Best American Fantasy

Best American Fantasy News

New Publisher / BAF3 TOC / Guest Editors Minister Faust, Junot Diaz, Catherynne M. Valente / Latin America / Staff Changes

The Best American Fantasy series has undergone a series of important changes, starting with the publisher. Underland Press has acquired the Best American Fantasy series, and will publish the third volume, "Real Unreal," in January of 2010. BAF4, tentatively titled "Imaginary Borders," will appear in March 2011. BAF3 contains work by, among others, Stephen King, Lisa Goldstein, Peter S. Beagle, and John Kessel, as chosen by guest editor Kevin Brockmeier with assistance from series editor Matthew Cheney. The full table of contents is reproduced below. The cover of BAF4 was designed by John Coulthart.

The guest editors for volumes 4 through 6 will be: Minister Faust, Junot Díaz, and Catherynne M. Valente. Each of these critically acclaimed writers will bring excellence and expertise to the position. BAF4 will include work published in 2010, as the series skips a year to accommodate the time needed for the change in publisher and general reorganization.

"Victoria Blake at Underland has worked hard to create the perfect home for this unique series," BAF co-founder Jeff VanderMeer said, "and the guest editors we've put in place reflect an exciting diversity of opinions about and approaches to fiction. Each will bring their own spin to the volume they edit, and that's going to be great in terms of keeping the series vital and relevant."

Starting with BAF4, the series will consider stories published in English in Latin American publications, as well as translations of Latin American writers into English in North American publications. In short, any story published in English in a Latin American or North American publication or website, and written by a Latin American or North American resident, is eligible for inclusion in BAF. (As and when possible, and keeping in mind constraints such as expense and a need for additional personnel, the Best American Fantasy series eventually hopes to consider material published in Spanish and Portuguese.)

A series of staffing changes have also occurred. Matthew Cheney, who has done wonderful work on the first three volumes, will be stepping down as series editor due to other demands on his time. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer will perform the role of series editor going forward, while Cheney remains in an advisory position. Former first readers Clayton Kroh and Tessa Kum will serve as assistant editors for BAF beginning with volume 4. Fábio Fernandes and Larry Nolen have been added in an editorial capacity, especially as regards the Latin American publishing community. Further staff additions will occur over the next year as necessary.

Guidelines for BAF4 will be made available by January of 2010. Any publications sent to Matthew Cheney will be forwarded to the VanderMeers. Publications should not be sent to the guest editors at this time. Please address queries to or POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315. The BAF website will be updated with all of this information shortly. Bookmark and for future updates.

Table of Contents for Best American Fantasy: "Real Unreal"

Guest Editor Kevin Brockmeier, Series Editor Matthew Cheney

  • "Safe Passage" by Ramona Ausubel (One Story, Issue 106)
  • "Uncle Chaim, Aunt Rifke, and the Angel" by Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads)
  • "Cardiology" by Ryan Boudinot (Five Chapters, 2008)
  • "The Pentecostal Home for Flying Children" by Will Clarke (The Oxford American, Issue 61)
  • "For a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing" by Martin Cozza (Pindeldyboz, July 6 2008)
  • "Daltharee" by Jeffrey Ford (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "Is" by Chris Gavaler (New England Review, Volume 39, Number 2)
  • "The Torturer's Wife" by Thomas Glave (The Kenyon Review, Fall 2008)
  • "Reader's Guide" by Lisa Goldstein (F&SF, July 2008)
  • "Search Continues for Elderly Man" by Laura Kasischke (F&SF, September 2008)
  • "Pride and Prometheus" by John Kessel (F&SF, January 2008)
  • "The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates" by Stephen King (F&SF, October/November 2008)
  • "Couple of Lovers on a Red Background" by Rebecca Makkai (Brilliant Corners, Summer 2008)
  • "Flying and Falling" by Kuzhali Manickavel (Shimmer, The Art Issue 2008)
  • "The King of the Djinn" by David Ackert & Benjamin Rosenbaum (Realms of Fantasy, February 2008)
  • "The City and the Moon" by Deborah Schwartz (The Kenyon Review, Spring 2008)
  • "The Two-Headed Girl" by Paul Tremblay (Five Chapters, 2008)
  • "The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death" by Shawn Vestal (Tin House 34)
  • "Rabbit Catcher of Kingdom Come" by Kellie Wells (Fairy Tale Review, The White Issue)
  • "Serials" by Katie Williams (American Short Fiction, Summer/Fall 2008)

Visit the Best American Fantasy weblog for news and updates

Recommended reading

The editors would like to call special attention to the following stories published in 2008:

  • "Run! Run!" by Jim Aikin (F&SF, September)
  • "The Lagerstatte" by Laird Barron (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow)
  • "Within the City of the Swan" by Aliette de Bodard (Shimmer, The Art Issue 2008)
  • "What the Redmond Men Found" by Matthew David Brozik (Zahir, Summer 2008)
  • "The Loa and the Gaping Jaw" by Brendan Byrne (Flurb, a Webzine of Astonishing Tales, Fall-Winter 2008)
  • "Jimmy" by Pat Cadigan (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow)
  • "Poor Little Egg-Boy Hatched in a Shul" by Nathan Englander (McSweeney's, Issue 28)
  • "Drone" by Gemma Files (Not One of Us, Issue 39)
  • "All the Little Gods We Are" by John Grant (Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, edited by Mike Allen)
  • "The Difficulties of Evolution" by Karen Heuler (Weird Tales, July/Aug 2008)
  • "The Hand of the Devil on a String" by M. K. Hobson (Shimmer, Spring 2008)
  • "The Last Dead" by Drew Johnson (Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2008)
  • "Far and Wee" by Kathe Koja (Weird Tales, November/December 2008)
  • "Litany" by Rand B. Lee (F&SF, June 2008)
  • "We Love Deena" by Alice Sola Kim (Strange Horizons, February 11, 2008)
  • "But Wait! There's More!" by Richard Mueller (F&SF, August 2008)
  • "The Glazers" by Joyce Carol Oates (American Short Fiction, Winter/Spring 2008)
  • "On the Banks of the River of Heaven" by Richard Parks (Realms of Fantasy, April 2008)
  • "The Joined" by Helen Phillips (Mississippi Review, Spring 2008)
  • "The Small Door" by Holly Phillips (Dark Fantasy, May 19, 2008)
  • "Creature" by Ramsey Shehadeh (Weird Tales, March/April 2008)
  • "Detours on the Way to Nothing" by Rachel Swirsky (Weird Tales, March/April 2008)
  • "The Body Autumnal" by Lisa Wells (Ecotone, Spring 2008)
  • "A Different Country" by Wayne Wightman (F&SF, December 2008)
  • "Two Tales" by Imants Zicdonis (Fairy Tale Review, White Issue)