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You have a book containing stories by the following writers. Which five names do you put on the cover?

Peter S Beagle
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Jack Dann & Paul Brandon
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Terry Dowling
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Andy Duncan
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Jeffrey Ford
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Kathleen Ann Goonan
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Eileen Gunn
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Gwyneth Jones
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Ellen Klages
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Margo Lanagan
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Maureen F. McHugh
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Garth Nix
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Lucius Shepard
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Bruce Sterling
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Ysabeau Wilce
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Actual answer here. Vote before you click.

EDIT: See also jlassen's two entries, and Andrew Wheeler here.

FURTHER EDIT: Commentary from rosefox here and leahbobet here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Monday morning quarterbacking Jeremy and Jason's decisions about publishing is rather presumptuous on my part as they've managed to keep Nightshade thriving through difficult times in publishing. I like both of them as people and I give them a lot of credit for the work they do. That said, the minute I saw this book cover it struck me that it was an all male line-up. It struck me for two reasons. The first was that I have become somewhat sensitized to the issue what with recent discussions online. These have been educational for me in certain ways -- not the send Gordon Van Gelder a slush bomb way but in the fact as to how ingrained sexism is in our society and as an exstention, publishing. The second thing that struck me about the all male roll call on the cover is that I knew what the table of contents was, and I was really psyched to have a piece of fiction in this anthology. I admire pretty much all of the writers in it, and more importantly it looked to me to be a very interesting mix of writers. Jonathan has been doing a great job with the anthologies he's been putting together, making very unique choices and combining different writers. I was somewhat disappointed because I thought one of the real strengths of the anthology would be the diversity of writers and styles -- I'm not speaking merely from a gender perspective here but I'm not excluding it either. I'm an avid short story reader, and two of the writers I'd be apt to plop down some money for are Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages. Of course, I'd do the same for Margo Lanagan and Lucius Shepard, no matter how many of their stories I'd already read this year. So this was an opportunity missed, I thought. I'd hate to see people not pick up the anthology and read it because of an issue with the cover. And again, the names are on the back, and it is important to sell books if you want to sell more. I think this discussion is something to keep in mind. The problem in publishing that some of the peole are pointing to here, like the one in society, is so insidiously endemic and entangled in economics and market perception, etc and incredibly difficult to excise without taking good tissue with it, but if the job is to be done there is nothing to do but dive in with the scalpel. I sincerely hope readers like the book and that Nightshade has a great success with it. I also hope people will remain vigilant about this issue.
>I was somewhat disappointed because I thought one of the real strengths of the anthology would be the diversity of writers and styles -- I'm not speaking merely from a gender perspective here but I'm not excluding it either.

I think this is really relevant, because what strikes me about this cover isn't just that it doesn't have any women on it. What strikes me about the cover is that what I'd expect from the inside, based on it, is not at all the same thing that I'd expect from the inside, based on the TOC.

Which seems like a shame.

The names on the cover makes me think, "Probably well-written, but pretty much the usual suspects." (Honestly, Shepard's name alone gets me most of the way there.) I'd expect to enjoy the book, but (sorry, Jeff) I wouldn't be in any particular rush to get to it.

What I get from the TOC is, yeah, exactly what you say above. It's, "Wow, that's a really solid and unusual lineup." And then I start to get excited.

I haven't, obviously, had a chance to read the book yet. My impression may be totally misguided. But if not--if this _is_ the cleverly put together and intriguing book that the TOC makes it look like--then it seems like a real shame that the cover doesn't reflect that.
Go, repeating myself! That'll teach me to post without rereading.

well, probably not
I said that! That's what I said! :)
Too many comments! Can't remember everything! I offer apologies! And exclamation points!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YES. What she said. ::points upwards::

The cover text and art look like Old Skool Rocketships & Ideas, with a dollop of art. The TOC leads to a far more complex and interesting conclusion--and, I submit, a broader potential audience.

As for the gender-blind issue: to quote hth_the_first, Be Less Blind.
Thank you for saying this -- it's very well articulated the frequent frustrations and disappointments many of us feel upon entering a bookstore. It's not even this particular book, it's the cumulative effect.