Ringing in 2019 with a retrospective list of what I edited last year. For those wondering, I am eligible for the Hugo for Best Editor, Long Form again but I invite you to consider my authors as well for this year’s nominating season. You can look into more info on my year’s work below the jump, and thank you for the time! ^^
Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly
Armistice returns to Donnelly’s ravishing 1930s Art Deco-tinged fantasy world of the Nebula Award-nominated Amberlough with a decadent, tumultuous mixture of sex, politics, and spies
“A hefty novel full of fascinating characters exploring oversized topics such as sexuality, music, culture, fascism, nationalism, class wars, revolution and love.” —Shelf Awareness on Amberlough
In a tropical country where shadowy political affairs lurk behind the scenes of its glamorous film industry, three people maneuver inside a high stakes game of statecraft and espionage:
Lillian, a reluctant diplomat serving a fascist nation,
Aristide, an expatriate film director running from lost love and a criminal past,
—and Cordelia, a former cabaret stripper turned legendary revolutionary.
Each one harbors dangerous knowledge that can upturn a nation. When their fates collide, machinations are put into play, unexpected alliances are built, and long-held secrets are exposed. Everything is barreling towards an international revolt…and only the wiliest ones will be prepared for what comes next.
By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis
By Fire Above is the rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis’s Signal Airship military fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”
“All’s fair in love and war,” according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, “Nothing’s fair except bombing those Vins to high hell.”
Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia’s military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.
Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.
“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs on The Guns Above
“Marvelous, witty and action-packed steampunk with exquisite attention to detail. Bennis’s writing is incredible, her vocabulary impressive, and she honest to God made me believe you could build an airship from spare parts.”—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre
Echoes of Understorey by Thoraiya Dyer
In the quest fantasy Echoes of Understorey, part of Thoraiya Dyer’s extraordinary Titan’s Forest series,trees loom large as skyscrapers, mortals can be reborn as gods, and a young woman finds herself part of an adventure that is destined to become legend….
Great deeds are expected of Imeris.
She has trained endlessly to become an extraordinary fighter. Yet she wants more than to compete against the glories of her divine sister and the charms of her courtesan brother.
Imeris thought she could prove her worth during a mission to kill a body-snatching sorceress, but fails disastrously. With death on her conscience and in hiding from her peers, Imeris is determined to find a way to redeem herself.
What she doesn’t expect is to be recruited in a Hunt for the Ages, chasing a terrifying, magical beast that will take all her skills to stop.
For Crossroads of Canopy:
“I am majorly impressed. A unique, gorgeous, and dangerous world!”—Tamora Pierce
“Everything you expect from a great epic–quests, fearless warriors, gods born again.”—Brian Staveley
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
An uplifting young reader debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz’s debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shantytown inside the Philippines’ Manila North Cemetery.
After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shantytown of its kind in the Philippines today.
When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.
With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.
“Heartwarming!”—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Melissa de la Cruz
“A story of friendship and unrelenting hope.”—Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly
The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe
Charming and lyrical, The Fairies of Sadieville concludes Alex Bledsoe’s widely-praised contemporary fantasy series about the fairy descendants of Appalachia
“This is real.” Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed.
Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives — what would they be willing to sacrifice in order to return to their fabled homeland of Tír na nÓg?
“Imagine a book somewhere between American Gods and Faulkner. Absolutely worth your time.” – Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author, on The Hum and the Shiver
The Furnace by Prentis Rollins
Timely and heartfelt, Prentis Rollins’s graphic novel debut The Furnace is a literary science fiction glimpse into our future, for fans of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone
One decision. Thousands of lives ruined. Can someone ever repent for the sins of their past?
When Professor Walton Honderich was a young grad student, he participated in a government prison program and committed an act that led to the death of his friend, the brilliant physicist Marc Lepore, and resulted in unimaginable torment for an entire class of people across the United States.
Twenty years later, now an insecure father slipping into alcoholism, Walton struggles against the ghosts that haunt him in a futuristic New York City.
With full-color art and a cutting-edge critique of our increasingly technological world, The Furnace speaks fluently to the terrifying scope of the surveillance state, the dangerous allure of legacy, and the hope of redemption despite our flaws.
“Surreal and evocative, The Furnace is a great critique of technology and the human condition.” —John Jennings, illustrator for the New York Times #1 bestseller Octavia Butler’s Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Guardian by A. J. Hartley
In A. J. Hartley’s thrilling and intriguing 19th-century South African-inspired fantasy world, which started with the Thriller Award-winning Steeplejack and continues with Guardian, Anglet Sutonga is a teenage detective fighting in a race against time as her beloved city is pushed to the brink.
This is what Ang knows:
A dear friend is accused of murdering the Prime Minister of Bar-Selehm.
A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor.
A fanatical politician seizes power, unleashing a wave of violent repression over the city.
This is what Ang must do:
Protect her family.
Solve a murder.
RESIST, no matter what, before it’s too late.
For the Steeplejack series:
“Richly-drawn and diverse cast of characters, with an unstoppable plot!” —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author
“Smart political intrigue wrapped in all the twists and turns of a good detective story.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A political, multilayered mystery-thriller with a strong, impressively fierce heroine.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
The Barrow Will Send What It May by Margaret Killjoy
Margaret Killjoy’s Danielle Cain series is a dropkick-in-the-mouth anarcho-punk fantasy that pits traveling anarchist Danielle Cain against eternal spirits, hypocritical ideologues, and brutal, unfeeling officers of the law. The story continues with The Barrow Will Send What it May.
Now a nascent demon-hunting crew on the lam, Danielle and her friends arrive in a small town that contains a secret occult library run by anarchists and residents who claim to have come back from the dead. When Danielle and her crew investigate, they are put directly in the crosshairs of a necromancer’s wrath — whose actions threaten to trigger the apocalypse itself.
For the Danielle Cain books:
“Fast, eerie and crackling with disarmingly matter-of-fact phantasmagoria, Margaret Killjoy’s The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion maps a wilderness peopled by marginalised outsiders where everything from sexual identity to material reality is in the same state of fluid drift. Intelligent and fiercely imagined, this book is a passport to a world hauntingly similar to our own, in which disturbing unreality appears to have become an accepted universal condition that is scarcely worth mentioning. Scary and energetic, this is ideal reading for a winter’s evening in a post-truth world. Highly recommended.” —Alan Moore
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
Rising science fiction and fantasy star P. Djèlí Clark brings an alternate New Orleans of orisha, airships, and adventure to life in his immersive debut novella The Black God’s Drums.
In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air–in particular, by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie’s trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.
But Creeper also has a secret herself: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her own ulterior motivations.
Soon, Creeper, Oya, and the crew of the Midnight Robber are pulled into a perilous mission aimed to stop the Black God’s Drums from being unleashed and wiping out the entirety of New Orleans.
“A sinewy mosaic of Haitian sky pirates, wily street urchins, and orisha magic. Beguiling and bombastic!”—New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld
“Whether you’re new to orisha magic or seasoned in the lore, Clark’s retro-afrofuturistic tale will keep you engrossed in a world of airships, New Orleans, alternative history, and renegade scientists. The language and setting is so authentic you’ll taste the gumbo.” —Tade Thompson, author of The Murders of Molly Southbourne and the Nommo Awards-winning Rosewater
“A mesmerizing, sprawling alternate history brimming with authenticity and voice. You’ll be bitterly disappointed when it’s over. Clark’s novella will leave you ravenous for more.” —Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation
“Into the Gray” Margaret Killjoy
“You’re using me,” I said.
“That might be true, but I also love you.”
One is the Lady of the Waking Waters, an immortal mermaid. The other is a thief, who steals lives until a wish can be fulfilled, and a life-changing choice must be made, in Margaret Killjoys Tor.com Original Into the Gray.
“The Need for Air” by Lettie Prell
A mother. A son. A virtual world they both share where each could live forever and achieve their fullest potential. Until one of them decides that isn’t enough for life.
Other Notable Works
An editor’s job is many things besides acquiring my own books and honing them for publication. I wanted to mention some of the other titles I had worked on in other capacities here, though I wouldn’t count them as ones I had edited.
I oversaw the mass market edition of George R. R. Martin’s Nightflyers & Other Stories, which restored the novelette’s protagonist on the cover as a black woman, a revision George wish he could’ve done for the first edition back in the 1980s.
Lawrence M. Schoen’s The Moons of Barsk was acquired and edited by Marco Palmieri and Edward Lazellari’s The Blood of Ten Kings, edited by Amy Stapp, are projects I took on at end of their production and oversaw through publication after their editors had left.
Wild Cards Universe (edited by George R. R. Martin)
Note, I served as in-house editor, overseeing these projects through publication after GRRM edited the text.
In Low Chicago, a gang of criminals scattered throughout the past threaten the stability of the world in George R. R. Martin’s latest Wild Cards adventure.
The stakes were already high enough at Giovanni Galante’s poker table that night in Chicago. Poker. Dealer’s choice. Seven players. A million-dollar cash buy-in.
But after a superpowered mishap, the most high-profile criminals in the city are scattered throughout the past and their schemes across time threaten the stability of the world.
Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that highlights the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, featuring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe.
Co-edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass (screenwriter, Star Trek), Low Chicago features the writing talents of Saladin Ahmed (author of the bestselling comic Black Bolt), Paul Cornell (screenwriter, Doctor Who), Marko Kloos (author of the bestselling Frontlines series), John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion, The Stars Change), Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Award finalist Christopher Rowe, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Melinda M. Snodgrass.
Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, One Eyed Jacks is a classic Wild Cards adventure, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, and the first book in the Rox Triad.
Something is stirring on Ellis Island, something strange and dangerous enough to subdue even the white-hot tensions between Wild Cards and normal humans. They call themselves the Jumpers: a vicious gang with the power to transport their minds into others’ bodies, using them to commit acts of terror and violence, before abandoning them and leaving their victims to face the consequences.
The Jumpers cutthroat ambition to control the Wild Card community will pit aces, jokers, and humans at odds like never before.
One-Eyed Jacks features the writing talents of Walton Simons, Chris Claremont, Lewis Shiner, William F. Wu, Victor Milan, Stephen Leigh, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and John Jos. Miller, along with previously unpublished stories from Carrie Vaughn and Kevin Andrew Murphy.
Texas Hold’em: A Wild Cards Novel is an adventure in the bestselling shared-universe science fiction superhero series, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin.
San Antonio, home of the Alamo, is also host to the nation’s top high school jazz competition, and the musicians at Xavier Desmond High are excited to outplay their rivals. They are also jokers, kids with strange abilities and even stranger looks. On top of that, well, they are teenagers, apt for mischief, mishaps, and romantic misunderstandings.
Michelle Pond, aka The Amazing Bubbles, thinks that her superhero (and supermom) know-how has prepared her to chaperone the event. But when her students start going wayward, she’ll soon discover the true meaning of “Don’t mess with Texas.”
Texas Hold’em features the writing talents of David Anthony Durham (Acacia Trilogy), Max Gladstone (the Craft Sequence), Victor Milan (Dinosaur Lords series), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian and White Trash Zombie series), Walton Simons, Caroline Spector and William F. Wu.
“Evernight” by Victor Milan
From the darkly brilliant imagination of Victor Milán, the novelette “Evernight” takes readers down to the depths of the Parisian catacombs.
Candace Sessou is known to be many things: the ace known as The Darkness, a skilled negotiator in the field of diplomacy, a refugee with neither home nor family after fleeing a war-torn Congo. When she hears that her brother Marcel also survived but is now on the run as a wanted terrorist, Candace tracks him to the Parisian underground… only to strike a deal with dangerous forces in order to save both their lives.
“The Flight of Morpho Girl” by Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton
“The Flight of Morpho Girl” conjures up an adventurous new tale from the imaginations of acclaimed sci-fi writers Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton.
Adesina, known as “Morpho Girl,” is used to handling the weird that is her everyday, but life has dealt her a tricky new hand. First, her mom, the crimefighter Amazing Bubbles, has been off since her last mission. Second, Adesina recently aged from ten to sixteen, making everyone think she’s even weirder than she already is. On top of everything else, her best friend goes missing. What’s a newly-teenaged joker need to do to catch a break?
“Fitting In” by Max Gladstone
“Fitting In” by Max Gladstone shows how everyday people can step up to become extraordinary.
Robin Ruttiger tries—he really does—but his lot in life falls way shorter than his expectations. A failed contestant of the superhero reality TV show, American Hero, he now works as a high school guidance counselor to reluctant students. Things change, however, when a favorite bakery in Jokertown becomes a target of vandalism, and Robin realizes he can play the hero after all.
What I Wrote in 2018
I didn’t write a lot myself, but I did an essay revealing my secret teenage fanfic past for UnCanny Magazine: ConCrit in Comments Only: What Writing Fanfiction Taught Me as an Editor
Finally, a plug for “Through the Looking Glass,” a feature I did for Writer’s Digest about how to write across difference. I gave a shout-out on Twitter about the movers & shakers whose work contributed to this article, and hope you get a chance to give this a read!