Like a lot of folks, I’m going to focus this 2016 retrospective on my professional work, not on social and political happenings because, well, you know.
2016 was a big year for me on the editorial side. The year kicked off with the publication of Ann & Jeff VanderMeer’s The Bestiary, and I was an editorial assistant on that one. It picked up some nice reviews, and the book itself is a thing of beauty. It’s always a pleasure working with the VanderMeers, and this project was no different. I’m particularly excited to be working as a consultant on their next project, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, to be published by Vintage.
I’ve been working on the editorial side for a number of years now as an assistant and consultant, and May saw the publication of my first anthology under my own byline: Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction, from Exile Editions. This was a huge undertaking for me, editing my own book. I’ve worked on smaller projects in the past, and as an assistant, but this one was all mine. We had two launches for CC. The first was at Ad Astra, the second in Toronto. Both had a good number of attendees, and the book was met with enthusiasm. Later CC received rave reviews from Quill & Quire, Tor.com, Lightspeed Magazine, Broken Pencil, and other lovely places. CC was the first anthology of Canadian steampunk, and I’m tremendously pleased with the reception. In fact, it will be going for a second print run in 2016. Definitely something to celebrate!
The year continued with my next BIG undertaking, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, an original cross-genre anthology of retold fairy tales I co-edited with Navah Wolfe. Starlit was an editorial dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for a better co-editor in Navah, and working with her and Saga was pure delight. The entire process was terrific, and the final book is perhaps one of the most lovely physical books I’ve ever seen. Everything from the table of contents to the cover and interior art to the overall design is wonderful. We launched Starlit at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio, to a ravenous crowd that bought up all the copies we had for sale. The book’s reception has been fantastic, garnering excellent reviews from the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi blog, Tor.com, the Portland Herald Press, Booklist, Library Journal, and many others. I’m particularly proud to report that Starlit made it onto the Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Collections and Anthologies of 2016. Also, several stories are being reprinted in Year’s Best anthologies, but we aren’t able to announce all of them yet so I’ll do a separate post on those later.
On the writing side, 2016 was quiet. I only published one story, “Where Roots and Rivers Run as Veins” in Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay. I was lucky enough to have the story singled out for praise in the Publishers Weekly starred review of the book. “Where…” was also longlisted for the Carter V. Cooper $15,000 short fiction contest. Editing is my main focus now, so, overall, I’m rather pleased with the outcome this year considering I wrote very little original work. I’m starting to get back into it though.
Aside from fiction, I wrote a deeply personal essay, “Growing up in Wonderland“, for Uncanny Magazine. In it I discussed living with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, and various other aspects of my health and disability and the impact all of it has had on my career. This was definitely the most open I’ve ever been about my disability online. It was intimidating to write, but I’m very proud to have it out in the world, especially considering there are few articles available on Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.
In addition to the essay I also wrote a guest introduction for a forthcoming anthology. The table of contents hasn’t been announced yet, so I’ll post about this one later.
On the awards front, the two stories I published in 2015, “Goodbye is a Mouthful of Water” and “Spider Moves the World”, were both longlisted for the Sunburst Award this year. There was a great list of stories, and although I didn’t make the shortlist I was still the only writer to have two stories nominated, so I can’t exactly be disappointed.
Finally, my next anthology for Saga Press, this one also co-edited with Navah, is nearing completion. We finished editing the last story a few days ago and we’ll have details on the book later in the new year.