Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy Eights (And You Can Win One!)

Last year, Dario Ciriello, a member of my critique group, suggested we self publish an anthology of short stories from our group. It was intended as something fun for us to share with friends and family, and maybe generate a little press for ourselves. That anthology is Eight Against Reality.

Little did we know that Dario would take the project to heart and launch his own micro-press, Panverse Publishing, out of it. Or that he would start producing anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, and horror novellas. He's working on his third volume now and the reviews for Panverse One have been good. Panverse Two hits the shelves this September.

Dario is an inspiration, and a great example of what you can do in publishing with today's technology. While putting together Eight Against Reality, he saw a void in the market for novellas, which is a format he loves, but is almost impossible to find (let alone sell). He wanted to showcase this format and put out the kinds of stories he's drawn to, and Panverse is the result. A love of words, a love of writing, a love of stories pushed him to take a risk and I admire him for that. You can do all kinds of things in the publishing biz if you think outside the box. It might not be for everyone, but you might find a route or a niche that's perfect for you.

But today, I get to show off our group's anthology, Eight Against Reality. It launches this week, and contains eight stories by some great authors (and I'm not just saying that because they're in my group). To name just a few...

Aliette de Bodard was a 2009 finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer , and a L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future winner. Her debut novel, Servant of the Underworld was released last fall (coming to the US November 2010). She's published over 50 short stories.

Juliette Wade has been a common contributor to Analog Magazine this past year with her linguistic science fiction stories. She came very close to being on the ballot for the 2009 Nebula Awards for best novelette.

T.L. Morganfield has a stack of short stories to her name in magazines like Realms of Fantasy, Paradox, GUD, and Space and Time. Her alternate history stories have been earning her rave reviews.

And then there's me, and you guys know what I've done (grin). The story I did for Eight Against Reality was fun, because it was inspired by one of those flukey things. My husband and I were heading out one day, and as we approached a stop sign in our neighborhood, a groundhog was sticking half out of a storm drain right under the sign. I saw it and said "Sewer dog!"

I have no idea where those two words came from but as soon as I said it, I had this entire story premise about mutant dogs and a post-apocalyptic future where teens had to hunt them in a rite of passage. The final story turned out a little differently, but that was the inspiration behind Man's Best Enemy. It's a fun world, and once in a while I toy with the idea of doing a novel set in this world. So anyone who reads it, let me know what you think and if you'd want to see more stories set there. (And I love Shawna, the POV. She's like Nya's tougher, more cautious sister)

Here's a quick rundown of what you'll find (and for my younger readers, although The Shifter is for 10+, this anthology is PG-13. There is adult language and situations in some of the stories):

The Eminence's Match by Juliette Wade
An insane ruler obsessed with control – a flawed servant desperate to find a master – will they destroy each other? Or will Xinta become the Eminence's Match?

Kip, Running by Genevieve Williams
Cross-country racing is challenging enough--but what about when the country is an urban cityscape, complete with maglev trains, smart buildings, moving sidewalks, and blimps?

The Lonely Heart by Aliette de Bodard
In the shadow of China's Three Gorges Dam, a woman finds out that the old, horrific tales might, after all, be true...

The Flying Squids of Zondor by Doug Sharp
When alien-loathing Commandrix Den Dron crashes the mighty BattleRocket Trigon into a planet full of flying squid, her libido fights a losing battle with her gag reflex.

Spoiling Veena by Keyan Bowes
Shalini's perfect daughter Veena has grown up exactly as they designed her... so what should she do when their daughter wants to be their son?

Man's Best Enemy by Janice Hardy
Shawna always wanted to be a Hunter - but facing the mutant dogs that have claimed the cities turns out to be harder than she expected.

Love, Blood, and Octli by T.L. Morganfield
The god Ehecatl gives Ayomichi many gifts to help her people, but she soon discovers that not all of them are meant to benefit mankind.

Dancing by Numbers by Dario Ciriello
A young dancer discovers an ability that will change worlds - and then makes a terrifying choice that will change them further still...

The Contest
For funsies, I'm going to give away one of my two copies. Think of this as a pre-contest for the Blue Fire ARC contest in a few weeks.

The rules are simple:

1. Just post a comment in the comments section. If you don't know what to say, tell me your favorite color. Earn one point.

2. Link to this post about the contest. Earn one point.

3. Blog about the anthology. Earn one point. (blogging about it and linking to the contest gets you two points)

4. You get one entry for every point. I'll draw names next Monday, July 5th and announce the winner that day.

5. Anyone can enter. Winning here does NOT disqualify you for the Blue Fire contest. You can win both.

Right after this contest, I'll do the Blue Fire one, with probably the same rules. So this is a good test to see how that goes. Though I might still do a a zombie joke one at some point as well. Maybe give extra points for those.

Okies, contest starts... NOW!


  1. Awesome! Oh, and I CAN'T WAIT for Blue Fire.

    I tweeted:

  2. Hi Janice! All these short stories sound really awesome, and I especially can't wait to read yours. Congrats to all of you!

  3. Sounds like a cool anthology. Count me in.

  4. That sounds incredible! Great to see people taking the initiative and bringing something exciting and fun into the world.

    Also... indigo.

  5. Yay!

    To answer your first question: Hunter green.

    Both a blog and a link shall be forthcoming...

    And thank you for this post. I'm going to be keeping an eye on Panverse Publishing; I may just have a couple of things to submit in the near future!

  6. Enter me! Your story sounds so interesting. I did a blog post and a link. My favorite color - pink.

  7. Cool beans! So... I will use this enter-the-content comment as an excuse to say that your diagnostics for revision (figuring out what a scene does and whether it should be cut in particular) are super duper helpful. Hooray!

  8. Janice is very kind, as well as modest: she did the truly awesome cover layout and graphics to go with Vlado's artwork, as well as all the interior layout! Result: one gorgeous book full of great stories. Good luck with this fun contest, everyone! :)

  9. Eight Against Reality is well worth checking out even if you don't win. (Hehe. I already blogged about it, thanks to Juliette.) You can leave me out of the contest pool though, so those copies can go to people who haven't read it yet.

  10. Favorite color? Is that a trick question? I'm thinking of Monty Python's Holy Grail. Okay, well mine is brown or maybe pink.

    Hmm, I'm still here, safe and sound!

    Seriously, this sounds like a great anthology!

  11. It's a couple of days later than I intended, but I have a post up about your contest, with link included, of course.
    Good luck to everyone that's entering!

  12. 1. My favorite color is blue.
    2. The cover of this anthology is awesome, and I can't wait to read it.
    3. I'll be linking this to a blog post tomorrow (when I have more time *sigh*).

    Hope you're having a great weekend!

  13. I'd love to play please :D


  14. Blog post is up now. :)

  15. My favorite color is blue.
    (My tweets are protected, but I promise I really linked to this post!)

  16. My favorite color is dark blue.

    Linked here!

  17. Hmm.

    Favorite color: amethyst
    I'll have to link up and blog about this one, for the points at least.

    And I'm definitely going to keep an eye on Panverse publishing. did someone say fantasy novella? :)

  18. Hello the writer! Um color, color I can do that. Blue, no green, how about turquoise. Hah, no not turquoise. Probably forest green.