Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror: No Sale

The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror : Not a journal.: "Sad to say we have bad news about The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: there will be no volume this year after all.

It is a simple truth that no book exists without much unseen work, so we’d like to thank the people at St. Martin’s who published the series for twenty-one years, the readers, writers (of the fiction, poetry, and the various annual summations), our co-editor Ellen Datlow, the packager Jim Frenkel, cover artist Tom Canty, and all the booksellers, librarians, and readers who supported the series over its lifetime."

Hat tip to Rick Klaw via Twitter.


Todd Mason said...

Remarkable. When I was having difficulty finding the latest volume in the chainstores, I half-wondered if something like this was coming.

Slowly, St. Martin's drops its annuals. I'll have to seek out the sales figures for these, and for their several volumes of the Gorman/Greenberg.


Is this the end for the anthology I wonder? Horror's been out of vogue for a few years. Even Stephen King's not really doing horror these days. And Clive Barker - to my mind the best horror writer for decades - is now writing fantasy.

I think the decline in the horror genre is something of a home goal for the industry - when it got pretentious and dropped the horror moniker and became dark fantasy I was turned off. The genre's been in decline for a long time - I remember the days of cheap paperbacks by the liked is Guy N, Smith, James Herbert, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Mark Morris - alas, thos days are gone.

I am sad at this.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Well, this is sad.

Todd Mason said...

Sadly, it was the flooding of the market by Zebra and Tor, as most blatant among many, albeit there were a few decent Zebras and not a few good Tors, that led to a collapse of commercial viability of horror so tagged, or at least the toe in the water publishers thought so. Hence the avoidance of "horror" as a tag in favor of "dark fantasy" (recall also that fantasy so labeled was going gangbusters in the UK at that point, and was doing about as well as sf in the US), except by Dell's innovative but somewhat undersupportive Abyss line.

So, no, horror so labeled isn't really more dead than it's been since the turn of the '90s, but it's certainly as dispersed as it's been for a while, except to a limited extent in the Borders stories as long as they last. Lots of good people, a small slew of good magazines among a larger slew of magazines, and Datlow will be doing a new annual for Night Shade Books, to go with the Stephen Jones annual. Apparently at least four fantasy annuals going forward, too.

Todd Mason said...

Actually, I meant to write "undersupported" in re: Dell Abyss.