We have now read all the stories that were submitted to us. Everyone who sent us a story should have received either a rejection or a hold request. If you haven't heard anything from us, please let us know right away (use the editors email on the sidebar to the right).
So what happens now? We are currently holding 60 stories. Each of these is a story we both liked and would be delighted to publish, but we only have room for about 20. How do we decide which stories will be accepted?
First, Donald and Kristin will each assign every story we're considering a ranking of Low, Medium, or High, where the ranking is less about quality than a subjective determination of how excited we are to publish the story, compared to others we're holding. If we both rank a story High, the default assumption is that it will go in. If we both rank it Low, the default assumption is that it won't. (Again, this does not mean the story is bad or that we don't like it. It does mean that we can't afford to publish an 800-page anthology.) We agreed that each of us should assign a High rating to no more than 12 pieces, and a Low rating to at least 12.
After the initial pass, there will still be room for more stories, and a large part of our decision-making will depend on balance: science fiction vs. fantasy, reprints vs. original fiction, different themes and concepts and cultures and so on. We expect it to take at least a week or two before we settle on the stories we want to publish.
Once we reach that point, it's time to start sending out acceptances and rejections, and then we come to the really hard part: editing. Some of the stories may be ready to print as is, but most at least need some copy edits, and others may need some minor content editing. Acceptances will be contingent on the editors and author agreeing to the version of the story that goes into print. Then we'll send out contracts and get signatures from both sides, and pay the authors.
And that's not all! We'll have to write an introduction (once we know for sure which stories we're publishing); then there's interior layout, independent copy editing, final cover design, proofs, print samples, fulfilling pre-orders, advertising and sending out review copies, and making the book available for purchase. So there's still a lot to do.