DAW Anthologies, 2007
This includes 12 mass market paperbacks in what is sometimes called DAW's "monthly magazine". That's all the original DAW anthologies -- this is the first year, I think, that I've read all of DAW's originals, certainly the first year I read 12 DAW originals. (Occasionally they either skip a month or include a reprint book.)
Time Twisters, edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg;
Under Cover of Darkness, edited by Julie E. Czerneda and Jana Paniccia;
If I Were an Evil Overlord, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis;
The Secret History of Vampires, edited by Darrell Schweitzer;
Army of the Fantastic, edited by John Marco and John Helfers;
Man vs. Machine, edited by John Helfers and Martin H. Greenberg;
Places to Go, People to Kill, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Brittiany A. Koren;
Pandora's Closet, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Brittiany A. Koren;
Heroes in Training, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jim C. Hines;
Fate Fantastic, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Daniel M. Hoyt;
Wizards, Inc., edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Loren L. Coleman;
The Future We Wish We Had, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Rebecca A. Lickiss.
Subtotals: 12 books, 177 new stories (20 novelettes, 157 short stories), about 1.05 million words of new fiction. (I am a bit concerned that the longest story was about 11,000 words -- I'd like to see at least occasional long novelettes or even novellas.)
Stats: 77 1/2 of the stories (about 44%) were by women. 57 of the stories (just over 32%) were SF. (Please note that for these and all the anthologies, my categorization of stories as SF vs. Fantasy is a bit approximate.)
As typical, these books were by and large filled with fairly mediocre stories. I don't think the means of creating these books (as far as I understand it) is conducive to getting many very good pieces. The often restrictive themes are one problem. (Though many of the themes certainly could accomodate good stories.) The invitation-only or mostly-invitation-only nature of the books is another problem, though again one that might be workable. Having a smallish set of writers trying to produce stories to order, pretty much, is not a recipe for success. I have no doubt that the reasons for this are simple -- mostly related to budget and time issues -- so be it. That might make the books' weaknesses understandable, but it doesn't make the books any better.
The best stories I read in DAW anthologies this year were: "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Time", by Jon L. Breen (Time Twisters); "Borrowed Time", by Stephen Kotowych (Under Cover of Darkness), "The Sins of the Sons", by Fiona Patton (If I Were an Evil Overlord); "Exactly" by Tanya Huff (Places to Go, People to Kill); "Reiteration", by Simon Brown (Man vs Machine); "What Quig Found", by Chris Pierson (Pandora's Closet); "Honor is a Game Mortals Play", by Eugie Foster (Heroes in Training); "A Different Way Into the Life", by Jay Lake (Wizards, Inc.); and "A Small Skirmish in the Culture War", by Mike Resnick and James Patrick Kelly (The Future We Wish We Had.) The best of these stories were those by Pierson and Brown.
I just don't think that's a great score out of 177 stories, though there was also decent work from Esther M. Friesner, Phaedra M. Weldon, Julie Czerneda, Vera Nazarian, Sarah Zettel, Timothy Zahn, Sarah A. Hoyt, Brian Stableford, Harry Turtledove, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Jim C. Hines, Paul Crilley, and Pierson again. One of the DAW stories this year is on the Nebula Preliminary Ballot, Robin Wayne Bailey's "The Children's Crusade", which however I must say is not a story I liked very much.