Sunday, January 6, 2008

More Best of the Year

I'm pleased to say that Gardner has chosen my story "Laws of Survival" for his Best of the Year. This novelette, which was in the December '07 on-line issue of Jim Baen's Universe, features a lot of dogs. A very lot of dogs. Yet Gardner, a known cat lover, chose it anyway. I am pleased -- but, yet again, a bit surprised. This makes three different choices among my stories chosen for Best of the Year volumes -- and none of them is the one I consider the best story I published last year, which was "Fountain of Age." This means (pick one):

--I should never become an editor.

-- I should become an editor, and set things to rights.

-- I have an irrational fondness for stories with criminal protagonists.

I also have (this is a clumsy segue, but so what) an irrational fondness for my new laptop. The old one died, one organ at a time. The first symptom was the demise of the "o" key. It turns out English has a lot of words with "o" in it (I actually sent email to a friend saying, "I visited the cinema."). This problem might have been cured, as several people rushed to helpfully tell me, if I cleaned the keyboard and then stopped dripping crumbs into it from injudicious eating. But before I could do anything about that, more symptoms developed, and now I have a lovely little Toshiba Satellite around which I will not eat. Nothing. Ever.

Sure. Right.


Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Wow! Congratulations, Nancy! It does seem to me that writers, in general, do not asses their "best" work the same way editors and even many readers do. Maybe this just highlights the subjective nature of the word "best."

Unknown said...

Congrats by the way.
I don't think you should take any of this as a reason why you shouldn't be an editor. There are so many magazines and publishers out there and all of them publish different things. All it means is you have different tastes than other people.

John D. said...

Congratulations, Nancy!

I echo what others have said - "Best" and editorial judgment are purely subjective. Savor the flavor -- your writing is excellent. Period.

John D. said...

Oh! And what a coincidence!

"Fountain of Age" was included in this list of Recommended 2007 Short Fiction Reading List, linked to by Jonathan Strahan.

Steven Francis Murphy said...

Congrats on the Best, Nancy.

Been there on the laptop front. Mine simply died on me all at once.

On the story front, I wonder. Are the stories really "ours" after we've written them? I mean, a writer has their name attached and they did give birth to it, but once the Readers get it, who really "owns it?"

It seems to me that writing (I'm only going to use one analogy though thousand could apply) is a lot like dancing. The Writer is leading, the Reader is following, but each brings their own sort of quirks to the table.

Which makes each "dance" or maybe read, different for each person.

I'm looking forward to reading it. I always buy Gardner's YBSFs.

S. F. Murphy

none said...

My laptop died, but my sister fixed it for me.

Congrats, Nancy! So I should look forward to reading that in about...hmm, November!

(and if I can be an editor, anyone can...)

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Not having an appreciation of your best stuff ain't unusual, Nancy. Call it "Writers' Blindness"? Dylan's =incredible= song BLIND WILLIE MC TELL went unreleased for years. "Well, I just didn't think it was recorded right." SHE'S YOUR LOVER NOW: "I played it at the piano. I played it with The Band. Never sounded good to my ears." Yeah, right, Bob.

You can get so close to some work you lose perspective.

Blue Tyson said...

I'm with Mr. Dozois on that one, too.


If you become an editor, someone else with a few stories will ask you your own question. ;-)