I have been an editor almost as long as I have been a professional writer (I have been a writer since forever, but I was not a pro until I made my first sale to GALAXY in 1970).
The first anthology I ever edited was NEW VOICES IN SCIENCE FICTION, featuring original stories by the finalists for the very first John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. (I was one of those finalists. I lost, but editing the book made up for that). That came out in hardcover in 1975. I would ultimately edit six of those annual (well, in theory) Campbell Award anthologies. Five were actually published.
My longest running editorial gig is, of course, WILD CARDS, which started in 1987 and is still going strong today. (We did have a seven year hiatus in there, but never mind). Over the decades, twenty-nine volumes of Wild Cards have been published, and I’ve edited twenty-seven-and-a-half of them. (Melinda Snodgrass edited THREE KINGS, and we co-edited LOWBALL). The thirtieth book in the series, JOKER MOON, will be released in 2021, and the thirty-first, a collection of stories from Tor.com, will follow in short order. Three more volumes are under contract and I am working on them now; look for them in 2022 and 2023. Wild Cards is a shared world. Editing the mosaics, weaving the stories together, is the most difficult and demanding sort of editing there is, in my opinion, but I love it.
The most enjoyable editorial work I’ve ever done, however, was on the crossgenre anthologies I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.
Gardner was an old friend, and a dear friend, the first person I ever met at the very first SF con I ever attended, and the guy who fished me out of the slushpile. He was also one of the greatest editors in the history of science fiction and fantasy. He edited ASIMOV’S for decades, and put together his massive landmark BEST volumes annually. He won the Hugo for Best Professional Editor sixteen times, a record unlikely to be broken. Working with him was always such a joy. Gardner and I had hoped to do many more anthologies together… but he was taken from us in 2018.
I still miss him, still mourn him. I always will.
Editors, like writers, survive in their work, however, and I am pleased to announce that one of the books we did together, SONGS OF LOVE & DEATH, has just been re-released in a new edition.
This one was Gardner’s idea, as I recall. He wanted to title it STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, which I rather like, but the publisher wanted “Death” in there, and of course the “Songs” in the title evoked many of my own collections. A rose by any other name, however…. whatever the title, it was a fun book to edit, and we put together a wonderful lineup of contributors. As with WARRIORS, ROGUES, and DANGEROUS WOMEN, this was a crossgenre book, featuring writers from many different fields. We were very pleased with how it came out.
If you have not read it, check it out. Copies available from your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller… and, of course, from Beastly Books at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/
Current Mood: satisfied