Shared Worlds Turns 7! Announces 2014 Lineup

Congratulations to the fine folks behind the Shared Worlds writing program, which this year turns 7!

This year, they’ve got another spectacular lineup of special guests. read on to see!

Read the rest of this entry

Shared Worlds’ 2013 Visiting Writers Announced

Shared Worlds , a summer creative writing experience, has annoucned the list of attending writers for the 2013 season. Visiitng writers include:

  • Nathan Ballingrud
  • Holly Black
  • Rose Fox
  • Will Hindmarch
  • Kathe Koja
  • Karen Lord
  • Ann VanderMeer
  • Jeff VanderMeer
  • Jake Von Slatt

More info after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry

Recently, I was honored to have one of my short stories, Charisma, included in a new shared world anthology called An Uncommon Collection.  Published by the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, a non-profit 501(c)3, the anthology highlights contributions from fifteen of the forty members of CSFWG and has walked an interesting path from conception to publication, one that I thought I would share with you by chatting with Mike Reid and J.T. Evans, who co-edited the anthology (a first for them both).  In the interest of full disclosure, J.T. is the President of the CSFWG and I am the VP.  We both sit on the board for the 501(c)3.  We both have stories in the collection.


Patrick Hester: First up – why don’t you both tell people who you are and what you do.

Mike Reid: My name is Mike Reid and I am a graphic designer for the Colorado Springs Business Journal. I am also a former member and officer of the CSFWG.

J.T. Evans: My name is J.T. Evans and I currently pay the mortgage as a software engineer, but in my spare time, I am the president of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, webmaster for the Pikes Peak Writers, father of a wonderful five-year old, and still manage to crank out a few thousand words a week on my second fantasy novel.

Read the rest of this entry

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Brad R. Torgersen on “The Fathomless Abyss”

Brad R. Torgersen publishes in Analog magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, has won Analog’s reader’s choice award, and has been a Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell award nominee.  Hailing from Utah, he’s a computer geek in the healthcare industry by day, a United States Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer on the weekend, and a science fiction writer at night.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Jay, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, J.M. McDermott, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Brad! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with the Fathomless Abyss series?

BRAD R. TORGERSEN: That’s Mike Resnick’s doing.  I first met Mike when I went to Los Angeles to receive my Writers of the Future award from the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest.  Mike was the contest judge who just happened to be standing on the stage when I trotted up to get my trophy.  Mike remembered me (I was in uniform at the time) for a military anthology project a couple of months later, and invited me to work with him again when Phil Athans mentioned The Fathomless Abyss concept project.  It sounded like a lot of fun to me, and a chance to work with not only Mike, but Cat Rambo, Jay Lake, and several other splendid writers.
Read the rest of this entry

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mel Odom on “The Fathomless Abyss”

Mel Odom lives in Moore, Oklahoma.  He’s written 170 plus books in several genres under his name and pseudonyms.  In addition to original work that includes Alex award winner The Rover, he’s written novels about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and others, as well as novelizations of movies that include Blade and Tomb Raider.  He’s also written comic books, video game scripts, short stories, and is a top 1000 reviewer at Amazon.Com.  He teaches in Professional Writing at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.  He blogs at www.melodom.blogspot.com and reviews at bookhound.wordpress.com.  He can be reached at Mel at melodom.net.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Jay, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, J.M. McDermott, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Mel! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

MEL ODOM: Phil Athans is my friend and editor.  We’ve both been watching the ebook market with interest.  When Phil first started out in the business, he was an editor of his own magazine.  We were in contact and started to talk about some of the old books we read that are practically inaccessible these days, like new books in Robert E. Howard’s Conan series.  I told him I thought the market might be ready for another barbarian hero.  He agreed and we started kicking that around some more.  We ended up with Arron of the Black Forest.  At the same time, Phil and I both remembered that huge Rolodex that he assembled while working at Wizards of the Coast.  Then we gave serious consideration to an anthology project that would spin out into individual short novels.  Phil had the idea for Fathomless Abyss tucked away.  He simply dusted off and tossed it out there for the rest of us to adopt.  Everybody collaborated with the invention of the world you see in the stories.
Read the rest of this entry

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jay Lake on “The Fathomless Abyss”

Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on numerous writing and editing projects. His books for 2012 and 2013 include Kalimpura from Tor and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Jay, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, J.M. McDermott, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

JAY LAKE: Pretty simple. I’d worked with series editor Phil Athans on another project about two years before The Fathomless Abyss started. He liked my words and we both enjoyed working together, so when he and Mel Odom cooked up the concept, they invited me in. I’m always up for something new and fun, so in I jumped.
Read the rest of this entry

Mike Resnick is the winner of 5 Hugos (from a record 36 nominations) a Nebula, and other major awards in the USA, France, Japan, Poland, Croatia, Catalan, and Spain, and has been short-listed in England, Italy and Australia. He is the author of 71 novels, over 250 stories, and 3 screenplays, and is the editor of more than 40 anthologies. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and he is the Guest of Honor at the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Mike, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, Mel Odom, J.M. McDermott, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Mike! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

MIKE RESNICK: Phil had solicited a couple of stories from me at his previous job, we hit it off, and he thought of me when he decided to do the Fathomless Abyss.
Read the rest of this entry

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mats Minnhagen on The Fathomless Abyss

Mats Minnhagen is a Swedish illustrator and concept artist. He has worked for EA Dice, Wizards of the Coast and many others. Currently he is working freelance with a variety of book-, game- and popular science illustrations.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology for which he illustrated the cover and featuring stories from Mike Resnick, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, Mel Odom, J.M. McDermott, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Mats, thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

MATS MINNHAGEN: Hi Charles, thanks for having me here on SF Signal. I got involved with the project when Philip contacted me one day about it. He and a bunch of other great authors were working on this bottomless hole world where people and creatures from all times and places fall down and make a living together. Vertical cities, flying monsters, pre-historic and modern technologies mixed – it sounded like a lot of fun!
Read the rest of this entry

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J.M. McDermott on Shared Worlds and “The Fathomless Abyss”

J.M. McDermott is the author of five novels and two short story collections, including Last Dragon, Never Knew Another, Women and Monsters, and Disintegration Visions.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from McDermott, Mike Resnick, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Joe! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

JM MCDERMOTT: Thanks for having me, Charles! Mr. Athans contacted me after he and Mel Odom had the idea. I don’t get to play a lot with creatures most of the time. My work, in general, involves humans. The thing that excited me was an opportunity to work with, and invent, some creatures. The project reminded me a lot of an anthology I tried to do (and failed to get any traction on, once upon a time) involving mazes. It reminds me a lot of what I enjoyed so much about working with the novel I wrote, as a result of frustrations about the failed anthology idea, which is not out yet. When I learned about the Abyss, I was immediately interested. It reminded me of my favorite part of Forgotten Realms, the Underdark. It reminded me of the Labyrinth. It reminded me of the space between worlds. It reminded me of my short story Dedalus and the Labyrinth, from Weird Tales. I thought about what I loved the most about those different projects, and what I felt was missing from my creative muscle. Like I said, it is the making of monsters and creatures and fantastical beasts.

Read the rest of this entry

Cat Rambo lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Her latest collection, Near + Far, appears this month from Seattle-based Hydra House Books.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with her about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Cat, Mike Resnick, Jay Lake, J.M. McDermott, Mel Odom, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…


CHARLES TAN: Hi Cat! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, how did you get involved with The Fathomless Abyss series?

CAT RAMBO: I came into the project a little later than the rest of the collaborators, as a substitute for Ken Scholes, who’d had to drop out. Ken thought it’d be nice to have a female author in the mix.  Because I’m conscious of that, I actually have been having a little fun by creating titles with Freudian implications. First A Querulous Flute of Bone, and now the two novellas, A Seed on the Wind and A Cavern Ripe with Dreams.

I was a little dubious about the world at first, because it’s such a crazy idea. But I was so pleased with how A Querulous Flute turned out that I’ve become a convert.

Read the rest of this entry

As longtime supporters of the Shared Worlds SF/F Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College, we’re thrilled to see them launch this years camp and associated fund drive.

Check out this awesome Shared Worlds Critter Map!

Here’s the coolest part: Click a creature — read a story. If you like it, donate.

You’ll find fiction by Tobias Buckell, Amal El-Mohtar, Eugie Foster, Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Karen Lord, Karin Lowachee, Michael Moorcock, Patrick Rothfuss, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Johanna Sinisalo, Lavie Tidhar, Scott Westerfeld, Gene Wolfe and many, many more.

Press release and pertinent links follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp: 2010 Registration Now Open

A press release for a worthwhile program:

Registration is now open for the 2010 teen science fiction/fantasy writing camp Shared Worlds. Shared Worlds is a unique two-week inter-disciplinary experience on beautiful Wofford campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (It’s also fun!) A number of scholarships will be made available. The official sponsors of the camp include Tor Books, Wizards of the Coast LLC, and Realms of Fantasy. SF Signal and io9 have also provided support.

Instructors for 2010 will include Spiderwick Chronicles creator Holly Black, critically acclaimed YA and adult authors Kathe Koja and Marly Youmans, Nebula Award winner Michael Bishop, writer and gaming expert Will Hindmarch, and World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer, plus Wofford College’s own Dr. Christine Dinkins, philosophy professor, and Jeremy Jones, lecturer and camp director. Artist Scott Eagle will also conduct a workshop during the camp. Although the full 2011 roster will be announced later, Shared Worlds is pleased to note that Philip K. Dick Award finalist Minister Faust and Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature for her novel Zahrah the Windseeker, have both accepted invitations to attend as visiting writers.

“We feel this is the only writing camp of its kind available to teens,” says Shared Worlds assistant director Jeff VanderMeer. “Not only do they learn the skills necessary to build their unique fantasy or SF worlds, which will hold them in good stead in any career they decide to pursue, but they also get expert creative writing instruction and lots of practice developing their ideas collaboratively as a member of a world-building team. As an added benefit, we take the time to conduct one-on-one sessions with each student so we have a better understanding of not only their writing but what they want to get out of the camp.”

The 2010 summer camp will be held from July 18 through July 31.

Recent highlights from the website:

Students can register now for the 2010 camp

The Shared Worlds chapbook, designed by renowned designer John Coulthart and featuring a selection of student writings, can now be viewed online.

The complete wikis for the worlds created in 2009 are now available: