09 June 2020

Some thoughts on the short-story-related Anthony Award nominations

While we talk about many things that are writing related here at SleuthSayers (and many things that aren't), our primary focus is crime short fiction. So it's wonderful timing that today, a few hours before I sat down to write this column, the Anthony Award nominations were announced, including for best short story and best anthology/collection published last year.

I'm not going to write long today because I'd rather you take some time to read one of the nominated anthologies or short stories. But I do want to say a few things:

First, thank you to all of the authors who heard about my crazy idea to do a cross-genre anthology, mashing crime with time travel, and submitted stories for Crime Travel back in 2018. (Crime Travel was among the nominated anthologies.) I could only accept fourteen stories (plus one of my own). I wish I could have taken more.

Thank you to everyone who has congratulated me today. I love the camaraderie of our industry. This nomination belongs to the authors in Crime Travel as much as it does to me, and I applaud them.

Congratulations to my fellow SleuthSayers Michael Bracken (whose The Eyes of Texas: Private Investigators from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods was nominated for best anthology) and Art Taylor, who is up twice (!) in the short-story category, once for "Better Days," which appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and once for "Hard Return," which I was proud to include in Crime Travel. I'm so proud of you both!

I'd edited anthologies before Crime Travel, but this was the first time I chose the stories. It was a daunting task. One thing I learned from doing it is that while stories about a theme can be wide-ranging, in different sub-genres with varying approaches to storytelling, the best stories--at least to me--are the ones that touch you. The ones that have heart. And I hope that the nomination for Crime Travel today means that the stories in this book touched a lot of readers just as they did me. Thank you to everyone who read it and nominated it.

So, without further ado, here are this year's nominees for the Anthony Award in the best short-story category and the best anthology category. I hope you'll pick up one of them (or all of them).

“Turistas,” by Hector Acosta (appearing in ¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico)
“Unforgiven,” by Hilary Davidson (appearing in Murder a-Go-Gos: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of the Go-Gos)
“The Red Zone,” by Alex Segura (appearing in ¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico)
“Better Days,” by Art Taylor (appearing in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019)
“Hard Return,” by Art Taylor (appearing in Crime Travel)

The Eyes of Texas: Private Investigators from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods, edited by Michael Bracken (Down & Out Books)
¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico, edited by Angel Luis Col√≥n (Down & Out Books)
Crime Travel, edited by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons (Wildside Press)
Murder a-Go-Go’s: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of the Go-Go’s, edited by Holly West (Down & Out Books)

Happy reading!


  1. Sandy in St Louis09 June, 2020 02:29

    Congratulations, Barb! Well deserved. Can't wait for your next anthology.

  2. Congratulations to you, Michael and Art.

    We writers don't always give editors enough credit.

  3. Congratulations to you, Barb! And Art - you're awesome, just awesome. And Michael - well done.

  4. Barb, Michael and Art, keep 'em coming, and best wishes with your nominations.

  5. Congratulations, Barb, Michael, and Art! Best of luck to all of you.

  6. Whoot! Fabulous, all around, Barb.

  7. Congratulations, Barb! Fantastic job.

  8. So much wonderful news, Barb. Big congrats to you and all the other writers on the list. Keep writing and editing. Obviously, you have a knack.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. Much appreciated!

  10. This short story collection features 15 stories from various authors that combine time travel and crime fiction. The stories are very creative, involving a variety of methods of time travel from people who build machines to those who stumble upon strange ways to get back in time. The periods range from people traveling to the present, to those traveling to Shakespeare’s England, a New Jersey beach town in the 1970’s, and a couple trips to the 1960’s to name a few. Meanwhile, we get a couple capers, a locked room mystery, and a hard-boiled PI among other great stories.

    This is a very strong collection of stories. While a couple weren’t quite to my taste, I can see how others would love them and it was a very minor point. I laughed at a few of the stories, another couple made me cry, in a good way. Most importantly, I had fun. There are so many great stories in this collection, you’ll be glad you picked it up. And if you don’t get it now, you just might have to come back in time and yell at yourself for putting it off and depriving yourself of the joys of reading these books right away.


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