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I'm delighted to welcome once again, Vaughan Stanger, fellow Englishman and winner of the 2010 Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Flash Fiction Title.  Though Vaughan still lives back in Blighty, he's kindly paddled across the pond to share his thoughts on my blog today (anything to avoid thinking about the World cup).

Well Redd - guest post by Vaughan Stanger

No, that isn't a typo.

I wanted to use this guest blog to draw your attention to an innovative web-site and some of the marvellous writing it hosts. No, I'm not referring to my own works!

In short, this post is about AnthologyBuilder.  But more importantly, it's about a particular writer. I'll come to him shortly.

But first, what's so great about AnthologyBuilder? Well, the way I look at it is that Nancy Fulda (aka [info]nancyfulda) has created a viable afterlife for our previously published stories.

Most short stories are evanescent. They're swiftly forgotten, whether they deserve obscurity or not, because they either go out of print or are buried in an on-line archive. AnthologyBuilder solves that problem not only by providing somewhere for our works to live on, but also by putting power in the hands of the reader, who can compile the stories she wants to read in a book adorned with a cover of her choice. The books are beautiful. I've bought several; some to keep, others to give as presents to friends and family.

Will AnthologyBuilder make a writer rich? Hell, no! We're talking royalties here; micro-payments, at best.  But what AnthologyBuilder does provide is an effective tool to promote your stories, either in isolation or -- probably more effectively -- in conjunction with the work of writers you admire. Because you're a reader too, right?

But best of all, AnthologyBuilder allows the reader to rediscover forgotten treasures, like the stories of David Redd -- one of my favourite writers of short SF; also one of most self-effacing writers I've ever met.  I was lucky enough to workshop with him at Milford in 2004 and 2005. Even today, my fanboy behaviour on first meeting him makes me blush.

David's writing career began in the Sixties, when his first story, "The Way to London Town", appeared in New Worlds in 1966. The most recent story that I know of is "Adult", which was published in Bewildering Stories in 2007.

In a run lasting more than forty years, David's humane and thought-provoking stories have graced many of the top magazines, such as Asimov's, F&SF and Interzone.  Despite his track record, no collection of his work has emerged from the SF presses, large or small. Recently, adverse personal circumstances have caused a hiatus. I can only hope that this proves temporary, because I would dearly love to read that long-promised David Redd novel.

When I compiled my first AnthologyBuilder book, Two Degrees of Separation, I felt compelled to include one of David's stories. Thus I had the pleasure of re-reading "On the Deck of the Flying Bomb" nearly thirty years after first encountering it in the pages of Interzone. This wonderfully absurdist yet compelling SF tale remains one of my favourites. And there are plenty more gems to read, such as the hilarious "Green England".

You can find David Redd's stories in various themed anthologies that have been stored in the AnthologyBuilder library, but I particularly recommend The House on Hollow Mountain, which David compiled himself. Want to know more? Well,
David's web site is a good place to start, likewise
his AnthologyBuilder page.

I would, of course, love to hear about other undeservedly neglected authors, whether their work is present on AnthologyBuilder or not.

By day, Vaughan Stanger works as a research manager at a British engineering company. He says this is a less interesting than it sounds, which is why, thirteen years ago, he began setting himself homework. The resulting short stories have been published in Nature, Interzone, Postscripts, Hub and Neo-opsis, amongst others, with translations appearing in Polish and Hebrew. His most recent sale is to Music for Another World, an anthology forthcoming this summer from MutatioN Press. Vaughan is working on a novel, but then isn’t everybody?



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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2010 11:51 am (UTC)
Thanks, Vaughan. Great post!

I think Nancy's Anthology Builder is a fantastic idea. I keep meaning to check it out in more detail, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
And thanks to you, Jon, for providing me with a virtual soapbox!
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
You must have seen this coming...
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: You must have seen this coming...
lol, someone's been reading Zig Ziglar :)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
I like to consider myself a neglected author,
but I'm whiny by nature,
and probably deserve to be neglected.

Right, well, anthology builder?
Let me see if I have this straight--
rather than keeping a pile of dog-eared magazines
and browser bookmarks,
anyone can put their favourite stories into a single neat package paperback?
And share it with others?
Hey, now that is an idea.

The downside being, perhaps,
that the occasional marginal author desparate for publication
will have yet another venue in which to purchase their own glory...
But I suppose we can live with that.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Well, that marginal author will have had to get those stories published first, in paying publications, in order to qualify them for AB, so there is a filter (of sorts).
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
Even more liveable-with than I had supposed.
The good news just keeps getting better!
Jun. 22nd, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
I've wondered about how anthology builider works. Now I know! Thanks, Vaughn. And Jon too, of course.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
One thing I forgot to mention is that stories submitted to AB are supposed to have been previously published in paying publications (but not necessarily pro-rate).
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for a very interesting post, I had heard vaguely about Anthology Builder before, but didn't really know how it worked. Seems like a great way to keep one's favorite short stories alive :)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
That's how I see it. Plus I get access to the works of other far better writers. A case in point: I finally got to read 'The Prophet of Flores' by Ted Kosmatka, which I'd somehow managed to miss on first publication. It's a brilliant story, now firmly established as one of my all-time faves.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Absolutely agree with you on the Anthology Builder site. I have a few stories up there, and have also gotten an antho from them (won it in a writing contest). All my interaction has been positive, and I think the concept is brilliant: complete liberty to create your own book is a stunning idea.
Jun. 22nd, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
I know plenty of folk who've said, "Gosh, I wish I'd thought of that!"
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Betsy Curtis
Thanks! That's just the kind of response I was hoping for. I'll look out for her work.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I heard from David Redd today. He's gradually getting back into the swing of things and hopes to resume work on his novel in due course. All of which is good news.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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