On Friday, February 22nd, it was announced my Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, that the well-regarded Speculative Fiction magazine will be adding a new reprint section, headed by Gardener Dozois, an equally well-regarded anthologist.
The official press release details the additions:
Clarkesworld Magazine, a leading science fiction and fantasy magazine, has named award-winning editor Gardner Dozois (pronounced “doe-zwa”) to helm its new reprint department. In his role as reprint editor, every month Gardner will draw upon forty years of experience to select two exemplary science fiction stories published during the last three decades. The first of these stories are scheduled to appear in the April 2013 issue of the magazine’s online, digital and print editions.
“Since my heart attack last year, when readers responded with encouragement and support, I’ve been trying to find a way to say ‘thank you’,” said Neil Clarke, Clarkesworld Editor-in-Chief. “The reprint department had been on our wish list for some time and when the opportunity to work with someone of Gardner’s caliber arose, I knew I had found the perfect way to express my gratitude.”
Clarkesworld has long been one of my favourite SF magazines and it’s wonderful to see them joining together with someone like Dozois. With John Joseph Adams at Lightspeed, Ann VanderMeer and Ellen Datlow at Tor.com, and Johnathan Strahan at Eclipse, it’s interesting to see some of today’s best short fiction editors continuing to become as important to online markets as they are to the long-running tradition of print anthologies.
A few days after announcing his next trilogy, The Song of the Shattered Sands, Bradley P. Beaulieu announced today that he has left his former publisher, Night Shade Books, and will be republishing eBook editions of The Lays of Anuskaya, as well as entirely self-publishing the final book in the series, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. These new editions will feature new covers.
Beaulieu gives reason to his decision to redesign the covers for their eBook release:
As part of the gear-up for the release of my third book, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh, I’m also re-releasing The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh. I have to admit some disappointment that the previous versions didn’t have a unifying theme. So I designed these around that basic premise, that they would look and feel like a series. I hope I’ve hit the mark.
[I've] closed a deal with Betsy Wollheim for a new epic fantasy trilogy called The Song of the Shattered Sands. It’s a story set in a powerful desert city that controls the flow of trade and spice through otherwise impassable terrain. There are echoes of both A Thousand and One Nights and Thieves’ World.
It’s a story about Çeda, a woman who fights in the pits to scrape a living from the cruel but beautiful city she calls home. As the story opens, she discovers that the book her mother left her before she died holds the clues to the unraveling the mystery of her mother’s death, which was tangled up in the story of the Twelve Kings of Sharakhai, men who have ruled the desert with an iron fist for nearly two hundred years. As Çeda begins to unlock the secrets hidden within the poems in the book—as well as what her mother was trying to do before she died—the Kings learn of her, and they will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried in the desert where they belong. And so the chase is on. Çeda must unlock the hidden riddles of her mother’s book before the Kings find her. She had better hope she does, for she is the last hope for the people of the desert.
It’s great to see Beaulieu take the critical success he received for his first trilogy, The Lays of Anuskaya, published by Night Shade Books, and parlay it into a deal with a larger publisher. Daw is home to some of the best (traditional/epic/secondary world) Fantasy writers working today, including Patrick Rothfuss and Saladin Ahmed. Beaulieu’s Arabian Nights-inspired trilogy sounds like it will be a good fit. It’s great to see more Fantasy written that features a setting inspired by something other than Medieval Western Europe. After Beaulieu’s first trilogy, with a Russian-inspired setting, he’s quickly asserting himself as one of the most interesting world builders in the genre. I’m quite looking forward to this.
Last week, news spread that George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, signed a new two-year contract with HBO, including his continued participation in their ASOIAF adaptation, Game of Thrones and the development of new projects. On February 10th, in response to a question from a fan on his personal blog, Martin confirmed details about those ‘projects,’ including a potential prequel series to Game of Thrones.
Tuf would be fun. Dunk and Egg are being discussed. Robert’s Rebellion is part of Ice & Fire, won’t be a separate series. Sandkings was done by the OUTER LIMITS; I retain feature film rights, but television rights are gone.
While he speculates about his other properties, he admits specifically that discussion has taken place regarding Dunk and Egg, the heroes of his A Song of Ice and Fire off-shoot novella series. They would be a fun concept for a show, but I wonder if there is proper mass appeal for two characters that most fans of the series likely don’t even know exist. As he says, Robert’s Rebellion would be perfect, but nearly as big a production as Game of Thrones itself, and it’s integrally tied to the events in the series and might be redundant by the time the series/show ends. Non-A Song of Ice and Fire properties is an interesting idea, but, again, I wonder about the mass appeal. Me? I’m curious where the rights to the Wild Cards series rest.
Tor.com, one of the most respected short fiction publishers on the web, announced today that it will be increasing its short fiction publication to a weekly format. At four stories a month, this puts the magazine on par with other short fiction venues like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed in terms of volume. Great news for readers.
Since our launch in 2008, Tor.com has always been a competitive market for original short sci-fi and fantasy fiction. We’ve been able to work outside of conventional publishing boundaries, create original illustrations for the stories, and have now garnered both Nebula and Hugo Awards! By the end of last year, Tor.com doubled our editorial staff, both in acquiring editors and first readers for our open submissions file. Our fiction team consisting of Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer, Ellen Datlow, Bridget Smith, and Carl Engle-Laird are working harder than ever to bring you the best of what’s on the cutting edge of new speculative fiction! We’ve always been proud of our stories and now we’re proud to offer new ones once a week! Expect forthcoming new stories from Genevieve Valentine, Harry Turtledove, Cory Doctorow, and many, many more.
Irene Gallo, Creative Director for Tor.com and Tor Books, also confirmed to me that this indicates a turn-around/response time for short fiction submissions to the site, saying that the short fiction editors have been, “catching up on the back-log.” It’s good news for those with submissions in the queue, which is infamously long, and those who’re simply looking for new, good SFF short fiction. Though, given Tor.com’s previous track record, I expect that the short fiction will continue to favour established long- and short-fiction writers, and remain almost impenetrable to emerging writers who submit to the site.