Greetings and peace to all visitors at The Green Castle today!
I’m very keen on themed anthologies of short stories, mainly because of the varieties of reading adventures they offer and I also enjoy reading the contributing authors’ biographical profiles. And those of the editors and cover-design artist/s. 🙂 Yes, I do also dream of being one of those authors some day myself, and having a really weird out-of-body kind of experience if a friend or family member shows me that certain profile in a book they picked up. 🙂
In the five years – more or less – since I really started “getting into” speculative fiction, I’ve noticed that it seems especially suited for the format of The Themed Anthology – they are consistently popular at conventions and in bookshops, and the range keeps expanding while also always keeping room for the classics – e.g the annual Hugo and Nebula Awards shortlists covering various categories. Well, I guess Arabian Nights would be one early example of a famous anthology, with a a very personal motive for compiling it and a moving deadline. 🙂
So now I’d like to mention that one of the on-going series of Australian-edited and produced anthologies I’ve enjoyed is the Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy. This series has been and continues to be edited by Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt for MirrrorDanse Books, a specialist publisher of Science Fiction, Horror and Dark Fantasy. I’ve collected volumes #2 through 5 so far (usually at conventions such as ‘Conflux’ in Canberra) and have been really impressed with the variety and standard on offer in each volume. Keep a look-out for the authors’ names – it is in this kind of anthology that many new great writers emerge and established stars keep shining.
At the back of the Year’s Best volumes, the lists of Recommended Reading and sources the editors used for finding their choices for best stories make for interesting extra features. These accumulating lists, I suggest, will prove to be a very valuable archive of what has been and – for as long as authors keep writing and dedicated editors keep searching and compiling – can yet be achieved in and by the Australian Speculative Fiction community.
For more information about the anthologies and the publication side of things, I recommend visiting the MirrorDanse website: http://www.tabula-rasa.info/MirrorDanse/.
Happy reading! 🙂