An exciting fall moves toward an exciting winter. I am writing on Sunday, December 2, 2007, on a day that would have been part of a work weekend if there hadn’t been a major storm arriving, that encouraged everyone to leave Saturday night or very early this morning. I have worked through in spite of an injection in my right heel on Friday (and that’s good news—it wasn’t a bone spur, just an injury that’s easily treatable). I have ongoing dental work, and a new allergy of some sort (resulting in red itchy spots, the last time on Thanksgiving day). But basically, none of this has slowed me too terribly much, and this issue is on track to go to the printer this week, on schedule.
What has been slowing us down on everything other than getting issues produced is just plain daily work and our day jobs. Several of us went to the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York, and lost most of a week to that fine event (see pix on page three) just before the last work weekend. So the rest of November was catch-up time, and we didn’t really manage it. December is not a great month for catch-up, so I anticipate more delays in sending out back issues, contributor correspondence, review copies mailed, and the general work that in the long run is never an emergency but always a necessity. Maybe we will catch up in January, if the weather isn’t too bad.
We do have a lot of fine material in progress to print in future issues, and are always looking for more essays, especially on subjects, writers, or works not often discussed. We are particularly pleased with David Swanger’s long and provocative essay in this issue, for instance, and encourage response. We haven’t been getting as many letters of comment as we once did, probably an effect of online discussion. When what we print is discussed somewhere online, we frequently don’t hear about it till later, if at all. We would prefer to receive your feedback directly, and perhaps print it for the edification of others. We are also always looking for Read This lists that we can print, basically list of things you have read recently that you like and want to recommend to others.
And we want you to know that the project to put up password-protected copy for overseas subscribers is not dead, but is delayed, for the reasons above. We’ll get to it real soon, this new year. Meanwhile, we hope you had a fine holiday season, got and read lots of books and stories, and are prepared to argue about your likes and dislikes with other readers this year. That argumentative conversation is what keeps the genre going, and the associated fields of endeavor (such as publishing companies, large and small). Kathryn and I are just finishing the year’s Best anthologies now, and know there’s a lot out there that is good, and worth discussing. If you are an sf reader, get a copy of The New Space Opera, a really fine anthology edited by Gardner R. Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, and Fast Forward, edited by Lou Anders; for fine fantasy, get Wizards, edited by Dozois and Jack Dann, and the Solaris Book of Fantasy. If you missed any of these, you missed a lot of the best of the year 2007.
—David G. Hartwell
& the editors