18 January 2012

Secret Architects

It occurs to me that, given my usual enthusiasm for plugging things here, I've done relatively little banging on about Tales of the City, the short story anthology I'm editing as part of Obverse Books' Obverse Quarterly series. At first this was because there wasn't much to say about it that could be considered definite, but since the publishers informally announced the author lineup that hasn't been the case, and it's remiss of me not to have posted it here before now.

The stories and contributors to the anthology are, then:
‘Happily Ever After Is a High-Risk Strategy’ by Blair Bidmead
‘The Socratic Problem’ by Elizabeth Evershed
‘Lost Ships and Lost Lands’ by Juliet Kemp
‘Highbury’ by Helen Angove
‘Bruises’ by Dave Hoskin
‘About a Girl’ by Dale Smith
I'm really pleased with this lineup -- all of these are authors who I know will turn in some very fine writing, and who submitted excellent storylines to boot.

There'll also be a prelude and a postlude by me (whose substance will depend to some extent on how much space is left after everybody else's final drafts). There's an unconfirmed possibility of an eighth contributor, but we're not going public with their identity just yet.

A web page for the book is now up at my site. It's currently rather minimalist, but I hope to expand it with some extras in the coming months. I've also added an index to the City material generally.

[Edit to add: That's a placeholder cover, in case it's not obvious. It's clipped from the cover of Of the City of the Saved..., after vacillating over whether to use the only other picture I've got of the Cityscape.]


  1. Really looking forward to this, although I'm not familiar with many of the writers (I do like Bidmead's work though - I'll trust your judgement on it.

    One odd thing though - this seems to be being marketed as separate from the Faction Paradox line. Is that a marketing thing only, or have you decided to pull the City away from Faction continuity (such as it is)? I'll still buy it either way, but I just thought it was curious.

  2. "I'm glad you asked me that, Andrew."

    This volume won't have any Faction Paradox content, no -- the City is a huge and diverse setting in its own right and it's a shame (I reckon) if the potential of that is always overshadowed by the Factionesque stories taking place there. As I've said, this collection is about the human-scale stuff that happens in the City, the more personal stories that the time-spanning star-crushing civilisation-collapsing War stories tend to obscure. In the longer run, I think there's space for both types of story, but that was what I wanted to explore here.

    If everything goes well, I hope the City will have its own identity under the Obverse banner. That doesn't mean abandoning all links with Faction Paradox, any more than The Sarah Jane Adventures had to sever its ties with Doctor Who.


  3. Makes sense - and I'd prefer to read that kind of story in the City setting anyway.


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