Fantastic Books Cover Reveal: Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

Fantastic Books is thrilled to reveal the cover of our forthcoming anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… edited by Michael A. Ventrella. Cover art/design is by Lynne Hansen.

The book is the result of our latest successful Kickstarter campaign, in which we asked the authors to take three people from history, put them together, and tell us of the adventure that ensues. The authors came through brilliantly.

The back cover text, in case you can’t make it out in the image:

* How many people could you kill to guarantee your happiness?
* Would you follow a stranger into a broom closet at a Grateful Dead concert?
* How many times could you watch your own suicide?
* What would cause you to give away a wish-granting genie?

Those are just a few of the questions eighteen incredible authors answered in response to the call to take three historical figures, throw them together in some situation, and tell us the story that ensues. You’ll be fascinated by those stories featuring Julia Child, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson, and Vlad the Impaler (well… not all in one story), plus dozens of others.

These marvelous tales of time-traveling adventure flow from the imaginations of Eric Avedissian, Adam-Troy Castro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gregory Frost, David Gerrold, Henry Herz, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin, Heather McKinney, James A. Moore, Jody Lynn Nye, L. Penelope, Louise Piper, Hildy Silverman, S.W. Sondheimer, Allen Steele, and Lawrence Watt-Evans.

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Romance on Four Worlds storybundled

FEB22 Story Final2Fantastic Books is participating in this month’s “Scoundrels in Space” story bundle, in the form of Tom Purdom’s Romance on Four Worlds: A Casanova Quartet. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of story bundles (as I was), it’s a group sale program: you pay $5 for the four main ebooks, or $20 (or more) for all 12. The money goes to the authors and a little to the sponsor, and you get some great reads for really cheap. The bundle is only available for a limited time (in this case, until February 24). But to grab your cheap reading, follow this link: https://storybundle.com/scifi

Fantastic Books published Romance on Four Worlds a few years back, and when it came out, Publishers Weekly called it “delightful” and “a pleasure from beginning to end.” So now you can get a copy cheaper than ever before, and another 11 wonderful books, too. Check it out!

Philcon, this weekend

philcon_logoIt’s starting to feel like the before-times again. I just got back from a weekend on the road (I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, for Charlotte Blue Ridge Mensa‘s Regional Gathering, which hosted the AMC meeting), and now I’m getting ready to leave Friday for Philcon, my second science fiction convention of the new world.

As a typical science fiction convention, I’ll be spending most of my time in the dealers’ room at the Fantastic Books table. We’ll have many copies of Allen Steele’s brand new novel Sanctuary, and of the non-fiction book On Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren (I’m hoping to have Delany himself at the table for some of the time, to sign copies). But I’m also on programming. If you’re looking to catch me there, my scheduled items include:

Friday at 6:00 PM in Plaza 2: “Perils and Pitfalls of Near-Future Scenarios” with Jennifer Povey, Margaret Riley, Michael A. Ventrella, and Joan Wendland

Saturday at 1:00 PM in Plaza 4: “Writing and Publishing in the Digital Age” with Neil Clarke, Gordon Linzner, Margaret Riley, and Ann Stolinsky.

Saturday at 5:00 PM in Plaza 3: “The Future You Imagine is the Future You Get” with Mitchell Gordon, Mark Roth-Whitworth, and Jeff Warner.

Saturday at 7:00 PM in Plaza 3: “Alternate Histories” with Scheherazade Jackson, Roberta Rogow, Mark Roth-Whitworth, and Chuck Rothman.

Sunday at 11:00 AM in Plaza 5: “A New Dune” with Randee Dawn, Barna William Donovan, Robert Hranek, and Lawrence Kramer.

I hope to see a lot of you there!

Sanctuary is out!

perf6.000x9.000.inddIt’s publication day! But rather than writing something about the book, I’ll just copy author Allen Steele’s own commentary on his newest novel, Sanctuary:

At long last, my new novel is being published today. Sanctuary is a full-length expansion of a series of stories that appeared on Tor.com and in Asimovs Science Fiction from 2017 through 2020, revised and made longer by new material; even if you read all the stories in their original form, you haven’t received the whole story until now.

Paperback, hardcover, and ebook are now available, and I hope it will soon have an audio edition as well. This is the first time I’ve had a new novel come out from a small-press publisher, so things are a bit different this time out; the paperback and hardcover editions won’t be in any chain bookstores and probably only a few independent book shops, so your best bet is going to be ordering it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from the publisher. It’s a new world, folks.

Sanctuary is about a new world, too: a small human colony on a planet orbiting Tau Ceti, established by the survivors of the disaster that destroyed the two ships that arrived there several centuries earlier. Time has passed, but memory has faded; the inhabitants have lost the historical records of the past, and therefore their memory of their origins has become clouded by myth. The island they live on, Sanctuary, is kept isolated from the rest of the world by the native Cetans, a dog-like canine race who aren’t hostile but not particularly friendly either. So the descendants of the original colonists live in a stratified society stuck in a pre-industrial way of life where science and technology has been replaced by a strong belief in magic and superstition; they’re surviving, but they’re not prospering.

The story itself is told by its central character, Jeremy Crowe, a private investigator in the sprawling urban ghetto of Landencyte, Sanctuary’s largest settlement. A member of the city’s ruling class, a Steward, hires Crowe to locate his daughter, a young woman who has disappeared just before she’s to be married to another young nobleman from another house. But what seems to be a simple missing-persons case becomes far more intriguing, with the trail leading Crowe on a mission to discover Sanctuary’s forgotten history and the reasons why his kind has fallen so far during the time they’ve lived on Tawcety.

I describe Sanctuary as a cross between hard-SF and hard boiled detective fiction. If Poul Anderson or Jack Vance had collaborated with John D. MacDonald or Mickey Spillane, this is what the result might have been. Publisher’s Weekly has favored it with a nice, respectful review: “Three-time Hugo Award winner Steele pulls off an unusual genre-bending adventure in this melange of far-future alien-human interaction and classic gumshoe investigation … Steele’s engaging tough-guy narrator and well-wrought alien culture make this an enjoyable romp for both science fiction and detective story fans.”

As always, I hope you enjoy it.

Taking Sanctuary

perf6.000x9.000.inddI may have mentioned that Fantastic Books will be publishing Allen Steele’s new novel, Sanctuary, in early November. Now we’ve got the cover finalized, and I’m prompted to show it off because Publishers Weekly has just reviewed the book. PW says “Steele pulls off an unusual genre-bending adventure in this mélange of far-future alien-human interaction and classic gumshoe investigation.… Steele’s engaging tough-guy narrator and well-wrought alien culture make this an enjoyable romp for both science fiction and detective story fans.” You can read the full review here. And when the book actually goes on sale, you’ll find links to it on this page.

Time Travelers Funded!

9fe8ca763a41bf143a5529820ada4856_originalNo cutesy time-traveling trio teaser today, just an announcement that the Kickstarter campaign for Three Time Travelers Walk Into… has hit its funding goal! That means the book will exist (and the writers are warming up their writing hands right now). Very exciting! And thank you, all, for being a part of it.

The campaign runs another 45 hours, if you want to get involved, get your name in the book as an early backer/supporter, or if you want to push us to add even more stories (that’s the first stretch goal, at $7,000).

The editor, Michael A. Ventrella, will be announcing the writers’ guidelines in the next day or two, for those of you who want to get involved as a writer. For now, start thinking about which trio of time travelers you’d write about, in which situation.

And again, thank you!

Historical Trio 12?

E_Dz5ElWEAIBAeLI know, I know: I seem to be a one-note song of late. But I promise, it’s almost over. At the moment, the Kickstarter campaign is a scant 70 hours away from concluding, and it’s $404 short of being funded and bringing into existence what promises to be an awesome anthology. Please, tell a friend about it; tell a writer about it (it’ll be a new market for them… if it’s funded). Once we hit that $6,000 goal (really, we’re so close), I won’t be asking you to help spread this word again.

Oh, and the time-traveling trio? Well, how about you and me and Bobby McGee, at the launch party for Three Time Travelers Walk Into…? It might seem a little self-serving, but it would totally be great! Hope you can check it out with us.

In totally unrelated news, I was at a small gathering of friends in New Jersey this weekend, and managed to catch the attached photo of the sun near sunset. It was gorgeous, and spending the day mostly outside with friends was pretty good, too!

Historical Trio 10? And all about Dhalgren

9fe8ca763a41bf143a5529820ada4856_originalHow would the Miracle on Ice 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team been different if it included Billie Jean King, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Rosalind Franklin? If you think you’ve got an interesting idea, it might fit in Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, a nifty time travel anthology Fantastic Books will be publishing if the Kickstarter campaign is successful. And we’re into the home stretch: we’ve got six days left, and a scant $1,400 to go. Check it out! Tell your friends! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667435382/three-time-travelers-walk-into

amazonprelaunch1And in other news, today is publication day for On Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren, a collection that Publishers Weekly called “immersive and comprehensive.” The book is the #1 New Release in Amazon’s 20th Century Literary Criticism category, and we’re thrilled.

Time Traveling Anthological Video

time-travelersCon-Tinual, the never-ending electronic science fiction convention, recently hosted a panel discussion with part of the crew behind the forthcoming anthology (and current Kickstarter project) Three Time Travelers Walk Into…. Listen in as we discuss time travel, where authors get our ideas, the difference between short and long fiction, and much more. Participants include panel host and author Gail Z. Martin, editor Michael A. Ventrella, authors David Gerrold, Jonathan Maberry, Jody Lynn Nye, and Leslye Penelope, and me. The video is on YouTube, the campaign is on Kickstarter.