Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TOC - "The Best British Fantasy 2013" edited by Steve Haynes & "Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing" edited by Sandra Kasturi & Samantha Beiko

Are there too many speculative fiction year’s best? In my opinion, they are not. And although once in a while the quality of the selections is questioned I found the ones I read constantly each year at the highest levels. Their efforts of promoting short fiction and bringing into the attention of the readers some of the best voices of speculative fiction is nothing but praiseworthy and as long as we would not have an invasion of such year’s best anthologies I will continue to read them with interest and delight. Even more so after such titles started to expend worldwide with the apparition of “The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror” in 2011 and “Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing” last year. After I signaled the third edition of “The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror”, due to be released this year, it gives great pleasure to see the second edition of “Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing” coming out on July 15th and the publication of the first “The Best British Fantasy” by Salt Publishing. And with the likes of Amal El-Mohtar, Gemma Files, Cate Gardner, Lisa Hannett, Carole Johnstone, Helen Marshall, Alison Littlewood, Angela Slatter, Simon Bestwick, Michael Kelly, Mark Morris and Adam Nevill on their line-ups both promise plenty of excellent things. However, more good news come our way from  Salt Publishing, it seems that they will not only release a series of year’s best British fantasy, but also starting from next year a series of yearly “Best British Horror” too, edited by Johnny Mains. With so many great speculative fiction year’s best collections I only hope that soon the Romanian SF, fantasy and horror would see the publication of a similar yearly anthology. It will certainly do the local readers and writers a lot of good. And why not, one such year’s best for the global speculative fiction too.

From the post-apocalyptic American West to the rural terror in New Zealand, this major anthology has evil spirits, bin-Laden style assassinations, steampunk, sexual dysfunction, a twisted version of Peter Pan, the folklore of standing stones, mermaids, alien tour guides, zombies, gruesome beasts, voice-controlled police states, environmental disasters and off world penal colonies. Unmissable.

“Introduction” by Steve Haynes
“Lips and Teeth” by Jon Wallace
“The Last Osama” by Lavie Tidhar
“Armageddon Fish Pie” by Joseph D’Lacey
“The Complex” by E.J. Swift
“God of the Gaps” by Carole Johnstone
“Corset Wings” by Cheryl Moore
“The Wheel of Fortune” by Steph Swainston
“The Island of Peter Pandora” by Kim Lakin-Smith
“Too Delicate for Human Form” by Cate Gardner
“Imogen” by Sam Stone
“In the Quiet and in the Dark” by Alison Littlewood
“The Scariest Place in the World” by Mark Morris
“Qiqirn” by Simon Kurt Unsworth
“The Third Person” by Lisa Tuttle
“Dermot” by Simon Bestwick
“Fearful Symmetry” by Tyler Keevil
“Pig Thing” by Adam L.G. Nevill

Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing is a reprint anthology published annually by ChiZine Publications, collecting speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work produced by Canadian writers.
Canadian speculative fiction has been increasingly recognized internationally for the calibre of its authors and their insight into the nature of social and religious identities, the implications of new technologies, and the relationship between humankind and its environments. We use the term “speculative fiction” in order to free ourselves from the associations of terms like “science fiction,” “horror,” and “fantasy.” At their best, these stories disrupt habits, overcome barriers of cultural perception to make the familiar strange through the use of speculative elements such as magic and technology. They provide glimpses of alternate realities and possible futures and pasts that provoke an ethical, social, political, environmental and biological inquiry into what it means to be human.

“Blink” by Michael Kelly
“Nightfall in the Scent Garden” by Claire Humphrey
“The Ghosts of Birds” by Helen Marshall
“The Last Love of the Infinity Age” by Peter Darbyshire
“Too Much is Never Enough” by Don Bassingthwaite
“Bigfoot Cured My Arthritis” by Robert Colman
“Wing” by Amal El-Mohtar
“Arrow” by Barry King
“Penny” by Dominik Parisien
“Thought and Memory” by Catherine Knutsson
“Gaudifingers” by Tony Burgess
“A sea monster tells his story” by David Livingstone Clink
“Son of Abish” by Dave Duncan
“Opt-In” by J.W. Schnarr
“Last Amphibian Flees” by M.A.C. Farrant
“White Teeth” by David Livingstone Clink
“The Sweet Spot” by A.M. Dellamonica
“Verse Found Scratched Inside the Lid of a Sarcophagus (Dynasty Unknown)” by Gemma Files
“Collect Call” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“Bella Beaufort Goes to War” by Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter
“A Spell for Scrying Mirror Gremlins” by Peter Chiykowski
“The Book of Judgement” by Helen Marshall
“The Audit” by Susie Moloney
“Sixteen Colours” by David Livingstone Clink
“The Old Boys Club” by Geoff Gander
“Fin de Siècle” by Gemma Files
“Since Breaking Through the Ice” by Dominik Parisien
“The Pack” by Matt Moore
“Invocabulary” by Gemma Files
“I Was a Teenage Minotaur” by A.G. Pasquella
“Weep For Day” by Indrapramit Das
“What I Learned at Genie School” by Jocko Benoit
“Aces” by Ian Rogers
“No Poisoned Comb” by Amal El-Mohtar
“What a Picture Doesn’t Say” by Christopher Willard
“The Last Islander” by Matthew Johnson

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