Anthology appellations

The Original Cyberpunk contemplates anthologizing himself:

Which brings us to the last question: what makes for a good single-author anthology, anyway? What do you like to see? Just the hit singles? Something you haven’t seen before? As many stories as can possibly be fit into a book? Stories focusing on just one particular style or theme, or a good cross-section from the writer’s entire career? And what about the writer’s voice: do you like it when the writer includes a little something about the story? Do you prefer a big something; e.g., longer comments about what the writer thought he was trying to do when he wrote it and what it took to make the story publishable? Or are you happiest when the writer just shuts up and stays the heck out of the way of the stories?

First, I think the idea of an anthology of Mr. Bethke’s work is a great one. And in my opinion, the name is obvious: The Original Cyberpunk. Considering the word is his singular contribution to the English language, it would be a travesty of both marketing and justice were the central collection of his best short fiction not pay homage to it in some way.

As for the actual question posed, I prefer to see a Best Of collection. Unless one is a Major Writer or prolific short story writer who publishes multiple anthologies, the book is likely to become the definitive view of the author’s work for many readers. And I very much enjoy an introductory page preceding each story providing the reader with additional information, either about the idea for the story, the process of writing the story, or deeper aspects of the story that may not be apparent to the average reader.

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