all the good horror novels are, frankly. Seems to me the best work is being done at the short story and novella length. Not that there aren't good horror novels out there, but I disagree with Daniel's comment.

JeffV
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 07:43 am:   

Most of the good horror novels I've read (and as mentioned, I rarely have time for novels at all any more) have been marketed as mainstream, not in the horror genre at all.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 10:08 am:   

I'd have to agree with Ellen, Jeff. I've really enjoyed a number of dark fantasy / horror novels in the mainstream category—not much is being published in the horror small press of such quality, perhaps?

Sean
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JV
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 10:48 am:   

Well, that's what I was getting at, really. :-)

JeffV
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 01:51 pm:   

The SF and horror genres have always been strong in shorter than novel forms, and will probably always maintain that.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   

Stephen,
I agree with you.
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joseph
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 10:27 pm:   

Well, I guess you can't please everyone, Ellen. I myself am a fan of your YBFH anthologies. The only thing I see lacking are stories with gay protagonists. Of course, I mention this because I am a gay man. But it does seem that gay protagonists are usually (not always) relegated to anthologies that solely deal with homosexuals. Which is too bad for the reading public and the publishers of those books. Too bad for the readers because lack of exposure limits their perspective of others who may be different from themselves. And too bad for the publishers because I know for a fact that if their book has a homosexual protag word gets out fast on the gay websites and gay publications, greatly increasing that book's sales. . .Oh well, maybe they'll learn someday.
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chance
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 04:51 am:   

Joseph -

I'm not sure what you expect them to learn. I think editors buy the stories they like the best and fit well with the themes of the anthology they are putting together. To buy less than the best stories available because you want to chase a market doesn't seem wise to me. Sometimes the best stories will include ones with gay protagonists, and sometimes not (and oftentimes you simply can't tell because it doesn't come up.)

You might want to check out "Dead Boy Found" by Christopher Barzak published in Trampoline (he also has a very lovely story coming out from Realms of Fantasy next month called "The Language of Moths.") and Charlie Finlay's "Pervert" (orginally printed in F&SF) is being published in Year's Best Science Fiction 10, ed. by Hartwell and Kramer.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:01 am:   

You might also want to look up "Serostatus" by John Peyton Cooke in the January 2004 F&SF. And keep an eye out for a story by David Gerrold called "thirteen o'clock" we'll be publishing later this year. But I think Chance's point is right on target. I'd be nuts if I started buying stories just because of the protagonist's sexual orientation, or gender, or species, or whatever.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:24 am:   

Joseph: Also, Rick Bowes has a collection coming out from PS Publishers in the UK this year titled Streetcar Dreams, which, like Barzak's work and like Gordon is saying, is fiction I'd recommend to anyone who likes to read good fiction. Rick's also got a book from Golden Gryphon later this year, From the Files of the Time Rangers, and if you haven't checked out his novel Minions of the Moon, you're missing a great book.
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Christopher Rowe
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:35 am:   

Paul Park's collection has a great story called "The Last Homosexual," but yeah, the collection's worth seeking out for ALL the stories in it.
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 07:25 am:   

I'm just putting the finishing touches on a story with a gay protagonist. I'm going to send it to one of the genre sf/f online publications. The 'gayness' of my character is merely incidental and has no bearing on the plot. It would be good to see more of those characters that are traditionally marginalized, find themselves homes in good stories.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

I've got a Vonda McInytre novelette coming out this week that is a fascinating hard sf story in which sexuality is crucial to the story. I don't want to say more because the relationships between male and female are really complicated--it's not even clear if the characters are exactly human.

But as Gordon and Chance say or imply, it's more important for an editor to buy the best stories than to enforce an agenda on herself.
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chance
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   

I've got a Vonda McInytre novelette coming out this week that is a fascinating hard sf story in which sexuality is crucial to the story.

ooooo sounds fascinating - I can hardly wait.
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SandraP
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 12:14 am:   

I'd like to see more gothic horror in YBFH in the vein of Poe and Dickens. Will you have any, Ellen?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 07:53 am:   

Sandra, I'n not really sure what that means in contemporary terms, but there are a few stories I've picked that might fit the bill: one by Frances Oliver and one by Tina Rath.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

The horror half of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is as follows:
Best of the Year 2004

Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland John Farris Elvisland
6300
Singing My Sister Down Margo Lanagan Black Juice 3800
And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead Richard Mueller F&SF May 6100
Stripping Joyce Carol Oates Postscripts spring 800
Restraint Stephen Gallagher Postscripts spring 7900
Water Babies Simon Brown Agog! Smashing Stories 10,900
A Night in the Tropics Jeffrey Ford Argosy January/February 7800
Clownette Terry Dowling SCIFICTION December 15 5400
The Skin of the World Douglas Clegg The Machinery of the Night 4000
A Trick of the Dark Tina Rath The Mammoth Book of Vampires 3300
The Owl Conrad Williams Use Once, Then Destroy 6100
Bulldozer Laird Barron SCIFICTION August 25 10,600
Mr. Aickman's Air Rifle Peter Straub McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories 9500
The Cajun Knot Melanie Fazi The 3rd Alternative Issue 40 6100
Guts Chuck Palahniuk Playboy March 3000
A Hazy Shade of Winter Simon Bestwick A Hazy Shade of Winter 5600
Dancing on Air Frances Oliver Dancing on Air 6600
We Find Things Old Bentley Little The Last Pentacle of the Sun 5100
Seven Feet Christopher Fowler Demonized 6700
The Oracle Alone Catherynne M. Valente Music of a Proto-Suicide 800
The Bad Magician Philip Raines and Harvey Welles Albedo Issue 28 7800
Frozen Charlottes Lucy Sussex Forever Shores 4100
Lapland, or Film Noir Peter StraubConjunctions 42: CINEMA LINGUA: Writers Respond to Film 2500





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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 05:16 pm:   

"Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland" -- Wow! What a great title! I've got to read that!

Glad to see Palahniuk's "Guts" in the book, Ellen -- I thought that was superb.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 09:40 pm:   

John,
It a term paper --really!

I think "Guts" is as funny as it is disgusting :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 09:41 pm:   

errr. I mean "it's a term paper."
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Simon Owens
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 09:51 pm:   

Ellen, if forced to pick the top three short fiction horror venues (by top, I don't mean by quality, but rather by the most well-known as specifically "horror" magazines), it would be Chizine, Flesh & Blood, and Cemetery Dance. I only own one of the volumes of your Year's Best Antho, but in that TOC you didn't reprint any stories from those three venues, and it appears that you won't be reprinting anything from those venues in this volume either. It seems kind of odd, care to comment?

Btw, this isn't a mean-spirited accusation of any kind, I’m just pointing out what I consider to be a weird occurrence. I guess the most obvious answer you're going to give is "There wasn't anything in those venues this year that I liked enough to reprint," but based on this year's TOC and the volume I already own, it just seems kind of weird that not a single story from any of those venues made it in (and of course I recognize that perhaps in another volume that I don't own a story could have made it in).
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DannyW.
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:17 pm:   

Sorry, Ellen, I'm not going to buy this year's issue either.
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brian
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:23 pm:   

I have to agree with Mr. Simon Owens. The three top horror venues are repeatedly being overlooked by you. I really think it's a little pretentious to call the anthology the "The Year's Best...". It would more aptly be "Ellen's Rather Esoteric Look at 2004 Horror Stories". (Or as a lot of writer's call it when you're not looking "More Stories by Ellen's Friends.") ;-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:26 pm:   

Simon:
You, of course have indeed answered your own question. I didn't like anything in those venues enough to choose them. It as simple as that.

I think CD had a very good year and there were two stories that made my short list that I finally eliminated. Chizine and Flesh and Blood also had a number of good stories.

If you're hinting that I have some kind of agenda, your mistaken. I choose what I like best.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:32 pm:   

Danny,
Sorry to hear that. Any specific reason?

Brian,
Very few of the writers whose work is in YBFH are friends of mine. Most of them I don't even know.

Further, thirteen of the authors on the list above are in the horror half for the first time ever. So basically you're just blowing smoke out of your you know what ;-) and those who say I publish my friends are just envious that they haven't made the book. Perhaps they need to work on their writing.

Hey, sticks and stones and all that.

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Simon Owens
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:40 pm:   

Nope, didn't think you had an agenda. Was just wondering if they're not publishing the kind of horror you like, is what I guess I was trying to say.

Or maybe I didn't really have a question at all and was just pointing out something I thought as odd. Dunno.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:56 pm:   

Simon,
For a few years Cemetery Dance didn't seem to publish much that was very horrific.In 2004, they did, and I really liked two stories. If I'd more room I would probably have taken one of them, if not both.

At a certain level it often becomes a question of taste. Over the years I usually prefer the stories I've read in horror anthologies and collections to those I've read in the horror magazines. It just worked out that way.

I've taken stories from All Hallows, The Third Alternative--the latter which while cross-genre, always has a few horror stories in each issue--and F&SF, which also publishes a lot of horror.

I personally think that many people who consider themselves horror readers might do themselves a favor by looking outside the little box of "horror"--there's horror all over the place and it doesn't have to be called "horror."

I suspect the two complainers above (not you) are those who don't read anything but small press horror and don't notice the great horror being published in front of their noses outside the small press.
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Simon Owens
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 11:29 pm:   

I don't actually read that much horror myself. I read just about every issue of Chizine, but I don't read Cemetery Dance and I certainly don't read horror novels.

I'm kind of with you in that I enjoy dark literary stories a lot more.

I guess the reason I found it odd is because I (obviously mistakenly) considered the horror field to not be very large. For instance, when it comes to the Best American Short Stories Series, there's so many venues to choose from that if the editor were to not reprint something from The Paris Review, then it wouldn't be too weird because there's so many other mainstream magazines. With magazines that print primarily horror, though, the number is much smaller, boiling down to:

Talebones
Flesh & Blood
Chizine
Cemetery Dance
Tales of the Unanticipated
Wicked Hollow
(plus a bunch of other ones which aren't particularly well-known)

And then of course there's the genre mags which publish some horror like F&SF and Sci Fiction, but not very much.

I do find it very cool that you look outside the closed-in box to find other stories you'd consider as horror. I've seen that Kelly Link does the same thing and I'm glad that genre readers who wouldn't normally get a chance to read those stories are now getting to read them.

And before anyone accuses me of having hidden interests, I will issue a disclaimer that I have a story coming out in an upcoming issue of Flesh & Blood, but I assure you that this isn't the reason I brought up this issue.
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 12:12 am:   

Horror is like tobasco sauce. It can go on anything. It's not surprising to find horror in slicks, in fantasy magazines, mystery magazines, in literary fiction venues (Joyce Carol Oates' grotesques anyone?) etc.

I also think that the small press in horror concentrates on collections and anthologies over periodicals; that's certainly reflected in Ellen's choices this year.

There are a few more magazines that are beginning to acquire and publish superior work: The Book of Dark Wisdom is growing up; Lenox Avenue is very open to horror, more so than many other online magazines of its type; Dark Discoveries is coming out on time and #3 was fairly good; and I can't believe Simon left out Weird Tales, which has plenty of horrific fantasy.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 05:32 am:   

I'd have to say the few "horror" magazines in this field that Simon listed are not where it's really at (or happening). But it may be up to your personal tastes, really.

I personally don't read Cemetery Dance these days, because nothing really jumps up at me. It's the same thing, over and over again. Repetition is the death of interest, which lead to me dropping my subscription to F&SF years ago.

I read Flesh & Blood and constantly bitch Jack out for some of his choices, as is my right. It's actually become somewhat of a running friendly joke at F&B that he gets more recommendations for the poetry than his fiction. That's something that Jack has to work on.

Chizine I don't read too much, these days, but then that's my oversight. I only pay attention to Strange Horizons and SciFiction these days and I find much more there to be thrilled by. (For example "Inside the Tower," by Stephanie Burgis, gave me the chills).

The horror _community_ is very small, but horror can be found anywhere.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 05:38 am:   

Will Kelly and Gavin be posting their portion of the Year's Best?
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 05:58 am:   

I read Cemetery Dance voraciously for a long time. However, the last two or three years I've felt the quality of fiction to be far inferior to what they were doing in the early 1990s. So, despite having been a subscriber since 1993, I'm letting my subscription lapse. Like Sean said, it just doesn't interest me any more.

Coincidentally, in the last few years Chizmar has been working more on books than on the magazine, and I think someone else is actually editing the magazine. It's too bad, I really got into the field because of my love of horror, and Cemetery Dance gave me that fix every time it came out. But not anymore.

I thought Horror Garage was fantastic while Paula Guran was editing it, but the publisher seemed to want something more like Maxim than a fiction mag, I let that subscription lapse too.

Weird Tales is very consistent, and sometimes I like to read it and sometimes I don't. I have to be in the right mood.

I think Nick hits it right on the head. The good short fiction is appearing anthologies and collections. Or even as short novels from the small press.

But then again, my personal reading tastes have shifted from horror (I think through continual disappointment) to fantastic fiction.

JK
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 06:24 am:   

An additional FYI: Ellen doesn't even contact the authors going into the anthology. The packager makes all the deals. Ellen just chooses the stories ("just", LOL--like reading so darn much short fiction it's liable to drive one insane is a trivial matter). There really is nothing more going on than Ellen picking out what she thinks is best. Purely subjective and arbitrary to her personal tastes, but that's the best way to go. Trying to match someone else's agenda, or even an outside ideal, would make an already herculean job positively ridiculous and false.
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Steve Rasnic Tem
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 07:12 am:   

Anthologies (including "Best Of" collections) need to reflect the editor's taste. That's what I'm paying for, and counting on. If you start making your editorial decisions based on some theoretical idea as to what needs to be included for demographic, political, philosophical, or whatever reasons, outside your own taste (and I know a few editors who have tried it), then I think you're in trouble as an editor.

I never got into any of Karl Wagner's Year's Best books--my stories really weren't to his taste. But I admired and continued to read the books because they reflected his own taste so very well. They cohered--just like Ellen's horror selections. It takes a good editor to pull that off.

-- Steve Rasnic Tem
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Brett Savory
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 07:41 am:   

Well said, Steve. As editor of ChiZine, I can only pick the fiction I like. To try to base my choices on what other people want is ridiculous and would produce a haphazard, jumbled-feeling, second-rate product. Of course Ellen picks what she likes. That's what all editors do. It's entirely subjective.

Ellen didn't like anything in ChiZine this year to pick it for YBFH, but she did like Bentley Little's creepy little tale "We Find Things Old" in THE LAST PENTACLE OF THE SUN, which I co-edited, so she's clearly not out to spurn any particular editor or publication.

Every single one of us here would have chosen an entirely different ToC for our own Year's Best. Ellen is one person; she can only pick what she enjoys. To ask more is to ask too much.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 08:08 am:   

Thanks, you'all. I think you all make very good points.
Yes, of course any Year's Best is going to be subjective to an extent. It can't be anything but.

Btw, re: Kelly & Gavin's choices. I think I can post them here too. (there's one story that's giving problems but I'll find out from Jim Frenkel if I can post the list anyway).
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 02:37 pm:   

Gavin gave me permission to post the fantasy half:

M.T. Anderson, Watch and Wake, 4800, Gothic!

Stepan Chapman, The Revenge of the Calico Cat, 17000, Leviathan 4

D. Ellis Dickerson, Postcretaceous Era, 3300, StoryQuarterly, 40,

Andy Duncan, Zora and the Zombie, 7800, Scifiction,

Jean Esteve, House of Ice (poem), 500, Harvard Review, 26,

Theodora Goss, What Her Mother Said (poem), 500, The Journal of Mythic Arts, Autumn 2004,

Theodora Goss, The Changeling (poem), 500, The Rose in Twelve Petals & Other Stories,

Elizabeth Hand, Wonderwall, 8500, Flights,

Alice Hoffman, The Witch of Truro, 4000, Kenyon Review, Vol.26, No.2,

Shelley Jackson, Here Comes the Church, 3000, Black Clock, 2,

John Kessel, The Baum Plan For Financial Independence SCIFICTION 3/24/04

Margo Lanagan, Rite of Spring, 4000, Black Juice

Tanith Lee, Speir-Bhan, 12500, Emerald Magic,

Elizabeth A. Lynn, The Silver Dragon, 17000, Flights,

Gregory Maguire, The Oakthing, 7000, The Faery Reel,

China Mieville, Report of Certain Events, 8500, McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories,

M. Rickert, Cold Fires, 7500, F&SF, Oct/Nov,

Anna Ross, These Various Methods of Brightness (poem), 500, Southwest Review, 89,1,

Alison Smith, The Specialist, 10000, McSweeney¹s, 11,

R.T. Smith, Horton’s Store (poem), 1000, Georgia Review, 58,1,

Greg Van Eeekhout, Tales from the City of Seams, 7000, Polyphony, 4,

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Jonathan
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 03:54 pm:   

For what it's worth, Elizabeth Lynn is closer to 13,000. Great list from both of you, though. There are a bunch of stories on both of your lists that I really loved this year. It looks to be a terrific antho - and two Lanagan's!
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Simon Owens
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 04:04 pm:   

Based on both your lists, it looks as if McSweeney's has had a great year. Unfortunately, I haven't purchased a copy for myself yet (as I remember, they're fairly expensive for this poor college kid) but I'm a big Dave Eggers fan and I regularly read from McSweeney's online.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 07:20 pm:   

Jonathan,
I've just alerted Jim, Kelly, and Gavin. That's good that it's shorter.

Simon,
I liked Stephen King's "Lisey and the Madman" and loved China's story. I'm glad Gavin and Kelly took it for their half.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 05:11 pm:   

For those who don't want to look at two posts, here is the entire contents of YBFH#18:

HORROR:
Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland John Farris Elvisland
6300
Singing My Sister Down Margo Lanagan Black Juice 3800
And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead Richard Mueller F&SF May 6100
Stripping Joyce Carol Oates Postscripts spring 800
Restraint Stephen Gallagher Postscripts spring 7900
Water Babies Simon Brown Agog! Smashing Stories 10,900
A Night in the Tropics Jeffrey Ford Argosy January/February 7800
Clownette Terry Dowling SCIFICTION December 15 5400
The Skin of the World Douglas Clegg The Machinery of the Night 4000
A Trick of the Dark Tina Rath The Mammoth Book of Vampires 3300
The Owl Conrad Williams Use Once, Then Destroy 6100
Bulldozer Laird Barron SCIFICTION August 25 10,600
Mr. Aickman's Air Rifle Peter Straub McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories 9500
The Cajun Knot Melanie Fazi The 3rd Alternative Issue 40 6100
Guts Chuck Palahniuk Playboy March 3000
A Hazy Shade of Winter Simon Bestwick A Hazy Shade of Winter 5600
Dancing on Air Frances Oliver Dancing on Air 6600
We Find Things Old Bentley Little The Last Pentacle of the Sun 5100
Seven Feet Christopher Fowler Demonized 6700
The Oracle Alone Catherynne M. Valente Music of a Proto-Suicide 800
The Bad Magician Philip Raines and Harvey Welles Albedo Issue 28 7800
Frozen Charlottes Lucy Sussex Forever Shores 4100
Lapland, or Film Noir Peter StraubConjunctions 42: CINEMA LINGUA: Writers Respond to Film 2500

FANTASY:
M.T. Anderson, Watch and Wake, 4800, Gothic!
Stepan Chapman, The Revenge of the Calico Cat, 17000, Leviathan 4
D. Ellis Dickerson, Postcretaceous Era, 3300, StoryQuarterly, 40,
Andy Duncan, Zora and the Zombie, 7800, Scifiction,
Jean Esteve, House of Ice (poem), 500, Harvard Review, 26,
Theodora Goss, What Her Mother Said (poem), 500, The Journal of Mythic Arts, Autumn 2004,
Theodora Goss, The Changeling (poem), 500, The Rose in Twelve Petals & Other Stories,
Elizabeth Hand, Wonderwall, 8500, Flights,
Alice Hoffman, The Witch of Truro, 4000, Kenyon Review, Vol.26, No.2,
Shelley Jackson, Here Comes the Church, 3000, Black Clock, 2,
John Kessel, The Baum Plan For Financial Independence SCIFICTION 3/24/04
Margo Lanagan, Rite of Spring, 4000, Black Juice
Tanith Lee, Speir-Bhan, 12500, Emerald Magic,
Elizabeth A. Lynn, The Silver Dragon, 13000, Flights,
Gregory Maguire, The Oakthing, 7000, The Faery Reel,
China Mieville, Report of Certain Events, 8500, McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories,
M. Rickert, Cold Fires, 7500, F&SF, Oct/Nov,
Anna Ross, These Various Methods of Brightness (poem), 500, Southwest Review, 89,1,
Alison Smith, The Specialist, 10000, McSweeney¹s, 11,
R.T. Smith, Horton’s Store (poem), 1000, Georgia Review, 58,1,
Greg Van Eeekhout, Tales from the City of Seams, 7000, Polyphony, 4,
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Simon Owens
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 05:26 pm:   

Chuck Palahniuk has a new story out in Playboy. I forget the title.
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Jonathan
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 06:43 pm:   

I was re-reading this thread and a thought occurred to me. I noted the comments that no stories from Chizine, Cemetery Dance et have been featured in recent volumes of Ellen's Year's Best Horror. It made me think. So, I went to look at the most recent volume I have of Stephen Jones' The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (Vol.14), and noted that he also didn't reprint any stories from these venues.

Now, it seems to me that you have two of the most successful and most respected editors of short fiction horror of the past two decades not reprinting stories from these venues. Doesn't that say something pretty definitive? Especially since they clearly don't share the same aesthetic and are both careful to include material from a wide variety of sources.

I stress this is only my take on things, but it seems to me, maybe, the work published in those magazines simply may not be 'year's best' material.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:03 pm:   

Jonathan,

Obviously, from Stephen and Ellen's viewpoint, ChiZine isn't publishing 'year's best' material, or they'd have taken something. We (and I say 'we' because I'm one of the slush wranglers) can only publish what we like. In general, the zine is well-received. Ellen, Gavin & Kelly had nice things to say about it in the Year's Best summations. Sure, we'd love it if they took something to reprint. For now it's nice to know they think we are publishing some good material. Maybe down the road it'll be considered the best. Or maybe not.

Cemetery Dance has had some tales reprinted in YBF&H in recent years. ChiZine really doesn't publish the same type of fiction, in my opinion, as CD.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:11 pm:   

And I have nice things to say about CD and Chizine again this year.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:18 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen!
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Jonathan
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   

Hey Michael - I've read ChiZine, Cemetery Dance et al, and have enjoyed some of it very much. I think they're all good publications, deserving of readers attention. The point I was trying to make, perhaps clumsily, was that, while any best of the year selection is idiosyncratic, there was also some consensus. - Jonathan
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:56 pm:   

Jonathan,

Yes, of course. No worries. And in my own clumsy fashion, I was just trying to say that I'm fairly certain Ellen and company have enjoyed some of the stuff we've published. Just not enough to take. :-)

And, truth be told, I've enjoyed the iBook anthos you've put together. If this is, indeed, Mr. Strahan.
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Jonathan
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 10:04 pm:   

It is indeed, though Mr. seems a lot like you must be looking for my dad. And thanks for the kind words about the iBooks anthos. I'm expressly forbidden from taking horror stories for those books or the SFBC antho, but I'd surely love to do something along those lines at some point.
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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 05:46 am:   

Well, I know "horror" seems to be a dirty word in some publishing circles, but I'd love to see a stand-alone Horror: Year's Best. No disrespect intended to Ellen or Stephen Jones. I just quite enjoy Year's Best volumes. And I miss the volumes that DAW used to put out.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 06:45 am:   

I'd agree. I miss those, but I don't think there are too many editors out there (with the exception of Datlow or Jones or . . . ) that one would really trust with selecting the stories. I couldn't really come up with anyone appropriate for such a job, myself.

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Michael Kelly
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 10:00 am:   

Good point, Sean. I'm sure Jonathan would put together a good antho, (he's proven that) even if his area of expertise is SF/F. Maybe John Pelan? Personally, I'd like to see David Hartwell give it a go.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 10:27 am:   

I have a few ideas, myself. The real problem is that everyone that I can think of pretty much has the same tastes as Stephen and Ellen and that's simply the type of horror that I would personally read and publish. The question then becomes . . . why bother if they're doing a great job already?
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 10:31 am:   

Oh, goodie, you put "Guts" in there. I can finally read it at my own pace. I got to a point in the audio version where I just could not continue because I was dreading what came next.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 01:35 pm:   

MarcL:
I think it may be more alarming for guys--in any case, while I think it's totally horrific, to me it's also hysterically funny :-)
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John Pelan
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 06:52 pm:   

Hi All:

Hopefully this will show a link to the appropriate post...

Much as I'd love to do it, there would be so much overlap with Ellen's and Steve's books that I don't really see the need. (And what's more to the point, neither would many publishers...)

Right now I have a pitch for a decade by decade retrospective of the best horror of the last century under consideration and between that and the DARKSIDE series and the occasional odd volume like THE CTHULHUIAN SINGULARITY should keep me fairly well occupied.

My only major cavil is leaving out Michael Shea's "The Growlimb", which I considered the finest single story of the year...

Cheers,

John
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 08:44 pm:   

Hey John,
I thought teh Horror of the Century was contracted for and coming out...or is that a different anthology?
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 07:25 am:   

Choosing the stories is really much more about the stories themselves than about the venues. I wouldn't read to much into the provenance of stories in Year's Best volumes. Sometimes selection comes down to really arbitrary things such as a given writer having published stories in several different places and one being 500 words shorter than another.
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 07:34 am:   

Interesting looking down your TOC lists. I find more in Ellen's half that I thought I might have wanted to include in our Year's Best Fantasy (had we had more space or had our definitions of the genre been a little different) than in Gavin & Kelly's half, though there is certainly some overlap. We used different stories by Theodora Goss, Tanith Lee, & M. Rickert, and the same story by John Kessel.

(I put up our fantasy TOC last night at http://kathryncramer.typepad.com/kathryn_cramer/2005/03/years_best_fant.html)
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 07:47 am:   

Interesting also that Gavin & Kelly selected different stories from Flights, a book from which we took (too) many.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

Kathryn,
Thanks, Jonathan Strahan pointed towards your Fantasy TOC yesterday.
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Jonathan
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 04:03 pm:   

Kathryn, interesting point about venues. The only restriction I've really been aware of when compiling once of these books when it comes to venue, is being a little sensitive to taking too many stories from one place. I could easily - if we'd had the space - taken more from FLIGHTS and FAERY REEL.

In terms of overlap, I actually loved the M. Rickert's "Cold Fires", Dora Goss's "The Wings of Meister Wilhelm", a couple Tanith Lee stories, and would have loved to use the Kessel (sigh). It's interesting to see where we all overlap, and where we might have, had space etc made it possible.
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 05:11 am:   

One difference between our approach to venues and the Windling tradition, which Kelly & Gavin, are upholding is that we do not go to outside genre publications and rope in non-genre writers, for the most part. Our book is positioned squarely within genre.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 05:28 am:   

I probably would disagree that many publishers would not be interested, on a Year's Best. It's how you package and sell the book to them, more than anything else, really. If I have an update on this, I'll post here.
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

The problem with a stand-alone horror Year's Best in the US market is that the mid-list mass market for horror never quite jelled right. There is no intrinsic aestehtic reason it could not be done, and there are plenty of people capable of it. Karl Edward Wagner used to do one. But the category is weak. You'd probably need someone with a big name to launch it. Or else it wopuld make a good small press project (though budget would then be an issue).

Also, you'd need an editor who was willing to wade through all the small small press stuff which is much more unconnected to the commercial merket than in sf & fantasy.

(David Hartwell has no plans to try it, though we did ponder doing a YB slipstream to accomodate the great stuff on the otherside of genre boundaries.)
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 10:10 am:   

Kathryn: Genre boundaries -- what kind of guideline do you go by? Is it the place of publication? The nature of the piece? If so, what kind of prerequisites do you adhere to? I'm more interested in Fantasy than in SF. I"d appreciate it if you could speak to this a little>
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:00 am:   

We read most of the publications like Polyphany and Lady Churchill's on the edges of genre, but except if we happen across a story by someone like you by chance in, say, the Georgia Review we probably won't be looking there. We did take a story from The Denver Quarterly for YBSF, but that was a special issue focued on the Fantastic. (It was not labelled as such, but a skim down the TOC tipped us off.)
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:04 am:   

I should add that should you publish something you think we would be interested in in a venue we are unlikely to see, by all means, send us a copy. (Or let us know.)
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:07 am:   

Kathryn: Thanks. So mostly it has to do with publication, which, I suppose -- that way sanity lies. I'm reading now for the WFA and just the stuff that clearly lands in the genre is an avalanche.
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Kathryn Cramer
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

We put a higher priority on foreign in-genre small press publications and genre works in translation than on domestic literary mags. (There's a lot of great Australian stuff out there these days!)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 05:37 pm:   

Terri would always cover the literary magazines and let me know if there was something she thought I should see.

However, there are plenty of non-genres venues that have firmly "in genre" material: The New Yorker, Esquire,and Playboy-where Chuck Palahniuk's "Guts" was published last year.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   

Ellen: It seems like there's great "genre" stuff out there in non-genre magazines and anthologies, and more and more each year lately. That's why I was wondering how and why Kathryn made the distinction she does -- what she called a "boundary." From the standpoint of how much are you willing to read, I understand, but from a standpoint of trying to find exciting and fresh fantasy, science fiction and horror fiction for a Year's Best anthology, it seems kind of limited. I was wondering if perhaps there was some kind of "philosophical" reason concerning genre to construct any artificial boundary. What's nice this year about the selections represented in all of the end of the year anthologies is that there is not a lot of overlap and so they are all worthwhile buying and reading.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 10:50 pm:   

Well my agenda has been to choose the best horror that I can find, wherever it appears.
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Andy Duncan
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 06:57 am:   

The mass-market Year's Best Horror Stories series that Karl Edward Wagner edited was a great service to the field, but today the chief virtue of something like that would be giving short horror fiction, by up-and-comers and literary folks as well as Big Names, a solid presence in chains such as Rite Aid and Foodmax, even truck stops and other places that won't carry high-end trade paperbacks like Ellen's and Steve's. Wherever you see a spinner rack, in other words. Straub, Gaiman, King et all seem to be well represented at the grocery stores here in Alabama, whenever I check out the offerings; a mass-market short-fiction volume might reach a new audience. I acknowledge that would be a hard sell with a publishing house, though. Kathryn, do y'all's mass-market year's-best volumes do well in these non-bookstore markets?
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 09:38 am:   

Andy, I'd imagine, that for the mass-market distribution channels, such as you suggest, it wouldn't be a good idea for a year's best horror. There's probably a reason why you don't see a lot of anthologies on such shelves. Trade channels are far more appropriate.

However, Ingram shows the print run for Year's Best Fantasy 5 to be around thirty thousand, with the previous volume to be around seventy-five thousand (which seems a little high or mis-reported?). So it would have to be mass-market-distributed, I'd guess, with those numbers :-)

Sean
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 11:42 am:   

More interesting tidbits, courtesy of Ingram's system:

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy for Teens: thirty thousand.

The Locus Awards: twenty-five thousand.

Nebula Awards 28: ten thousand.

The Year's Best Fantasy / Horror: twenty-five thousand.

Fantasy: The Best of 2004: twenty thousand

Science Fiction: The Best of 2004: twenty-five thousand

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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 11:45 am:   

Does anyone have access to bookscan? Email me privately, please, at sean@wildsidepress.com
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 01:24 pm:   

Sean,
Is that counting YBFH trade pb only or hc and tr pb? And I'm assuming it's volume 17, our most recent edition?
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 03:46 pm:   

The Year's Best Fantasy / Horror
Trade paperback. Volume 18. 25,000.
Hardcover. Volume 18. 5,000.
Trade paperback. Volume 17. 25,000.

I used not to see print runs listed on Ingram's ipage ordering system, but the last two years have changed that. I don't know why. The Dark, The Faery Reel, Swan Sister, and previous volumes of The Year's Best all have print runs listed—which would have been inputted by the publisher, so you can take it with a small grain of salt, I suppose (though the numbers seem reasonable). The only real way to determine true print runs is with bookscan.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 03:49 pm:   

It may be a strange trend. Even forthcoming books, like Jeff Ford's The Girl in the Glass, which is already in ipage, has a print run in its metadata file . . .
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 04:29 pm:   

Just in case anyone reading this thread doesn't understand Sean's point about having to take the numbers with a grain of salt, understand that the numbers Ingram is reporting are not actual numbers. I believe they're projected or announced first print numbers, which is what the publisher tells the booksellers so everyone gets an idea of how to plan for the book.

Andy, I doubt David and Kathryn get the sort of detailed info you ask about in your post regarding specific sales outlets. Most in-house editors don't even get this sort of info. And, in fact, it can be hard to get specifics from the various distributors involved. But overall, the lack of variety in the books in spinner racks is a function of the great distributor consolidation of the mid-'90s that Tom Doherty talks about frequently.

I don't want to put words in Kathryn's or David's mouth, but in answer to Jeff's question about boundaries, I got the impression from David that he was looking to focus his YEAR'S BEST anthologies on the core of the field. Part of the sentiment I inferred/recall from talking with David Hartwell is a feeling that things fall apart unless someone holds the center. It's great that The New Yorker is more open to fantastic fiction than it used to be, and it's great to be able to reprint stories like Steven Millhauser's "The Illusionist" or George Saunders's "The Sea Oak," but it's not so hot if in doing so we take for granted someone like Robert Sheckley who is producing great work in our midst.

(Corrections from David and Kathryn most welcome.)
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   

Gordon is correct. The numbers reported are those that the publisher have inserted into the system. I've done it myself for Wildside Press titles (though I list the actual print run). General access to Ingram's ipage and Baker & Taylor's btol systems are essential to gauge advance orders, current orders, and more, though I imagine that's near useless for anything larger than small press, since trade distribution channels come into play . . .
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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 04:47 pm:   

Gordon: That's what I was asking about. A reason for the boundary. And like you said, I agree that all the different permutations of the Year's Best are a good thing. Kathryn's toc has Richard Parks and Robert Reed and Dale Bailey, among others, all of whose stories I avidly seek out and read when I can find them as well as the George Saunders, etc. The breadth of the anthologies this year shows to a large extent the breadth of the field and still it doesn't cover the entirety of good stories published. Whatever the publishing numbers (and I know they are not unimportant), the quantity of good writing now in our time is pretty remarkable.
The field as a creative entity is very vibrant.
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 05:00 pm:   

It may be more a question of sustainability.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 09:46 pm:   

But I don't see any of the Year's Best editors taking genre writers for granted. I can't speak for Terri or for Kelly & Gavin, but it might just be a matter of taste.
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L.
Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 08:18 am:   

Please keep in mind that not all stores report to Bookscan. So especially for independent or specialty stores, and/or various mass-market outlets, there are sales that will not show up on Bookscan's figures.

Also, I imagine most of the convention-only SF bookdealers don't report their sales, either.
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 05:21 pm:   

Ellen, thanks for the HM for 'Comversations with Eternity"(Orb#6). Great also to see Paul Haines pick up three mentions for his work. I have just finished helping Paul pull a collection together for Prime Books which should be out late 2005 or early 2006. It's going to be a beauty.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 07:37 pm:   

You're very welcome.
You know you picked up two total (one from Ticonderoga online) and Paul got four total. (at least on the horror end. ) I have no idea what Kelly & Gavin rec'd yet.
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 08:36 pm:   

Thanks, Ellen. The Birds of the Brushes and Scrubs got a mention too. Excellent. Bill Congreve has picked up that one for a local year's best he's doing here downunder.
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Yasmine
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 02:34 am:   

Just saw the cover for YBFH #18 on amazon. Absolutely breathtaking! Wish i could get my hands on a Canty original.

- Yas
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 01:57 pm:   

You have? I haven't yet.
I'm rushing right over there. :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 01:59 pm:   

Um. There's no image up. Are you sure you're not talking about YBFH #17?
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Yasmine
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 06:38 am:   

Ellen,

Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312341946/qid=1113658559/sr=8-2/r ef=pd_csp_2/102-5492113-1903354?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

(you might have to copy and paste)

It definitely says TBFH #18

- Yasmine
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 03:18 pm:   

Hi Yasmine,
Wow! Thanks. First I've seen it. I think the title at the bottom would show up better in black rather than white and I've suggested it to our packager.
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M. W. Anderson
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 02:23 pm:   

Ellen,

I was very please to learn of the story inclusion & Honorable Mentions from LPotS. Oh, and yes, it is an excellent cover.

Question: did you have access to Lone Wolf Publications titles for 2004?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 09:54 pm:   

I got the Carnival cd-rom. THat's the only one, I believe.
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M. W. Anderson
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 05:01 am:   

Ellen,

Thanks for the info. My motives for asking are rather selfish, as the Carnival/Circus CD includes the one written work I had published last year.

It's been a while since I looked at last year's volume of YBF&H, but I thought I noticed HM's for poetry. If so, are there/will there be any poetry inclusions?

Again, selfish motives, as my first poetry collection should appear next month, and I'd like to make sure you get a copy, if such is appropriate.

MWA
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 07:38 am:   

Yes, I cover horror poetry in YBFH.
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Roger Wyburn
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 03:58 am:   

Who made the honorable mentions list in the horror catagory?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 09:22 pm:   

I'm afraid I don't list all the HM here--it's way too long. You'll have to wait till the book comes out.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 09:34 pm:   

Ellen Kushner discovered a site dedicated to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror:
http://www.gamalei.net/sluice/about.html
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, August 07, 2005 - 08:00 pm:   

I picked up a copy of the book today. I have to say, I'm thrilled with the new look. It's quite beautiful.

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