Editor Jonathan Strahan has just put out the table of contents for his forthcoming anthology The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy of the Year: vol. 5, a collection of, well, ahem, some of the best sci-fi and fantasy stories of the past year, I imagine, and look what’s there, sandwiched between “Alone” and “Under the Moons of Venus.” It’s only Joe Abercrombie’s contribution from Swords and Dark Magic, “The Fool Jobs”, a hilarious yet grimly violent sword-and-sorcery themed short story (well shortish, anyway, I believe it fits into the novelette category) featuring characters from The Heroes.
Very pleased to have this, the first short story I’ve written, picked up for a best-of anthology, though slightly nervous about how it will go down in this diverse and weighty company, among some of the leading lights of the genre shortform. Obviously my faith in my own work is, ahem, unshakable, but there’s a big difference in context and, I would imagine, in readership, between a themed anthology where everyone’s writing broadly the same style of story and a much more wide-ranging selection featuring the pulpy, the literary, the fantastical, the sfnal, the strange and the magically realist and so on and so on. And then there’s that tag of best. Tends to create high expectations, you know…?
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The story will stand out very nicely in that anthology and grab more readers for you.
So, when your story is chosen do you simply accept gratefully or can one pester the editor with “Yes, I completely agree with my story’s selection, and I want to know exactly how you discovered that my story was one of the BEST this year?”
I looked through the previous editions on Amazon, and the list of writers is impressive. Neil Gaiman’s “How To Talk To Girls At Parties” in Volume 1 sounds interesting and instructive. Your story looks to be one of the highlights in the upcoming edition, congrats on being selected.