You could strap yourself into a chair for the rest of your life consuming only the finest genre shows – or movies, comics, cartoons, books, games, podcasts, audio dramas and the like – but you’d still miss a whole ton of stuff available out there. We love to pursue the dream but we all know it’s foolish because Geekdom pretty much dominates popular culture at the moment. The question is no longer ‘what can you find?’ but more often ‘how much can you cram in?’ When I got to that point I decided to re-evaluate how I spent my spare time and whether there was something more I could be doing. I’ve spent the best part of my life consuming – and don’t get me wrong, I’ve LOVED it – but in the last few years the itch to give something back, to actually create something has grown more and more insistent. Well, now I’ve done something about it.
Last year I took my first step into the publishing world, acting as Editor for a small press anthology called Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. The process was fascinating, challenging and fun, and it turns out there’s nothing quite so electrifying as seeing your name on the front of something people can buy. The book came out in July (and I’ve had a few nice reviews, thank you very much) but the itch hasn’t stopped there. Not by a long chalk. Within a week I was sending e-mails to Steve at KnightWatch Press, pitching ideas for other anthologies. One was a crazy-ass world I’d had kicking around in the back of my head since I was a kid – aren’t they always the best ones? – and I was delighted to get the nod. Pick it up and run with it, I was told. Music to my ears!
‘This Twisted Earth’ will be a shared world anthology, due to be published in 2016. Time on our planet has twisted, become knotted and strange. People, cultures, creatures and technologies that should never have coexisted, find themselves flung together. It’s the perfect chance to mash up genres, styles, tropes and obsessions to present stories that could otherwise never be told. I’m looking for an eclectic mixture of tales set in this world, coming under the broad church of Pulp writing. Weaving in and out of the stories will be my own web of narrative, tying the world together and giving it a certain structure. Now, I’ve got a bunch of ideas how this new, twisted Earth ‘works’ – how it can develop and what implications may be spun from it – but I’m looking to bring together a genuinely shared Creation. That’s where YOU might come in.
I’ve set a few Groups on Facebook; forums for news and discussions, world-breaking and free-play creativity. Some of the already-assembled team are specifically looking to submit stories for the anthology, whilst others are taking part in the world-building as more of a hobby or thought experiment. There’s space for all kinds of people in the team, from History buffs to tech-heads, physicists to psychologists, flash-fictioneers, artists and illustrators. It’s a brain-trust, if you like: a team of crowd-sourced creatives, pinging ideas around; challenging and inspiring one another in our joint venture. Everybody involved in the team will feature in the acknowledgements, whether they get a story published or not. Moreover, there are opportunities to expand and explore the world further in follow-up themed anthologies, should this first one be a success. At least, that’s the plan. We just need a few more folks to get involved.
If you’d like to get creative in This Twisted Earth, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the Subject ‘Twisted Earth’. Alternatively you can contact me directly on Facebook, or via Twitter @Dion_Scrolls using the hashtag #TwistedEarth
GS Blogger: Dion Winton-Polak