This was a great idea for an anthology. Laurell and William explain where it came from in the intro, but basically the way she pitched it to me, she was sick and tired of too much recent fiction trying too hard to be grimdark and hopeless. You know the stuff I’m talking about. Everything sucks, everyone is a jerk, everything fails, then the characters all die. The end. That’s lame and kind of depressing. So Laurell wanted to put together an anthology of stories that had an element of hope to them.
They didn’t need to be sugary, happy fun times, magic rainbows and unicorns stuff either. On the contrary, some of these in here are dark and deal with some harsh stuff, but she wanted stories that had some element of hope to them. Even when stuff is bleak, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s out this week. (Come to think of it, the timing of this is appropriate, but she started putting this together last summer).
I had a lot of fun with my story in this one. I’ve used it for my live reading at a couple of cons now because it gets a lot of laughs from the audience. You know all those stories where a time traveler goes back in time to stop someone from doing something? Only imagine if instead of the Terminator, you got Rob Lowe’s character from Parks & Rec… except he’s still trying to kill you.
I’ve read about half of the book so far and everything I’ve read has been really good. In anthos like this I usually check out the newbs before the more famous writers (I like to keep up on up and coming talents, because they are the ones who need the publicity. Us old established types are fine) and I’m happy that all of them I’ve read so far have been great.
William McCaskey’s story is about PTSD and how teddy bears protect us from nightmares, and it is poignant and really well done. KC Ezell’s had a story about a pioneer handcart company and werewolves, excellent. Rob Hampson has one about the history of the moon which is a really love story. Patrick Tracy’s tale of a convenience store clerk who turns into a vampire is surprisingly tender. And I really liked Griffin Barber’s sci-fi tale of a bad ass crime boss in space prison which went in a direction I didn’t expect.
So check it out. I hope you enjoy it.