Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Since it's beginning to leak out across the internet, probably best to just blog about it now. Must say--I'm truly chuffed about working with my wife Ann and Matt Cheney on this project. It's not just another year's best. Mark my words...


You can now find the full press release, guidelines, and recommendation form here as well, but in a nutshell--Ann and I will be guest editing a year's best anthology of North American fantasy fiction published in North American literary journals, magazines, anthologies, and websites. Ann and I will guest edit it for the first two years to get it off to a stable start. Matthew Cheney will serve as series editor to provide continuity. After the second year, the guest editor position will be rotating--a new editor each year--with Matt remaining as series editor. We feel this is a landmark anthology series because of the rotating editor and a greater emphasis (although not solely) on the work to be found in the literary mainstream (genre publications already being ably covered by about 20 year's bests), along with a simultaneously more narrow and broader focus in terms of what is eligible for inclusion. Prime Books will be putting a huge PR push behind this anthology.

The full announcement and call for submissions:


Prime Books announces the establishment of a prestigious new anthology series, Best American Fantasy (trademark pending), guest edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, with Matthew Cheney serving as the series editor. The inaugural volume will be published in June 2007, showcasing the best North American fantasy short fiction from the preceding year. The editors will apply as wide a definition of the term “fantasy” as is necessary for the integrity and quality of Best American Fantasy—including magic realism, surrealism, postmodern experiments, and all other applicable permutations.

With prominent distribution and a stylish trade paperback format, Best American Fantasy will provide an elite forum for the best short work from U.S. and Canadian writers published in North America. A list of honorable mentions limited to fifty stories will be included in each volume.

The anthology will feature rotating guest editors, with the series editor providing continuity and stability. Ann & Jeff VanderMeer will serve as guest editors for 2007 and 2008 to help establish Best American Fantasy as one of the premier year’s best anthologies in North America.

Interested parties can find out more about Best American Fantasy at the BAF Website: (fully operational in the next couple of days). Reviewers, publicists, and other media should contact Prime editor Sean Wallace at: seanwallace @

Prime Books is an award-winning imprint that specializes in literary and cutting-edge cross-genre novels and short story collections.

About the Editors

Guest Editor Jeff VanderMeer is a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award. His books from Pan Macmillan, Tor, and Bantam have made the year's best lists of Publishers Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Weekly, Publishers' News, and, among others, and his short fiction has appeared in several year’s best anthologies. Novels and story collections by VanderMeer have been translated into twelve languages. As an editor, he is best known for founding the award-winning Ministry of Whimsy Press and its landmark anthology series, Leviathan. He lives in Florida.

Guest Editor Ann VanderMeer has been a publisher and editor for over twenty years, running her award-winning Buzzcity Press. Work from her press and related periodicals has won the British Fantasy Award, the International Rhysling Award, and appeared in several year's best anthologies. Books published by Buzzcity Press include the Theodore Sturgeon Award finalist Dradin, In Love by Jeff VanderMeer and the IHG Award winning The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco. A Best of the Silver Web is forthcoming from Prime Books in November 2006. She lives in Florida.

Series Editor Matthew Cheney has published fiction and nonfiction with Strange Horizons, Locus, Rain Taxi, Rabid Transit, Pindeldyboz, Failbetter, and others. He has served on the jury for the Speculative Literature Foundation's Fountain Award, and his weblog, The Mumpsimus, was a finalist for the 2005 World Fantasy Award. He lives in New Hampshire.


In General

Literary journals, magazines, anthologies, and other venues based in North America are encouraged to submit their publications to Best American Fantasy so that the content can be considered for inclusion. All publications received will be listed in Best American Fantasy. Please send materials for consideration to both:

Matthew Cheney
Series Editor
POB 313
New Hampton, NH 03256


Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
2006-07 Guest Editors
POB 4248
Tallahassee, FL 32315

Materials only sent to one address will not receive consideration.


Eligible short fiction must fulfill the following rules.

(1) A work of respectable literary quality first published in a U.S. or Canadian periodical (magazines, anthologies, websites, etc.)
(2) Publication in English by U.S. or Canadian writers, or foreign writers who have made U.S. or Canada their home.
(3) Original publication as short stories. Excerpts from novels will not be considered.
(4) Work longer than 10,000 words will not be considered.
(5) All work to be considered must be received by January 15, 2007.

The definition of “fantasy” shall include fabulation, non-realist fiction, magic realism, surrealism, post modern experimentation, cross-genre, etc. The editors will apply as wide a definition of the term as is necessary for the integrity and quality of Best American Fantasy. Editors or individuals should not pre-judge the fantastical content of individual stories or periodical issues but simply send in all possibly relevant materials. Sending tearsheets is discouraged.

Individuals and editors of online magazines can make recommendations via the Best American Fantasy Recommendation Form, found on the BAF website at: No self-published work will be considered.


At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like it's going to be an awesome anthology series, especially since it has a broader scope than a lot of other "year's best" volumes.


Post a Comment

<< Home