The Sword & Laser Anthology

As you may or may not be aware, I’m an author.  I’ve got a few different things out there that you can read, and hope to have many more out there as soon as possible.  I also do a podcast here at SF Signal, and another one over at Functional Nerds.  So when JohnD linked me to this piece from Sword and Laser, I saw a melding of medias that deserved a little attention here at SF Signal.

Sword and Laser is the podcast from Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont that incorporates Tom’s love of Scifi and Veronica’s love of Fantasy, along with a popular book club, to promote genre fiction to readers of all ages and tastes.  It’s a great show and you should check it out either in audio or video.  Your choice.  But now they’re doing something different, something that bridges their podcast with their love of fiction – The Sword and Laser Anthology.

I’ll give you the details here in a second, but I have to first admit a little envy.  I have wanted to do something like this for a while now.  Specifically, I wanted to get a group of authors together and do a shared-world anthology.  Still do.  Still might, someday.  So to see that Tom and Veronica have gotten theirs pulled together – yeah, envy.

There aren’t a lot of details about the S&L Antho yet.  What we do know is this:

  • Open submissions will begin in March 2013.
  • They’re looking for unpublished, new material.
  • Genres: science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between.
  • Word count preferably between 1500-7500 (though more or less will not disqualify you).
  • And, they don’t want anyone sending them anything yet.  They aren’t ready for it.

Looking at the bullets above, I wonder about their open genre policy.  Can an anthology do well today without having at least a base theme connecting them?  I mean, you see a lot of that.  I’ll pick on my friend John Joseph Adams here for examples sake.  His recent (and upcoming) anthologies include The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, Brave New Worlds (Dystopian Stories), Epic, and Other Worlds Than These.  All of these have something in common; a theme.

Will you read an anthology that has hard scifi, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy and a fairytale or two in it?  I wonder.  People are always telling me they don’t want peanut butter in their chocolate (or chocolate in their peanut butter), when it comes to genre stuff.

I’m curious to see how this shakes out and what they come up with.  Both Tom and Veronica are well read and know what they do and don’t like, so an anthology with their name on it has the promise of being very well done.

Again, here’s the link.  What do you think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?

8 thoughts on “The Sword & Laser Anthology”

  1. I think in large part I prefer anthologies to be either/or in regards to science fiction and fantasy. I don’t much care when it is a single author collection but I do tend to like knowing what general type of story I am going to get going in.

    That being said I thoroughly enjoyed Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse series when they were coming out in book form (sad to see that is no longer the case), so there are some cases when I trust the editor enough to know they are giving me good content, regardless of genre.

    I think this will be a fun experiment because of who is doing it. Their show and forum both have a large following and it is a good bet that the book would be at least an initial success based on fan loyalty. It will remain to be seen whether it is a good long term plan based on the quality of the stories being offered. I know I’ll snatch a copy of it up right when it comes out.

    And as for shared world anthologies, I really enjoyed Metatropolis (haven’t gotten to the second one) and would love to see more of these…so get crackin’!!! :)

  2. I’ll point you to Gardner Dozois’ yearly Year’s Best science fiction, Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year and Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies, all of which contain a wide variety of short fiction. Genre and publication date common links between the stories here, rather than story types. Given their longevity, I’d say that they sell pretty well.

  3. I would (and do) read magazines and anthologies that provide diverse content. It’s comforting to have a zine that only runs Monster Horror, but there’s a greater appeal in curation than genre. If there’s a particular taste maker, why not let them expose you to several things, especially if your tastes align with theirs? I like the Sword & Laser podcast to at least give their chosen line-up a look when it becomes available.

  4. I only like to know what I’m getting myself into. LOL. You know, some kind of summary on the anthology and a basic description of the *kind* of story. Aside from that, a referral from a trusted source would do wonders. And, Tom and Veronica are a “trusted source.” So, yeah, color me there.
    ;o)

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