So far, so good! It’s looking like I’ll be able to acquire the rights to publish the top twelve stories that I wanted to include in this collection. This will make The Year's Top Robot and AI Stories a very strong anthology. I am pumped! I’m just waiting for one more contract to be returned to me and then the table of contents is all set. In my experience, it’s pretty unusual to be able to acquire the anthology rights to every story I want to include in a book. As the Rolling Stones say, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Usually this is because the rights to some of the stories are not available. For example, “Troika” by Alastair Reynolds was published in the inaugural issue of The Year’s Top Short SF Novels back in 2011.
This novella was originally published in 2010 by the Science Fiction Book Club in Godlike Machines, edited by Jonathan Strahan. This spectacular story ends up being the runner up for the 2011 Hugo Award for best novella. Although I don’t know for sure, I suspect other editors wanted to include this story in their “year’s best” anthologies besides me. However, it did not appear in any other “year’s best” anthology except mine. This was because the reprint rights were not available. At the time, The Year’s Top Short SF Novels series was not published in print, only as an audiobook and ebook.