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Letter from the Editor

I know we've talked about this aura—the evocative power of a date, a year—but "2015" has a science-fictiony resonance for me, and not because that year featured prominently in one of the installments of Back to the Future. It was such an easy trick the sci-fi writers used, and it worked every time: casually mention a year, the way a newspaper article would, but in the future, which seemed to make the imagined world of the story palpably real. To a ten-year-old boy in 1958, for whom even 1945 was the Past, "2015" was enough by itself to create a powerful yearning (even when the fictional reality attached to it was in some respects dark and forbidding).

And now, close to 60 years later, we're here. Oddly, some of that sense of anticipation has been transferred to books—"forthcoming books," as they are called. (I can still remember the awe and fascination I felt when I first encountered that phrase and learned what it meant. In fact, I still feel it strongly.) This is the time of year when publishers' catalogues for the next season, some still in printed form, some digital only, are arriving in great numbers, and I read them as avidly as I did Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov and Andre Norton in 1958. Intelligence reports on forthcoming books come from other sources, too (I am always on the lookout), and then there are the books themselves in the form of galleys: many still in printed form, but increasingly as e-galleys too.

All of this floats around in my head. There are books I have heard about that I can't wait to see, others that sound at least possibly intriguing, others that are now in one of my stacks of bound galleys or on my Kindle, others still that I have actually read but am nonetheless "looking forward to" (as illogical as that may sound) because they haven't been officially published yet—the "finished book" isn't out. I think about possible reviewers, ...

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