Hey Amanda, someone on my gift list likes short sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and/or poetry, and I would like to buy them something with you in it. What should I get them?

How thoughtful, imaginary inquirer! You should definitely get books for everyone on your list. Also people not on your list. Books for everyone. For you, I have made a decision tree to help you on your PURCHASING ADVENTURE. The best part is, while these books all CONTAIN me, they are mostly NOT me, so your recipient receives a cornucopia of terrific contemporary spec-fic authors between two covers. Or four, or six covers! Sky’s the limit here. Even numbers only, though.

Would your gift-receiving person prefer:

  • A collection?
  • An issue of a magazine or periodical?
  • An anthology?

A COLLECTION:
Fine choice! My sister Megan Engelhardt and I had a collection of dark fairy-tale retellings published earlier this year.

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AN ISSUE OF A MAGAZINE OR PERIODICAL:
Exciting! Who knows, your story-loving giftee might get hooked on a great new ‘zine.

Do they prefer:

  • Horror?
  • More general SF/F/H?
  • Poetry?

HORROR:

Consider Shock Totem #3 or the Arcane Sampler!

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MORE GENERAL SF/F/H:

How about Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #57 or Bull Spec #8?

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POETRY:

Why not get Illumen #13 or Not One Of Us #47?

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AN ANTHOLOGY:
I love anthologies!

What kind of story would your anthology-loving gift receiver most enjoy?

  • Horror
  • More general SF/F/H

HORROR:

Does your horror-anthology-loving giftee prefer:

  • Creepy horror?
  • Gory horror?

CREEPY HORROR:

Ghosts and gravesites! How about Candle In the Attic Window or Specter Spectacular?

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GORY HORROR:

Zombies and killers! Why not Zombie Kong or Night Terrors II?

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MORE GENERAL SF/F/H:
So many themes! So many crazy themes!

What anthology theme would most appeal to the person on your gift list?

  • Water and fishes
  • History and the twisting thereof
  • The circus and prognostication
  • A broad theme, with ties to Pittsburgh

WATER AND FISHES

You’ll want FISH or Beast Within 3: Oceans Unleashed!

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HISTORY AND THE TWISTING THEREOF:

Try Retro Spec or Broken Time Blues!

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THE CIRCUS AND PROGNOSTICATION:

Check out CIRCUS or What Fates Impose!

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A BROAD THEME, WITH TIES TO PITTSBURGH:

The Triangulation series offers the themes End of the Rainbow, Last Contact, and Morning After!

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Hey, thanks, Amanda! That was fun AND informative!

You are SO WELCOME.

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