2018 August 7th: The publisher's "Kickstarter" advance-publicity program is underway and I thought I would take this opportunity to ask whether any readers of Solar System Heritage have ideas to contribute to the campaign. Anyone with any appropriate freebies to offer as a reward for backers, for instance? Such rewards might take the form either of tangible rewards or of publicity space. Or ideas for spreading the word...
2018 July 16th: The long-awaited Old Solar System anthology, Vintage Worlds, has taken a big step towards publication.
The publisher, Shaun Kilgore, has given the go-ahead to display the final version of the book's cover, by artist Matt Forsyth. Here it is at last. It's the third of three versions, each better than the one before.
To me the picture is authentically OSS.
What do you readers think? Send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can look forward to sharing them in next month's Tales To Astound.
The contents list has been finalized - see below.
The title of the anthology is Vintage Worlds, Volume One.
The following instructions for submissions will apply to the next volume when the call goes out:
Please submit as simple .doc or .docx format as attachments, using New Times Roman size 12 or Arial size 10 font, or inline text in an email. Due to some issues with email not getting through, if you do not receive confirmation of receipt within three days, please contact via email only (no attachments) to arrange another attempt. Use a different email account if the second attempt also does not get a response.
Scene Author and Tale:
The Sun Dylan Jeninga, Incandescence
Mercury Troy Jones, The Headless Skeletons of Mercury
Venus Clint Spivey, The Lost Cosmonaut and Saucer Six
Venus Christopher Hennington, The Martian Girl (poem)
Earth and space John Michael Greer, Out of the Chattering Planet
The Moon and Vulcan David England, Tête-à-Tête
Mars Arthur Vibert, The Answer at the End of the World
Mars Peter C Aitken, Perchance To Dream
Mars and Earth Grant Canterbury, Pen Pal
Mars and transdimensional Albert Sevcik,
The Solar System, The Universe and Everything
The Asteroid Belt Damian Macrae, Arden Archer
Jupiter, Mercury Rachel Guettner, Methane Blue
Europa Shep Barnett, Europa Or Bust
Saturn and various Joel Jones, Death Songs of Saturn
Uranus Robert Gibson, Uranian Thule
Neptune Violet Bertelsen, The Lure of the Depths
Pluto and Earth Augustus Keden, The Dorian Grays
For the background to this project, and a guide for contributors to succeeding volumes, see the details below, beginning with the announcement that started the whole thing off.
Announcement by Zendexor, August 2017, of momentous news for the New Old Solar System:
Some months back, John Greer informed me that he had begun to explore the possibility of a NOSS anthology, jointly edited by himself and by me, for which new submissions would be welcome; now John has confirmed that the project has been "cleared for launch" by the publisher, Shaun Kilgore of Founders House Publishing.
So we can go ahead! It's time to put out a call to all you inspired folk who look at this site. Harken, dear readers / writers / fans, the hour has struck, inviting you to start thinking, planning, scribbling...
With regard to the kind of stories we're looking for, let me quote from John's blog:
"...we’re looking for short stories (2500-7500 words), novelettes (7500-12,500 words) and maybe a novella (12,500 words on up) set in the Old Solar System. What kind of stories? You name it. Two-(or more-)fisted tales of adventure like C.L. Moore, solar system noir like Leigh Brackett, interplanetary travel with a religious dimension like C.S. Lewis, Old Solar System horror like Clark Ashton Smith – you name it, so long as it takes place in the imaginary solar system of the classic science fiction era. You can—indeed, you should—put your own twist on ancient and desolate Mars, lush Venus, or whatever other world or worlds you choose for a setting—and yes, Earth is also an option!—but it should fit more or less cleanly into the grand collective work of art that was the Old Solar System."
To which I might add: you could do worse than take a good look at the Tales Unwritten page on this site, in case you feel like filling in some much-needed gaps in the literature, which are crying out for attention! And likewise the CLUFFs page might suit you as you seek your decision, since in addition to the outright gaps there are also the tantalizing hints in the literature, which crave to be followed up.
You might also consider combinations of worlds; that's to say, provided that you are good at managing transitions, you might set your tale on more than one planet or asteroid or moon. It all depends on whether you can change the scene without diluting the impact. Edmond Hamilton was good at this, because he conveyed a sense of Solar System frontier culture as a general background complementing the particularity of his individual worlds, whereas the talents of Brackett and Burroughs tended to be more focused upon one world per story. Whichever way you play it, the scintillating literary gems you create will justify your method.
In addition to the planets and moons and asteroids, it would also be permissible to set a tale on the Sun itself, if the storyteller has sufficient gift of scientifictional gab. As always, we aren't asking for plausible science but for plausible patter, the incantatory scientific excuses which summon the sf spirit.
Regarding length of tale: as John says, we are calling for short stories (2500-7500 words), novelettes (7500-12,500 words) and novellas (12,500+). Inevitably, there are more slots for shorter than for longer pieces, which is why we'll only be able to include one novella at most. But that's nothing to be dismayed about, especially when you consider what Clark Ashton Smith could do, creating an unsurpassed fecund planet Venus in under 6000 words in The Immeasurable Horror... or what Robert A Heinlein could do, unforgettably plying the spacelanes in the even shorter The Green Hills of Earth.
Regarding characterisation, see the Diary entry for 8th January 2018 in which I discuss NOSS-R and NOSS-T, and the previous day's entry in which I complain of "relevantitis".
Submit your stories to email@example.com, by 30th January 2018. The date is easy to remember - it is the 369th anniversary of the execution of Charles the First.
Further announcements will be made on this page as and when needed. Any questions, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.