Sunday, 27 November 2011

Lightspeed Year One Anthology Out (Also, Gigantic)

For a long, long time I made a point of reading every word of every publication I had work out in.  It was partly to judge what I'd signed on to, of course, and partly to see what other writers were up to.  But mostly it just felt like the right thing to do.  So much effort had gone into that book or magazine, some of it was mine, and knowing how much it meant for me that people read my story seemed a damn good reason to read everyone else's.

So it's been one of the sadder aspects of this crazy year that I haven't had the time to do that anymore.  My reading time is more limited that ever before, a few stolen minutes before bed and the occasional lunch break.  But maybe more than that, there's been the tectonic, life-redefining game-changer that is the Giant Thief deal.  As my writing focus has shifted drastically towards novels, my reading has necessarily followed, leaving me next to no time for short stories or anything much else.
One thing's for sure, though.  I'm going to read the Lightspeed Year One anthology from cover to cover if it kills me.

Which it might.  Because the thing is huge.  We're talking forty-eight stories here ... if you drop that on your toe, it's going to hurt.  And if that happens while you're driving a car or piloting a zeppelin or some such, there's a very real chance of violent death.  

Not that I'm planning to read it under those circumstances.  I'm more thinking of curling up with it over my Christmas break, maybe with a glass of cheap sherry close at hand.  In fact, I'll be doing everything I reasonably can to minimise the life-threatening aspects of the experience, because I'd really like to just chill and enjoy this one.  SF's pretty much my favourite genre when it comes to short fiction, and by most accounts, the stuff John Joseph Adams put out in his first year is high amongst the best that anyone's published over the last twelve months.  Plus there are those reprints of classic tales, quite a few of them by people I'm hopelessly in awe of.  I mean, Joe HaldemanThe Forever War was one of the books, maybe even the book, that brought me back to sci-fi after a far-too-long sabbatical - and later, Forever Peace blew my mind almost as much.  Then there's Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin - all writers who changed my perceptions of what it was possible to do with genre fiction, not to mention teaching me what I wanted to do with it.  One thing I haven't stopped doing this year is geeking out to a ridiculous degree when I see my name alongside my writerly heroes.

Finally, while I'm nearly on the subject ... it was great to stumble over the news that John J Adams has taken over ownership, on top of his existing editorship, of both Lightspeed and Fantasy from Prime Books. John's a terrific editor, I'm sure he'll be a terrific publisher, and I wish him the best of luck.

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