Aug 12

Can't sell it... might have to burn it... Click for full image

Matt Comments: Thought this might give you paws for thought (sorry…)! An interesting variation on the usual cat people.
Published 2008

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.51 out of 10)

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51 Responses to “Best American Fantasy 2”

  1. Phil Says:

    Features Peter S. Beagle, so of course the cover artist depicts a dog.

  2. Tom Noir Says:

    I weep for American fantasy.

    “OK you lot, we got to do a book for Americans. What do Americans like?”



    “Riding along on Route 66 through the Old West!”


  3. Tom Hering Says:

    Clearly, the problem here is that the artist hasn’t been house trained. I mean, Oliver Wetter? Also known as Oliver “all over” Wetter.

  4. Bibliomancer Says:

    The title is actually Best American Fantasy 2008, not Best American Fantasy 2. Obviously GSS Admin couldn’t see past the dog’s big head.

    Hard to work the accelerator and brakes without opposable thumbs. Doggie’s gonna die in a crash.

  5. GSS Admin Says:


    YOU! You doubt my powers! MY POWERS?!?! Actually you should… Apparently there is three of these collections and this is the second one, hence the 2.

    To be fair you are right. But maybe I should have called it: Best American Fantasy 2Cn&

  6. Tom Hering Says:

    @ GSS Admin, yes, three – and only three – collections. (click on weblog link, right.)

    You’ll note with vindication that even they refer to today’s subject as BAF2.

  7. Bibliomancer Says:

    @GSS Admin — You are correct. (Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut).
    is Vandermeer doing some editor-splaining on the title changes. Curiously he shows a book photo of the dog cover with neither a 2 nor a 2008.

    @Tom Hering — There were apparently plans for BAF4, BAF5, & BAF6 but the series was cancelled after BAF3.
    Perhaps they paid Stephen King too much for his included story. Here is a series obituary written by Mrs. Editor:

  8. SI Says:

    I do like the editors… then the series editor… maybe there was an editor war!

    @Biblomancer – Maybe because what’s above is an advanced copy! What Matt the OP has there is a collectable! Just think how much it will be worth in… years… to come!

    Not to belittle someone having to close their doors on a book series, they said this:

    required sympathy and generosity from both the mainstream and genre, as well as the right placement in the chains, was always going to be a difficult sell.

    With that in mind I find it interesting they went for a dog person riding a motor cycle.

  9. fred Says:

    If that title was a Jeopardy answer the question would have to be ‘Who was Sarah Palin?’.
    Headlight needs some splattered bugs. Rider needs a big red calico handkerchief tied around his neck.

  10. Tat Wood Says:

    It was a theme in those days.

    (I sometimes think Wolfe’s publishers want everyone to buy ereaders. The covers for the Short Sun books in particular)

    But… why does a dog need a tassled waistcoat?

  11. Phil Says:

    Shame that born-to-be-wild doggie didn’t get an extended outing through the rest of the series. I’m SURE it would have been a bit hit if they’d also shown him surfing, say, or driving a London bus.

  12. THX 1138 Says:

    Git your motor growlin’
    Wag out on the highway
    Sniffin’ out adventure
    Pausing at lampposts in mah way
    You and me we’re gonna catch some sticks
    Take the world with big wet licks
    Gettin’ away with inappropriate behaviour
    Who needs to be housetrained?
    Like a true nature’s pooch
    We were born, born to wake you up at half three in the morning…

    Er, it’s getting away from me now.

  13. David Cowie Says:

    Needs a “Font problems” tag – note the random italic letters in the title, and the Y, which seems to be from a different typeface altogether.

  14. Tom Hering Says:

    @ SI, I think she meant to say, “A collection of short stories, in a time when genre readers like to lose themselves in an open-ended series of 800-page novels, was always going to be a difficult sell.”

  15. Rags Says:

    If that story is not called “Dog on a Hog” they really dropped the ball.

  16. Tat Wood Says:

    @rags: ‘Harley and Me’

  17. Bibliomancer Says:

    I’m a Mog, half man, half dog. I’m my own best friend.”

  18. jeff vandermeer Says:

    I LOVE this site, so am perhaps perversely happy to have a book I edited show up here. Story behind the cover is that the cover for the first volume was amazing and promoted the idea of a cross-genre anthology–both mainstream and genre–but the publisher wasn’t able to push the brand in the right way, and decided on a more genre-y cover for the second volume…I can’t say I ever loved this cover, and this one tanked in part because we abandoned our brand too soon, but we didn’t have any choice at the time due to bookstore pressure. Anyway, it is indeed a dog on a hog. LOL!!!

  19. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    At least this looks like some kind of dog-man, rather than a man with a dog’s head. I suppose that’s some kind of improvement.

  20. Earthling Person Says:

    The “Y” is indeed the capital italic “Y” of that typeface.

  21. B. Chiclitz Says:

    The dog is probably a mule running a shipment of horse across the border for some fat cat.

  22. Bibliomancer Says:

    @B. Chiclitz — The dog was then arrested by the pigs because some snake ratted him out.

  23. B. Chiclitz Says:


  24. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Born To Be Spayed

  25. Lionrock Says:

    @Bibliomancer – And then in prison he turned stool pigeon to avoid being turned into someone’s bitch.

  26. WWWWolf Says:

    Random italics are the best italics! Also doubt the wisdom to put in a dog-themed cover and mentioning Peter S. *Beagle* on it, as awesome author as he is. The jokes just write themselves.

    But still, dogs on motorcycles are awesome. Not as awesome as wolves on motorcycles though! Riding through the wilderness can be harsh.

  27. Thunderbird1 Says:

    Not so much “Easy Rider” as “Easy Rover”…

  28. FëaröfMüsic Says:

    I was thinking Terrier on a Triumph, but ooops, ‘American’ fantasy. No helmet. Hmm, obviously a loner, a rebel, a 1%’er. A member of Satan’s Scottie Dogs perhaps?

  29. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Fantasy publishing has gone to the dogs.

    BA-DA-BUM! Thank you, thank you!

  30. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    I wonder what he’s thinking about…

  31. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tag Wizard — could we have an “authors in the comments” tag on this forgotten classic? Although, technically, Mr. Vandermeer is the editor.

  32. Tag Wizard Says:

    Certainly, sir. Thanks!

  33. Severian 67 Says:

    To me it looks like the mutt has a long-suffering expression on his face, as if he’s thinking, “Christ, can’t wait to get off this bike.”

  34. RachelJ Says:

    So this was the origin of the “author in the comments” tag?

  35. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Anti-Sceptic (30)—with that expression, maybe: “I wish everybody looking at this cover would stop assuming I just peed on the Rte. 66 sign.”

  36. Raoul Says:

    @RachelJ – Oh no. We had Harlan Ellison long before this.

  37. RachelJ Says:

    @Raoul. Silly me. How could I forget that?

  38. RachelJ Says:

    Question is this, in fact, a common thing for Americans to fantasise about? Being a motorcycle-riding canine?

  39. fred Says:

    Greatest TV show ever, both 60’s and 80’s.

  40. Tat Wood Says:

    You know, I always imagined that Route 66 looked a bit bigger, more desert-ish and less like Northamptonshire that this. At least Fido’s driving on the left, even if he’s ignoring helmet regulations for motorcyling in the UK.

  41. Tor Mented Says:

    It’s a muttercycle.

  42. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tor M: a-and a really fast one. Whenever the mutt gets in trouble, he just hops on his cycle and fleas!

  43. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    I love going back to old posts…I think I’ve finally come to an answer of my 5 year old question: He’s thinking to himself (itself?) “Gosh, I’m bone tired of this long ride. A good thing that Rte. 66 sign was back there for me to pee on.” @B.Chiclitz 😉

  44. drlemaster Says:

    Why settle for sticking you head out the window when you can ride an entire vehicle that’s out the window!

  45. Francis Boyle Says:

    The Random Italics is my new band name. Thanks,
    Best American Fantasy 2.

  46. THX 1138 Says:

    @ drlemaster: Good show, sir! I LOL’d.

  47. GSS ex-noob Says:

    “Ladeez, gents, and canines of the Route 66 Roadhouse, put yer paws together for Francis Boyle and The Random Italics!!!”

    (that was hard to type!)

    I’ve been on Route 66. It doesn’t look like that at all.

  48. A.R.Yngve Says:

    BEST AMERICAN FANTASY 2020 will feature a State of the Union speech by the President.

  49. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @ARY: No, that’s Worst American Horror 2020.

  50. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: in Fantasy America, the speech will be given by President Puppy Biker.

  51. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: It would be nice to have a Good Boy in the WH.

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