Saturday, September 22, 2007

if i were to edit an anthology - the final list

Here is the third and presumably final installment of my dream anthology. The Long List. The Short List.

The Final List
(in no particular order other than alphabetical)
Elizabeth Bear
Ted Chiang
Stephen King
Mary Robinette Kowal
Joe R Lansdale
George R R Martin
Alison McGhee
Lori Selke
Lucius Shepard
Karen Traviss

The first couple of names on the Final List for my fictitious themed anthology were pretty easy to come up with. I’ll let you guess which ones, and no, I’m not telling. I had to limit myself to 10 writers for my anthology (I suppose I didn’t *have* to) to keep things lean. Sure, I could easily have my Short List be the Final List and have a nice honking anthology packed full of great writers and great stories. But I wanted something trimmer, leaner, meaner. This here is my dream list for the anthology.

As a reminder, my theme: Dead People. They can walk, they can talk, they can interact with the living (or with the dead), but no blood flows through their veins. No brain dead zombies, no vampires. What could these Giants do with that generic theme? If I was rich, I’d pay (and pay well) to find out. And if I had that lineup of authors I know I’d find a publisher (dream publisher for this: Subterranean Press)

Why these authors?

Elizabeth Bear
: Have you read Blood and Iron? Have you? Is this not enough? Then go read the host of short fiction she has available on her website. Then go read Blood and Iron again. Bear is an outstanding writer and, I hope I don’t start repeating myself, I would love to see what she’ll do with this.

Ted Chiang: The man has published a grand total of 10 stories and they are without peer (except for the two in Nature). If I could get him it would be a coup.

Stephen King: His short fiction is arguably better than his novel length fiction and he has written some damn good stuff. Besides the selling power of his name I just want to read a new Stephen King story.

Mary Robinette Kowal: I have been reading Kowal’s work this year and I am as impressed with her as I have been with any author this year. She seems to bring a unique perspective to her work (“Horizontal Rain”, “Rampion”, “The Bound Man”) and like Elizabeth Bear – I’d love to see what she’d do with the subject. I bet it would be unlike anyone else’s work (this could be said about all the writers in this anthology because they are all unique snowflakes).

Joe R. Lansdale: Dream List. Dream Author. Lansdale’s work would likely be harsher than anyone else’s here, but with a flair of language and dialogue that has to be read to be believed. I refer you to Deadman’s Road.

George R. R. Martin: Before he wrote A Game of Thrones George Martin was winning awards for his short fiction and his Westeros shorts in the Legends anthologies have been top notch.

Alison McGhee: The only non genre writer in this anthology and she was a late addition to the Short List having bypassed the Long List entirely. Simply, she writes beautiful and powerful novels and I would love to have her write the story. Coming from outside the genre, McGhee would have a very different perspective. What would she do?

Lori Selke: Dead. Nude. Girls. I don’t think I would even ask Selke to write me a new story. I really loved her story in Strange Horizons, it’s the one that inspired the theme for the anthology, and why go back to the well when you’ve already got the water.

Lucius Shepard: I like the majority of his work, he’s a solid writer who writes some good novellas (Vacancy) and short novels (Softspoken), and he’s knock this one out.

Karen Traviss: I know she has written some short fiction, though I haven’t read any of it. But her Wess’har Wars are so damn good and she gets into the head and personality profiles of her characters so well that I know she would write a hell of a story here.

Since I don’t expect to strike it filthy, filthy rich anytime soon I won’t be able to contact these fantastic writers and attempt to contract the stories from them at a rather generous payscale and these stories will thus not be written and anthologized. Pity. It would have made one hell of an anthology.

But hey, perhaps some of these worthies will see this post and think “Hey, that’s a hell of an idea! I think I’d like to write that story anyway!” And then I’d pay them each $5 for the rights to publish the story on this site. Because that’s all I can afford since I have not struck it filthy rich. And reading *that*, these worthies will think, “$5? Hell with that!” and walk away.

It’s a nice dream anthology, though. Cover art by John Picacio or Bob Eggleton or Stephen Martiniere (have you seen his cover for Elantris?).

Don’t know what the title would be yet. If I come up with one I’ll post it, otherwise I may be done with my dream...


Anonymous said...

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The word "Selling Power" is sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for sales effectiveness. For example, your article states: "Besides the Selling Power of his name, I just want to read a new Stephen King story." Although this is use is not unusual, we do not condone such uses of our trademark.
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Joe said...
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