Short fiction (stories, novelettes, novellas) is an awesome source of potential delight. Reading short fiction is a great way of getting to know new authors; there’s a plethora of free spaces online that publish them (Tor.com and Strange Horizons just to name a couple of my go-to places) and it’s also a format that allows, I feel, a bit of freedom in terms of experimenting with form and content. Not to mention the amount of diverse voices that can be found in SF/F stories today.
And as a lover of short stories, I am always on the lookout for anthologies and collections. Here are four anthologies published (or to be published) in 2014 to keep an eye on.
I think I am not exaggerating when I say that the most important, essential anthology to be published in 2014 is Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History:
“Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world.
There is a long and honorable legacy of literary resistance to erasure. This anthology partakes of that legacy. It will feature stories from the margins of speculative history, each taking place between 1400 and the early 1900s and putting a speculative twist—an element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the unclassifiably strange—on real past events.”
Edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, Long Hidden is the result of a Kickstarter campaign, has beautiful cover art by Julie Dillon and a table of contents that includes, among others, Sofia Samatar, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor and David Fuller. This one is already out and I’ve been slowly reading it—the stories I’ve read so far have been great.
Another anthology that has been crowdfunded (via Pozible) is the upcoming Kaleidoscope. With a planned release date for August, the anthology has been edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios and will be published by Twelfth Planet Press. Kaleidoscope is an anthology of diverse contemporary YA fantasy & science fiction stories and:
“The main characters in Kaleidoscope stories will be part of the QUILTBAG, neuro-diverse, disabled, from non-Western cultures, people of color, or in some other way not the typical straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied characters we see all over the place.”
The table of contents is ridiculously exciting with heavy hitters like Garth Nix, Karen Healey, Sean Williams, Tansy Rayner Roberts and others. I couldn’t be more psyched for this one.
Women Destroy Science Fiction! is the special June issue of Lightspeed Magazine which has been entirely written and edited by women. Addressing heads-on the fallacy that says that “women don’t write real Science Fiction,” Women Destroy Science Fiction! is the result of yet another incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign. Its table of contents is extensive: It contains original short stories, reprints, original flash fiction, a few pieces of nonfiction and personal essays and more from many authors including Seanan Mcguire, N.K. Jemisin, Amal El-Mohtar and Kameron Hurley.
The next one is another fantastic-sounding anthology from the ever reliable not-for-profit publisher Jurassic London. Irregularity is out this week and proposes itself to have stories about “the tension between order and chaos in the 17th and 18th centuries”:
“Men and women from all walks of life dedicated themselves to questioning, investigating, classifying and ordering the natural world. They promoted scientific thought, skepticism and intellectual rigour in the face of superstition, intolerance and abuses of power. These brave thinkers dedicated themselves and their lives to the idea that the world followed rules that human endeavour could uncover... but what if they were wrong? Irregularity is about the attempts to impose our order on nature's chaos, the efforts both successful and unsuccessful to better know the world.”
Edited by Jared Shurin and published in partnership with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, the book includes stories from Nick Harkaway, Claire North, E. J. Swift, Adam Roberts and Kim Curran.
So there you have it! Four anthologies with enough short stories to keep us all busy for a few months.