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Review: FAR OUT

th_364f27d0a9e0903ba4ca66b270091c81_lightspeed_135_august_2021Although I’ve not seen it myself, Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction & Fantasy has been released. You can find info about where to buy it here.

And there’s a fabulous review by Arley Sorg at Lightspeed #135. Far as I know that’s the only review I’ve seen. Here’s an excerpt:

Guran has done something else which I love to see anthologies do: she has flexed her prodigious genre knowledge to curate a batch of stories which, in many cases, readers might have missed, and might otherwise not know about…In this way, Guran performs a service I believe anthologists should, and she does it with grace and style. She’s telling readers, sure, you might know who these folks are, but did you read this…Believe me, dear readers, the stories here are well worth your time…you could throw a glass slipper at this table of contents and any story you hit is going to be good.

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Vol. 2: Content

  • Kelley Armstrong, “Drunk Physics” (Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Dale Bailey, “Das Gesicht” (Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Elizabeth Bear, “On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera” (
  • Zen Cho, “Odette” (Shoreline of Infinity 18)
  • Wenmimareba Klobah Collins, “Call Them Children” (The Dark #64)
  • Elaine Cuyegkeng, “The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter” (Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, eds. Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn)
  • Brian Evenson, “The Thickening,” (Conjunctions:74)
  • James Everington, “The Sound of the Sea, Too Close” (Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, ed. Michael Kelly)
  • Craig Laurance Gidney, “Desiccant” (Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire, ed. Nicole Givens Kurtz)
  • Thomas Ha, “Where the Old Neighbors Go” (Metaphorosis, 9/1/20)
  • Elizabeth Hand, “The Owl Count” (Conjunctions:74)
  • Alix E. Harrow, “The Sycamore and the Sybil” (Uncanny #33)
  • Maria Dahvana Headley, “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Gods” (
  • Stephen Graham Jones, “Wait for Night” (
  • Shingai Njeri Kagunda, “And This is How to Stay Alive” (Fantasy #61)
  • Caitlín Kiernan, “Dead Bright Star” (Sirenia Digest #171)
  • Soleil Knowles, “Lusca” (Fiyah #13)
  • Naomi Kritzer, “Monster” (Clarkesworld #160)
  • Victor LaValle, “Recognition” (The New York Times Decameron Project)
  • V. H. Leslie, “Lacunae” (Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, ed. Michael Kelly)
  • Alison Littlewood, “Swanskin” (After Sundown, ed. Mark Morris)
  • H. Pueyo. “Nobody Lives Here” (The Dark #66)
  • Danny Rhodes, “The Stonemason” (Black Static #75)
  • M. Rickert, “Last Night at the Fair” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jul/Aug 2020)
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Tea with the Earl of Twilight” (Nightmare #96)
  • Steve Rasnic Tem, “The Dead Outside My Door” (Black Static #77)
  • Sheree Renée Thomas, “Ancestries” (Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future)
  • Catherynne M. Valente, “Color, Heat, and the Wreck of the Argo“ (Strange Horizons, 9/7/20)
  • A. C. Wise, “To Sail the Black” (Clarkesworld #170)
  • John Wiswell, “Open House on Haunted Hill” (Diabolical Plots #54A)

Announcing: THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY Series

I’m very pleased to announce that I will be editing THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY for Pyr Books. The first volume will cover this year, 2021, and be published July 2022. This means my deadline for the completed manuscript will be 1 January 2021. In other words: I’ll need to read all potential material and make my decisions before December 2021; earlier if possible.

I am looking for fantasy stories of all kinds. Only material published in 2021 will be considered.

If you write or edit/publish short fantasy fiction, an anthology with fantasy in it, or a periodical containing such that will be coming out the final third of 2021—I need to see it as soon as you can get it to me. Do not procrastinate! I’m happy to look at galleys or manuscripts.

I prefer PDFs or documents. Although I love print, I have limited space. Plus, it is easier to keep track of a PDFs. I will accept ebooks if a PDF/document is not available. Even better: If you have PDF, mobi, and epub—send all three. Send material to

Authors: please make sure your editor or publishers are sending me review copies. You can always query me to see if I have/need your collection or an anthology/periodical in which you have a story.

Other Recommendations from 2019 from The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume One

the-years-best-dark-fantasy-horror-9781645060253_hrLast year in THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR and DARK FANTASY, VOL. ONE, I included a list of “other recommended” stories. It’s something I don’t usually do, but I thought I’d give it a shot. The idea is, of course, to bring recognition to some great stories, authors, and publications. Now, as I’m compiling VOLUME TWO, I am wondering if it is a worthwhile undertaking as I got zero feedback on the list from last year. Meanwhile I thought I’d make it public here.

Other Recommendations from 2019
(From The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume One)

Those with an asterisk (*) are highly recommended.

Ballingrud, Nathan: “The Butcher’s Table” (Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell)
Bear, Elizabeth: “A Time to Reap” (Uncanny #31)
Bestwick, Simon: “And Cannot Come Again” (And Cannot Come Again)*
Clark, P. Djèlí: The Haunting of Tram Car 015
Cooney, C. S. E.: Desdemona and the Deep
Langan, John: “Natalya, Queen of the Hungry Dogs” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Moore, Tegan: A Forest, or a Tree (
Sharma, Priya: Ormeshadow*
Smith, Michael Marshall: “The Burning Woods” (I Am the Abyss)*
Solomon, Rivers (based on the song by Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes): The Deep
Tantlinger, Sara: To Be Devoured
Warren, Kaaron: Into Bones Like Oil*
Wise, A. C.: Catfish Lullaby

Aliyu, Rafeeat: “58 Rules to Ensure Your Husband Loves You Forever” (Nightmare #77)
Arkenberg, Megan: “It Is Not So, It Was Not So” (The Dark #51)
Arkenberg, Megan: “The Night Princes” (Nightmare #81)
Barnes, Steven, and Tananarive Due: “Fugue State” (Apex #120)
Bear, Elizabeth: “Lest We Forget” (Uncanny #28)
Bermudez, Amanda J.: “Totenhaus” (Black Static #68)
Bestwick, Simon: “Below” (Terror Tales of Northwest England, ed. P. Finch)
de Bodard, Aliette: “A Burning Sword for Her Cradle” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Braum, Daniel: “How to Stay Afloat When Drowning” (Pareidolia, eds. J. Everington & D. Howarth)
Broaddus, Maurice: “The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor” (Uncanny #29)
Bruce, Georgina: “The Lady of Situations” (The Lady of Situations)
Buckell, Tobias S.: “N-Coin” (Apex #120)
Carroll, Siobhan: “The Air, the Ocean, the Earth, the Deep ” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Carroll, Siobhan: “For He Can Creep” (
Cataneo, Emily B.: “The Longest Night” (Black Static #72)*
Chan, L.: “The House Wins in the End” (The Dark #50)
Chronister, Kay: “Roiling and Without Form” (Black Static #68)
Chronister, Kay: “Thin Places” (The Dark #50)
Cisco, Michael: “Their Silent Faces” (Spirits Unwrapped, ed. D. Braum)
Coen, Pip: “Second Skin” (F&SF, May/June 2019)
Coles, Donyae: “Breaking the Waters” (PseudoPod 666)
Das, Indrapramit: “A Shade of Dusk” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
DeLucci, Theresa: “Cavity” (Strange Horizons 7/8/19)
DeMeester, Kristi: “A Crown of Leaves” (Black Static #70)
DeMeester, Kristi: “A Song for Wounded Mouths” (PseudoPod 64)
Dines, Steven J.: “Pendulum” (Black Static #70)
Elison, Meg: “Hey Alexa” (Do Not Go Quietly, eds. J. Sizemore & L. Conner)
Files, Gemma: “The Puppet Motel” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)*
Ford, Jeffrey: “The Jeweled Wren” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Ford, Jeffrey: “Sisyphus in Elysium” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Fu, Angela: “Tansy” (The Dark #44)
Gardner, Cate: “The Mute Swan” (Terror Tales of Northwest England, ed. P. Finch)
Goodfellow, Cody: “Massaging the Monster” (Black Static #70)
Goss, Theodora: “A Country Called Winter” (Snow White Learns Witchcraft)
Goss, Theodora: “How to Become a Witch-Queen” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds. C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Greenblatt, A. T.: “Before the World Crumbles Away” (Uncanny #27)
Hodge, Brian: “One Last Year Without a Summer” (Skidding Into Oblivion)
Howard, Kat: “Curses Like Words, Like Feathers, Like Stories” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Howard, Kat: “An Invitation to a Burning” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Huang, S.L.: “As the Last I May Know” (
Huerta, Lizz: “The Wall” (A People’s Future of the United States, eds. V. LaValle & J. J. Adams)
Johnstone, Carole: “Deep, Fast, Green” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)*
Johnstone, Carole: “Skinner Box” (
Johnstone, Tom: “The Wakeman Recreation Ground” (Last Stop Wellsbourne)*
Jones, Stephen Graham: “This Was Always Going to Happen” (Terror at 5280’, ed. Anonymous)*
Jones, Stephen Graham:“The Tree of Self-Knowledge” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Kim, Alice Sola: “Now Wait for This Week” (The Cut 1/17/19)*
Laben, Carrie: “The Crying Bride” (The Dark #45)*
Langan, Sarah: “The Night Nurse” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds. C. Golden & R. A. Deering)*
Lansdale, Joe R.: “The Senior Girls Bayonet Drill Team” (At Home in the Dark, ed. L. Block)*
Lauryn, Inda: “Dustdaughter” (Uncanny #26)
Leckie, Ann: “The Justified” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Lewis, L.D.: “Moses” (Anathema 4/19)
Lewis, L.D.: “Signal” (Fireside 8/19)
Liburd, Tonya: “Bootleg Jesus” (Diabolical Plots 6/17/19)
Lore, Danny: “Fare” (Fireside 8/19)
Lombardi, Nicola: “Striges” (The World of SF, Fantasy and Horror, Vol. IV, ed. R. N. Stephenson)
Lothian, Jack: “They Are Us (1964): An Oral History” (Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles, ed. C. M. Muller)
Lu, S. Qiouyi: “As Dark as Hunger” (Black Static #72)*
Mauro, Laura: “In the City of Bones” (Sing Your Sadness Deep)
Mauro, Laura: “The Pain-eater’s Daughter” (Sing Your Sadness Deep)
McHugh, Maura: “The Boughs Withered: When I Told Them My Dreams” (The Boughs Withered When I Told Them My Dreams)
Miller, Sam J.: “Shucked” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)
Mills, Samantha: “Adrianna in Pomegranate” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2/19)
Mondal, Mimi: “Malotibala Printing Press” (Nightmare #80)
Morrow, James: “Bird Thou Never Wert” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019 )
Ness, Mari: “The Girl and the House” (Nightmare #79)
Ogden, Aimee: “Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #271)
Ogle, L’Erin: “The Girls Who Come Back Are Made of Metal and Glass” (Metaphorosis 6/28/19)*
Okungbawa, Suyi Davies: “Dune Song” (Apex #120)
Okungbawa, Suyi Davies: “The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street” (Fireside 10/19)
Osahon, Ize-Iyamu: “Therein Lies a Soul” (The Dark #49)
Palmer, Suzanne: “The Painter of Trees” (Clarkesworld 6/19)
Perry, Steve: “I’m With the Band” (Pop the Clutch, ed. E. J. Guignard)
Peterfreund, Diana: “Playscape” (F&SF, Mar/Apr 2019)*
Pueyo, H.: “An Open Coffin” (The Dark #47)
Read, Sarah: “The Hope Chest” (Black Static #72)*
Rebelein, Sam: “My Name Is Ellie” (Bourbon Penn 18)
Rickert, M.: “Evergreen” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)
Roanhorse, Rebecca: “A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Saab, Sara: “The Wiley” (The Dark #48)
Sen, Nibedita: “We Sang You as Ours” (The Dark #49)
Shearman, Robert: “I Say (I Say, I Say)” (Tales from the Shadow Booth: Vol. 3, ed. D. Coxon)
Sheil, Steven: “The Touch of Her” (Black Static #70)
Slatter, Angela: “Widows’ Walk” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Slatter, Angela: “Wilderling” (The Dark #48)*
Srinivasan, Shalini: “Road: A Fairy Tale” (Strange Horizons 5/20/19)
Strantzas, Simon: “Antripuu” (Nightmare #82)
Stufflebeam, Bonnie Jo: “Every Song Must End” (Uncanny #27)
Swanwick, Michael: “Ghost Ships” (F&SF, Sept/Oct 2019)
Swirsky, Rachel, and P. H. Lee: “Compassionate Simulation” (Uncanny #29)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “Snowmen” (Everything Is Fine Now)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “A Sudden Event” (The Night Doctor and Other Tales)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “The Woman in the Attic” (Everything Is Fine Now)
Theodoridou, Natalia: “The Summer Is Ended and We Are Not Saved” (Black Static #70)
Tremblay, Paul: “Ice Cold Lemonade 25¢ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Watt, D. P.: “Our Second Home” (Petals & Violins)
Westlake, Jack: “Looking” (Black Static #72)
Westlake, Jack: “Pomegranate Pomegranate” (Black Static #69)
White, Gordon B.: “Birds of Passage” (PseudoPod 663)
Wise, A. C.: “The Ghost Sequences” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
“How the Trick Is Done” (Uncanny #29)
Wolfmoor, Merc Fenn: “Sweet Dreams Are Made of You” (Nightmare #84)
Yap, Isabel: “Windrose in Scarlet” (Lightspeed 10/19)
Zahabi, Rebecca: “It Never Snows in Snowtown” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)*


Far Out: An Anthology of Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edited by Paula Guran
Cover art by Julie Dillon
Publisher: Night Shade/Start (May 4, 2021)
Length: 432 pages / Price: $16.99
ISBN13: 9781949102550

Speculative fiction imagines drastically diverse ways of being and worlds that are other than the one with which we are familiar. Queerness is a natural fit for such fiction, so one would expect it to be customarily included. That has not always been the case, but LGBTQ+ representation in science fiction and fantasy—in both short and long form—is now relatively common. Even so, most of the queer science fiction and fantasy anthologies published in the last thirty-five years have been narrowly focused: specifically gay male or lesbian (or, more recently, transgender) themes, or all science fiction or all fantasy, or adhering to a specific theme or subgenre.

Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy features both science fiction and fantasy short fiction from the last decade and includes characters, perspectives, and stories that span the rainbow. With stories from incredible authors ranging from Seanan McGuire to Charlie Jane Anders to Sam J. Miller, it’s an essential read for anyone interested in queer science fiction and fantasy.

The River’s Children by Shweta Narayan
Introduction: Over the Rainbow and into the Far Out by Paula Guran
Destroyed by the Waters by Rachel Swirsky
The Sea Troll’s Daughter by Caitlín R. Kiernan
And If the Body Were Not the Soul by A. C. Wise
Imago by Tristan Alice Nieto
Paranormal Romance by Christopher Barzak
Three Points Masculine by An Owomoyela
Das Steingeschöpf by G. V. Anderson
The Deepwater Bride by Tamsyn Muir
The Shape of My Name by Nino Cipri
Otherwise by Nisi Shawl
The Night Train by Lavie Tidhar
Ours Is the Prettiest by Nalo Hopkinson
Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue by Charlie Jane Anders
Driving Jenny Home by Seanan McGuire
I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno by Vylar Kaftan
In the Eyes of Jack Saul by Richard Bowes
Secondhand Bodies by JY Yang
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar
Né łe! by Darcie Little Badger
The Duke of Riverside by Ellen Kushner
Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer
The Lily and the Horn by Catherynne M. Valente
Calved by Sam J. Miller
The River’s Children by Shweta Narayan