12 August 2010

BAF coming to an end after three volumes

From Jeff VanderMeer's post:

After three volumes, we’re discontinuing the Best American Fantasy series founded by me, Ann VanderMeer, and Sean Wallace, along with Matthew Cheney. The amicable move from Prime to Underland following the publication of BAF2 was meant to rejuvenate the series and to finally achieve stability for it. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur, for a variety of reasons. BAF did not having a wide margin for error. A cross-genre fantasy year’s best that focused not just on genre magazines but also on literary magazines, that required sympathy and generosity from both the mainstream and genre, as well as the right placement in the chains, was always going to be a difficult sell.
Although we are disappointed in this outcome, we’re mostly sad for Larry Nolen, the new series editor, and for Minister Faust, the guest editor, both of whom had put work into what would have been volume 4. (Not to mention the extensive online reading completed by Alan Swirsky and Fabio Fernandes’s efforts re Latin America.) It also would have been wonderful to see what the guest editors for volumes 5 and 6, Junot Diaz and Catherynne M. Valente, would have chosen, just as we enjoyed reading Kevin Brockmeier’s selections for volume 3.
On the plus side, the various BAF volumes picked up a wonderful blurb from Michael Chabon, made NPR’s recommended summer reading list, were placed on year’s best lists, and garnered a few nice reviews in large newspapers. In addition, a lot of bloggers supported us, and we received good feedback from the readers who picked up the books. Many libraries have stocked them, and all three are still available for sale on Amazon, providing a nice alternative view of the year’s best for those three years. We also made inroads into the literary mainstream through events like the AWP conference, and we were very successful in convincing literary magazines and genre magazines to send us material. In addition, we brought writers into contact with each other who might otherwise not been aware of each other’s work, and our correspondence with magazine editors and writers while running BAF led to many, many other creative liaisons and projects.

But before we shut the door on this wonderful project, here is the list of stories I had marked for consideration (comprising a little over 2/3 of the total stories sent to BAF 4 guest editor Minister Faust to choose from for the final list):

1.  Leah Bobet, "Six" (Clockwork Phoenix 2)

2.  Kelly Barnhill, "Open the Door and the Light Passes Through" (Clockwork Phoenix 2)

3.  Peter Beagle, "Dirae" (Warriors)

4.  John Langan, "City of the Dog" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2010)

5.  Ander Monson, "Decidicousness:  The Mechanism" (Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2009-10)

6.  Antonia Clark, "How to Shoot a Tomato" (Mipoesias, September 2009)

7.  Robert Mayette, "Prison of the Gnome" (Mipoesias, September 2009)

8.  Rachel Swirsky, "A Memory of Wind" (Tor.com, November 2009)

9.  N.K. Jemisin, "Non-Zero Probabilities" (Clarkeworld Magazine, September 2009)

10. Eric Schaller, "The Sparrow Mumbler" (New Genre, #6)

11. Christian Moody, "Horusville" (Best New American Voices 2010)

12. Julee Newberger, "Calvin Makes His Escape" (Gravity Dancers)

13. Matt Bell, "The Cartographer's Girl" (Gulf Coast, Winter/Spring 2010)

14. Deborah Schwartz, "Music in the Storm" (Gulf Coast, Winter/Spring 2010)

15. Fred Gavran, "The Reincarnation of Horlach Spencer" (Harvard Review, #37)

16. Benjamin Percy, "The Tree" (Ecotone, #8)

17. Aimee Bender, "The Color Master" (Cincinnati Review, 7.1 Summer 2010)

18. Brian Beglin, "Something Ancient" (Cincinnati Review, 7.1 Summer 2010)

19. Saladin Ahmed, "Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela" (Clockwork Phoenix 2)

20. Catherynne M. Valente, "The Secret History of Mirrors" (Clockwork Phoenix 2)

21. Michael Blumlein, "California Burning" (Asimov's, August 2009)

22. Eugene Mirabelli, "Love in Another Language" (Not One of Us, #42)

23. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, "Monkeys of the Sea" (Glimmer Train #74 Spring 2010)

24. Jenny Boully, excerpt from "not merely because of the unknown that was stalking towards them" (Gulf Coast, Summer/Fall 2009)

25. Matt Bell, "A Long Walk, with Only Chalk to Mark the Way" (Redivider, vol. 7, issue 2)

26. Joe Celizic, "Reborn" (Redivider, vol. 7, issue 2)

27. Christopher Boucher, "Maryland" (Redivider, vol. 7, issue 2)

28. Deirdra McAfree, "The Shield of the Norns" (The Georgia Review, Fall 2009)

29. Amit Majmudar, "Azazil" (The Kenyon Review, Fall 2009) (Note: TKR is serializing this in 4 issues, I think)

30. Will Kaufman, "Eris Sink Pluto" (Kaleidotrope, April 2010)

31. Joan Connor, "Cassie Bunyan's Yarn: A Short Tale" (Green Mountains Review, XXII, #2)

32. L. Annette Binder, "Halo" (Green Mountains Review, XXII, #2)

33. Benjamin Percy, "Terminal" (Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2009-10)

34. Viet Dinh, "Stomp Tokyo" (Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2009-10)

35. Stephen Marche, "What Rought Beast" (Ninth Letter, Spring/Summer 2010)

36. Traci O. Connor, "Starla and June" (Gargoyle 54)

37. Adam McOmber, "Of Wool" (Ascent, Winter 2009)

38. A.C. Wise, "A Mouse Ran Up the Clock" (Electric Velocipede 19)

39. Teresa Milbrodt, "Cyclops" (Indiana Review, Summer 2009)

40. Ben Marcus, "The Moors" (Tin House 42)

41. Karen Russell, "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach" (Tin House 41) Note: She was chosen as one of The New Yorker's "20 under 40" writers

42. B.R. Smith, "Caregivers" (Witness XXIII, 2010)

43. Joe Meno, "Birdmen of Mars" (Redivider, Spring 2009)

44. Judith Cooper, "Sister Light-of-Love Love Dove" (Shenandoah, Winter 2009)

45. Kelly Luce, "Wisler" (The Southern Review, Autumn 2009)

46.Gilbert Allen, "Ecumenical Bedding" (The Southern Review, Autumn 2009)

47. Sean McMullen, "The Art of the Dragon" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, August/September 2009)

48. Wayne Wightman, "Adaptogenia" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, June/July 2009)

49. Elizabeth Hand, "The Far Shore" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 2009)

50. M. Rickert, "The President's Book Tour" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 2009)

51. Damien Dressick, "Accrual" (Gargoyle 55)

52. Anthony Farrington, "Oh, You Turtledoves, All You Birds under Heaven, Come Help Me" (The Kenyon Review, Spring 2010)

53. Melanie Rae Thon, "Lost Children" (The Southern Review, Spring 2009)

54. Debbie Urbanski, "Taken" (The Southern Review, Spring 2010)

55. Benjamin Percy, "The Mud Man" (The Southern Review, Winter 2010)

56. James B. Pepe, "I am Enkidu, His Wild Brother" (Sybil's Garage, #6)

57. Richard Parks, "The Queen's Reason" (Lady Churchhill's Rosebud Wristlet #25)

58. J.W.M. Morgan, "Superfather" (Lady Churchhill's Rosebud Wristlet #24)

59. Blake Butler, "Our Anniversary, Repeated" (Redivider, vol. 7, #1)

60. Brad Modlin, "Dark Gray Door" (Indiana Review, 31.2)

61. Aimee Bender, "Among Us" (The New Dead)

62. Adam Peterson, "Blood Work" (The Cincinnati Review, 6.2)

63. Micah Riecker, "The Drowned Girl" (The Cincinnati Review, 6.2)

64. Laura C.J. Owen, "The Execution Trick" (American Short Fiction, Winter 2009)

65. Tabaré Alvarez, "The Translation of the Bones" (ep;phany, Fall/Winter 2009)

As I've said elsewhere, it was a privilege to work alongside Ann and Jeff, Matt, Minister, Fábio Fernandes, Alan Swirsky, and all the other people that helped make BAF something worth reading and working on for nearly four years.  Thank you for your support.

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