Good review of forthcoming Susan Casper collection

casper rainbow thumbnailThe newest edition of True Review just posted, and in it, publisher Andrew Andrews says some very nice things about The Complete Short Fiction of Susan Casper, which Fantastic Books is publishing in July. In part, he says: “Up the Rainbow is a very gorgeous single-author collection from the unfortunately late Susan Casper, and the SF field has lost a Talent. Fortunately her husband, Gardner, was able to collect her fiction and nonfiction into this massive and very worthwhile volume, reminding us all that Susan could certainly shine.… This collection is proof that Susan remains an uncelebrated, underappreciated Tall Talent.”

Nice review for Fantastic Books’ “Non-Parallel Universes” by Bud Sparhawk

151541020xThe new edition of True Review has been posted, and in it, publisher Andrew Andrews writes of Bud Sparhawk’s new collection: “[Sparhawk] writes some amazing stories.… In ‘Astronomic Distance/Geologic Time,’ Sparhawk sends us on a journey as far as distance and time can stretch… The story itself makes you realize how small, trivial and possibly soon-to-be-forgotten our own era will be.”

Time to grab the limited-edition chapbook with SFftT

There’s one scant week left to get in on Fantastic Books’ first Kickstarter project. The book is funded, and we’re more than half-way to our first stretch goal, which will add in a super-special, limited edition chapbook for everyone pledging $14 or more (bascially, those who are in for a printed copy of the book, or more).

I’d love to have a reason to produce that chapbook: it didn’t feel right to have any of my own stories in the book (or Tom’s or Judith’s), but this chapbook makes it feel okay. And Tom’s is a really great story, and Judith’s is a fascinating essay.

So please, help me tell everyone we know about the project. All it takes is a “share” click. Thanks!


Today’s Excitement

Apparently, there’s this game show called Cash Cab, and apparently, it’s coming back on the air (on Discovery Channel), and apparently, you know someone who’s going to be on the show!

Had a fascinating time today riding in the Cash Cab! Thanks, Greg Draves and Anton Spivack! I think we made a great team.

Thanks, Ben Bailey, for not crashing while driving, and for being a fun person to hang with. And everyone on the staff we interacted with was fun and friendly. A great experience!

Part of the show, one of the questions we couldn’t answer, we used a “Facebook Shout Out,” which was a live on Facebook thing. The video is available on Facebook (don’t know if you need to log in to view it) here


Balticon this weekend

Leaving for Balticon 51 way too early tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend for me. And if you’re hoping to see me, my schedule includes:

9:30am Saturday – Kaffeeklatsch in room 8029

4-5pm Saturday: “The Art of the Pitch” in room 7029, with Meg Eden, Phil Kahn, K.M. Szpara, and Michael R. Underwood.

11am-12n Sunday: “Is the Past (of SF) Another Country?” in the 5th floor Mt. Washington room, with Jack Campbell, Robert “Bob” Chase, Meriah L. Crawford, and Kim Hargan.

5-6pm Sunday: “Writing Better Villains” in the 5th floor Homeland room, with Christiana Ellis, Dave Robison, Joy Ward, and S.L. Wideman.

And most especially, the book launch party from 1 to 3 pm Sunday in the 12th Floor Club Lounge. Join us as we debut Bud Sparhawk’s collection Non-Parallel Universes, Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano’s novel The Biggest Bounty, and Fortress Publishing’s anthology TV Gods – Summer Programming (in which I have a story).

I’m also involved in the eSpec Books launch party Sunday night, 7 to 9pm in the hospitality suite. They’re launching several books, including If We Had Known, in which I have a story.

And as always, I’ll be spending all the other hours we’re open in the dealers’ room behind the Fantastic Books table. Hope to see you there!

Launching Non-Parallel Universes

151541020xThis weekend at Balticon, Fantastic Books is debuting two brand new books you’re sure to want. One of them is Bud Sparhawk’s new collection, Non-Parallel Universes.

In this enthralling collection of 19 stories, we meet space pirates and bounty hunters, baseball pitchers and intelligent toilets. From a pair of buddies brewing beer on Jupiter, to a couple of old friends reconnecting at an environmental rally, the people living these incredible lives in unbelievable situations are relatable and human. But whether it’s an insterstellar pilot skipping through the centuries as he travels the universe, or a boy trying not alienate his loving father, we recognize ourselves in each of them.

If you’ll be at Balticon, be sure to join us at our shared launch party, where we’ll be celebrating Bud, as well as Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano’s new novel The Biggest Bounty, and Fortress Publishing’s TV Gods—Summer Programming. The party is scheduled for Sunday, from 1 to 3pm, in the 12th Floor Club Lounge. If you’re at Balticon, but can’t make it to the party, we’ll have the books in the dealers’ room the rest of the weekend. And if you’re not going to join us this weekend, Non-Parallel Universes is already listed on all the major online retailers’ sites: be sure to get your copy on publication day, next Tuesday.

Non-Parallel Universes is already garnering wonderful praise, including:

“If the term ‘Analog writer’ means anything anymore, long after John W. Campbell’s death, the description has to encompass and be enshrined in the person of Bud Sparhawk. Like Christopher Anvil and Eric Frank Russell, like James Schmitz and Tom Purdom, Sparhawk offers us unflashy, solid tales which nonetheless often extend SF’s remit. He never neglects either real technological novums nor humanistic story-telling values. He does not privilege message over entertainment, nor vice versa, but rather tries to keep both in balance. And in the end, he’s all about the art and the history and traditions of the genre, not self-aggrandizing grandstanding. I call that a valuable gift to the community of readers and a proud and honorable legacy.” —Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online

“Bud Sparhawk is a writer of clarity, wit, and insight. His stories provoke wonder, will sometimes give you a good laugh, and always make you think. I enjoy his work, and believe you will, too.” —Allen Steele, three-time Hugo Award-winner

“Bud Sparhawk’s imagination knows no limits. A dazzling collection.” —Jack McDevitt, Nebula Award-winner

“In today’s science fiction field, if I hear these three descriptors—’one of the living masters of the short form,’ ‘humor and pathos in equal measure,’ and ‘universally accessible,’—I know whose work is being discussed: Bud Sparhawk’s. And you hold the very finest of that work in your hands.” —Charles E. Gannon, author of the Tales of the Terran Republic series

“A collection of Bud Sparhawk’s work is as diverse and mind-blowing as an anthology of a dozen other writers. His stories can span the breadth of the Universe, or the distance between a man and his son. He can even unlock the heart of a crusty curmudgeon (like you, perhaps) and find a world of hope and wonder.” —Robert R. Chase, author of The Game of Fox and Lion

“Stories that shift reality and widen perspective, an amazing journey!” —Gail Z. Martin, author of Shadow and Flame

For more information, see

Short Stories That Go Down Easily

A Press Release from Fantastic Books:

I’ve known Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial for a long time. And ever since I launched Fantastic Books, Tom has been pitching me anthology ideas. But at the beginning of 2017, he caught me at Arisia with an idea that grabbed my imagination and wouldn’t let go. Short fiction, he said, has been steadily moving into the electronic realm. But there are still facets of life that call for, even demand a book of short fiction. When he told me the title, I laughed. Then I started thinking about it from a publishing point of view, and I kept thinking about it, and by the end of the convention, not only had I accepted the concept of the book for publication, but he’d started accepting stories for it.

Thus, Tom Easton, Judith K. Dial, and I are thrilled to announce the forthcoming publication of Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads.

This anthology was originally envisioned as a collection of previously published stories, but several writers were so excited that they asked to write original tales for it. The forty stories in this book represent the work of authors who have earned a combined ten Nebula Awards and ten Hugo Awards. The stories represent the mind-capturing ideas and the funniest tellings of science fiction. The authors are some of the staunchest of the old guard, and some of the newest of the up-and-comers.

One caveat: I had nothing to do with choosing the content of the book. So I was surprised when I saw both Stanley Schmidt and Michael Burstein listed in the table of contents. Michael’s story was originally written when I was the associate editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Stan was the magazine’s editor at that time, and all three of us appear as character’s in Michael’s story. So this book has a certain nostalgic feeling of homecoming to me.

There isn’t much more I ought to say, except that I really enjoyed reading this book, and I know you will, too!

—Ian Randal Strock, Publisher

Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads
edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial
Fantastic Books, $14.99, 200 pages, trade paperback. ISBN: 978-1-5154-1025-6.
Publication date: July 18, 2017.

Science Fiction for the Throne—and all Fantastic Books publications—are distributed through Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from the publisher.

Contributing Authors:

  • Gregory Benford
  • Lloyd Biggle
  • David Brin
  • Michael A. Burstein
  • James L. Cambias
  • Brenda Cooper
  • Dave Creek
  • Robert Dawson
  • Paul Di Filippo
  • S.B. Divya
  • Brendan DuBois
  • Marianne Dyson
  • Michael F. Flynn
  • Jeff Hecht
  • Liam Hogan
  • Daniel M. Kimmel
  • Nancy Kress
  • Edward M. Lerner
  • Paul Levinson
  • J.D. MacDonald & Debra Doyle
  • Leslie Starr O’Hara
  • Steven Popkes
  • Cat Rambo
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Don Sakers
  • James Sallis
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Holly Schofield
  • Darrell Schweitzer & Lee Weinstein
  • H. Paul Shuch
  • Alex Shvartsman
  • Steven H Silver
  • Bud Sparhawk
  • Douglas Van Belle
  • James Van Pelt
  • Jo Walton
  • Gerald Warfield
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans
  • Jay Werkheiser
  • Fran Wilde

Going Up the Rainbow with Susan Casper

A Press Release from Fantastic Books:

Susan Casper’s death earlier this year was a great shock and a tremendous loss to those who knew her and loved her. But fortunately for all of us, editor Gardner Dozois (her husband) has put together this volume containing all of her short fiction, as well as a series of her in-depth trip reports. It is meaty and worth reading.

Michael Swanwick, in his introduction writes that Susan had many interests, and only caught the writing bug, as one would a contagious disease, after a very long incubation period. Once she started writing, however, her work was that of a real writer. Swanwick calls her first published story, “Spring-Fingered Jack,” “dark, clever, fun, and fast.” Others agreed with him: it was reprinted seven times, which is the very best kind of validation for a new writer to receive.”

Susan stopped writing several years before her death. We may never know why, but we should be thankful that she chose to wrote at all. Connie Willis says “Susan Casper always had something new and fascinating to say.” Nancy Kress says this is a vivid and compelling range of stories. Pat Cadigan calls Susan Casper “one of my favorite writers.” And Kristine Kathryn Rusch says “I have only one problem with Susan Casper’s fiction: there isn’t enough of it.” But what there is of it is all available in Up the Rainbow: the Complete Short Fiction of Susan Casper.

Fantastic Books is honored and humbled to be publishing Up the Rainbow: the Complete Short Fiction of Susan Casper in simultaneous hardcover and trade paperback editions on July 18, 2017. We’ll be debuting the book at Readercon in Quincy, Massachusetts, the weekend of July 13-16. (Hardcover: $34.99. ISBN: 978-1-5154-1027-0. Trade Paperback: $19.99. ISBN: 978-1-5154-1028-7.)

Up the Rainbow—and all Fantastic Books publications—are distributed through Ingram, and available through all major online retailers and specialty sf shops via direct order from the publisher. Review copies are available upon request.


    • Introduction, by Michael Swanwick
    • Spring-Fingered Jack
    • Shadowman
    • Mama
    • The Haunting
    • Spring Fever
    • The Clowns
    • Send No Money
    • Covenant with a Dragon
    • Under Her Skin
    • The Stray
    • Home for the Holidays
    • The Cleaning Lady
    • A Child of Darkness
    • Nine-Tenths of the Law
    • Djinn and Tonic
    • Betrayal
    • Coming of Age
    • Windows of the Soul
    • Up the Rainbow
    • Holmes Ex Machina
    • A Night at the J Street Bar
    • Why Do You Think They Call It Middle Earth?
    • Old Photographs
    • The Blessed Damosel
    • Afterword, by Andy Duncan
    • Trip Reports:
    • Bermuda Cruise
    • World Fantasy Con, Monterey, and the California Coast—1998
    • Anaheim/Las Vegas/Grand Canyon—1999
    • Hawaii: Westercon in O’ahu/The Big Island—2000
    • Paris/Nantes—2001
    • Barbados—2003
    • Germany/Prague/Vienna—2005