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Jonathan
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:00 pm:   

I'm very happy to announce that Gary Wolfe and I will be co-editing an anthology of the year's best non-fiction writing about science fiction, fantasy and horror for Chris Roberson at Monkeybrain Books. Tentatively titled Best New SF Writings: 2005, it's a book I'm really excited to be doing. I love the idea, and I really like the books Chris has been publishing. If you have anything you've read that you'd like to recommend, we'd love to hear from you.
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Jonathan
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:03 pm:   

PS: I realise that I am risking the so-called humor of some people who may think they see some kind of low-rent anthology empire a-building in the back blocks (hello VanderMeer), but we're a classy outfit. classy. I await word from publishers on The Year's Best Message Board and Blog Comments Never Posted Due to the Rapid Return of Rational Thought and The Year's Best Honorable Mentions
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Sean Wallace
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 12:07 pm:   

You might want to change or tweak the title, if only because when I saw it, I automatically thought of John Carnell's (and then later Ken Bulmer's) New Writing in SF anthology series of the 70s.

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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   

Jonathan --

I assume that you're looking for criticism published in 2005 for this book? If so, be sure to look for Rob Kilheffer's review column in the Sept. 05 F&SF, which analyzes the differences between British and American SF by comparing/contrasting a few selected titles.

Also, Rob Sawyer published a very nice piece in Archaeology on Jack London's Before Adam, though it's only around 300 words, so I don't know if that's in depth enough. (http://www.archaeology.org/0505/reviews/london.html)

Those two are just ones that immediately came to mind.
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Jonathan
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:50 pm:   

Sean - We definitely will be changing the title. Best New SF Writings was only a placeholder for the pitch to Chris at Monkeybrain. Chris, Gary and I are all looking for something snappy, but meaningful, that will communicate what we intend the book to be about.
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Jonathan
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:53 pm:   

JJA - It's not just criticism. We are looking for commentary, discussion, interesting sidebars etc etc to the debate that is the genre, as well as criticism and review, and we will be focussing on discussion of fiction, rather than film or whatever. The one thing we're unlikely to use are reviews that are only about the books under discussion. A review would have to look beyond the scope of the book, and somehow comment on the larger perspective of the field. With that in mind, both pieces sound fascinating. Many thanks for the head's up.
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Anna Tambour
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 08:54 pm:   

Looking forward to this.
Suggestions:
Matthew Cheney's 'Just tell me how it ends' in Strange Horizons.
http://www.strangehorizons.com/2005/20050502/cheney-c.shtml
and
Scott Lynch's 'Christ, Why do I bother? I'm such a hack' from his own blog.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/scott_lynch/127371.html
And too bad that you're looking only at 2005. Cheney's 'Nostradamus predicts the future of literature' in Mumpsimus, May 2004 was too good to be consigned to the past. But a thought. It IS a prediction, so shouldn't it stay 'present',and be relevant for any year's best, whenever?
http://mumpsimus.blogspot.com/2004/05/nostradamus-predicts-future-of.html
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JV
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:43 am:   

Jonathan:

Ha! I only parodied you cause I love ya. This sounds like a great project. Monkey Brain is a wonderful outfit.

JeffV
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liz hand
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:18 am:   

Hey Jonathan, Gary mentioned this to me on the phone yesterday. Sounds really cool. Can I send you something for consideration?
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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 09:18 am:   

Jonathan: Would you clarify the time period covered by this book? I know of some good essays published in late 2004 and also of some forthcoming work due in the fall of 2005, but I'm not sure which to recommend.

Nancy
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Jonathan
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 04:59 pm:   

Liz: Of course you can. I'd love to see anything you've done, and to hear about anything you'd like to recommend.
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Jonathan
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:02 pm:   

Nancy - Gary and I are currently negotiating the details with Chris at Monkeybrain, but I think it's best to assume the book covers material published (for almost any definition of 'published') between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2005. I don't think we'll be considering any material outside that time period, but if we are, I'll be sure to post it. All recommendations are welcome though.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 09:12 pm:   

I don't know what Liz was thinking of recommending to you, but her own review of Chuck Palahniuk's new novel in The Washington Post was really terrific. I don't know if you would consider it genre relevant, but "Guts" was reprinted in the YBFH, so maybe Palahniuk is close enough. Either way it's definitely worth reading. Here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/26/AR2005052601296. html.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 12:46 pm:   

Jonathan --

Jeremy Tolbert wrote a pretty astute review of Jeff Ford's "The Scribble Mind" over at Shortform:

http://www.livejournal.com/community/shortform/26884.html

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