Sleepers Publishing are up to Almanac No. 9. Despite the ever-increasing competition from newer literary journals, the high quality of this annual short-fiction anthology remains intact. Eschewing the theme-based model used by many journals and instead offering diversity in subject, style, and tone, the Almanac has never been anything less than an intriguing read, and this is certainly true this time around. While some short story perennials are present (one may find oneself tempted to call for a blanket ban forthwith on stories about pregnancy and divorce), the inventiveness and verve of so many of these stories more than makes up for the tiredness of some approaches and subjects.