SFF Book Covers That Made You Pick Up the Book

Kinuko Craft's Winter Rose

I have always been a sucker for gorgeous cover art. I spent about four years in a local bookstore, week after week, studying, deconstructing and falling in love with cover art. I've bought any number of books just for the cover, and then fallen in love with the books.  I could name dozens, but this cover by Kinuko Craft for a book I had no intention of buying drew me back day after day till I finally bought it and fell in love with McKillip's wonderful novel too.


Becoming a better editor, or me and the Best of the Year
David, Thank you. I would love to have had that kind of experience. A lot of what I've done has been learning on the job, as many of us do, though I've had the enormous advantage of years of conversation with the likes of Charles Brown and others. It is a source of enormous regret to me that I didn't have the chance to meet and talk to Terry Carr or Damon Knight. I can't help feel I would have learnt an enormous amount. Jonathan
Becoming a better editor, or me and the Best of the Year
katenepveu & earthling I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Writing it clarified a lot of thoughts for me on how I edit. And there's more to say, especially when it comes to Eclipse. It's always a learning process.
The Ten Most Influential Science Fiction & Fantasy Anthologies/Anthology Series
There are a number of anthologies that stand out as being 'influential' on me as an editor and reader, rather than on the field at large. The first and most important is Michael Bishop's Light Years and Dark. Living a long way from the heart of the SF market, few books got through. I'd not heard of Dangerous Visions or New Worlds, but was very familiar with Golden Age SF. This one book opened up a whole new world, introducing me to writers who are my favorites today, and showing how rich and varied a book could be. After that, Mirrorshades, without which the modern 'movement' antho couldn't exist. And then the Silverberg Hall of Fame vol. which I was reading last night. Interesting post!
Good Bye Realms of Fantasy
It's my guess that the work that might have been published in Realms of Fantasy, sadly, probably won't be published elsewhere. I don't know if it's because of editorial taste, or whatever, but markets do draw out work. The examples that come to mind are SF Age and SciFiction. In the case of the latter, particularly, I noticed that those stories didn't really show up elsewhere. They just stopped. Sad news, indeed.
A Year Without a Year’s Best?
The announcement that The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (originally The Year's Best Fantasy) was to be discontinued was a sad one. It does raise one or two points of interest, that I think are worth mentioning. The first is that it was an institution. Twenty one years, a shelf full of awards, and tons of hard-earned and well-deserved respect, yet sales had been falling for some years. The decision to discontinue the series shows that if we value something we need to support it. I've read a lot of very sincere comments around the web mourning the passing of the series, but did we all buy the book each year? The second is that fantasy volumes seem to be under close scrutiny right now. The fantasy half of the YBFH seems unlikely to get picked up, and there are whispers that the Hartwell/Cramer Year's Best Fantasy is under review at Tachyon too. It seems to me that part of the reason for this is that, while short SF is like novel-length SF, quite often short fantasy is unlike novel-length fantasy. I suspect the audience for short fantasy fiction, generally, is smaller than for short SF. That and fantasy is a fuzzier set, so it's harder to attract those readers who are interested. In terms of year's bests, I think we're fairly stable for now. The SF volumes - especially the Dozois and Hartwell/Cramer - appear very healthy. Steve Jones' horror book is doing well, as is my own Best SF/F. I am confident Ellen's new horror series will be successful, and I also understand the Horton books @ Prime are doing well. As to where we'll be in five years - I don't know. I do know that if you like something you should support it. Otherwise it will disappear, however unlikely that might seem today.
The Dying Earth
I've not researched this at all - I've just fallen off thirty hours of plan travel and am not that coherent either - but has anyone done any research into the number of eligible votes cast for the Hugos each year, and when the 'Australian' voting system was brought in? The reason I ask is that the Australian system pretty much favors anyone with a widely established name because it relies on more than just getting the most first placed votes. I *speculate* that it's *possible* that nominees/winners got older after the Australian system came into effect because you had to be better known to win. Also, is there any data on the age of WorldCon attendees/Hugo voters? Just a thought.

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