Jonathan Oliver is the editor-in-chief of Solaris and Abaddon. He has previously had stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US. He has written two novels for Abaddon Books – The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos – and his four anthologies for Solaris have received widespread critical acclaim and awards nominations.
Jonathan was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his Shirley Jackson nominated anthology, End of the Road.
Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about the nominated anthology and what inspired the collection?
Jonathan Oliver: The nominated anthology is called End of the Road, and is a collection of weird road stories. In part it was inspired by my first anthology or Solaris, End of the Line, which was a collection of strange stories set on the Underground, the Metro, and various other real and fictional subterranean travel systems. With this anthology, as well as providing readers with great tales on a strong theme, I wanted to celebrate the diversity of genre, using a variety of writers from around the world.
KC: As an anthologist, editor, author, and of course, reader, what do you look for in a good story?
JO: Something I haven’t seen before, but also a strong forward narrative; a tale that makes me want to keep reading.
KC: If you could experience one book, or story, again for the very first time, which one would it be?
JO: I’d love to experience Mythago Wood by Holdstock for the first time again. It’s such a beautiful and complex novel, deeply rooted in the English mythical and pastoral imagination.
KC: What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award?
JO: It’s a great thrill. It’s been won by some of my favourite people in genre, and Jackson is one of my very favourite writers. To be associated in her in this way is a huge honour.
KC: What’s next for you?
JO: I’m putting the finishing touches to my next anthology, Dangerous Games. An anthology about the players and the played, and the way games can reflect some of the best and worst in us.