One of my favorite online short fiction magazines, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, recently published a best of anthology from its first year’s worth of issues. The anthology collects fourteen stories from writers like Holly Phillips, Richard Parks, Marie Brennan, Aliette de Bodard, and many more. In all, you’ll get almost 400 pages of good old literary adventure fantasy.
The anthology is available in many formats, including HTML, Mobi, Epub, PDF, and Palmdoc. Basically, editor Scott H. Andrews has provided the anthology in a format for every currently available reader, from the Kindle to the iPad and beyond.
Part of me wishes there was a link to a Lulu edition or even a Magcloud publication of the anthology. Of course, I realize how silly (stupid?) that idea is, since the magazine is currently only available online. If Andrews wanted to publish a print version, he would have started the magazine that way. I suspect a more accurate way to phrase that, since Andrews has created a successful*, popular online magazine, is: why do something different with your best of anthology? To borrow the worn-out maxim, why fix something that isn’t broken?
Corollary to that, why put together a for-sale anthology of content that’s available for free online? Well, for one, it’s an easy and succinct way for readers to find the best stuff from the magazine. For another, people who don’t like to read online, but do have an electronic reader they like, now have a way to read the magazine. And finally, it’s just $2.99, how can you go wrong?
Having read the magazine on and off for the past few years, I was very excited to see a best of anthology. The price was great and the author list strong. If you like well-written fantasy fiction, this is a great addition to your library.
* Success in the sense that the magazine often gets recommended by reviewers, has made itself into a SFWA pro market, has an aggressive publication schedule, hasn’t missed an issue, and generally features entertaining to excellent writing.
John Klima edits the Hugo-Award winning Electric Velocipede.