Summary: Anthologies, 2008
From 2008 I read 50 different original anthologies. (Some had a couple of reprint stories, but were primarily original.) This is easily the most I've ever read from one year -- mostly because this was a huge year for anthologies but also because once I realized I might get to 50 I decided to try to do it. As usual, for manageability I'll divide the anthologies into smaller chunks which I will consider in separate posts. These "chunks" are ad hoc, devised by me, and any individual anthology might of course fit better, or at any rate just as well, into a different chunk. For those who think it matters, some of these books included some stories that were not SF (nor fantasy nor horror) by any definition: I haven't bothered to separate these from the rest.
Totals first: 50 books. 721 stories (25 novellas, 183 novelettes, 513 short stories (31 "short-shorts")), somewhat over 4.8 million words.
This includes 11 mass market paperbacks in what is sometimes called DAW's "monthly magazine". I skipped two anthologies from December -- Catopolis (I'm sorry, but I just couldn't read a book of all cat stories) and a book of stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe. (I'm not a Lackey fan at all.)
Fellowship Fantastic, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes;
Mystery Date, edited by Denise Little;
Something Magic This Way Comes, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Sarah A. Hoyt;
Misspelled, edited by Julie E. Czerneda;
Front Lines, edited by Denise Little;
Future Americas, edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg;
The Dimension Next Door, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes;
Enchantment Place, edited by Denise Little;
Imaginary Friends, edited by John Marco and Martin H. Greenberg;
Witch High, edited by Denise Little;
Better Off Undead, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Daniel M. Hoyt.
Subtotals: 11 books, 179 new stories (40 novelettes, 139 short stories (1 short-short), about 1.09 million words of new fiction.
Stats: 104 of the stories (about 58%) were by women, far more than last year's 44%. Only 42 of the stories (less than a quarter) were SF. (Please note that for these and all the anthologies, my categorization of stories as SF vs. Fantasy is a bit approximate, and for that matter I may misidentify the gender of some writers.)
2. Series anthologies (unthemed)
One of the really positive developments in 2007 was the appearance of no fewer than four unthemed anthologies, each seemingly aimed at becoming a long running series in the mode of Star or Orbit or New Dimensions or Universe. Three of these series continued in 2008, with one new candidate added. The books:
Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders;
Eclipse Two, edited by Jonathan Strahan;
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two, edited by George Mann;
The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow.
Subtotals: 4 books, 60 stories (4 novellas, 21 novelettes, 35 short-stories (1 short-shorts), about 473,000 words.
Stats: 15 1/2 of the stories were by women (26%), a very similar ratio to last years for a similar group of books, and 48 were SF (80%), compared to 61% last year (reflective primarily of an all fantasy book being replaced with a combo book, plus Eclipse having a much stronger SF focus).
3. Themed anthologies from major publishers
As last year, I am drawing a perhaps iffy distinction between "major" and "small press" publishers, I have identified four themed anthologies that appeared from rather big-name publishers (Baen, Solaris, and Night Shade (admittedly, usually regarded as small press, but they've become pretty prominent)), and got pretty significant distribution. These are:
Transhuman, edited by Mark L. Van Name and T. K. F. Weisskopf;
Sideways in Crime, edited by Lou Anders;
Extraordinary Engines, edited by Nick Gevers;
Fast Ships, Black Sails, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.
So, 4 books, 56 stories (25 novelettes, 31 short stories (1 short-short)), about 435,000 words.
Stats: 17 of the stories were by women (30%), and 42 were SF (75%).
4. More themed anthologies (from smaller publishers)
This category includes additional anthologies with obvious themes, but that came from smaller press outlets (and usually got less extensive distribution). (Though one might suggest that for example Seeds of Change, from Prime, or Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, from Subterranean, might have been listed with the "major" publishers.)
Seeds of Change, edited by John Joseph Adams;
Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, edited by William Shafer;
Paper Cities, edited by Ekaterina Sedia;
The Exquisite Corpuscle, edited by Frank Wu and Jay Lake;
Gaslight Grimoire, edited by J. R. Campbell and Charles Pepotec;
Otherwordly Maine, edited by Noreen Doyle;
Spicy Slipstream Stories, edited by Nick Mamatas and Jay Lake;
Triangulation: Taking Flight, edited by Pete Butler.
Subtotals: 8 books, 98 stories (16 novelettes, 82 short stories (9 short-shorts)), about 518,000 words of new fiction. (There were a few reprints, particularly in Otherwordly Maine and Triangulation: Taking Flight.)
Stats: 40 of the stories were by women (41%), and 31 were SF (32%).
5. YA anthologies
This year I only saw two YA anthologies, though I surely might have missed some that were marketed more directly at the YA category and not at SF/Fantasy. These were:
The Starry Rift, edited by Jonathan Strahan;
Magic in the Mirrorstone, edited by Steve Berman.
Subtotals: 2 book, 30 stories (1 novella, 9 novelettes and 20 short stories), about 213,000 words.
Stats: 16 stories were by women (53%), and 15 were SF (50%).
Two chapbook anthologies came my way in 2008:
Home and Away, edited by John Benson;
The Homeless Moon (no editor listed).
10 stories, all short (two short-shorts), about 30,000 words. 4 stories by women (40%), and 4 SF (10%).
7. Novella anthologies
This category is traditionally dominated by SFBC books, though alas it seems the era of SFBC's wonderful anthologies of original novellas may soon be over. This year there were two novella collections from the SFBC, one more from an SFBC regular, Marvin Kaye (I wonder if his book was originally pitched to them), and one from a small press. (One more book, that I included in the "Foreign" section, Tesseracts Twelve, also consisted solely of novellas and long novelettes.)
Galactic Empires, edited by Gardner Dozois;
A Book of Wizards, edited by Marvin Kaye;
The Ghost Quartet, edited by Marvin Kaye;
Alembical, edited by Lawrence M. Schoen and Arthur Dorrance.
So, 4 books, 20 stories, 17 novellas and 3 novelettes, about 460,000 words of fiction.
Stats: 4 1/2 stories by women (22.5%), 8 SF stories (40%).
8. From Other Countries
Another traditional category, with three entries this year, one Canadian and two Australian. So:
Tesseracts Twelve, edited by Claude Lalumière [Canada];
Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann [Australia];
2012, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Ben Payne.
Subtotals: 3 books, 53 stories (2 novellas, 11 novelettes, 40 short stories (3 short-shorts)), some 330,000 words of fiction.
Stats: 21.5 stories by women (41%), 27 SF stories (51%).
9. From Newer Writers
Only one book fit this category this year, the annual Writers of the Future anthology.
Writers of the Future, Volume XXIV, edited by Algis Budrys.
Subtotals: 1 book, 13 stories (10 novelettes, 3 short stories), about 120,000 words of new fiction.
Stats: 8 stories by women (61.5%), 9 SF stories (69%).
10. Hadley-Rille books
The next three categories (along with the first category, for DAW) concentrate on books from a single publisher. In this case, Hadley-Rille, which has been aggressively publishing original anthologies over the past couple of years, all with Eric T. Reynolds at the helm. I missed at least one Hadley-Rille book this year, but I did see:
Desolate Places, edited by Eric T. Reynolds and Adam Nakama;
Ruins Metropolis, edited by Eric T. Reynolds and Rose Reynolds.
Subtotals: 2 books, 71 (!) stories (5 novelettes, 66 short stories (9 short-shorts)), about 266,000 words of new fiction. (There were a couple of reprints too.)
Stats: 40 stories by women (56%), greatly more than the 18% last year, and 36 stories were SF (51%).
11. Norilana books
Norilana, Vera Nazarian's outfit, has also aggressively entered the anthology market, a welcome thing. (I'll note that they have a few different imprints, but I gather them all under the Norilana umbrella here.) All these books are parts of anthology series, so hopefully we'll see many more.
Sword and Sorceress XXIII, edited by Elisabeth Waters;
Lace and Blade, edited by Deborah J. Ross;
Warrior Wisewoman, edited by Roby James;
Clockwork Phoenix, edited by Mike Allen.
Thus, 4 books, 58 stories (1 novella, 19 novelettes, 38 short stories (4 short-shorts)), about 364,000 words.
Stats: 44.5 stories by women (77%), 15 SF stories (26%).
12. NewCon Press
Another newly ambitious player in the original anthology market, these books are all edited by Ian Whates, and mostly feature UK contributors.
Celebration, edited by Ian Whates;
Myth-Understandings, edited by Ian Whates;
Subterfuge, edited by Ian Whates.
These three books included 46 new stories (also some reprints): 5 novelettes and 41 short stories (one a short-short), some 230,000 words of fiction.
The contributors were evenly split between men and women, 23 each, and 27 of the stories were SF (59%).
This final category lists two books that seem to come mostly from outside the field -- though there is lots of overlap. The first book is paranormal romance, the second is mysteries about werewolves and Christmas.
Hotter than Hell, edited by Kim Harrison and Martin H. Greenberg;
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kellner.
These two books had a total of 27 stories (19 novelettes and 8 short stories), about 280,000 words.
23 of the stories were by women (85%), and none were SF by my lights.