Most books have a story behind them. This one is no exception. When I started writing short fiction for publication, back in the mid-2000’s, there were very few people from the non-English part of the developing world writing original work in English. Oh, some people were translating stuff that happened to land on their desk, but it was a scattershot effort.
So, mixed in with my more usual fare (fiction set in an American or Western European setting), I loved to change it up on editors a bit and drop my characters into unexpected places. So you get a noirish dystopia in Namibia, a parrot story in New Zealand or a straight up SF espionage tale on the moon… in which two of the antagonists are India and China.
These stories sold, so I kept creating them until, almost without realizing it, I soon had enough for a book dedicated to just my published work that takes place, as the title suggests, off the beaten path of traditional SF.
And it just happened that I already worked with the perfect publisher for a book of this kind. Guardbridge Books is based in Scotland, but has specialized, since its launch, in books from different cultures. They had published my novel, Outside, and when I pitched the idea, they were delighted to have a look… and they, like the editors who’d bought the stories initially, also decided to publish.
Of course, they asked for a couple of new stories, which I was more than happy to write, and which round out the book wonderfully (of course I think that… I’m the author!).
So, that’s the genesis of this particular book. Have a look! Buy a copy! Hell, buy multiple copies… give one to all your friends. Sign it and pretend I did it (I’ll back you up).