Today the mail brought Gardner Dozois's THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL COLLECTION. As always, it's massive: 32 stories, one of which is mine ("Laws of Survival," originally published on-line in JIM BAEN'S UNIVERSE.) Of equal interest is Gardner's "Summation," if only to marvel at how much sheer reading this man does every year. If you don't get a chance to see this book, or if you're not into reading summations, here are a few factoids:
-- The anthology includes eight stories by women, twenty-four by men.
-- The print magazines' circulation figures continue to drop, but the drop has slowed. And REALMS OF FANTASY has actually increased circulation.
-- There were 250 new SF novels published in 2007, 460 new fantasy novels, and 198 new horror novels.
-- Short fiction featured many stories about terrorism, many about big airships and air pirates, and, in Gardner's words: "for whatever reason (I'm not even going to venture a guess) there were a lot of stories about dogs." Since mine is one of those, I'm pleased that he noticed.
-- The launch of new anthology series is a good sign for the field. Gardner especially liked ECLIPSE I and THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW SCIENCE FICTION.
-- Gardner, like nearly everyone else, is not committing himself to predictions about the future of on-line SF, but is waiting, like nearly everyone else, to see if a viable way can be found to make such ventures profitable.