Best of the Rest 4

Best of the Rest 4, The Best Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2005, to be published in May 2006, will be a reprint anthology showcasing the best 2005 short speculative fiction and poetry from the small press, online, and other places outside the major magazines and publishers. Deadline: January 15, 2006. Payment: 2 cents/word, $50 minimum.

The anthology is now closed; for information on the anthology and the stories included, see here.


Best of the Rest publishes speculative fiction - fantasy, science fiction, dark fantasy, magic realism... I have published dark fantasy from authors like Thomas Ligotti, dgk goldberg, and John Shirley, but I draw the line at straight horror. I sometimes reprint odd stories that don't really have fantastical elements, if they have appeared in a genre publication - I'm thinking of Eleanor Arnason's 1998 story "The Venetian Method", basically a plot summary of an imaginary Italian opera about accountancy - but that is pretty unusual (and so was the story...)

This is a "best of the year" anthology - only short stories and poetry of less than 10,000 words first published in English in 2005 qualify. I am interested in material that has appeared in print magazines with a circulation of 7500 or less. If that doesn't presently exclude Interzone, then I am excluding Interzone anyways - they are a professional level magazine (sorry!) I will exclude some web or ezine publications, especially if they pay professional rates and are well known - for instance,'s SCIFICTION - but I haven't decided on criteria for that yet. NEW: I have decided that I am going to count Strange Horizons as professional, since they pay professional rates and SFWA considers them a professional venue.

For anthologies and collections, I'll call it the small press if the publisher puts out fewer than 6 titles/year. One exception to that: I'm usually willing to look at material published by college presses, if I think they haven't really gotten wide distribution and attention within the genres. NEW: I have decided to include Wildside Press anthologies and magazines.

Note: I am interested only in material appearing in edited publications. If a webzine or pdf-zine distributes any story that is sent to it, or everything sent that meets some basic standard (like, "must be set in our shared world" or "only poems about cats"), then I do not consider an appearance there as publication in a edited medium. If the story or poem later appears in an edited publication, I would regard that as its first publication.


Publishers: Please send review copies to Suddenly Press, 663 S. Bernardo Ave. #507, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, USA. For ezines and webzines, my email is All relevant publications that I receive will get listed on this website. Send the cheapest edition you can - I don't need the deluxe slipcased signed mastadon-leather edition, I just want to read the stories. If you don't want to send a review copy, please email me ordering information, and I will decide whether to order a copy.

Authors: Check out the list of publications received or under review. If the webite or the issue of the magazine is listed there, I'll see your story. If not, please send me a pointer to the website or the publisher. If I can't get a copy of the publication, I may ask you to email me a copy of your story, but I prefer to read things in the original published state.

- Brian Youmans, Editor and Publisher

Copies are still available of: Best of the Rest 1990 Best of the Rest 2 Best of the Rest 3

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