A lot of times books are very different from what the title, cover or ad copy promises. I, for example would have hated to be an editor attempting to create a movie tie-in edition of Beowulf.
The publishers of that book had two possible routes: they could be faithful to the movie or to the poem, but not to both. These seemed to have based the book on a novelization of the screenplay. If it had been me, I would have sold the poem with the movie artwork… in Old English. I doubt any of the potential buyers would have made the considerable effort required to read the thing but at least they would have realized (except for those people incapable of any kind of realization) that there was something deeper going on here, a mystery to which they were not privy.
The above is a good way to have a little fun at others’ expense, but it probably isn’t the best way to create a happy customer base.
Show your readers an alien landscape generating all kinds of questions, and then fill the publication with stories that take place in similar places. That is the key, and Outposts of Beyond (at least in the January 2019 issue that I recently read) does this beautifully. It’s a mix of fantasy and science fiction and the quality of the writing is such that it transports you to exotic, wonderful locales. Every tale sticks in the mind (when I started writing this review, I leafed through them all and realized that I could remember details of them all–that doesn’t always happen).
The story I enjoyed most was “For All These Worlds, a Messiah”, by Mike Morgan. This one isn’t what you’d call a literary or contemplative piece, but it was fun, an the characters have depth–also, though I am not particularly religious myself, I love reading adventure/spiritual journey stories–if they’re well done, of course.
Like other publications, this one also contains poetry and even an interview (with Adam-Troy Castro), so you get quite a bit of content n a compact package.
A good read (disclaimer – one of my stories is in there).
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer. Fans of both strange places and short SF and Fantasy will absolutely love his collection Off the Beaten Path which features a dragon on the cover… illustrating a science fiction story. You can check it out here.