I’ve been remiss in not talking about this one here, but I have to admit I’m a little disorganized and frankly I just forgot about it — until editor and anthologist extraordinaire John Joseph Adams reminded the world that this baby is out now:
EPIC, the ultimate anthology of short-form epic fantasy, from some of the biggest names in the genre and also newbies like li’l ol’ me.
Here’s the Table of Contents. Yeah, just bask in that for awhile. Then if you’re interested, it’s shipping already from Amazon and B&N in the US, and I suspect other retailers will have it up soon. My story in the volume is The Narcomancer, which, granted, is up free. But it’s also a sample of what kind of stuff you can find in this volume — self-contained short fiction set in some of your favorite epic fantasy story worlds, and maybe some new worlds you’ve never seen before.
I do think it’s hard to do epic fantasy well in short form. I’ve done it, a few times, but I have to admit that one of the reasons I write so many novels is because short stories frustrate the hell out of me sometimes. I mean, once you’ve invested so much in creating a complex, detailed world, it’s frustrating to just… stop. But every big world has little stories, and some of them can be quite powerful and profound.
I talk more about “The Narcomancer”‘s creation here. An excerpt:
Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?
It kind of wrote itself, actually! I do wish I’d done more research before I wrote Ginnem, the male Sister. I’d intended for Ginnem to be a trans woman, but I worried that it wouldn’t seem plausible for a Bronze Age society to so readily accept a person with male organs who identifies as female. But if I’d done my research, I would’ve realized many ancient societies did just fine with transgender issues; it’s our (American in my case) modern society that’s hinky about it. So instead Ginnem is a transvestite–identifying as male, “performing” a female role because that’s what he has to do to belong to the Sisters. Still gotta do some learning in that area.
Check it out!