The story has a typo.

The story is (maybe!) overshadowed by another from the same writer.

The story has (maybe!) a single unfelicitous line.

The story is authored by the Selecting Editor, who will never in a million years pick it.

These are some of the tactics I used when trying to cut the Long Shortlist down to 200. If they seem to you lame, I'm with you. If you see in them desperation, you're probably not far from the mark.


One version of a commonplace idea about internet publishing: it's the Wild West. Where's the Law, man?  Who's going to stop all these stories?  They're running loose. Who knows what they'll do next.

If you're looking for the Law, we're not it. What we are: amazed appreciators (is that a word?) of what's happening in vsf on the net. Every week—every day—there's more new stuff to open up some space in you you didn't know was there.

The Wigleaf Top 50 is a love letter to that. It's a love letter to all of you who are part of it.


Huge thanks to this year's Selecting Editor, Darlin' Neal, for giving herself to this project—and for putting together a Top 50 that is going to just blow the doors off. (How can you wait? Why aren't you there?)

For next year I'm joined in my work on the Long Shortlist by Ravi Mangla, the new Associate Series Editor for the Top 50. We're lucky to have him. And since this is the formal announcement, let me say: welcome, Ravi!

This year's word on eligibility: the Wigleaf Top Fifty are chosen from a Long Shortlist of 200 stories. Stories have to be at or under 1000 words to be eligible, and must have been posted sometime during the previous calendar year. Stories in blogzines are not considered (unless the blog is part of a larger journal with external hosting). Reprints are not considered. Stories appearing in journals based outside the U.S. are not considered (unless that journal's billing is explicitly international). Stories that are not published and/or archived in HTML are not considered. Stories without unique HTML urls are not considered, unless they are part of sets by the same author. And stories written by Wigleaf associates or appearing in Wigleaf itself are not considered. If you're an editor and want to make sure that your mag's vsf is considered for the next Wigleaf Top 50, please shoot us an email.

Scott Garson's fiction has received awards from Playboy and from the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation and has appeared in many journals. He is the editor of Wigleaf.

To link to this directly: http://wigleaf.com/09top50foreword.htm

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