2015 Best American SF/F Contributors Named


Writers whose stories have been selected by Joe Hill and John Joseph Adams for the 2015 volume of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy have been named.

Adams screened hundreds thousands of notable works published in 2014 by magazines, journals, and websites, then special guest editor Joe Hill chose the best pieces to publish in a blind reading so that the prestige of the venues or bylines were not a factor.

The writers with stories in the volume are:

  • Nathan Ballingrud
  • T.C. Boyle
  • Adam-Troy Castro
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Theodora Goss
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Kelly Link
  • Carmen Maria Machado
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Sam J. Miller
  • Susan Palwick
  • Cat Rambo
  • Jess Row
  • Karen Russell
  • A. Merc Rustad
  • Sofia Samatar (two stories by the author)
  • Kelly Sandoval
  • Jo Walton
  • Daniel H. Wilson

Adam-Troy Castro explained on Facebook that the authors are permitted to say they have work in the collection but are not allowed to announce the title. However, advance reading copies of the book are now circulating and a photo of the first page of the table of contents is on Twitter.

Joe Hill’s publicity strategy includes smacking the Hugo voters:

When I squint at the table of contents I see the introduction is titled “Launching Rockets.” Another Hugo reference? Or would Freud say, “Sometimes a rocket is only a rocket”?

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19 thoughts on “2015 Best American SF/F Contributors Named

  1. Is Joe Hill blaming Hugo administrators for a small group deciding to abuse a known weakness of the rules? Or for not having changed the rules previously when social norms had previously prevented such abuse? Or is he whacking the Puppies?

    Or am I over-reading?

  2. Per Wikipedia, Gaiman’s nationality is British, but he “lives near Menomonie, Wisconsin” and “also resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” With lots of citations that I haven’t bothered checking, since I don’t really care where he lives.

  3. Neil’s British. He lives in the US, but he’s a British citizen.

    But sometimes these things are about where it was published as opposed to the creators’ passports. Years ago, the big comics festival in Angouleme made their theme “The Spirit of Independence” one year, celebrating independent American comics. The three “American comics writers” they chose to honor were Neil, Alan Moore and me.

  4. Well, the new Joe Hill is named after the old Joe Hill, so I guess we can dream about them both at the same time.

  5. If the Jess Row story is the one he had in the NEW YORKER, then what it is is an OK post-apocalyptic tale marked by not explaining WHY America collapsed because “this isn’t science fiction, it’s reality.”

    I would also be VERY curious what the T.C. Boyle piece might be.

  6. Gaiman Is not a dual citizen. He’s got a green card.

    His story, I’m guessing, was published in an American venue.

    Congratulations to the authors!

  7. This is a pretty good male/female split. 8/19 and 11/19 respectively. (I don’t know if Kelly Sandoval/Jess Row are male or female, but either way it’s almost 50/50.) Funny how a blind reading, just like a blind orchestra audition, tends to even things up like that.

    (Aaaand my credit card takes yet another hit. Oh well, I just ordered a 36 x 72 bookcase, so bring it on.)

  8. redhearedfemme, as far as I can tell, the final TOC is 60% female; 40% male. That’s counting Sofia Samatar twice, obviously.

  9. Aesthetic quality is a slippery subject, as it involves objective and subjective factors. I mean, the Beatles were objectively a better band than the garage band I had when I was 14. But is the music of the Beatles better than Bob Dylan’s? Duke Ellington’s? Bach’s? There it’s subjective, a matter of taste.

    Which is maybe a long-winded way of saying we should approach with humility questions of which stories are the “best”. You might like epiphany stories where not much happens externally, but where the protagonist comes to a realization. Others think those type of stories are boring, ” gray goo”, and prefer adventure stories.

    A story nominated for an award? Included in a “best of ” anthology? Largely — though not entirely — a matter of taste.

  10. @redheadedfemme: Kelly Sandoval is female and Jess Row is male.

    “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night / alive as you or me / says I, but Joe, you’re dead, which means / you’re now an SCP.”

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