Tuscany Bay Books’ co-Publisher Richard Paolinelli is today’s blogger as we continue our series of blog posts regarding Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series. Richard is the co-editor of Pluto and has stories in six books in the series so far.
The last few days we’ve had a few of the authors and editors here on the blog to talk about their experiences with Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series. Several other authors and editors will follow in the coming days.
I figured it was time I should join in on this as I edited Pluto and, as of this writing, have stories in six of the 11 books in the series. In addition to my story in Pluto I have a story in Luna, Uranus, Earth, Jupiter and Sol. I have subbed to both Neptune and Saturn, the final two books in the series, but it will be awhile before I find out if they will be included. Yes, just because I’m publishing the series now it doesn’t mean I’m automatically in. That call remains solely within the capable hands of our two editors and they have the final say on what stories get in and what stories don’t. In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about my stories in the series.
But for today I want to focus on the road taken to get to this point. How I went from writing a story to sub to the series, to editing Pluto and finally to publishing all 11 books. It was quite the journey, so grab your refreshment of choice and settle in.
It all started nearly three years ago when Superversive Press announced their plans for an 11-book anthology series of science fiction and fantasy, along with all of the sub-genres contained within, stories. They would be based on the nine planets – yes, Pluto is a planet so lets get that settled here and now – plus our own Moon and the Sun itself. They would also incorporate the mythology and the gods associated with the planets as well.
I loved the concept from the first second after it was announced. After scanning the requirements, I targeted eight of the 11 books – Mercury, Venus and Mars didn’t make the cut for me – to write stories for. And I had something else in mind for one of those eight books.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Pluto is my favorite planet. So it was only natural that when Superversive was still looking for an editor for Pluto in the series, I decided to step up and take the job. But, because I’d never edited an anthology before, I asked Dawn Witzke to be a co-editor. She’d done a fantastic job editing the Earth volume of the series and Pluto would not be as good a collection as it is without her. My story, Extinction Point, appears in Earth and was originally intended for Pluto until I became its co-editor. So, off to Earth it went. Which was fine because I had a second story in mind for Pluto: Yes, Neil D. Tyson, Pluto Is A Planet. Have you guessed what my opinion of the conference that demoted Pluto is yet?
For the next two years I focused my attention on culling through the subs for Pluto, editing the ones Dawn and I agreed were best, all 21 of them, and awaited Pluto’s turn in the rotation to be published by Superversive.
Then disaster struck. After publishing only five books, Superversive Press shut down. For the six editors left hanging it was, to say the least, a huge disappointment as it was for the authors who had been accepted into many of them. But there was a ray of sunshine to be found among the dark clouds. Jason Rennie, the publisher at Superversive Press, announced he would be willing to turn over all rights to the series to another publisher should one be found with an interest in doing so.
As you know, I just happen to have a small publishing house, well at least one-half of one, in my back pocket. And we’ve already established my interest in this entire series. So I put in a call with the other half of Tuscany Bay Books, Jim Christina, and we decided to pick up the series.
We also decided to re-release the original five – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter – under our own imprint. This meant waiting for Superversive’s first editions to come off of Amazon after a three-month wait. Instead of sitting and waiting, we decided to release the three new books that were ready to go.
Pluto was first, followed by Luna and Uranus. Then we reached the point where we could start re-releasing the originals and Mercury came out earlier this month. Venus will be released in late May and every six weeks after that a new release will become available until all 11 books are out.
When we took over the series we wanted to keep the interiors the same as they were in the original five regarding the editors and the stories within. It didn’t work out that way, but we managed to keep nearly all of them intact. We lost one story in Venus by the author’s request as she was using it elsewhere. We lost one of the editors, Mars, who choose not to continue on in the role under TBB’s banner. But aside from those two losses, these original five appear exactly as they did before. And, as a bonus, we picked up two brand new stories for Mars along with our new editor.
The big difference is the exterior covers. Superversive went with the “Golden Astronaut” theme in an anime style. But we decided to go a different direction, wanting to feature the astronomical body and the associated god each individual book was based upon. Looking at all 11 together, I’m very pleased with the way it all turned out. And I’m very much looking forward to the coming February, when all 11 books will be out and I have each one of them sitting on my bookshelf in my office.
It has been an incredible journey with this series, an epic in its way, these three years. When it began I never for a second imagined it would turn out the way it has. I’d like to thank Jason for creating this series and, when circumstances forced him to shutter Superversive, that he was willing to allow another publisher to pick up this series’ banner and carry it on to completion.
But without the efforts of the 12 editors (Venus also had co-editors), the nearly 90 authors who submitted nearly 180 stories that make up this series, we wouldn’t be here talking about it today. Thank all of you for writing these great stories, for editing these great stories and – in the case of the original five books – keeping them in the second editions that TBB is publishing. We could not have done this without you.
And, finally, thank you readers, who have and continue to make this series successful. We hope you enjoy the books to come as much as you have those that have been released.
– RICHARD PAOLINELLI
Find out more about Richard, his books and his free-to-read 1K Weekly Serial Series at this website: www.scifiscribe.com