Great news for dark fantasy fans: 5 fantasy anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling are now available in eBook format.

Details follow…
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Table of Contents: THE DOLL COLLECTION Edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has another fine-looking anthology on the horizon…

Here’s the table of contents for her upcoming (March 2015) anthology The Doll Collection, decribed thusly:

An anthology featuring all-original dark tales of dolls from bestselling and award-winning authors, compiled by one of the top editors in the field.

The Doll Collection is exactly what it wounds like: a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.

Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type.

Master anthologist Ellen Datlow has assembled a list of beautiful and terrifying stories from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Seanan McGuire, Carrie Vaughn, Pat Cadigan, Tim Lebbon, Richard Kadrey, Genevieve Valentine, and Jeffrey Ford. The collection is illustrated with photographs of dolls taken by Datlow and other devoted doll collectors from the science fiction and fantasy field. The result is a star-studded collection exploring one of the most primal fears of readers of dark fiction everywhere, and one that every reader will want to add to their own collection.

Here’s the table of contents…
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Short Fiction Friday: Two Tasty Selections from Tor.com

REVIEW SUMMARY: A brief glance at two recent stories acquired for Tor.com by award-winning editor Ellen Datlow.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Tight, imaginative prose; interesting blend of science fiction and fantasy; myth and mystery skillfully knit together; meaningful artwork accompanies each story.
CONS: One story may be too enigmatic to satisfy all readers.
BOTTOM LINE: Editor Ellen Datlow has acquired a couple of winners for Tor.com, a feat she seems to pull off with some regularity. One story weaves together old myth and contemporary mystery in a way that will draw the reader in while delivering a chill that is not simply the result of its winter setting. The other is a mix of science fiction and fantasy which examines the idea of multiple realities in a highly creative fashion. This second story is quite enigmatic, and yet it won over this reader who is often a curmudgeon when it comes to that type of storytelling.

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Table of Contents: NIGHTMARE CARNIVAL Edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has posted the table of contents for her upcoming anthology Nightmare Carnival.

Here’s the book description:

A boy’s eleventh birthday heralds the arrival of a bizarre new entourage, a suicidal diva just can’t seem to die, and a washed up wrestler goes toe-to-toe with a strange new foe. All of these queer marvels and more can be found at the Nightmare Carnival!

Hugo and Bram Stoker award-winning editor Ellen Datlow (Lovecraft Unbound, Supernatural Noir) presents a new anthology of insidious and shocking tales in the horrific and irresistible Nightmare Carnival! Dark Horse is proud to bring you this masterwork of terror from such incredible creative talents as Terry Dowling, Joel Lane, Priya Sharma, Dennis Danvers, and Nick Mamatas!

Here’s the table of contents…
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Tachyon has posted the table of contents for the upcoming anthology The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen edited by Ellen Datlow, now available for pre-order.

Here’s the book description:

What happens after the closing credits and before the lights go out? When you turn off your TV, but still aren’t able to sleep? Sometimes only the written word will do. These twenty-two classic tales are a chilling homage to the silver screen. Discover that James Dean’s death was not an accident, a trip to Oz is a one-way ticket, and zombies were behind the corporate greed of the 1980s. Learn how reality is edited (and found overly long) and how the final girl, the film’s sole survivor, emerges with a captive audience. Join award-winning and bestselling authors from Neil Gaiman to Peter Straub in a journey to the darkest depths of the theater.

Here’s the table of contents…
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In celebration of Women’s History Month, Jane Yolen, Ellen Datlow, Kate Elliott, Elizabeth Hand and N. K. Jemisin talk about being women writers, writing female characters, and the role models they look up to.

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Editor Ellen Datlow has sent along the table of contents for her upcoming anthology The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6:

Here’s the book description:

This statement was true when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote it at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it remains true at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The only thing that has changed is what is unknown.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this “light” creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow, chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.

The best horror writers of today do the same thing that horror writers of a hundred years ago did. They tell good stories—stories that scare us. And when these writers tell really good stories that really scare us, Ellen Datlow notices. She’s been noticing for more than a quarter century. For twenty-one years, she coedited The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and for the last six years, she’s edited this series. In addition to this monumental cataloging of the best, she has edited hundreds of other horror anthologies and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.

More than any other editor or critic, Ellen Datlow has charted the shadowy abyss of horror fiction. Join her on this journey into the dark parts of the human heart . . . either for the first time . . . or once again.

Here’s the table of contents…
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The Fantastic Fiction at KGB Kickstarter Successfully Funded

The crowd funding for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series was successful in raising funds to carry it on for another 5 years.

From a press release:
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Ellen Datlow is an award-winning editor who, along with writer/publisher/editor Matthew Kressel, organizes the monthly KGB Reading series in New York City.

Behind the Scenes at the KGB Reading Series

Matthew Kressel and I co-host the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series and are raising money on Kickstarter to fund the next two years. We use the money to pay each reader a small stipend, tip the bartenders, and buy dinner for the readers and their spouses or partners. If we make more money, that will ensure a longer period between fundraisers.
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Ellen Datlow has been editing sf/f/h short fiction for over thirty years. She was fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and SCIFICTION and is currently consulting for Tor.com. In addition she has edited or co-edited more than fifty anthologies, including the annual Best Horror of the Year, Naked City, Supernatural Noir, Hauntings, a reprint anthology of ghostly stories, Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, an adult fantasy anthology (with Terri Windling) plus several middle grade and young adult anthologies with Terri Windling, the most recent a dystopian and post apocalyptic anthology titled After.

Ellen has won every award for editing given in the sf/f/h genres. She was the recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award for outstanding contribution to the genre and was honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association.


Alvaro Zinos-Amaro: Hauntings is a tremendous anthology, which now sits proudly on my shelf next to one of its older cousins, The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories. One of the things I particularly enjoyed is the range of narrative approaches: from Joyce Carol Oates’ fragmentary, memory-driven chronicle “Haunted” and the straight-ahead descriptive simplicity of Michael Marshall Smith’s “Everybody Goes” to the story-within-a-story of Neil Gaiman’s “Closing Time” and the deconstructionism of Peter Straub’s “Hunger, An Introduction”. Did this range arise naturally, or was it something you looked for when picking stories, perhaps as a way of showcasing the versatility of this sub-genre?
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MIND MELD: Who are Your Favorite Women in Genre?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

In celebration of Women in Genre Month we ask some of our favorites about some of their favorites!

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: Who are your favorite women authors in genre? What are your favorite books written by them?

Here’s what they said…

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy titles, including Beggars in Spain, Nothing Human, Probability Space, Stinger, and her bestselling Write Great Fiction series. She is a recipient of the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards, and her work has been translated into 16 languages. She lives in Rochester, New York.

My favorite female author is Ursula K. LeGuin. I started reading her in the late sixties and have never stopped. Her best work combines genuine, multi-dimensional characters with “thought experiments” about how societies are organized, and with what consequences. My favorite of her works are The Dispossessed and the collection of related novellas, Four Ways Into Forgiveness. Brilliant, compassionate, believable, these books truly eplore what it means to be human, in human societies, striving for the things human beings care about.

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Ellen Datlow has posted the table of contents for her upcoming reprint anthology Lovecraft’s Monsters:

Here’s the book description:

Deliciously creepy, this loving tribute to the master of modern horror features riveting stories from his wicked progeny. H. P. Lovecraft created a wealth of legendary monstrosities a century ago, and this collection of stories reconnects with those imaginings: the massive, tentacled Cthulhu, who lurks beneath the sea waiting for his moment to rise; the demon Sultan Azathoth, who lies babbling at the center of the universe, mad beyond imagining; the Deep Ones, who come to shore to breed with mortal men; and the unspeakably-evil Hastur, whose very name brings death. Celebrating these famous beasts in all their grotesque glory, each story is a gripping new take on a classic mythos creature accompanied by an illuminating illustration. In one accursed tale, something unnatural slouches from the sea into an all-night diner to meet the foolish young woman waiting for him. In another storyline the Hounds of Tindalos struggle to survive trapped in human bodies, haunting pool halls for men they can lure into the dark. Strange, haunting, and undeniably monstrous, this is the best of Lovecraft’s creatures—reawakened and re-imagined.

Here’s the table of contents…
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VIDEO: Women Writers on Science Fiction and Fantasy

In this video to help celebrate Women’s History Month, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, Patrica Wrede, and N.K. Jemisin (speaking about the late Octavia Butler), talk about being women writers, writing female characters, and the female role models they look up to.
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TOC: ‘Telling Tales’ Edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has posted the table of contents for her upcoming anthology Telling Tales, a Clarion west fundraising anthology.

Says Ellen:

The January Locus mentioned that I’m editing a fundraising anthology for Clarion West. The title is Telling Tales-there will be a subtitle, but we’re not sure what it will be yet.
It is going to be all reprints by former Clarion West students, with afterwords by one of the teachers who taught during their year. It will be published by Hydra House in time for the 30th anniversary of the annual workshop. (at which I’m teaching)

Here’s the table of contents…
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Ellen Datlow is partnering with Chizine Publications to Kickstart a new horror anthology to be edited by the former and published by the latter.

Press release and video follow…
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Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of nine novels, including The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, along with several volumes collecting her short fiction. She’s a five-time nominee for the World Fantasy Award, two-time nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award, and has been honored by the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. She also writes Alabaster for Dark Horse Comics. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her partner.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Caitlin! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

CAITLIN R. KIERNAN: Wow. I’ve never before heard the term “Dyslit,” and I don’t think I’m comfortable with it. But I’m not comfortable with most genre categories. Or even the idea of genre. But, that said, writing about dystopian or post-apocalyptic worlds doesn’t appeal to me. I write a lot of it, but it’s not because there’s an appeal. There are many reasons, but that’s not one of them. I’ll pick one at random and say there does seem to be a responsibility to write about what could happen, maybe, if humanity doesn’t take a little more care with its technological advances and population. Generally, I dislike science fiction as a predictive medium, but certain outcomes seem almost inevitable, given the present course of our civilization. Here, obviously, I’m referring to stories that focus on more realistic threats – ecological collapse, global warming and climate change, bioweapons, nuclear war, and so forth. So, yeah, I can say I feel a responsibility to write this sort of fiction, as a warning, and especially as a warning to YA readers. They’re inheriting a pretty messed up world, and they need to know where it might be headed, and how they may be able to avoid the very worst of the consequences of their predecessors’ actions. Maybe they’ll be smarter than us.
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Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, the first book of which was an ALA Top Ten Best Book of 2009, and the co-author of Team Human with Justine Larbalestier. Her new book is Unspoken, a romantic Gothic mystery about a girl who discovers her imaginary friend is a real boy. Unspoken was just nominated for Best Fiction For Young Adults 2013 by ALA/YALSA. Sarah writes from her homeland of Ireland but likes to travel the world collecting inspiration…

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Sarah! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

SARAH REES BRENNAN: Thank you for having me!

Dystopian literature: it’s the end of the world as we know it, and everyone’s feeling absolutely terrible.

Society has collapsed and either humanity lives in the depressing ruins being murdered on the regular, or a different and much more oppressive society has been built up (and secretly, people are murdered on the regular). Anyone who thinks they feel fine is wrong and will quickly discover their mistake! And while everyone is suffering incredible amounts of torment, there arises a thematic point which highlights something troubling in our current society. The whole thing seems generally very hard luck on the characters.

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Susan Beth Pfeffer is the author of over 70 books for children and young adults. Her “moon” series has been published in many countries. The first in the series, Life As We Knew It, was a New York Times best selling novel, and has won awards in the United States and Germany.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Susan! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

SUSAN PFEFFER: I couldn’t begin to define Dyslit and I have no idea what its essential characteristics are. I admit to being functionally illiterate when it comes to such things.

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N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author whose short fiction and novels have been nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula, shortlisted for the Crawford and the Tiptree, and have won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her latest novel, The Shadowed Sun, was published in June 2012 from Orbit Books. Her website is nkjemisin.com.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Nora! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

NK JEMISIN: I think of it as post-postapocalyptic fiction. And I’m using that description both to suggest an artistic sensibility a la postmodern, and a necessary factor of dystopias that work, which is that they’re *us gone wrong.*  Usually that means Something Happened To Us — maybe not the apocalypse, but there had to be some trigger event that caused our world to hare off into the weeds.  So dystopian lit is not simply about messed-up societies, it’s necessarily about messed-up societies that exist in the shadow of, or in reaction to, our own.

It’s possible to write a dystopia that isn’t related to the present day or the current world, of course — half of science fiction and fantasy showcases such worlds (e.g. Mordor).  But what makes these terrible places dystopian is when readers can see institutions they respect, twisted; societal roles they understand, subverted; ideologies they empathize with taken to an extreme.  Seeing all that makes you twitch with a weird, intimate kind of horror — like the first time you see yourself in a funhouse mirror.  You know what you’re seeing, and you know it’s *you*, but everything you know about yourself is all *wrong.*

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Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth and The Year of the Beasts. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Cecil! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

CECIL CASTELLUCCI: Hello, Charles!  Well, I would say that the essential characteristics of Dyslit would be a catastrophe, an apocalypse, or a definite sense of a before and an after.  Another thing that I find is that often there is a small tribe of people.  You know, like a reduction in population.  Or a sense of unlike people being thrown together.  A ragged rabble group.  Obviously this depends on the story and where / how far the surviving civilization is after the incident.

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