"Year's best" Fantasy?

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Tue Oct 8 14:01:46 EDT 2002

Robyn said...

> I just had the dubious pleasure of reading the collection called 15th
> Year's Best Fantasy and Horror - I'm sure you know the ones, big trade
> paperback, nice cover with lots of short stories; edited by Datlow and
> Windling. And I was wondering, is it just me? Does their taste in Fantasy
> totally and utterly suck?

Hm.  I haven't read the 15th, but I did get the 14th out of the library.  It
struck me as much like most anthologies, in that it contained one or two
stories I thought were really good, a couple I thought were really bad, and
a lot of mediocrity.

I've only ever read two anthologies (that I can think of, anyway), that
contained a very high proportion of stories I liked.  One was "Prologue to
Analog", edited by John W. Campbell, copyright 1957.  The other is a recent
one whose title I've forgotten; it's a collection of the "best of" from "The
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" over the preceding 5 years or so,
edited by Gordon Van Gelder, which confirmed in me my belief that I really,
*really* want to get published there!  (No luck yet, but at least they have
really fast response times.)  So basically, I don't expect to find lots of
good stuff in *any* antho.

> Leaving aside the fact that
> urbany, horrory fantasy is my least favourite kind,

Well, that's my favourite sub-genre, so I might like the collection better
than you did. :-)  Then again, maybe not...

> Is this collection a good representation of the short story market?

Well, they do trawl through pretty much everything that's published in a
given year - I know; they're currently looking at some of the stuff
published by the webzine I co-edit!  But in the end, it's down to what the
particular editors like.

> I have
> to say, I don't read a lot of fantasy short stories because I find it a
> difficult form, and often the products are disappointing, but are they all
> really this drear? Does anyone regularly read any short story magazines?
> What do you think?

I read Ideomancer (because I co-edit it - I also get a horrible view of what
*doesn't* get published, via my slushpile!), and Strange Horizons, another
webzine.  And Realms of Fantasy, occasionally.  I usually find at least
*one* story that I like in any given issue, though rarely more than that.


Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list