anthology project
vintage worlds

2020 December 19th:    Yesterday finally VW 2 and 3 came in the post.  I opened the parcel not realizing what was in it; I assumed it was some food supplement or health product such as Aloe Vera (of which we order a lot).  Lo and behold, though, it was Vintage Worlds volumes 2 and 3.  A great moment.  Thanks to all the contributors, both literary and financial and both, who have made it possible by writing the stories and Kickstarting the project, and thanks also to fellow editor John Greer and publisher Shaun Kilgore, who know what's what in the Old Solar System.

I hope before too long the bugle will sound the advance for Vintage Worlds 4.... but meanwhile let's have our holidays first.

2020 October 5th:    I notice I failed to put an announcement here on the frabjous day about 10 days ago when the Kickstarter reached its target!  Perhaps the excitement overcame me, and led me to assume that everyone in the Solar System was equally aware of the news.

2020 September 2nd:   The Kickstarter crowdfunding began at the turn of this month, and with 23 days to go till the deadline on the 25th over a fifth of the sum has already been raised.  It's a fair start, but we've no room for complacency; the other four-fifths must come in, else we readers won't get our books!  So, spread the word across the globe, to back the publication of Vintage Worlds 2 and 3.

2020 July 11th:  More news via John Greer from publisher Shaun Kilgore:

Shaun is now working on another Kickstarter campaign to get funding for VW2 and 3.  The idea is to have one campaign for both books, so the asking price for funding will be larger than last time.  Shaun writes, "My intention is to release VW2 a month or two after the Kickstarter funds with VW3 appearing later in this year. Some of the rewards will be the other Founders House anthologies including Vintage Worlds 1." 

My opinion having been asked regarding cover illustrations, I recommended the inspiration of the classic "pulp" scenes by Frank R Paul, which could be treated as source material to be viewed from different angles...

2020 May 6th:   I have had news in an email from John Greer that publisher Shaun Kilgore is "getting things straightened out at his end" and going ahead with VW2 and 3.

2020 February 28th:    I sympathise with contributors and readers with regard to the lack of progress in publication.  John Greer has told me that the publisher's personal life is going through an upheaval which is causing the delay. 

2019 December 15th:    The stage I have reached, is that I have now put together the unified files for Volumes 2 and 3, and sent them to John Greer so that he can add his separate introductions to each tale.

Regarding those tales which are already displayed on this site and which will appear in the forthcoming volumes of the Anthology: for some of them I have received updated versions from the authors.  The question arose: should I also incorporate those updates into the versions on site, so that, during the time that remains to them online, the amendments can be seen?  I have decided, by and large, that I won't do this, except in cases where I have been specially requested to do so.  I feel that it will be an asset for the printed volumes, that when they appear they will provide some new and extra upgrade, not previously seen, for those particular stories.

2019 December 10th:    A good response to the deadline for amendments of the stories (I am waiting for just a few tail-enders) and another piece of good news is I have received the Introduction to Volume 3 from John Greer, so that both Introductions are now in place - mine for Volume 2, John's for the other.  I have meanwhile sent out requests for short biographical snippets from those contributors who have not already appeared in Volume 1.

2019 November 22nd:    Looks like I'm being left to make more of the decisions on my own for VW2 / VW3, so here's how I intend to play it: I shall ask the contributors to carry out their final check-throughs and amendments (if any) and let me have them back by the end of Tuesday 10th December.  This is an arbitrary deadline, but as I have not been given any idea of the actual publication date, I'm "playing safe" and aiming for readiness sooner rather than later.

Therefore, some time in the next few days, contributors will receive an email from me with their story/stories attached, and an invitation to look through them and send me them back by 10th December with amendments (if any).

2019 September 15th:    Into a Solar System seething with speculation - how's that for alliteration - I can now drop the following bombshell:

Publisher and senior editor have given me the go-ahead to reveal the contents-lists of Vintage Worlds Volumes 2 and 3.  So here goes:


Whom Gods Destroy    by Dylan Jeninga

Zookie Must Die    by Violet Bertelsen

Flow    by K S Augustin

Flame Lords of Jupiter    by Robert Gibson

The Sarcastic Snake-Men of Neptune    by Troy Jones III

The Lost Rings of Saturn    by James W Murphy

Beyond Despair    by Jamie Ross

The Horse-Men of Ganymede    by Ron Mucklestone

Exodus    by Joel Caris

Blood Prince of Venus    by Joel B Jones

Extracts:  Selenite carvings in the caverns of the MoonRebuilt on Uranus.


Home    by Levi Seeley

A Martian Iliad    by Ariel Cohen

On the Shoreline of Darkness    by Violet Bertelsen

The Arc of Iapetus    by Robert Gibson

Europa Dive    by Jamie Ross

The Resurrection of Merrick Hardcastle    by K S Augustin

The Colorless Colossus of the Cold    by Dylan Jeninga

Cutter Pristine    by James W Murphy

Lady Penelope and the Drug Lords of Venus    by David England

Ghosts of Saturn    by Augustus and Lenore Keden

Love in the Mountains of Venus    by Ron Mucklestone

Extracts:  The bewildering biosphere of RheaLiliputian men of the grasslands of SaturnBlood-drainers of PlutoA monster from under the ice of Europa.

Readers will note that about half of all the above stories have already appeared on this website, a fact which adds plausibility to my offer of space on these web-pages as a stage on the road to book publication.

2019 August 31st:    The thinking about the anthology is veering towards the idea of publishing volumes 2 and 3 simultaneously, as we have so much new high-quality material.  More on this anon.

2019 August 29th:    I have fortunately resumed contact with senior editor John Greer after a hiatus during most of this month when I was using an outdated email address.  Apologies to all those who have submitted stories for the forthcoming anthology, for the delay caused by this mistake.  But the project is back on track now, and I will have more news to impart soon. 

2019 August 8th:    See the Diary, An Apology to Mercurians and others.

2019 July 27th:  With the deadline for submissions to VW2 just four days away now, I'd like to tell you that I have eleven stories "in the bag" with a few known-about ones possible still to come in, and of course any number of unknown contributions may, for all I know, be imminently close to the outlet of the pipeline. 

Be all that as it may, there's no danger of the project foundering through lack of material: comparing Volumes One and Two, the eleven tales just mentioned already amount to about three-quarters of the total word-count for VW1.

As for System coverage, it is possible that one or two major planets could find themselves left out of the range of settings, but you can't always have everything.  Some contributors have sent in more than one tale, which is very helpful and increases my options, as well as possibly laying some groundwork for VW3!

A pleasant thing to report is that, while some stories scintillate more than others, all submissions have been up to scratch: there are no duds.  The process must be self-selecting: in our sub-genre, all who are motivated to write can actually write.  Thus, when VW2 comes out I'll be able to guarantee that purchasers will get their money's worth.

2019 June 7th:  see the Diary for suggestions on commandeering modern discoveries for OSS purposes.

2019 May 31st:  see note in the Diary, Style - avoid crammy-jerky.

2019 February 5th:  see note in the Diary, News From Mercury.

2018 December 19th:    So much has happened during the 3 months since the previous note on this page!  Vintage Worlds 1 has been 150% successfully funded, by a public response to the Kickstarter which also bodes well for subsequent volumes in the series.  And now -


VW1 is good - and I am determined that VW2 will surpass it.  For general literary requirements, which apply to the second volume as to the first, see below under SCOPE.

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, to Zendexor, at: 

Some stories missed their chance for inclusion in VW1 because I never received them.  Therefore please note:

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.

And now, in order to clarify most succintly the kind of story which will make the best impression on me and on John Greer, let me summarise as follows:

What we want are original adventure-tales of the Old Solar System which, in flavour and mind-set, could plausibly have appeared in the sf magazines up to and including the 1950s.

This objective was attained in most but not all of the tales in VW1.  Now, with growing confidence as editor, I shall be more ruthless in rejecting allusions that are redolent of the post-1950s moral climate.  In other words, the yuckocracy's writ shall not run in any part of VW2.  

[Note added 20 Dec:  The restriction is a cultural, not a scientific one.  You can adapt your NOSS tales to accommodate whatever subsequent scientific discoveries you like.  Why not, after all?  The editors of that Golden Age would have been interested, not put off, by references to the Kuiper Belt, the volcanoes of Io, Olympus Mons, and so on.  See VW Submissions - interpreting the Fifties Rule. ]

2018 September 17th:    With fifteen days to go, the Project is 68-and-a-half per cent funded:  2,637 dollars out of 4,000 pledged.  If the average rate of new support continues as it has done over the past half-month, we'll be home and dry by 2nd October.  However, what bothers me is that the average inflow gives a misleading picture.  The support surged during the first week and has trailed off in the second.  Now we're only advancing about one percentage point per day, which isn't enough to meet the deadline.  If any of you are able further to spread the word, now's the time to give the Kickstarter another kick.

2018 September 3rd:  gives you a visual presentation, very watchable!

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 and I can look forward to sharing them in next month's Tales To Astound.

previous announcements

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.

vintage worlds volume one

Scene    Author and Tale:

The Sun      Dylan Jeninga, Incandescence
Mercury     Troy Jones, The Headless Skeletons of Mercury
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  [see A robot intelligence on Mars]
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 Cowan, Methane Blue
Europa     Shep Barnett, Europa Or Bust
Saturn and various     Joel Jones, Death Songs of Saturn [see Unstable island on Saturn]
Uranus     Robert Gibson, Uranian Thule
Neptune     Violet Bertelsen, The Lure of the Depths [see Blue cetaceans in Neptune's ocean]
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...

All life-forms are welcome to take part


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, 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