This is for the Best of Strange Horizons (year one). It'll have tons of stuff -- fiction, poetry, reviews, and articles. No illustrations, sadly, since it'd be even more expensive and difficult with interior illustrations...and it's already a $40 (or so) book. Eep. I'm not sure how many people will actually be buying copies of it...at least a few, I hope. I think Wildside only needs about ten or so people to buy copies at full price to make back their costs, so that's the minimal thing to hope for. Better, of course, would be if Publisher's Weekly and the New York Times Book Review gave it great reviews, and it got massive media attention and sold thousands upon thousands of copies, catapulting Strange Horizons into the first place among science fiction magazines, in print *or* online. That's be lovely. But I'll be reasonably content if Wildside just makes back their costs so they're happy to have done the book, and so we have some copies to show around at conventions and such. It's more a publicity stunt than anything else -- a fun one. :-)
Today I start putting together the manuscript. There may be a few authors who don't want to participate; we'll need to replace those. I'd like to get the manuscript together as soon as possible, because I'd like at least have a shot of having this available for Christmas. Of course, I actually have no idea what Wildside's publishing schedule is like -- it's possible they've already slated the book for next summer or some such. But better for me not to ask -- if I think there's a close deadline, I'm less likely to procrastinate. It's sad that I have to play such tricks on my lazy brain, which would rather be reading Diana Wynne Jones than working. Luckily, it has none of her work left in the house; I finished Castle in the Air and Dogsbody yesterday, and have had to move on to Neil Gaiman's Stardust today. The nice thing about not having time to go to a bookstore for a month is that when you do go, there's lots of stuff you want to buy.
Still coughing, but I slept nine hours, and aside from the cough, I feel generally okay. It's the Cough o' Doom -- I suspect it'll haunt me from now until the spring. I want to be a healthy person, dang it. Though I should be grateful that I didn't just break *another* rib, like poor M'ris...
12:30. Collected all the potential authors' e-mails and sent them out the invitation letter. I am a publishing machine! I'd like to move on the the next stage, ordering the Table of Contents, but I suppose I should wait until I hear back from everyone. That'd be most efficient... Aw, heck. Who cares if I duplicate some work? This part is fun!