Author FAQ

Best SF & Fantasy Author FAQ

How do you choose which books are “best?”

While we don’t want to limit ourselves to a specific definition of what makes a “best” science fiction or fantasy story, we do want to make it more than just personal taste. Currently, we look at the various major genre awards and select from their short lists. We may in the future also look at other sources, including long lists of nominees, recommended reading lists, and similar. The goal isn’t for us to be the arbiter of what’s best, but rather to aggregate what broader groups consider best.

My story was selected as a “Year’s Best” by a major anthology. Can I reach out to you to have it included in the podcast?

Unfortunately not. Our selection process is entirely internal. But if you feel that we should include that anthology as a source for our podcast, let us know!

Do you only select short stories?

We include short stories and novelettes, as defined by SFWA.

What is a “season” of the podcast?

Each year of stories is presented as a single season. We are starting with 2022, and season one will include stories from that year. Season two will be stories from 2023.

Can I use the audio on my website or in an audiobook?

You can freely use our audio production of your story any way you want. Just note that you can’t change it. For example, if you want to include it in an audiobook, you’ll need to keep the podcast intro, credits, and all of the host narration.

If I don’t like the production, would you change it or re-do it? 

While we will fix obvious mistakes, we won’t re-produce an episode if you don’t like the narrator or similar production details. 

Note that on the agreement form, you can make special requests for the production.

What is your pay rate?

We pay a flat honorarium of $75 USD. For most short stories this will be higher than the common 1 cent per word reprint rate, while for longer works it will be a bit lower.

It says you pay on acceptance, what does that mean, specifically?

Once you return the online publication agreement, we will process your payment. Depending on the method you choose to get paid, this can take from a single day to a couple of weeks.

What methods do you use to pay authors?

ACH direct deposit, paper check, Venmo, Cash App, and Paypal. 

Who is In Shambles Productions?

In Shambles includes various operating units, including an audiobook production division, a podcast production division, and film and TV production. You can find out more about them via their website. All production and management of the Best SF & Fantasy podcast is handled by In Shambles Productions.

Who narrates the podcast stories?

The podcasts are narrated by professional voice talent, including stage actors, radio hosts, and voice over actors. The podcast is written and hosted by Nebula and Sturgeon nominee Jake Kerr.

The agreement mentions an anthology. What is that about?

We have not yet decided whether to provide an audio anthology of each season. If we do, it will be presented for sale as an audio exclusive. If we decide to publish the anthology, you will receive a payment and share of royalties as outlined in the agreement.

I’m an author with a story that’s been critically acclaimed. I have a new book coming out, can I be interviewed in the podcast?

Possibly! We are still defining what the podcast will be, but there are indeed plans for special episodes that feature interviews with writers. If you’re interested, reach out to us at

Have more questions? Contact us at

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