I’ve decided that, since people seem interested, I’ll be making the writing roundups of contributor copies I read a regular feature of the blog. I’ve recently gone through three contributor’s copies of books that contained my work from 3 or 4 years ago (I make no apologies for this. If you saw my to-be-read-pile, you’d understand).
For those of you who are not writers, a quick reminder: a contributor’s copy is a magazine or book containing a writer’s work that the publisher sends the writer to keep for his own records or to show it to his friends and brag about it. They make writers happy, unless the writer’s name is spelled wrong, in which case they make writers homicidal.
The first of today’s eclectic mix is a small saddle-stitched magazine (saddle-stitching is when the sheets are folded in half and then stapled – a popular magazine binding format) entitled Falling Star. This one contained my story “A Time to Reflect” which is the sequel to the ever-popular “Dangerous Skies”. The mag was a quick read not only because of its short length but also because the weird holiday themes were very entertaining. Recommended.
Next up is an antho we’ve featured here before. You may remember that Elizabeth Hirst, the editor of Love, Time, Space, Magic, was here to tell us about the unique challenges of creating an SFF / Romance antho without offending the readers of both genres simultaneously. She paints a much more edifying picture of that antho in her note than I ever could, so I will only say she succeeded. I almost never read romance, but this book both entertained and, occasionally, moved me. It’s a wonderful book. This one holds my story “Modern Love”.
The third book is perhaps the most interesting of all, as The Apex Book of World SF Vloume 2 aims to showcase the best of non-anglocentric genre work (the “SF” in the title is open ended and includes fantasy and slipstream). A book like this will always be limited by what is available in English, but the effort to locate these stories is commendable. The book does do a good job of finding good examples and most people, especially anglo-centric people, will enjoy it.
In my case, the only criticism I have for this series is that it tended to focus a little too much on colonial concerns (as in how colonialism affects everyone) and not enough on the real stuff that happens in all these other wonderful countries. What most First World citizens seem to have trouble understanding is that post-colonial thought is of interest only to Americans, Europeans and certain academics or activists within the former colonies. The rest of the people there don’t care, and aren’t interested in fiction that speaks to it. However, as World SF which speaks to the concerns of the Americans and Europeans (its target audience, after all), this one works very well.
My story “Eyes in the Vastness of Forever” is reprinted here. It speaks to the concerns of post-colonial thinkers… because I write mainly for American and European audiences… (what, me, a hypocrite? How can you say such a thing???).
This batch left me shaking my head at just how diverse the genre is thematically speaking. SFF is wonderful when you stop to think about it.
Gustavo Bondoni is an award-winning novelist and short story writer who has just launched a new comic fantasy book in the Douglas Adams / Terry Pratchett vein. He thinks you should read it. It’s available here. And also on Kindle.