Friday, April 27, 2007

We Have Newsletter!

Yup, after much dragging of feet, we are starting a Pyr newsletter. We'll shoot out the first one in a week or so, so everybody please go opt in at the form on the Pyr homepage or Pyr blog. Obviously, emails kept private, etc... And I'll be grateful for feedback on it when the first one goes out. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Wealth of Online Reading

We've just uploaded a massive amount of sample pages to the Pyr website, some of them quite substantial excerpts (around 50 pages of text or so each). Generally about 3 or 4 chapters per book, but I try to pick good stopping points so it varies. Now, after all this work, it occurs to me that a lot of people may not realize what all is online, and since we've labored long and hard on our Funky New Format, please do follow the links below. Plus, each of the new format pages has a really cool custom banner ad. Collect them all!

First, there are two entire short stories online:
Paul Di Filippo's Fast Forward 1 contribution, "Wikiworld"
Sean Williams' The Resurrected Man inspiration, "A View Before Dying" (old format)

Then these twelve excerpts all recently uploaded, all in our Funky New Format:
Jack Dann's The Man Who Melted. Also, a new interview.
Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky
Ian McDonald's Brasyl
Mike Resnick's Starship: Mutiny and Starship: Pirate
Adam Robert's Gradisil
Justina Robson's Keeping It Real (along with music and other extras)
Joel Shepherd's Crossover and Breakaway
Sean Williams' The Crooked Letter, The Blood Debt, and The Hanging Mountains

We'll be adding more as we go, and converting some of the old ones across to the new look, but meanwhile, these excerpts are still available in the Old Format:
Michael Blumlein's The Healer
Gardner Dozoi's Galileo's Children introduction
Charles Coleman Finlay's The Prodigal Troll
Scott MacKay's Tides
Ian McDonald's River of Gods
John Meaney's Paradox, Context, Resolution
Michael Moorcock & Storm Constantine's Silverheart
Chris Roberson's Here, There & Everywhere
Justina Robson's Silver Screen
Robert Silverberg's Star of Gypsies
Martin Sketchley's The Destiny Mask

Elsewhere on the web, you can find:
Chris Roberson's Paragaea, and an entire prequel novel, Set the Seas on Fire
David Louis Edelman's Infoquake (Chapters 1 - 7), also four Audio chapters.
Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky at InfinityPlus
My own introduction to Fast Forward 1, "Welcome to the Future"

And that should be enough to keep you busy!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Authors and Their Assholes

Eric Spitznagel is an old friend of mine I've written about on here before. He's a contributing editor for The Believer magazine and the Website editor for Monkeybicycle, and his journalism has appeared in Playboy, McSweeney's,, Harper's, and numerous other places of note. We go way back to a time when we studied together under amazing Royal Shakespear Company actors in Oxford, England, and then spent a few years driving each other crazy writing and directing really horrendously bad black box theatre in crack neighborhoods in Chicago, IL. Our careers have run in odd parallel, with both of us moving into journalism and then books (he's the author of six). In fact, he has a recent book called Fast Forward that came out around the same time as mine. It's a bit different in subject matter, of course.

Anyway, Eric maintains a blog called Vonnegut's Asshole, the name referring to the famous asterisk that Kurt used to represent his anus in Breakfast of Champions. As Eric writes:

"Vonnegut's asshole had a profound effect on me as a kid. (There's really no way of writing that sentence without it sounding a little odd.) I was 10 or 11 when I first read Breakfast of Champions, and it was the first book that I picked out on my own. I can still vividly recall the day when I got to the page with Vonnegut's asshole drawing. I was in school, reading the book over a plate of cold tater tots during lunch, and I guess I laughed a little too loud. My teacher at the time - a humorless old bastard named Mr. Spearing - walked over and glanced at my book. When he saw the asshole drawing, he was livid. 'That is not funny at all,' he screamed at me. 'It's just childish and immature! It's absolutely disgusting!' He ripped the book out of my hands and refused to let me read it in school again. He spoke with my parents about it later and called the book "dangerous." I couldn't wrap my head around that. Really? A book could be dangerous just because one of the pages had an asterisk that kinda resembled an asshole? That was all it took? It was a life-changing moment for me. That's when I realized just how powerful humor - even childish, immature humor - could really be. If an asshole illustration is enough to make you howl in protest, it speaks volumes about your own insecurities. If you don't like something, just don't look at it. Don't read it. But if an idea makes you want to burn a book or snatch it out of a child's hands and hide it where nobody (least of all you) can ever see it again, it obviously touched a nerve."

So, in memory of the great man's life and in honor of his passing, Eric is hosting a series called "Authors and their Assholes," in which he invites notable writers to contribute their own artfully rendered anuses. So far, he's had such prestigious personages as This America Life commentator Sandra Tsing Loh, Other magazine publisher Charlie Anders, best selling author Brad Listi, and actress and author Kimberlee Auerbach.Today, day eight, Sean Williams ably represents the science fiction field with a diagram of his posterior parts. Trust me when I say you've got to see this to believe it. I think Vonnegut would be proud.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Thoughts on the Cassandra Ghetto

So Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic SF The Road is now a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in addition to being an Oprah pick. And while some critics may bend over backwards to explain how this proves that it isn't SF, most of the pieces I'm picking up on in the press and online are regarding it as such. Equally exciting to me is the special citation for Ray Bradbury, which has been given "for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy." I really would have expected that sentence to have a period after "career" and can't believe the Pulitzer board went on to actually identify Bradbury as a science fiction writer. He doesn't even identify himself that way sometimes! I'll say it again, the times they are a changing!

In a post on Ron Hogan and Sarah Weinman's excellent publishing blog, GalleyCat, entitled "First Oprah, Now a Pulitzer: SF Now Best of Mainstream Lit", Ron proclaims that, "after decades of neglect from the Pulitzer fiction committee, science fiction finally gained literary respectability yesterday with the recognition of Cormac McCarthy's The Road as the best novel of 2006... wait, what do you mean The Road isn't science fiction? If Alan Cheuse went on NPR and said it was, that's good enough for me..." Ron also, very kindly, characterizes my own recent post "So It Goes: Thoughts on the Cassandra Ghetto" as being something "that anyone involved in the publishing industry should read carefully."

Meanwhile, on her blog, When Danger Is a Gal's Best Friend - which has a beautiful design, btw- Lisa Paitz Spindler posts some similar thoughts to mine when she says, "I think that the genre is changing and continuing to describe SF/F as a nerdy-male-only interest pretty much guarantees that the general public will continue to see it this way." Lisa also cites the wonderful informal study that Carol Pinchefsky conducted last year in converting the uninitiated to SF literature. Lisa points out a whole other demographic consuming SF&F I neglected to mention, which is all the speculative fiction being marketed as romance. She then concludes, "I think the market is in the process of switching over to a more gender neutral one and with that change we’ll see the demographic expand."

Speaking of expanding demographics, sparked by some of my comments, over on SFSignal JP has launched "the Harry Potter Outread Program." He asks for help in creating a list of books that might appeal to readers of Harry Potter who have yet to venture past Hogwarts walls, said list to be divided into categories by age of prospective reader. Check it out and send him your candidates.

While over on her new LiveJournal, Kay Kenyon posts "Opt Out or Fight Back" and says, "Here's one that gets to me: When self-appointed cultural caretakers continue this simplistic and tedious snobbery about science fiction... Authors like John Updike, Margaret Atwood, Philip Pullman and Kurt Vonnegut (ah, farewell) who are 'uneasy to think that they write fantasy' (Pullman's words) or outright deny their work is anything of the sort. Afraid to be in the company of the best of our stylists--like George R. R. Martin, Carol Emshwiller, M. John Harrison, Ian McDonald, and many more--they engage in denial and window dressing, never understanding that they're covering old territory that has been done as well or better in our genre. As a publishing strategy, assuming a mainstream mantle isn't in itself reprehensible. It's just the way they flee even the mention of science fiction and fantasy that is so unnecessarily snobbish."

As I've said before, literary respectability is in the process of taking care of itself. I suspect we'll see less and less authors and their publishers looking to duck the label in times to come. Looking back, the turning point might have been when Stephen King received the 2003 National Book Award for his contribution to American letters. At his acceptance speech, he proclaimed, "Giving an award like this to a guy like me suggests that in the future things don't have to be the way they've always been. Bridges can be built between the so-called popular fiction and the so-called literary fiction.... Tokenism is not allowed. You can't sit back, give a self satisfied sigh and say, 'Ah, that takes care of the troublesome pop lit question. In another twenty years or perhaps thirty, we'll give this award to another writer who sells enough books to make the best seller lists.' It's not good enough." At the time, King called for more of the same to follow. And with these Pulitzer Prize announcements, it has.

Update: This article by John Mark Eberhart in the Kansas City Star "Ray Bradbury finally wins a Pulitzer, but it shoudn't have taken so long," sees this as a positive step towards widening the scope of the award beyond realism and name checks a few talented genre writers:

"To be fair, there is a lot of bad science fiction, fantasy and mystery fiction out there. Too much of it remains formulaic. For every genius like Bradbury, there are a hundred authors doing mediocre work. But there are some great ones, too — Andy Duncan, Joe R. Lansdale, Nancy Kress and Pamela Sargent, to name a few."

Me & Mr. Mann: FF1 and Solaris

Strange Horizons reviewer David Soyka does an interesting thing, which is that he has just written a dual review of both my own Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge and the George Mann edited anthology, The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction 2007, also the first in a new, unthemed SF-only series.

Soyka starts out setting the stage, quoting Christopher Priest's criterion for good science fiction and then saying:

"What with the various yearly 'best of' collections, on top of those calling themselves paraspheres, new wave fabulists, new weird, post-cyberpunk, slipstream, and even, god help us, interstitial fictions, what's an editor to do to distinguish his or her particular anthology on the crowded shelves of what we used to just call science fiction and fantasy? You can't just put together a bunch of stories you think are really cool. There's got to be either a theme (e.g., alien sex, feminism, award winners) or a declaration of some movement (see above) in which the editor's selections herald some brave new genre."

He stops short of saying it outright, though seems to intimate that amid all of the splintering/blurring of the field noted above, a return to "core SF" could constitute a movement in itself. In the recent PW article, one of the unused quotes from the thousand three hundred plus words I sent them, was the notion that Fast Forward and The Solaris Book, along with the planned Eclipse series edited by Jonathan Strahan (forthcoming from Night Shade Books) suggested that "with the continuing decline in sales of the digest magazines, this resurgence of SF anthologies as a source for original science fiction short stories is definitely worth noting."

I was also glad to see Soyka's comment that, "The poems add a nicely different pacing if you read the stories in sequence, which I tend to do because I always assume there's some editorial intention for story placement." Almost no one I know reads anthologies in order, yet the structure of the book is something I agonize over. Like the now-lost art of a good mix tape, everthing is right where it needs to be in relation to everything else!

Soyka points out that the two anthologies share five authors (Tony Ballantyne, Stephen Baxter, Paul Di Fillipo, Mary A. Turzillo, and Mike Resnick). That, along with certain shared sensibilities, does lend justification to comparing and contrasting these offerings from me and Mr. Mann. In fact, when I read The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction for myself, I was struck by the similarities in our tastes. With one or two exceptions (I don't care for "creepy" as much as George does), it felt almost like "a Lou anthology." Plus, I really like George so I don't mind sharing review space with him! Fortunately, we both come off well in the end.

Which I wasn't sure we were going to! Soyka seems to front-load his criticisms, making me almost surprised when I got to his final paragraph, where he says, "Both collections are worthwhile additions to your shelves, particularly since both comprise original work. They also both succeed, regardless of differently articulated philosophical approach, in Conklin's aspiration, to 'offer a selective survey of the almost incredibly rich vein of ideas that the science fiction imagination habitually explores; and that is all it is intended to do. If it encourages you to further reading in this exciting field—why, so much the better' (Thirteen Great Stories of Science Fiction pp. 8-9). But if I had to choose between the two, I'd favor Fast Forward over Solaris because there are more stories that consistently satisfy Priest's second criterion: they make us think about our life in new ways. Put another way, the windows open more frequently to more diverse and interesting views."

Hey, I don't mind winning by a neck - it gives me something to tease George about when I see him at BEA - but really, why choose between the two when you can read both! That way everybody wins, right? And I wouldn't mind seeing some more joint reviews like this. After all, Mr. Mann and I both plan subsequent volumes. And hopefully, as Conklin says a good anthology should, both these works will encourage further reading in this exciting field.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So It Goes: Thoughts on the Cassandra Ghetto

I've been mulling over something for a few weeks now, and maybe the occasion of Kurt Vonnegut Jr's death is as good as any to try and organize my thinking. I heard Vonnegut speak on a few occasions, and while everyone will be talking about how much his fiction influenced them, it was actually his speeches and his essays that touched me profoundly as a young man. There's a fitting tribute in the works to the man starting up at the site of my friend and author Eric Spitznagel's blog, Vonnegut's Asshole, which I encourage everyone to check out. So I mean no offense if I use the occasion of the death of one of science fiction's most celebrated practitioners - and one who objected the most to the label of science fiction - as an excuse to look at our genre's struggle for literary respectability.

Recently, in a podcast on Adventures in SciFi Publishing, recorded at a speaking engagement at Mysterious Galaxy, Kim Stanley Robinson talked about the power that comes from being in genre:

"You pay a price for being in the world of science fiction in terms of essentially ghetto culture. In the larger culture you are marginalized in the way that everybody in a ghetto would be marginalized. But ... it's not the same as ghettos traditionally were in the origins of that word because you've actually chosen to enter it; you could leave it if you wanted to. So you go in there with the full knowledge that you may be marginalized in some contexts, but in other contexts you have actually been empowered. And you begin to speak with one voice. And also there's something very powerful about it, which is that it's the voice from the future. So no matter how marginalized you are in American culture - okay science fiction, these people, these fans - there's also this sense that, well they are speaking from the future, somehow they're two weeks ahead of the rest of us in some metaphysical sense that is very powerful 'cause it goes back to the power of prophecy. And prophecy is a very deep and ancient thing. When the shaman stands up and says, 'this is going to happen,' everybody says 'okay, where we've entered the magic space now.' So there is that power in science fiction that I try to focus on, whenever I get discouraged..."

I think I've made a case elsewhere that with great power comes great responsibility and why I think science fiction isn't just entertainment, but is "entertainment plus." I can, and have, spun off arguments for why this makes us literature, and damn important literature at that.

Meanwhile, a crop of recent films like Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, and Sunshine aim to recover the dignified scifi cinema of Blade Runner and 2001, while an opinion piece in the Telegraph boldly declares, "It's now time to take Doctor Who seriously," comparing the series to The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and calling Doctor Who "an extraordinary study of loss." And all this positive attention to SF is having an effect, as over on the Guardian Unlimited, Sam Jordison wonders if there is good stuff in the genre he's missing due to the stigma, in his blog "Reading scifi for pleasure," where he asks:

"When it comes to the genre wars, science fiction is at a very curious disadvantage. As soon as someone writes a really good sci-fi book it nearly always seems to get reclassified as something else. It's a bit like the way members of the Ireland cricket team become English once they reach a certain level... Does writing brilliantly preclude Vonnegut et al from the sci-fi genre? Or is it just that there's so much more to their books than spaceships and aliens? Could it be that most sci-fi is just so bad that reasonable people can't stand to tar literary heroes like Angela Carter with its brush? Conversely, have I been unreasonably depriving myself of other great sci-fi works for years? Or is it simply the case that I'm barking up the wrong tree and that my approach to literature would be far healthier if I just ignored such semantics and the labelling policies of high street chains?"

Well, yeah.

But I'm starting to think respectability will take care of itself, or doesn't really need to be addressed at all. Looking at all the teenagers - soon to be adults - that I saw at Boskone 44, who are graduating to adult SF&F as we speak, I suddenly had a revelation, which is that science fiction and fantasy are both a good deal more popular and more mainstream than is generally represented. It’s just that a large percentage of SF&F these days is being consumed outside the SF&F section of the bookstore. To begin with, a large portion of what is labeled as children’s and teen fiction is straight genre, whether we’re talking about the Harry Potter books or Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies Trilogy. These are shelved outside the SF&F section and thus aren’t counted as SF&F sales, but it’s preposterous to label tales of wizard academies and genetically-engineered beauty as anything but fantasy and science fiction. While casting our gaze onto the other side of the bookstore, you find an increasing number of “mainstream” authors utilizing generic tropes in their efforts to address our increasingly technological present. Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a straight alternative history set in a world where the events diverged in WWII, a direct narrative descendant of Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, (a classic work that is itself about to be published in a prestigious Library of America edition, with an introduction by another literary writer who swims in genre waters – Jonathan Lethem.) Add to that writers like Susanna Clarke, Keith Donohue, Kazuo Ishiguro, Walter Mosley, Audrey Niffenegger, and Cormac McCarthy. Oprah's Book Club has just picked a post-apocalyptic novel, for god's sake! You can't get more mainstream than that! Then consider how obvious genre writers like Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Neal Stephenson have been accepted by the mainstream. Meanwhile, 9 of the top 10, and 16 of the top 20, highest grossing films of all time are SF&F (17 of 20 if you’ll let me count The Passion of the Christ as either fantasy and/or horror!) To say nothing of gaming. Obviously, the appetite for SF&F has never been higher and extends well beyond a few shelves in the back of the bookstore, reaching out in all directions and through all media.

So while the New York Times gives a grudging acknowledgment that Vonnegut was an SF writer, saying "Some critics said he had invented a new literary type, infusing the science-fiction form with humor and moral relevance and elevating it to serious literature," ultimately I think Charles Stross was right when he said it's apples to oranges, making his comparison to the difficultly of persuading jazz and classical aficionados of the relevance of the others preferred music.

Where I think the ultimate validation lies is in your pocket book. When those kids I saw at Boskone finish reading The Deathly Hallows and wonder what next, anyone who actively discourages them from remaining as consumers of SF&F is doing a grave financial disservice to writers, publishers, distributors, and booksellers everywhere. So while I will continue to extol the literary values of SF&F within genre itself, my new approach to outward-focused discussions is going to be a financial one, deriding anyone who still peddles outdated stigmas as, well, a fool. The challenge for us now – and by us I mean authors, publishers, booksellers and journalists – is to recognize the obvious; quit purveying and subscribing to outdated stereotypes and stigmas that are in no one's best interests; and find ways to connect readers who are already consuming genre in other packaging and other media directly with the source. When an entire industry’s quarterly fiscal reports fluctuate in direct relation to whether or not the period contains a book with a boy wizard in it, it’s time to admit that science fiction and fantasy are mainstream and quit worrying about whether or not it's literature. Just as the whole notion of what a geek is has altered from the image of the classic nerd with thick glasses and a pocket protector to goateed, pierced & tattooed kids with PSPs - have you looked at the real Comic Con audience lately? These geeks are cool! So it's time to acknowledge that it's a hell of a lot more fun to actually, well, have fun than it is to pick on those who are enjoying themselves. The stigma applied to the genre books relegated to the back of the bookstore is nothing less than money being left on the table. Quit looking down your nose and pick it up.

Update: I am thrilled to see this article from Jason Silverman over on, entitled "Writers, Directors Fear 'Sci-Fi' Label Like an Attack From Mars." Jason is pointing out the absurdity of denying that something isn't SF when it clearly is. As he writes:

"You won't find the words 'science fiction' in Random House's bio of Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author China Miéville. Instead, he's called the 'edgiest mythmaker of the day.' Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep? It's classified as comedy, drama, romance and fantasy, but not sci-fi, at Even Battlestar Galactica, the flagship show of (hello!) the Sci Fi Channel, keeps a distance. 'It's fleshed-out reality,' explains executive producer Ronald D. Moore in the sci-fi mag SFX. 'It's not in the science-fiction genre.'

I love "fleshed out reality" to describe a show with androids, lost civilizations, planetary colonization, and spaceships. If Battlestar Galactica isn't science fiction - then nothing is! Not that I don't sympathize with Ron Moore's attempts to widen his audience, and Moore does have a very grounded knowledge of our genre - he is speaking at the Nebulas, after all. BSG is doing a good job of restoring awareness to SF, whether they feel the need to fight the label in public or not, and we need more shows like this on TV. But we need more articles like this Wired one as well. Thank you Jason. (And thanks to both Sean Williams and Paul Wargelin for pointing me to the article.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Book Spotting: Keeping It Real

Okay, staring today, April 10th, and running for the next two weeks, Justina Robson's Keeping It Real (Quantum Gravity, Book 1) should be appearing on front-of-store paperback display tables in every Borders Books in the US. After which, Justina's hot sci-fantasy will join four other titles for a Pyr end cap display, which itself will run from 4/24 to 5/28, again in every Borders nation-wide. The other books in the display are Fast Forward 1, Crossover, Breakaway, and Bright of the Sky, with the possibility of Brasyl joining in late if it's received in time. (It is just back from the printers, so fingers crossed.)

Unfortunately, I myself happen to live in a state without a Borders (gasp!). We do have a Waldenbooks, but I don't know if they are included in this promotion and I'm not driving over an hour to find out. So, reports of sightings of Keeping It Real in the wild - as well as the subsequent end cap display - greatly appreciated. I'd love to see photos of the display as well, and will happily post any such pictures here. Thanks!

Update: I've just learned that a corresponding promotion is going on right now at B&N's "Top 150" stores - front table display space from this past April 10th thru next Monday. The store here not being in their top 150, I can't see that either -though they did have 6 copies of the book on hand when I last went in. Reminder, you can read three chapters from Keeping It Real online here.

Anders Game

Well, I finally got the hardcopy of the April 2nd issue of Publishers Weekly with my interview in it. And yes, while my name is correct in the article itself, the caption below my photo suggests I might be a character in a future Orson Scott Card novel. That being said, I was thrilled that the table of contents page used a huge picture of the figures of Lila Black and Zal from the cover of Keeping It Real and a nice shot of the cover itself with the article in question. What's more, I see my company took out an ad for the same issue, so we got the cover in three times. I think it's one of our nicest ads, so I'll upload it here. Feel free to post this to your blogs, email it to friends, print it out and thumbtack it up at your schools and places of business, stick it in your neighbors' mailboxes and insert it into the pages of magazines at newstands. No, really, I'm just sharing it because I think it's pretty - I don't really expect you to do that. Really.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just a Passing Notion: The Great Gatzby

So, this weekend I caught Studio 360s wonderful piece on The Great Gatsby (part of their American Icons series). And it was during the part of the episode in which Andrew Lauren, son of designer Ralph, explained how his father had done costume design for the 1974 film, how his father reminded him of Gatsby, and then, how Russell Simmons appearance on Mtv Cribs had inspired him to write G., a movie about a hip-hop Gatsby in real-life East Hampton that I had a revelation.

I realized that, apart from being a much better treatment of A.I. than A.I. was, the under-appreciated Bicentennial Man is also another retelling of the Fitzgerald classic. I've never read the Asimov & Silverberg novel that provided the film's inspiration, so I can't speak for it, but as for the movie, Andrew Martin's struggle for social acceptance, his journey to be a self made man (and millionaire), and his long-suffering and (for a time) unrequited love, to say nothing of his eventual fate, are indeed very Gatsby-esque. I would love to watch all three films back to back sometime, and to have the time/luxury to read the two books together.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Universe is Expanding Already

So, Publishers Weekly has done their annual cover story on science fiction and fantasy. "Is the Universe Expanding or Contracting" by Bethanne Kelly Patrick and Michael Coffey proclaims that "Today's bestselling science fiction is outside the genre—Atwood, Niffenegger, Crichton" and then asks editors from a variety of SFF houses for a "hot" current title to plug. (Can you guess ours?)

I haven't seen the print issue yet, though a friend alerted me to the fact that my name may be mispelled there, so I'm curious to confirm that. Also, don't get me wrong - I am very grateful to be included in their roundup for the third year in a row (previous two here and here), but I generated enough material for this interview that once I confirm that the little bit that's online is all they took in print as well, I may come back here with an outtakes blog post!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Nebula Awards Showcase 2007

Just got my contributor's copy of the Nebula Awards Showcase 2007, this one edited by the esteemed Mike Resnick, who very kindly roped me in to writing an essay on the small and independent presses. I always pick this up anyway, for the great essays on the state of the genre. Since I'm in it this year, now I have to decide whether to file this one on the "Lou shelf" or next to the previous volumes.

But leaving me aside, there is great fiction here by Kelly Link, Joe Haldeman, Carol Emshwiller, Robert J Sawyer and others, as well as the aforemetioned essays. Cool, no?