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Ideas For Original Anthologies

(12 posts)

  1. Ron
    Member

    This thread is to suggest ideas for original anthologies.

    To start, I would be interested in an anthology of original stories set in the "Instrumentality" universe of Cordwainer Smith.

    Of course, such anthologies would need permission from literary estates. Here is Estate Contact Information from the SFWA:

    http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/projects/estate/estates-contact-information/

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. MattHughes
    Member

    Interesting. Gardner Dozois posted something recently, it may have been on Facebook, about trying to interest a publisher in a Cordwainer Smith tribute anthology and being turned down because "nobody has heard of him."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. Matt, this sounds to me--at least on the surface--that the editor who turned down Gardner's idea is relatively young and not well versed in the history of the field. While Gardner has been published by a number of publishers for his big antho over the years, the last three have been from Bantam (Old Mars, 2013; Old Venus, 2015; and now The Book of Swords, 2017--all co-edited with GRRM), so I'm given to wonder if he pitched his Cordwainer Smith tribute antho to some (relatively) younger editor at Bantam who is trying to make his or her bones, is fretful of accepting a proposal without a built-in money making hook and is therefore skittish of taking chances and putting a black mark on his/her budding career. Just spitballing, of course. Said editor could come from any of the other pub houses Gardner has landed proposals with over the years, but I'd still guess said editor would still not have the essential grasp of the field if he or she said by way of refusal "nobody has heard of him." I'd hate to think it might have been PNH at Tor, now that he's more or less in charge. I think a Cordwainer Smith Tribute Antho is a pretty good idea, actually.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. MattHughes
    Member

    I'd be happy to be invited into a Cordwainer Smith tribute antho. I read him when I (along with the world) was young. He had some of the same sensibility as Jack Vance. But publishing, especially corporatized publishing, is an ephemeral business. You're only as good as your last outing. Better to hew to your P&L and massage the risk out of your projects. Sad, but that's how it is now.

    BTW, George didn't co-edit The Book of Swords. That's all Gardner, as is The Book of Magic, a companion volume due out next year. I'm proud to say I was invited into that one when someone dropped out. I've always aspired to be reliable.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Ron, you'd only need the literary estate's permission if you plan to use people or settings from the author's work. If you want to create fiction that honors whatever is unique about an author (which is usually their literary style or themes), you're completely free to do so.

    Matt, sales of anthologies are all about the "pitch". Change that from "we'd like to honor [name of dead white male nobody under 50 has heard of]" to "we'd like to do an anthology about [theme that seems likely to interest a publisher], but with a modern sensibility" and you get a very different response. Having sold the publisher on the idea, there's nothing to stop you from noting (in your instructions to authors and subsequently in your preface or foreword) that you got the idea for the anthology from the works of [name of author], and that you encourage readers to seek out their work if they like the contents of the anthology.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. Thanks for the correction, Matt. GRRM is not the co-editor with Gardner on The Book of Swords. Don't know why I said he was, since it's sitting right here next to me on the couch with the cover staring me in the face. I'm on page 368 of 521, btw and am liking it fine so far.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Further to Cordwainer Smith, it might be worthwhile contacting his foundation (http://www.cordwainer-smith.com/award.htm) to see if they'd be interested in funding such an anthology, either directly or through a kickstarter.

    And if you want to learn more about his work, the indomitable NESFA Press has you covered:
    http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Smith-Rediscovery.htm
    (They have a great many other things of interest, including my cherished Roger Zelazny collection... the perfect holiday gift for Zelaznophiles. If only they'd do a Manly Wade Wellman collection... *hint, hint*)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. MattHughes
    Member

    There are also plenty of his works in ebook format on Amazon at reasonable prices.

    https://www.amazon.com/Cordwainer-Smith/e/B000APBV9Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1508935516&sr=1-2-ent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Since it's relevant to this thread, I'll note that Warren Lapine and Trent Zelazny recently brought out a Roger Zelazny tribute anthology. Here's more info:

    https://www.bookshout.com/ebooks/shadows-reflections

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. Ron
    Member

    Excellent posts from everyone here.

    My second suggestion is a Philip K. Dick tribute anthology. I think that Philip K. Dick's literary estate would be open minded to the possibility. Heck, they allowed a derivative work (Blade Runner 2049).

    On a related note, a non fiction book about Philip K Dick that I read reprinted an idea that Philip K. Dick had for an episode of the TV show Mission Impossible. The episode would have the Mission Impossible team fool a Latin American dictator into thinking there was a revolution in his country, in order to get the dictator to leave the country.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Chris DeVito
    Member

    >Gardner Dozois posted something recently, it may have been on Facebook, about trying to interest a publisher in a Cordwainer Smith tribute anthology and being turned down because "nobody has heard of him."

    It seems Cordwainer Smith needs to win the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award . . .

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. Steve R.
    Member

    C. J. Cherryh - The Alliance-Union universe - More specifically a further exploration of Cyteen.

    A. Bertram Chandler - He is my favorite author from the perspective of having fun stories that were enjoyable and very pleasant to read.

    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat series. Like Chandler his stories were very enjoyable.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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