Norwescon Best of 2009 panel notes

Posted quickly for maximum usefulness.

David Hartwell
me, Derek Zumsteg
Bob Kruger

Notes, with some attribution and not a lot of formatting:

Year’s Best 2009 notes

h1. Flash fiction
Brain Harvest ( runs sci-fi/fantasy flash (up to 750 words)
Everyday Fiction runs a lot of speculative flash fiction

Audience suggestion:

Thaumatrope ( runs stories and serial via Twitter

h1. Short stories
The big print mags accounted for about a third of the year’s best lists, original anthologies another third, and online sources (particularly semi-pros).

h2. Anthologies:
There were three that dominated the Best of 2009 lists:

New Space Opera 2, edited by Dozois and Strahan
Includes the best short story of the year, “The Island” by Peter Watts. Read it!
Seriously, we went on about this for a while. It’s amazingly good. Watts’ website:

“Utriusque Cosmi” by Robert Charles Wilson (and a general recommendation for him)
“The Far End of History” John C Wright

Eclipse 3, edited by Strahan
“It Takes Two,” Nicola Griffith
“The Pelican Bar,” Karen Joy Fowler

h2. Other fantasy anthologies:
Clockwork Phoenix 2 had a great story, Saladin Ahmed’s “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela”
Cat Rambo’s short story anthology
Camille Alexa has a short story collection

Other science fiction anthologies:
Charles Stross’s anthology “Wireless” contains the novella “Palimpsest” which would have made it into year’s best anthologies but for rights issues

Other Earths (ed Jay Lake and Nick Gevers):
“This Peaceable Land; or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe” by Robert Charles Wilson
“Donovan Sent Me” by Gene Wolfe

“Infinities” Vandana Singh was in “The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet”

h2. Magazines:
Asimov’s and Fantasy & Science Fiction produced a ton of great fiction.

Nancy Kress’ “Act One” tremendous novella
+like 90 other good Kress shorts/novellas in Asimov’s in 09

Charles Oberndorf’s novelette ‘Another Life,’
“Blocked” Geoff Ryman
“The Unstrung Zither” Yoon Ha Lee

Analog had James Van Pelt’s “Solace” which was great

Interzone had a great year:
One issue had “Black Static” by Bruce Sterling and “A Clown Escapes From Circus Town” by Will McIntosh, there was another great Domic Green issue.

Also: “Lady of the White-Spired City” by Sarah Edwards

(Interzone: $25 on Fictionwise! Beats paying $1,000 for postage)

h2. Online Zines had a huge year: ran some great stuff. Particularly “Zepplin City” by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn

Subterranean Online
Clarkesworld — Hartwell loved “Spar” by Kij Johnson in particular
Strange Horizons, recommended by Hartwell.
“Bespoke” by Genevieve Valentine

Fantasy Magazine
“Light on the Water” by Genevieve Valentine

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is great, running a lot of extremely good fanatasy

Rudy Rucker’s “Flurb” is pretty awesome

Authors who had good years, generally:
Stephen Baxter was all over the place and they were great. “Formidable Caress” (ran is Asimovs)

Side note: David Hartwell is also a fashion theorist.

More Novellas, from David Hartwell’s Massive Spreadsheet
Hot Rock, by Egan (rights issues prevented it from running in anthologies)
“Wind Blowing, and this tide” by Demien Broderick (ran in Asimov’s)

h1. Novels
Best: Windup Girl, Paulo Bacigalupi.
Implied Spaces, by Walter Jon Williams
The City & The City, China Mieville
VanderMeer’s Finch
Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals
Julian Comstock, by Robert Charles Wilson
Gweneth Jones’ Spirit

Audience suggestion: a “Squid Dog” book which I cannot for the life of me find now that I’m not looking at it. Help!

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