Issue 139 – April 2018


Editor's Desk: Nine, Three, Six

When I left my job last year, one of the things I had hoped to do with my new-found time was get caught up on the production of the Clarkesworld anthologies. (If these are news to you, part of our business model includes annual anthologies that collect all of the original fiction published in a year.) Instead and much to my surprise, several other opportunities dropped into my lap and rearranged a schedule that I was still adapting to. That’s not a complaint. Exhausting as it was at times, I enjoyed getting to do some new things like speaking at a conference; being part of a writing workshop; surviving my first Guest of Honor convention appearance; and traveling to China. Throw in family responsibilities, two magazines, and a few contracted anthologies, however, something had to give. That something was the annuals.

However, and maybe I’m just getting used to it, but so far, this year feels less hectic. I managed to focus a considerable amount of time on several of these anthologies and as of the first of April, one of them is officially published and out in the world.

Clarkesworld Year Nine: Volume One marks the first time one of these projects has been so large that we’ve had to split it in two. By year nine, we were publishing more per year than our first three years combined. I’m the one at the steering wheel, but three years later—the books are that far behind—that amount of growth still surprises me.

The next book, Clarkesworld Year Nine: Volume Two, should be available in a month or so. I just need to wrap up an introduction and proof the design of the ebook and trade paperbacks, which always takes more time than I expect. My goal is to have it done in time for the SFWA Nebula Conference in May or Balticon, later that month. The year ten volumes are scheduled for 2018 and years eleven and twelve for 2019. We’ll see what happens, but it would be nice to be fully caught up with these for a change.

Also released this month is the third volume of my Best Science Fiction of the Year series for Night Shade Books. This is a fun—but intense—project to work on and I hope we can continue the series for a long time. I’m contracted for volume four, so work on that one has already begun.

Late arriving news comes in from the Hugo Awards:

I am very pleased to see that “A Series of Steaks” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017) and “Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017) are finalists for Best Novelette and that Vina is a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In my Best Science Fiction of the Year, I picked both of these stories and Vina as the best new writer of the year. It is nice to see that recognition coming in from other places as well.

Oh and look! I’m a 2018 finalist for Best Editor Short Form! A huge thank you to everyone that nominated me this year. It’s my sixth time on the ballot and just as much a thrill to be in that esteemed company as it was the first time.

Who knows, maybe sixth time’s the charm.

Author profile

Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He is a ten-time finalist and current winner of the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form), has won the Chesley Award for Best Art Director three times, and received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award from SFWA in 2019. His latest anthology, New Voices in Chinese Science Fiction (co-edited with Xia Jia and Regina Kanyu Wang), is now available from Clarkesworld Books. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.

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