Editor Roundtable: Specific Comments


(Sample from the visual version of the critiques that will be made available in 2014.)

With editors Ellen Datlow, Paula Guran, Nick Mamatas, James Patrick Kelly, Ann VanderMeer, and Sheila Williams

Below you’ll find the RTF documents with the specific comments from editors included via revision tracking. These documents should open on most computers. Read the critique story without comments to perform your own analysis prior to reading the editorial comments. Read general comments, which also include analysis by editors Gardner Dozois and Liz Gorinsky, who did not provide specific comments. PLEASE NOTE: You will need to open these files with a word processor that recognizes track changes to see the comments.

WONDER–DEADDUNS–Ellen Datlow edit

WONDER–DEADDUNS–Paula Guran edit

WONDER–DEADDUNS–James Patrick Kelly edit

WONDER–DEADDUNS–Nick Mamatas edits

WONDER–DEADDUNS–Ann VanderMeer edit

WONDER–DEADDUNS–Sheila Williams edit

Please note that these documents of specific comments are provided “raw,” with no editing of the comments. It’s also worth noting that I asked these editors to push past the point they would have stopped reading and rejected the manuscript, to give readers a better sense of issues later in the story (making their comments more like a workshop critique). – Jeff VanderMeer

This single downloadable document
collects all of the comments in one place. Thanks to Adam Mills for creating this single-doc resource.

Wonderbook – Deadduns – Master Document – Editor Comments

The participants are:


Ellen Datlow is a multi-award winning short story editor who has been working in science fiction, fantasy, and horror for almost thirty years. She was fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and SCIFICTION and is currently consulting for Tor.com. In addition she has edited or co-edited more than fifty anthologies. Datlow was recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award for outstanding contribution to the genre and has been honored with the Life Achievement Award given by the Horror Writers Association.


Paula Guran is a senior editor for Prime Books and the editor of the annual Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as numerous other anthologies. She edited the Juno fantasy imprint for six years including through its incarnation as an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books. In an earlier life, she produced the pioneering weekly email newsletter DarkEcho (winning two Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award Award, and a World Fantasy Award nomination), and edited the print zine Horror Garage (earning another IHG Award and a second World Fantasy nomination).


Nick Mamatas works at Viz Media as an editor of SF, fantasy, and horror translated from the Japanese. His novels include Move Under Ground, Northern Gothic, Under My Roof, Bullit, and Sensation. He is also the author of many published horror, fantasy, and science fiction short stories, some of which are collected in 3000 Miles Per Hour In Every Direction At Once and You Might Sleep… From 2006 to 2008 Mamatas co-edited the fiction magazine Clarkesworld, nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards. He has also edited and co-edited several anthologies, most notably Spicy Slipstream Stories and Haunted Legends.


Hugo and Nebula Award winner James Patrick Kelly has written novels, short stories, essays, reviews, poetry, plays and planetarium shows. With John Kessel he is co-editor of the anthologies Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology, Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka, The Secret History Of Science Fiction, Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Rewired: The Post Cyberpunk Anthology and SFWA’s Nebula Awards Showcase 2012. He is on the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.


The founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press, Ann VanderMeer currently serves as an acquiring fiction editor for Tor.com, Cheeky Frawg Books, and Weirdfictionreview.com. She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years, during which time she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning one. Along with nominations for the World Fantasy Award and Shirley Jackson Award, she also has won a British Fantasy Award for co-editing The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Other projects have included Best American Fantasy, two Steampunk anthologies, and a humor book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Her latest anthologies include Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and an as-yet anthology of feminist speculative fiction.


Sheila Williams is the two-time Hugo-Award-winning editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. She is also the co-founder of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. Williams is the editor or co-editor of twenty-five anthologies. The most recent of which are Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine’s 30th Anniversary Anthology and Enter A Future: Fantastic Tales from Asimov’s Science Fiction.