When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to edit an anthology, you might as well make it fabulous. More on who and how below, but first, the blurb:
Otherness. The very idea invokes everything from fascination, to suspicion, to abject terror. But who is “the other?” A hero, come to save us? A villain, bent on destroying us? A mirror, meant to show us the best and worst of ourselves?
This short story anthology contains science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary fiction from some of the inland northwest’s finest writers, both emerging and established. Through compelling prose and inventive storytelling, it explores the concept of otherness, and our very human responses to those things that lie just beyond our understanding.
- A sheriff investigates murder on an alien planet.
- A Catholic priest is almost killed by a falling angel.
- A half-fae teenager dates a faun against her parents’ wishes.
- A soldier is assigned to save the world — by killing a defenseless boy.
- A jazz band from Mississippi tries to make New York care.
- A boy sees ghosts, and the ghosts see him.
- A man is homeless and marooned on an alien planet called “earth.”
- A man in denial about his own loneliness gets a dose of sense from a little girl.
- A beached Void Captain is reinstated for a rescue mission, with a catch – insufficient fuel to do it.
Vivid characters wind through fourteen tales that range from delightfully off-beat to gritty and poignant. In a myriad of ways, we are challenged to face our humanity, examine our preconceptions, and redefine what it means to belong.
This was all Sonya’s idea. That’s my claim, and I’m sticking to it. Sonya Bramwell is a local author and (now) an editor. She is also a mother and a birth doula and a massage therapist. She can be found on wix and facebook.
About once a week she and I go to a writer’s group for polishing up our manuscripts. Every now and then she would mention the word “anthology” and give me a sidelong glance and a lift of an eyebrow.
My resistance, never strong in the first place, crumbled. We began scouting for authors in the inland northwest region who had short fiction to contribute.
Miraculously, entries came in!
Murphy’s rules about it taking longer and costing more applied, of course. But now it’s out, and it’s really nifty.
I have to admit, switching from author to editor is extremely illuminating. If every comma needs to be right, it means the editor has to look at every comma. Otherworlds contains 4213 of them, by the way. And 3295 double-quotes. And 2035 single quotes and apostrophes. But the final product is a volume of just the right thickness containing stories that entertain, thrill, and tug at the heartstrings.
Contributing authors: James C. Glass, C. M. Daniels, Leona Ahles, Zoe Lavander, William Engels, Jay Dearien, moi, Mark Rounds, Sonya, Antonia Overstreet, Terri Picone, and Bianca Wemhoff.
The cover art and cover design are by Sonya, too.