Details of The Best of British Fantasy 2018 have been announced, the inaugural volume in this exciting new series from NewCon Publishing.
Slightly belated, but, hey! After a year of construction and months of fretting and weeks of self-promotion - The Outcast Hours is, indeed, out.
The details of this scrumptious new anthology are here, including links to some of the particularly flattering reviews. Mahvesh and I kicked off the launch with three events - two in London, one 'virtual' on reddit - and are now in the awkward 'post-launch, just stare' stage. If you don't have a copy, it is never too late. If you do have a copy, well - thanks.
Incidentally, if you are a school/prison/library/community centre/other institution that would like a copy for your shelves, please let me know, and I will happily send you a copy for free. While they last.
A review of A People's Future of the United States, over at Tor.com.
And the publicity tour for The Outcast Hours has a new, virtual, stop, as Mahvesh and I will be doing a late night AMA on reddit, 22nd February.
Recent newsletters: on loneliness and other wicked problems and The Outcast Hours and universal/personal relevance.
Not much else, although worth noting that the rather delicious The Djinn Falls in Love is still lurking about at 99¢.
Ah, and the companion website for The Best of British Fantasy is up and running. Very skeletal, but it'll get there.
Two of 'em:
Thursday, 21st February at the Phoenix Artist Club:
With Marina Warner, M. Suddain, Lavie Tidhar, Louis Greenberg and Will Hill. £10 ticket, which includes a nicely discounted copy of the book!
Thursday, 28th February at Brick Lane Books:
Featuring Frances Hardinge, Will Hill, Karen Onojaife and Maha Khan Phillips. £5 tickets, redeemable against the price of the books.
I'll be playing host at both - come by for a chat, a drink, and some signed copies!
Ending 2018/starting 2019 on a productive note, with a rant about resolutions and a long list of good books.
- *Give Me Your Hand (Megan Abbott)
- Red Harvest and The Glass Key (Dashiell Hammett)
- East of Hounslow (Khurrum Rahman)
- *Something in the Water (Catherine Steadman)
- All Her Father's Guns (James Warner)
SF and Fantasy
- Age of Assassins (RJ Barker)
- The Drowning City (Amanda Downum)
- The Crystal Cave (Mary Stewart)
- *Paris Adrift (EJ Swift)
- *The Stars Now Unclaimed (Drew Williams)
- Miss Wonderful (Loretta Chase)
- *A Princess in Theory (Alyssa Cole)
- A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Meredith Duran)
- The Masqueraders and The Reluctant Widow and all the other Heyers (Georgette Heyer)
- Once Upon a Marquess (Courtney Milan)
- Overheard in a Tower Block (Joseph Coelho)
- *Slay (Kim Curran) (BOY BAND VS DEMONS)
- The Way You Make Me Feel (Maurene Goo)
- Ghost (Jason Reynolds)
- This Lullaby (Sarah Dessen)
Gold Medal (that's a publisher, not a genre, but they're my comfort reading and deserve the recognition - plus, my rules!)
- The Turrett Room (Charlotte Armstrong)
- The Expendables (Richard Avery)
- Castle Ugly (Mary Ellin Barrett)
- Meet Morocco Jones (Jack Baynes)
- The Magnolia Murder (Wyatt Bell)
- The Hideaway (Nikki Content)
- Smoky Valley (Donald Hamilton)
- Guns Along the Brazos (Day Keene)
- Sinner Take All (Wade Miller)
- Steal Big (Lionel White)
Genre categories are self-defeating and diminishing and, more importantly, I don't know how to categorise these
- "Dr Frankenstein" (Selma Dimitrijevic)
- *There's a Witch in the Word Machine (Jenni Fagan)
- The Talisman Ring (Georgette Heyer)
- *And the Ocean Was Our Sky (Patrick Ness / Rovina Cai)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
- Afterlife with Archie (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa / Francesco Francavilla)
- Josie and the Pussycats (Marguerite Bennett / Cameron DeOrdio)
- Mockingbird (Chelsea Cain / Kate Niemcyzk)
- In the Pines (Erik Kriek)
- Goldie Vance (Hope Larson / Brittney Williams)
- Made in Bradford (M.Y. Alam)
- Hold Everything Dear (John Berger)
- Community (Peter Bloch)
- The Nasty Bits (Anthony Bourdain)
- The Age of Jihad (Patrick Cockburn)
- Poverty Safari (Darren McGarvey)
- State of Insecurity (Isabell Lorey)
- The Mosaic of Islam (Suleiman Mourad)
- Bloody Nasty People (Daniel Trilling)
*: published in 2018
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And for some recommendations for 2019, check out this massive list at Tor.com. I chimed in with a few.
A couple of pieces (somehow) -
Review of AfroSFv3, edited by Ivor Hartmann:
“Discovery” implies an element of challenge; a hint that these stories might be a bit too far out on the edge, or potentially unpalatable. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Hype alone isn't going to convince an entrenched industry that they need to change everything about their audience/marketing/recruitment/sales/retail approach. There will be a lot of people ready and willing to talk about how Merky 'fails', based on the traditional metrics. "I didn't see a single copy at Hay!"
And, for the hell of it - a new website for www.bestbritishfantasy.co.uk
Bet you weren't expecting that, huh?
The publishing industry has spent a generation - if not longer - relentlessly milking one particular demographic, with 'innovative' 'outreach' campaigns based around the occasional field trip to Harrogate and #civilisedsaturday.
This week's newsletter also features the meaning of life (and the methodology for evaluating it).
Mahvesh and I share a bit about the editorial process - and the full author/story list for The Outcast Hours - over on Tor.com:
As with any anthology, not every story will be for everyone. The dark side (excuse the pun) of our shtick is that our approach is especially high-risk / high-reward. There’s no sameness; no certainty. In The Outcast Hours, we have gambled on the unexpected: there are no cozy evenings inside. Instead, we want every reader to find a story or two that they can be deeply passionately about—to experience the night of their lives.
Mahvesh and I reveal the full table of contents for The Outcast Hours over on Tor.com.
It also includes a little guff about our editing approach, because everything starts with a brief.
The key message that we're trying to land in our all our, uh, PR, is that we've gone 'high risk/high reward':
In The Outcast Hours, we have gambled on the unexpected: there are no cozy evenings inside. Instead, we want every reader to find a story or two that they can be deeply passionately about—to experience the night of their lives.
Perhaps leading with 'you probably won't like every story in this book, but, hey - you might love one of them' is definitely a marketing gamble. But it is also true, so let's see where that takes it.