Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jonathan Strahan's Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 6

Best SFF 6
A couple weeks ago I published a blog post (Doin' Hard Time at Night Shade Books) on my nine years with Night Shade Books. In that post I listed the 125 books that I worked on throughout those nine years. One such book was Jonathan Strahan's annual anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 6.

When I checked my email this morning, I found a note from Jonathan Strahan awaiting my perusal. In the email, which was also addressed to Ross E. Lockhart, Jonathan informed us that his book, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 6, had just won the Aurealis Award -- Australia's premier genre award -- for best anthology of the year, and that he wanted to thank Ross and me for our work on this, and his previous books.

Of course, receiving a "thank you" email from an award recipient for one's contribution is very cool. However, as I was catching up on my online reading (Google Reader feeds) I saw that Jonathan had also posted about his award win on his blog Notes from Coode Street. Included in his post was his acceptance speech, which had been read by James Bradley, in Jonathan's absence, at the awards ceremony. With Jonathan's most kind permission, here is his Aurealis Award acceptance speech in its entirety:

Thank you so much. If James Bradley is reading these words to you, which I promise I will keep brief as absent winners should, then it means my anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six has won the Aurealis Award. It is a great honour and I wish I was there in the Independent Theatre in Sydney, and not sitting in Perth following this on Twitter, so that you all could see just how thrilled I am.

I would sincerely like to thank the judges Kathleen Stubbs, Matt Chrulew and Sarah Fletcher for their hard work (and commend them on their excellent taste), and I also want to thank awards administrator Tehani Wesley and the AA team for their hard work. It is an honour to be nominated alongside my editorial colleagues Liz Gryb, Talie Helene, and Amanda Pillar and the great team at my dear friend Russell Farr’s Ticonderoga, and I extend my congratulations to them as well.

Editing The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series has defined the past seven years of my life. It’s a strange, wonderful experience, and I am deeply proud of the books I’ve been able to produce with the Night Shade team. I would especially like to thank Ross Lockhart and Marty Halpern at Night Shade Books for the care and attention they gave to this book, and for their work on the rest of the series. They are my unsung collaborators and deserve your congratulations as much as I do.

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of my spectacular agent Howard Morhaim, and the tireless support of my family Marianne, Jessica and Sophie who give me time to do this strange editing thing that I love doing so much.

Thank you all very much! Have a great night! I’m going to turn Twitter off now and go have a glass of champagne (or at least get the kids dinner on).

Like I said, receiving a thank you email for contributing to an award-winning book is one thing; having one's name mentioned in an acceptance speech takes that "thank you" to an entirely new level.

I, in turn, would like to thank Jonathan for the opportunity to work on his "best of the year" anthologies; I read many fine stories in these volumes that I wouldn't have had the occasion to read otherwise. And while I'm at it, let me thank Ross Lockhart, who kept the work flowing for the past five years at Night Shade Books. Ross could have sent Jonathan's anthologies to any number of other copy editors, but he typically sent the books to me.

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