ecbatan (ecbatan) wrote,

Summary: Tales of the Unanticipated, 2008

Summary: Tales of the Unanticipated, 2008

Tales of the Unanticipated is a very nicely produced and generously sized magazine, that now officially calls itself an anthology (well, actually an "antholo-zine" -- shades of Jim Baen calling Destinies a "bookazine" back in the day). It looks just the same as ever, though. As a yearly magazine, calling it an anthology does make sense, but I still think of it as a magazine. (Though I should note that it does have an ISBN.) The editor is Eric M. Heideman.

This year's issue, #29, is dated Autumn/Winter 2008. It features 16 stories, 1 of them a novelette, 15 short stories, for a total of a about 80,000 words of fiction. Two stories were reprints. The 14 new stories totaled about 71000 words. TOTU also publishes a lot of poetry, some quite good.

My favorite stories included Mark Rich's "Dead Man Come A-Calling", a gentle zombie story set in a small Kansas town, about a man who comes back from the dead and finally has a chance to marry the woman he loves; Tony Pi's "Come Frost, Sun, and Vine", a story with a Russian fairy tale flavor, about three brothers who each woo the Tsar's daughter; and Patricia S. Bowne's "Kindling", another of her stories set at a magical university, here featuring a grumpy bachelor professor who gets stuck tending a sort of zoo at the university. Other good work came from Naomi Kritzer, Eleanor Arnason, Lyda S. Morehouse, and Katherine Woodbury.

I'd call perhaps 6 of the 14 new stories SF, or 43%. And 9 of 14 new stories were by women, 64%, rather higher than the 50/50 totals of the past two years. (However both reprints were by men, so the whole thing was close to 50/50.)

Tags: 2008, magazines, yearly summaries

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