Just one more thing before I run off to edit: in spare moments here and there, I've been reading Andy Duncan's short-story collection Beluthahatchie. (Which won last year's World Fantasy Award for best short-story collection.) Almost exactly a year ago, when Chris Cobb ran his review of the book at SH, Chris told me I would like these stories. I've been waiting for the paperback, but the guys at Other Change of Hobbit said there might not be a paperback (the hardcover is from a small press, Golden Gryphon), so I went ahead and bought it. And boy am I glad I did. I've only read the first four stories so far, but they're all superb. Chris mentioned in passing that Duncan is funny, but what I've read of his before ("Lincoln in Frogmore," "The Chief Designer," "The Pottawatomie Giant" (that last won the World Fantasy Award for short fiction)) has been fairly serious—good, certainly, but serious, and not especially fantastical; almost mainstream historical fiction. (And I'm afraid I wasn't thrilled with "Senator Bilbo" in Starlight 3.) But the stories so far in this collection are laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes several times on a page, without ever resorting to slapstick or failing to take characters seriously.

A phenomenal collection; if the rest of the stories in it are even half as good, this will rank way up there with my favorite short-story collections. And this is stuff from the beginning of this man's career. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes.

SH also ran an interview with him last year, btw.

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