15 May 2005

A Big Day

Two major announcements today:

The winner of the second annual Fountain Award, sponsored by the Speculative Literature Foundation, and for which I was a juror, is "The Annals of Eelin-Ok" by Jeffrey Ford, originally published in The Faery Reel, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

It was wonderful to be on the Fountain jury, not just because the other jurors were thoughtful, passionate, friendly, and intelligent, but because the award specifically looks for stories both within and outside the SF field, so you'll see from our list of honorable mentions that stories came from such places as Fence, One Story, and StoryQuarterly as well as Fantasy & Science Fiction. The honorable mentions are very honorable, indeed, because about 150 stories were nominated by editors from around the country world, and many stories had strong responses from all of us, but we limited ourselves to ten honorable mentions, which meant that plenty of good stories were eliminated. The longest discussion was to determine the winner, and "The Annals of Eelin-Ok" was a clear favorite because it pulls off the miracle of being charming and wistful without being cute or cloying. Personally, I hate stories about faeries, but I love this story, because it so beautifully captures the wonders and terrors of being alive while knowing that death is just over the horizon.

The other big news of the day is that the LitBlog Co-op has announced its first Read This! selection. (You'll have to follow the link to find out what it is...) Though I'm a member, I'm a recent member, and because of the timeframe, only the original members voted on this selection, so I don't actually have anything yet to say about it. I'll be reading the book soon and will, perhaps, comment then.