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Editor’s Note:

Editors are capricious creatures, and since we’re not all operating out of the same playbook (or any playbook at all for that matter) by nature our job is a subjective one. My goal in choosing stories for Giganotosaurus is in line with our stated value of diversity in storytelling in its myriad forms. I search for stories that I hadn’t seen told, by narrators that provide a new or unique perspective.

Publishing one story a month is much harder work than I expected it would. The caliber of stories we receive is truly impressive. I often regret having to let go of a story that was well written, but just not what we needed at a particular moment, or was unable pass the all important “make the hair on my arms stand on end” editorial gut test.

2015 concluded my second year as editor (officially my first full year of choosing stories) and looking at the stories that did make the cut it’s easier to see themes emerge.

In “Serving Girl,” “The Business of Buying and Selling,” “Blow the Moon Out,” and “Quarter Days,” relationships play an important role in navigating the strange new worlds the protagonists find themselves in.

The Stars, Their Faces Uplifted in Song” and “And the Ends of the Earth for Thy Possession,” tackle the complexity of faith in distant futures and alternate worlds.

We published two stories where the fey play a central role: in spite of my usual resistance to all thing faerie land. “Drinking with the Elfin Knight” and the “The Faerie-Maker” took two unconventional takes on faerie, by two protagonists that don’t often have voices in faerie tales.

Resistance and rebellion, no matter the cost, feature prominently in “Greys of War,” “The Body Corporate,” and “Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande.”

And what can I say about “Bears Punching Bears!” except it was one of few stories that made me laugh out loud, with the hijinx of humans on a broke space casino and the search for a new interstellar Elvis impersonator.

Several of these stories are from first time authors, others from established names in the speculative fiction crowd. All of them make me proud to be an editor.

Below is a brief summary of the stories we ran from January to December, with links to reviews or related materials. You can read them online, or download mobi or epub formats for free to read at your leisure.

 

All the Best,

Rashida J. Smith

editor, GigaNotoSaurus

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Greys of War by Sara Puls 

(Short Story, Fantasy)

War and dance in a complex society where color and sense memory is everything. Goodreads

 

Serving Girl by Phoebe Harris 

(Short Story, Fantasy)

A journey of identity and freedom begins after an escape. Goodreads Made the Lady Business Short Fiction Favorites reading list for early 2015

 

Bears Punching Bears! by Tracy Canfield 

(Novelette, Science Fiction)

A comedy of errors about an interstellar casino and an unforgettable bear act. Among other things. Goodreads

 

Drinking with the Elfin Knight by Ginger Weil

 (Novelette, Fantasy)

A rural dark fantasy about bad decisions and Child ballads, featuring unfortunate kisses, minor explosions, awkward conversations, and unpleasant things in the woods. Goodreads

 

Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande by A.S. Diev 

(Novelette, Science Fiction)

An out-of-work rock’n’roll reporter has a longshot last chance to save her career – if she can survive in a tough border town long enough to cover a surreal murder trial involving a powerful corporation, a flying yacht, an angry worker, a herd of bizarre genetically-modified farm animals, and some very, very bad luck.  Can she dig out the real story, score a job at a legitimate news site, and catch up with her Mastercard bill? Goodreads Reviews by JsunRed Headed Femme, S.Qiouyi Lu, and Real Tegan, including being named by K. Tempest Bradford at IO9 as one of the “Best Short Stories of the Year So Far.”  Included on Renay’s Hugo Spreadsheet 2016

 

The Business of Buying and Selling by Patricia Russo 

(Short Story, Fantasy)

The parents of a colicky baby, with the help of a nosy neighbor, get more than they bargain for in an effort to get some much needed sleep. Goodreads

 

And the Ends of the Earth for Thy Possession by Robert B. Finegold, MD 

(Novelette, Science Fiction)

Red Headed Femme called this one, “This is a lovely, lyrical, bittersweet alt-history tale, with Jews on an interstellar transport and automatons and deimons. Quietly heartbreaking.” Goodreads. Review by BiblioGamma

 

Blow the Moon Out by E. Catherine Tobler 

(Novelette, Fantasy)

In the fall of 1957, four girls wander into the Philadelphia woods, in search of a traveling circus. But what they find is more startling than sirens or wolfmen. More amazing than a stray dog shot into space. What they find is themselves–and something besides. Goodreads. Reviews by Locus Magazine  and Cate Gardner.

 

The Body Corporate by Mark Pantoja 

(Novelette, Science Fiction)

On a barely settled planet, Ro must negotiate predatory forests and more dangerous corporate contracts to get a corporate soldier to safety and protect all she holds dear. Goodreads Reviews Biblio GammaVideo Game Geek and Locus Magazine. Included on a list of recommended works for Tiptree award nomination.

 

The Faerie-Maker by Nin Harris 

(Short Story, Fantasy)

Faerie land versus Bollywood in this story of claiming your identity and owning your legacy.  Goodreads

 

The Stars, Their Faces Uplifted in Song by Maggie Clark 

(Novelette, Science Fiction)

When all but one monk is murdered on a recently added Network planet, a world-weary AI detective and novice partner have to negotiate local beliefs in order to solve the case. As it turns out, it’s not easy to interrogate the lone survivor of a massacre when his people believe he has to keep singing to maintain the universe–and harder still, for centuries-old Detective Bennett, to know how to administer justice when an entire social system stands at fault. Goodreads. Find Maggie’s excellent reflection on “Stars” and other recent stories on her blog.

 

Quarter Days by Iona Sharma 

(Novella, Fantasy)

It’s 1919, and the war is over. The magical practitioners of the City of London have returned from the battlefields to the only home they’ve ever known. But even here – even after seven hundred and thirty-one years of rhythm and ritual – the world is starting to change. Goodreads. Recommended novella at Too Many Books, Not Enough Time and reviews at Stompy Dragons and Locus.


 

It’s award season: For other work to review or nominate, check out the Hugo Nominees 2015 Wiki and Hugo Awards Spreadsheet, i09’s Nebula nominations opening post and the evolving list from AC Wise.

GigaNotoSaurus has been a labor of love from the beginning. I’m very proud of the fiction I’ve published since its start in 2010. And I’ve had a lot of fun editing–I can tell you from experience that when editors say they get a happy thrill out of discovering a gem in the slush, they really, really mean it. And it’s been amazing to work with every single one of the writers whose stories I’ve published.

But editing takes real time and energy. And, unlike in 2010 when I opened GigaNotoSaurus, I’ve got big projects with deadlines staring me in the face.

Closing GigaNotoSaurus wasn’t an option–I still feel that it’s important to have some sort of venue for longer fiction, and surely more stories were coming in the future, just as good as the ones I’d already found, that would need a home.

No, I didn’t want to close up shop. And the more I thought about it, the more I figured it would be good for an editorial changeup. Given a bucket full of gems, no two editors will select the same ones. Maybe it was time to see what someone else would pick!

So I asked Rashida J. Smith if she’d like to be editor. And she said yes! She’s smart and fabulous, and I believe she’ll pick great fiction. You might have heard her narrate stories for Podcastle or Psuedopod, or you might have read her story “Small Strange Towns.”

The best part, for me, is that just like the rest of you, I get to sit back and see what she brings us.

–Ann Leckie

If you enjoyed “Martyr’s Gem” by C.S.E. Cooney, which ran in May, you might want to check out this fabulous video excerpt, “The Epic of Shursta Sharkbait.”

This summer, Anna Schwind (who is among other things one of the editors of Podcastle) will be taking over GigaNotoSaurus’ slushpile. She’ll be reading for the next three months.

This may or may not be related to the fact that I have a deadline coming up. But I’m also interested in the ways other people might curate stories, and I’m seriously considering future guest editing slots.

Writers who are familiar with Podcastle might already have some idea of the things that appeal to Anna–now’s the time to send those things if you have them! But don’t forget that sometimes the most wonderful discoveries are a surprise–something you never thought of, never expected. Keep sending the stories you believe in, not just the stories you think a particular editor might like. The submissions process will be unchanged–the regular guidelines still apply.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Anna brings us.

All of us here at GigaNotoSaurus would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s Nebula Nominees!

But perhaps we can be forgiven for being a bit more pleased about two particular entries on the list, both nominated for best novelette–“The Migratory Pattern of Dancers” by Katherine Sparrow and “Sauerkraut Station” by Ferret Steinmetz. Obviously we’re fans of both those stories, but it pleases us tremendously that the voters liked them enough to recommend them. We’ll be watching the results of the voting with great interest, but no matter what happens, we’re extremely proud of Katie and Ferret. Congratulations, you two!

I just discovered there was a problem with the epub version of Cat Rambo’s “Karaluvian Fale.” It’s fixed now, and you can download it here.

Our first story goes live in November, so check back on Samhain.   Or, you know, put us in your feed reader and wait for a story to appear.

GigaNotoSaurus isn’t ready to go live yet.  We’ll let you know when it is.