20 February 2009

Obverse Gear

You remember -- well, probably you don't, as I was a bit busy to blog much at the time, and only mentioned it once -- that I spent a substantial chunk of December writing a 5,000-word short story for a new anthology? And that I was going to announce it here when the publishers had made their own announcement?


Obverse Books, a new publishing venture owned by the estimable Stuart Douglas, has just announced the author line-up for its debut anthology Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus, featuring -- naturally -- transtemporal heroine and barroom floozy extraordinaire Ms Iris Wildthyme, created by Paul Magrs. The collection includes my short story "Battleship Anathema", along with stories by Faction Paradox authors Mags L Halliday and Jon Dennis, sundry Doctor Who authors and the category-defying Mr Magrs himself.

Iris's history has been a convoluted one, taking in Paul's Phoenix Court series of magic-realist novels, the original Doctor Who novels and short stories which Paul has written, her own series of CD audio drama adventures[1] -- and one previous short story anthology, Wildthyme on Top, published by Big Finish and including my Shakespeare-rewrites-Iain-M-Banks story "Minions of the Moon", of which I'm still absurdly proud.

I'll be creating a Celestial Omnibus web page on my site shortly. For the moment, though, suffice it to say that my story involves Iris trying to revisit the scene of a series of colourful -- indeed, garish -- space-opera adventures she experienced some thirty years ago, but finding that the people and starships she left behind have become strangely drab and gritty during her absence...

[1] As luck would have it, the postman put my copy of the Iris Wildthyme Series 2 CD box set into my hands an hour or so ago. It's a thing of quite remarkable beauty, the intricately detailed Target novel theming of the covers being offset wonderfully by the shocking pink box and vaguely Buffyesque logo. An awful lot of love and care has gone into designing it, and I'm really looking forward to hearing the stories.

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