Monday, February 3, 2014

The 2014 Campbellian Anthology

I typically don't promote and/or feature a book with which I am not involved. I have many reasons for this, the main one being my professional responsibility: Unless I'm involved with a book, I can't speak honestly to the quality of that book, and I would prefer to not recommend a book that wasn't up to my professional editorial standards. But, this book warrants breaking that rule.

If you are a regular voter, or even an occasional voter, for the Hugo Awards, then you are most likely familiar with the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. However, if you are not familiar with this award, then please check out the entry in Wikipedia. You may recognize a few of the past winners of this award: C. J. Cherryh, Stephen R. Donaldson, Lucius Shepard, Karen Joy Fowler, Judith Moffett, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Ted Chiang, Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake, John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire, and Lev Grossman, just to name a few. Talk about name dropping!

Well, the folks at Stupefying Stories have put together the second annual collection of representative stories from authors who are eligible this year for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Now, SS wasn't able to get permission from all of the eligible writers, but they managed to acquire rights to stories from most of the eligible writers.

Are you ready for this? How does 860,000-plus words of fiction -- that's right, more than 860K words! -- from 111 different authors sound? And even better, this volume is available for free in epub and mobi ebook formats. Don't have an ereader? You can install Kindle for PC or Mac to read the mobi format, or Adobe Digital Editions for the epub format. If you prefer PDF, then check out Calibre ebook management software because you can use that tool to convert either of these DRM-free formats to PDF.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction by M. David Blake, curator of Stupefying Stories:

A little over a year ago, a small group of us had a crazy idea. "What if," we said, "there was a way everyone eligible for the Campbell could publicize their work at the same time, so that readers might have some idea of who we are?"


There will be some stories in this volume that you dislike, perhaps even strongly, and that’s okay. Every writer whose work is represented herein still accomplished something remarkable in attaining a specific level of publication, and by doing so earned a place within these pages. I encourage you to investigate each and every one, but I make no promise about how you'll feel about the stories that landed them here, or the works they elected to share.

Here's a secret: You don't have to read this entire anthology for it to serve a purpose and be valuable to you. You're allowed to skip around.


Here's another secret: If you do read every word in this anthology, and investigate all the links for those currently known to be eligible, you'll probably discover a new favorite. At least one. And if you do—if you, as a reader, connect with even a single new writer—then I will feel very, very good about this year's installment of the Annual Campbellian Anthology.

You can read the full introduction on the Stupefying Stories website, which is where you will also find the download links for the ebooks.

As M. David Blake says at the end of his intro: "Now, go make a friend. Your writers are waiting."

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