Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Table of contents - "Year's Best Weird Fiction Volume 2" edited by Kathe Koja & Michael Kelly

Even from the start “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” was surrounded by positive vibe, successfully funded through an Indiegogo campaign the first volume of this short fiction collection, bearing the mark of Undertow Books and ChiZine Publications, two of the most prestigious publishers of weird fiction, and edited by Laird Barron and Michael Kelly, in their turn two of the genre modern masters, “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” continued to further its initial success by becoming the most sold ebook of ChiZine Publications and by entering on Locus Magazine’s 2014 recommended reading. These are no small achievements, weird fiction is a hard seller and it has difficulties in finding its place on the market. But isn’t the struggle of labeling this sort of fiction an appealing situation for the weird genre? Although it could be argued that weird is a label after all. Still, its power of reaching across various other genres and transforming them into something unique makes weird fiction a very interesting genre from my point of view. And I like to believe that its ability of stepping over boundaries made “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” such a successful project. This year sees the release of the second volume of “Year’s Best Weird Fiction”, edited this time by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly and published by the same team of Undertow Books and ChiZine Publications. With the recently revealing of “Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume 2” table of contents it seems that the second installment of this collection holds at least as much promise as the first. I say this with assurance since if I had to choose a single story as guide from this table of contents I’d be more than happy to select Isabel Yap’s “A Cup of Salt Tears”, a wonderful and very touching story, one of my favorites from the previous reading year. Another interesting aspect to be noted on the table of contents is that plenty of the short stories included in this second volume of “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” come from online mediums, Tor.com, Shimmer Magazine, Strange Horizons, Subterranean Press Magazine, Crossed Genres or Lightspeed Magazine are venues of short fiction that can be enjoyed online. I find it very interesting because it seems not only that the speculative fiction market is changing, though it is only natural for this to happen, but also that the quality of online fiction and editorial work put behind these projects is growing constantly. It offers me more reasons for being optimistic about the future of speculative short fiction. I am certain that “Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume 2” would rise to the level of quality to be expected from Undertow Books, especially when the cover is a landmark on itself as well, the artwork of Tomasz Alen Kopera is mesmerizing and intriguing, another excellent point of attraction for the second volume of “Year’s Best Weird Fiction”.

“The Atlas of Hell” by Nathan Ballingrud (Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
 “Wendigo Nights” by Siobhan Carroll (Fearful Symmetries, ed. Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications)
 “Headache” by Julio Cortázar. English-language translation by Michael Cisco (Tor.com, September 2014)
 “Loving Armageddon” by Amanda C. Davis (Crossed Genres Magazine #19, July 2014)
 “The Earth and Everything Under” by K.M. Ferebee (Shimmer Magazine #19, May 2014) 
“Nanny Anne and the Christmas Story” by Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Press Magazine, Winter 2014)
“The Girls Who Go Below” by Cat Hellisen (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2014)
“Nine” by Kima Jones (Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History, eds. Rose Fox & Daniel José Older, Crossed Genres Publications)
“Bus Fare” by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Press Magazine, Spring 2014)
“The Air We Breathe Is Stormy, Stormy” by Rich Larson (Strange Horizons Magazine, August 2014)
“The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado (Granta Magazine, October 2014)
“Observations About Eggs From the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa” by Carmen Maria Machado (Lightspeed Magazine #47, April 2014)
“Resurrection Points” by Usman T. Malik (Strange Horizons Magazine, August 2014)
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” by Nick Mamatas (Searchers After Horror: New Tales of the Weird and Fantastic, ed. S.T. Joshi, Fedogan & Bremer)
“So Sharp That Blood Must Flow” by Sunny Moraine (Lightspeed Magazine #45, February 2014)
“The Ghoul” by Jean Muno, English-language translation by Edward Gauvin (Weirdfictionreview.com, June2014)
“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide” by Sarah Pinsker (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2014)
“Migration” by Karin Tidbeck (Fearsome Magics: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
“Hidden in the Alphabet” by Charles Wilkinson (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, ed. Michael Kelly, Undertow Publications)
“A Cup of Salt Tears” by Isabel Yap (Tor.com, August 2014)

No comments: