Friday, December 18, 2009

TOC for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 4

Jonathan Strahan has announced the Table of Contents for the latest entry in my favorite Best Of anthology series, The Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume 4.

1. It Takes Two, Nicola Griffith
2. Three Twilight Tales, Jo Walton
4. The Island, Peter Watts
5. Ferryman, Margo Lanagan
6. A Wild and Wicked Youth, Ellen Kushner
7. The Pelican Bar, Karen Joy Fowler
8. Spar, Kij Johnson
9. Going Deep, James Patrick Kelly
10. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black
11. Zeppelin City, Michael Swanwick & Eileen Gunn
12. Dragon’s Teeth, Alex Irvine
13. This Wind Blowing, and This Tide, Damien Broderick
14. By Moonlight, Peter S. Beagle
15. Black Swan, Bruce Sterling
16. As Women Fight, Sara Genge
17. The Cinderella Game, Kelly Link
18. Formidable Caress, Stephen Baxter
19. Blocked, Geoff Ryman
20. Truth and Bone, Pat Cadigan
21. Eros, Philia, Agape, Rachel Swirsky
22. The Motorman’s Coat, John Kessel
23. Mongoose, Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
24. Echoes of Aurora, Ellen Klages
25. Before My Last Breath, Robert Reed
26. Jo Boy, Diana Wynne Jones
27. Utriusque Cosmi, Robert Charles Wilson
28. A Delicate Architecture, Catherynne Valente
29. The Cat That Walked a Thousand Miles, Kij Johnson
Recommended Reading

As far as I know, I've only read the Swirsky (was good), but Strahan has a great idea so I expect nothing less than a fantastic anthology.

Now, I am one of the "eagle eye readers" Strahan talks about in the next paragraph.
Eagle-eyed readers will note one of the spots is blank. This isn’t an error. I’ve agreed not to publicise one of the stories until the book comes out, so that publication here doesn’t step too badly on the toes of its original publisher. I will, however, reveal the omitted story in March. And yes, if space permits, there will be a Recommended Reading list in the book for the first time ever. If it doesn’t make it for length reasons, I’ll make sure it’s published online.
This is intensely curious. First, I have to wonder what the story is and who wrote it, but Second, I just wonder why. I assume the story has been previously published in 2009, because that's one of the requirements for the anthology (I think). So, what issue would the original publisher have with the announcement?

The only thing I can come up with is that it's from a limited edition print run that has only recently been published and that the announcement here could negatively impact sales of that limited print. That's what the stepping on the toes would be.


Actually, that makes a lot of sense to me and seems like a very respectful thing to do. After all, it's not like we the reader are owed an early TOC announcement of every story (we're not). Yes, now I'm speculating in my mind about what it could be and who the publisher is and I just came up with a snap idea that is probably and will invariably be wrong, but that's why it makes sense to me.

Regardless, I'm going to snap this one up.

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