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Short Fiction Friday: The Future’s So Bright…

Here we are, less than two weeks away from Christmas Day, less than three weeks away from a new year. Gift giving guide posts abound and lists of the best reading and viewing and gaming experiences are popping up all over the interwebs, stirring excitement, touching off friendly debate and adding to everyone’s never-ending list of things to buy (or for those with more self-control, borrow from the library).

Exciting times, truly. I don’t know about you, but I love this time of the year. Though I have yet to look back to fully examine my own 2013 experiences, there are a number of books I am excited about for 2014, including anthologies and short story collections. Given that is it Short Fiction Friday, I thought I would mention a few of these. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I strongly encourage you to share in the comments any additional anthologies or short story collections that you think I, and the rest of the community, should be awaiting with bated breath.

Reach for Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan

The third volume in Jonathan Strahan’s “Infinity Project“, Reach for Infinity, may be the one I am most excited for, especially given my affection for the Locus Award winning Edge of Infinity that was released late last year. Check out this line up:

Alastair Reynolds,Greg Egan,Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Karl Schroeder, Hannu Rajaniemi, Karen Lord, Adam Roberts, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Aliette de Bodard Peter Watts, and more.

The anthology of original stories is set for publication in June 2014 by Solaris Books.

“Where Edge focused its attention on an industrialized pre-starflight Solar System, Reach concentrates on that period when we’re trying to get off Earth and into space”.

~Jonathan Strahan

Reach has some big shoes to fill and I cannot wait to see how the various authors chose to tackle the subject.

The tantalizing cover art for this one is the work of artist Adam Tredowski.

Robot Uprisings edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams

Robot Uprisings is a Vintage Original due out in April. This largely original anthology is edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams. On JJA’s site he describes the collection:

As real robots creep into our lives, so does a sense of fear—we have all wondered what horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry. The idea of a robot uprising is fascinating precisely because it is possible. This anthology will bring to life the answers to our half-formed questions by providing a collection of meticulously precise, exhilarating trips into a future in which humans survive only by being more clever and tenacious than the machines they have created.

I am a sucker for robot stories and this is quite the line-up. The table of contents boasts a number of stories by authors who have recently come into their own as well as a few by stalwarts in the field. I am particularly looking forward to reading a new short story by Alan Dean Foster.

Dead Man’s Hand edited by John Joseph Adams

You may notice this post turning into the “John Joseph Adams Show”. For that I can only apologize. John is a great guy. (“Hey, John!”) But that is beside the point. He just happens to have dropped news on several exciting anthologies of late, all of which pique my interest.

Dead Man’s Hand is due to drop in May from Titan Books. The timing is great, with the release coming out just before Summer officially begins in the Western Hemisphere. The long sunny days and increasing heat will be the perfect time to explore the Weird West.

“The weird western is the forefather of steampunk, with a history that includes Stephen King’s Dark Tower and Card’s Alvin Maker,” editor John Joseph Adams explains. “But where steampunk is Victorian, weird westerns are darker, grittier, so the protagonist might be gunned down in a duel, killed by a vampire, or confronted by aliens on the streets of a dusty frontier town.”

This all-original anthology will contain twenty-two works written specifically for this volume. “Yippie ki yay…”

This next John Joseph Adams project will release not one, but two all-original anthologies in 2014, with another anthology to complete the trifecta due out in June 2015. Edited along with author Hugh Howey, The End is Nigh will contain pre-apocalyptic stories and is due out June 2014. The second book, The End is Now will be due in December 2014.

THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will include stories by authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, Ben H. Winters, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Sigler, Robin Wasserman, and many more. Additionally, each volume will include a brand new story by Hugh Howey set in the world of his bestselling novel Wool.

The cover images for the anthologies in this trilogy are done by artist Julian Faylona. When viewed together, as in the header on The Apocalypse Triptych website, they make one picture which acts as a great visual cue to the themes of each separate volume.

In April of 2014 Subterranean Press will release a volume of short fiction celebrating the worlds of Grand Master Poul Anderson, edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois. Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds will contain stories by Nancy Kress, Robert Silverberg, Raymond E. Feist, Harry Turtledove, S.M. Stirling, Tad Williams, Terry Brooks and more.

Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds is a rousing, all-original anthology that stands both as a significant achievement in its own right and a heartfelt tribute to a remarkable writer—and equally remarkable man. A nicely balanced mixture of fiction and reminiscence, Multiverse contains thirteen stories and novellas by some of today’s finest writers, along with moving reflections by, among others, Anderson’s wife, Karen, his daughter, Astrid Anderson Bear, and his son-in-law, novelist and co-editor Greg Bear.

The cover illustration for this anthology is painted by artist Bob Eggleton.

This is a limited edition book that can be pre-ordered directly from Subterranean Press.

And that is just a handful of the anthologies due to be released in 2014. Not to mention the single-author short story collections and the many regularly published SFF short fiction magazines. 2014 is shaping up to be a grand year for short genre fiction.

I would be happy to see any other anthologies or short story collections due for release in 2014 that you are excited about. Be sure to include why you are anticipating any that you recommend.

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