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Sunday 1 April 2007

News Roundup

Ultimate Year's Best to be Published

In a stunning and unprecedented collaborative effort, Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow & Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, Jonathan Strahan, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, and others have turned in The Best of the Best of the Year Anthologies Anthology to David G. Hartwell at Tor. The volume covers over three decades, with stories ranging from splatterpunk to interstitial, triple-vetted and triple-washed. "It's an idea whose time has come," said Dozois. "After the success of The Best of the Best of the Year, I knew I had to expand the idea, and my friendly rivals in the Best of the Year Anthology trade agreed."

Thankfully, readers can now know which Best of the Year anthology is an absolute must-read. "These are the stories that you really need to have read and reread," added Datlow. This is the first title in a series from Tor entitled The Best of the Best of the Years Bests; future titles will reprint stories reprinted in three or more anthologies. A spin-off series, The Best Years of the Years Bests, will be published by Tachyon.

— Amber Bitmore

Anita Blake to Battle Zombie Anna Nicole Smith

Lucky visitors to Laurell K. Hamilton's website today will receive a sneak, limited-availability preview of her 2008 followup to 2007's Anita Blake best-seller, The Harlequin.

Celebrity Zombie finds Hamilton's intrepid monster-hunting heroine vacationing in the Bahamas. But of course, there's never any real rest for a ghoul-magnet such as Blake. A series of horrible murders draw Blake's attention. She learns that each victim was suffocated by two enormous pillow-like objects that left bullseye-type indentations centered in the sufferer's cheeks.

Blake tracks down the murderer to an open crypt that formerly contained the corpse of the buxom Playmate Smith — And here the excerpt tantalizingly ends.

Hamilton says, "Werewolves, vampires, Republicans — I've worked my way through the entire catalogue of classical supernatural villains, like Sherman marching through Georgia. If I'm to sustain this interminable soft-core-porn series into my assisted-living years, I've got to come up with modern twists on the things that frighten us most. And what could be more frightening than the sad life of Anna Nicole, and the greed-inspired controversy following her untimely death?"

— Flip Luppaidio

Sci-Fi Channel Discovers Functioning Stargate

Thomas Vitale, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Scheduling, and Program Planning for the Sci-Fi Channel, today announced that his company has recently discovered that they are in possession of several fully functional matter-transmitters operational across all time and space.

"One of our techies," explains Vitale, "was fooling around on the set of Sci-Fi's major cancelled hit series Stargate SG-1 when he suddenly vanished. We eventually learned that he had activated secret controls on the stargate and been sent into orbit around 51 Pegasi. Fortunately, he was rescued from exposure to the vacuum by a nearby Ori spaceship. Unfortunately, he was put to death for blasphemy in denying the truth of Origin."

Cradling a giant ankh-topped staff that shoots maser rays on command, Vitale continued, "I guess these props have been totally operational from day one. We inherited them from the theatrical movie release of Stargate, but their construction records were lost in a studio purge.

"After high-level deliberations, the Sci-Fi Channel intends to use these devices to establish an interstellar empire that will benefit humanity, protect our species from alien domination, and increase the Channel's Nielsen ratings. In accordance with this, I am assuming the new title of High Overlord of Cosmic Continuity."

Sci-Fi Channel employee Scott Edelman was later seen wearing brocade robes and a gem-studded crown, while attended by a bevy of half-naked, green-skinned women.

— Flip Luppaidio

Judith Regan to Receive own Imprint at Tor

Tor Books publisher Tom Doherty, beaming proudly and standing side-by-side with renegade pariah editor Judith Regan at Tor World HQ in the glamorous Flatiron Building in New York City, today announced that he has hired the controversial woman responsible for O. J. Simpson's If I Did It.

"With the launch of her 'Stargasm' imprint, Judith is going to bring a much-needed fresh sensibility to Tor Books," said Doherty. "That of a foul-mouthed publicity-hound, celebrity-hag and brawling yellow-journalist. Since the founding of Tor in 1980, we've established a reputation for publishing quality fiction in hardcover format. Well, that era is over. Frankly, sales on many of our critically praised books wouldn't collectively amount to the first day's unit-shifting on Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star from just the Los Angeles branch of Borders. SF authors complain all the time about not reaching the biggest possible audience. Well, Judith is here to make sure there will never be any more such grievances."

Stepping to the microphone, Regan announced her debut titles. "I've managed to snag Margaret Atwood, who will be contributing a book-length essay regarding her love-hate affair with science fiction, as-yet untitled. This cuddly Canadian reveals among other juicy secrets that her aversion to 'space squids' comes from an unfortunate addiction to Japanese 'tentacle porn' manga.

"The second book in my line is The 300 Makeover Book by Frank Miller. This famous creator of the hit film has assembled a team of personal trainers, dieticians, cosmetologists and costumers who collectively lay out a plan whereby any male fan, however schlubby, can end up looking like Gerard Butler in only sixty days.

"And the final book I'm able to reveal at this time is a collaborative novel penned by both Lemony Snicket and J. K. Rowling. A Series of Unfortunate Career Decisions features as its protagonists a best-selling husband-and-wife fantasy-writing team who decide to kill the hero who's earned them a fortune. Unable to come up with another equally exciting creation, the writers turn to crime, black magic and drugs in an attempt to revive their failed career."

The press conference was opened at this point to questions from the floor, which focused exclusively on Ms. Regan's favorite fashion designer and hair stylist.

— Flip Luppaidio

© 2007 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.