Posted in Planetary Anthology Series

PAOLINELLI: An Unexpected Adventure

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.

SuperversiveIt 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 red spiritual smoke on black background with copy spacenatural 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 cropped-tbb_website-1.jpgof 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.

PAS_TWITTER_PROMOThe 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

 

Posted in Guest Blogger, Planetary Anthology Series

FINN: Deceptive Appearances

DECLAN FINN TAKES OVER THE BLOG TODAY. DECLAN WAS THE EDITOR FOR TUSCANY BAY BOOKS’ PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: LUNA.  IN ADDITION TO EDITING THE ANTHOLOGY, HE ALSO WROTE STORIES FOR MERCURY, VENUS, LUNA, MARS AND PLUTO. TODAY HE SHARES A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HIS STORY IN MERCURY
My first creation was Sean Patrick Ryan. I was writing a space opera and wanted someone who could have a reasonable chance against a Wookie if it came down to it. It’s why he ended up being two meters tall and one wide. Then, for reasons I can’t recall, I made him a telepath. It was probably useful at the time.
Anyway.
The space opera I wrote was four books long, at 400 pages each, and I wrapped up writing them within 15 months…. Keep in mind, I didn’t know that publishers also used double-spaced type, so I really wrote 800 page novels.
So that was fun.
When it came down to writing a short story for Mercury, in an anthology that involved themes of tricky, I had one character to call on. My first. Because Sean Ryan wasn’t dangerous because he was big and knew how to fight. He was dangerous because the only fair fight was one he finished. He’d smile in your face and talk you to death, because he already wired the floor with explosive charges and he’s trying to remember when button triggers the explosive you’re standing on.
Sean Ryan is very much a combination of growing up with a cinema library of Commando, Die Hard, Sleuth, Deathtrap and The Sting. We end up with a product that’s one part shoot ’em up, one part con.
And I’d already written a short story that was “Sean Ryan is being a sneaky sumbitch.” I didn’t have any particular place to put this one. So I made a minor rewrite and placed it on Mercury. It was called Deceptive Appearances.
Remember writers: it’s not cheating to recycle.
While editing Deceptive Appearances, I dug through some research on Mercury and decided, yeah, it’s going to need some habitat domes. And we’re going to be in a poorer, more rundown dome, so it’s going to be hot. Overly hot. The sort of dry heat that starts bar fights over nothing, and a wife feels the edge of a kitchen knife while eyeing her husband’s throat….
And for the record, I may have just quoted Raymond Chandler, both here and in the short story.
Another writing tip: Good writers borrow, great writers steal. But always call it “research.”
And I was fairly surprised. Our editor David Hallquist …. did nothing to it. Nothing memorable, anyway. That’s probably what happens when you polish the same bloody twenty pages for two decades.
Final tip: edit … but not too much. Otherwise you’re going to hold on to the same book you first wrote when you were 16, and don’t release it until you’ve edited it to death by 38.
 – DECLAN FINN
Declan Finn is best known for wearing loud and obnoxious clothing at conventions. He writes full time, sometimes when he’s off the clock, and tries to come out with a book of the month, much to the irritation of his usual publisher, Silver Empire. He is the editor of the Luna anthology, and has made appearances in Mercury, Venus, Mars, Pluto and Storming Area 51, for Bayonet Books. Most of his books can be found at Silver Empire, and the rest can be found at Amazon.
You can check out the entire 11-book series right here. While four of the books have already been released, the remaining seven will be coming out in six-week intervals and can be pre-ordered at the link above. 
Posted in Guest Blogger, Planetary Anthology Series

LEHMAN: Lunacy

WILLIAM LEHMAN TAKES OVER THE BLOG TODAY. WILLIAM HAS A STORY IN PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: LUNA. TODAY HE WILL TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HIS STORY IN THIS SERIES. 

Welcome to a special edition of “the Scuttlebutt”

My normal Blog “the Scuttlebutt” is published by a different outfit, but I was kindly invited to submit a post to the folks from Tuscany Bay Books because I have a story in Luna… So, pull up a chair, the bar is behind you, grab something, and let’s talk.

An online friend of mine reached out to me about a year and a half ago, or maybe it was two and a half, I would have to look it up, and frankly, I’m too lazy to do so right now.

Declan said that he was asked to be the editor for one of the planetary anthologies, specifically the one on the moon, and would like me to submit something.  Now since the series I’ve been writing is Urban (or more accurately Rural) Fantasy, I expect that he figured I would do a John Fisher story.

Well, I hate to be predictable, and at the time I had recently seen some things about NASA’s thoughts on going back to the moon as a jumping-off point for the rest of the system… So, I decided to do a straight-up Sci-Fi story instead.

Robert-Heinlein
ROBERT HEINLEIN

One of the writers I most admire is Robert Heinlein, and one of the many reasons I admire him is his ability to let you run with your assumptions, and then challenge them.  So, I wanted to do this, in the story.  How effective I was is left to the reader to determine.

I thought when I was writing it, that I was writing a stand-alone… However, upon completion, I realized that I had instead written the background story for a space opera series I had been thinking about for most of a decade.  I’m currently working on the first one of that series, and no, I have no idea when it’s going to be done, or published… My 9-5 job has taken a massive chunk of my life lately, and with the world events, by the time I get home, I’m afraid I’m too wiped to write.

Anyway, I had never written a short story at the time I put this one out, and I warned Declan that while I would give it a shot, I wasn’t sure how it would work… I’m used to having 100,000 words to cover a story, not 2,000-10,000.  Well, I sat down to write Vulcan III while we were away to Ocean Shores for a long weekend and finished it over two days.  Everything just jelled.  Shorts are still not my first love, but they no longer hold the trepidation that I originally had for them, and I’ll probably do more if invited.  When I wrote it, I also had no idea that we would be seeing anything like the current societal isolation thing we’re currently seeing.  I don’t think this changes the story at all, but it does further underline the need for social contact discussed in the story.

Hope you enjoy it, stay safe, stay sane.

Yours in service.

– WILLIAM LEHMAN

William’s “The Scuttlebutt” blog posts can be found here: The Scuttlebutt. At 17 he joined the US Navy as a Submarine Sonar Technician, serving in that capacity on various Fast Attack and Ballistic missile subs for the next 20 years, with a couple of shore duty breaks. he retired as the Work Programs Director for the Naval Regional Brig at Bangor Submarine Base, and spent some overlapping time as a Reserve Police Officer for the City of Bremerton WA, a job he continued until the ankles gave out, and running was no longer an option. On weekends, he dresses up in 70 pounds of armor to bash people with sticks, as a member of a Medieval Recreation group. You can find more of William’s works on his Amazon Author page.

You can get your copy of Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series: Luna right here: Luna and check out the rest of the 11-book series here: Planetary Anthology Series.

3D_COVERS copy

Posted in Guest Blogger, Planetary Anthology Series

FURLONG: From Luna to Uranus and Beyond

CAROLINE FURLONG TAKES OVER THE BLOG TODAY. CAROLINE HAS STORIES THAT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: LUNA AND PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: URANUS. TODAY SHE WILL TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HER JOURNEY TO THE SERIES AND HER STORIES THAT APPEAR IN THIS SERIES. 

 

I have been fascinated by the nine planets of Earth’s solar system since childhood. Already a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, learning more about Terra’s eight neighbors and sun was electrifying, though it did not lead to in-depth study. (And yes, as this PAS_TWITTER_PROMOstatement implies, I still count Pluto as a planet.) The moon landings received roughly the same amount of attention, flavored with a great deal of national pride.

            So the open calls for submission to the Planetary Anthologies immediately caught this author’s eye. A series where sci-fi/fantasy writers could explore the nine planets in the solar system, plus the sun and the moon?! Sign me up!

            Unfortunately, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto had already reached their acceptance quotas by the time I discovered the open calls. Of those that remained available, several had possibilities but no catalyst – no item or event that would form coherent stories. While it hurt to let the door close on these opportunities, the lack of a cohesive element left this author little choice but to allow them to pass her by.

            Among those collections that generated viable ideas, Luna presented several intriguing possibilities. Being a fan of the Greek deity Artemis, wolves, and sci-fi/fantsy, it wasn’t hard to know what kind of story I wanted to write to fulfill the requirements for that submission. Werewolves and their association with the moon have appeared in a variety of stories, however, which left this writer wondering how to make her first submission to Luna stand out from the crowd.

            It did not take long to figure out the unique spin which would make that tale noticeable, and it was a joy to write up. Unfortunately, this twist did its job a little too well. And this author knew it. Though proud of the first story I submitted to Luna, I had a feeling it was a bit too wild and obscure to be accepted. Since I really wanted to be part of this anthology, it meant this writer had to dig around for another idea, write it up, and send in a second submission as insurance.

The only problem was that my muse seemed to have run out of feasible fantasies. In an effort to get it going again, this author asked a close friend for an opinion on the themes related to the moon. This led to a repeat of the old joke that “Hitler and his top officers live on the dark side of the moon,” which served the purpose of rekindling my inspiration. Just like that, I had a story I could use.

It needed some tinkering, of course; there was no way this author was going to write a story about the real Hitler living with his top officers on the dark side of the moon. That notion would take an entire novel to explore. Instead she threw in some Kenny Rogers, a few ghost tales involving mines and miners from the Old West, not to mention a belief that there are “more things in heaven and earth” than we know (or want to know) of, and voíla, “Despot Hold ‘Em” was born.

Finding the story idea for Uranus, which I also desperately wished to be accepted into, was a little easier. The required themes were fewer, but that meant the milieu was wide open. Having read about the discovery of diamond rain in the atmosphere of the gas giants in our solar system not long beforehand, it didn’t take much time to find out more about the titular planet of the anthology. I was especially fascinated by the fact that any material, even the strongest metal, would be crushed and reduced to atoms if it sank too far into Uranus’ atmosphere.

This instantly called to mind the sad losses of several submarines which somehow exceeded their depth threshold, imploding due to the abrupt increase in pressure. There is little difference, from what scientists have observed, between that unfortunate phenomena and the fate of any satellite – or ship – which may delve too deeply into Uranus. A prospective space-faring vessel would suffer the same catastrophic demise as a submarine diving into the Terran abyss.

A number of other influences combined to make the mystery more enticing. The man-out-of-time trope has not lost its appeal, and through her voracious reading of Andre Norton’s works, this author has a vested interest in parapsychology (the study of psychic phenomena, not witchcraft). Japanese media had a strong effect on the tale as well, a fact best exemplified by the story’s leading lady. Add in a little Cold War-style intrigue and some national pride, and you have “The Long Dream.”

Though writers aren’t supposed to play favorites any more than parents, this author would be lying if she said “The Long Dream” wasn’t one of the pieces she had the most fun working on and seeing published. Had Tuscany Bay Books not picked up the Planetary series, that story – along with “Despot Hold ‘Em” – may have seen publication at a much later date and outside the desired venue. I am sincerely grateful to Richard Paolinelli and Jim Christina for taking on this monumental project and bringing it to readers the world over.

It has been an honor and a dream come true to be published in the Planetary Anthology series, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. If you haven’t picked up any of the anthologies yet, then grab one today. You won’t regret it!

– CAROLINE FURLONG

 

Stories have captivated Caroline from early childhood, but without her family’s encouragement that fascination might have foundered long ago. She considers it a minor miracle that as a child no one ever tripped over the toys she scattered while she set up queens and sent out heroes on quests. Reading meant that the toys got taken out less, and when it came to writing at thirteen or fourteen they had been surrendered to another. But she continues to dream up realms and heroes, monsters and androids almost every waking moment. They are her toys now, parading across paper rather than a carpet. The slightest suggestion – a word, a movie, a flower, or a ship – can bring a new story to mind. So, where there are dragons that talk and spaceships to fly, that’s where she will be. You can find out more about Caroline at her website: A Song Of Joy.

 

You can get your copies of Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series: Luna and Uranus right here: Luna & Uranus and check out the rest of the 11-book series here: Planetary Anthology Series.

Posted in Guest Blogger, Planetary Anthology Series

HALLQUIST: Editing Mercury

David Hallquist takes over the blog today. David was the editor for Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series: Mercury.  In addition to editing the anthology, he also wrote a story for it as well as having stories included in Venus, Mars and Sol. He will share his experience as an editor and tell us a little bit about the stories within. 

 

Planetary Fiction Anthology was a lot of fun to work on and the whole thing started as an idea bounced around by an online community of writers, both amateur and professional. What was the next big thing to work on? I thought that a massive anthology, with one book in each dedicated to a planet in the solar system might be big enough. We’d need a separate editor for each one of course.

PAS_TWITTER_PROMOThe idea had a lot of enthusiastic support, much of it along the lines of “You go do that, then.”

Thus, I found out I’d just volunteered myself to edit the first book in the series: Mercury.

At first I was thinking: how am I going to get stories in for Mercury? This little planet seems to get overlooked in science fiction, with Mars getting the bulk of sci-fi attention and even the asteroids or other dwarf planets and moons seeming to get more focus. More, what would I write to contribute?

One thing that helped was broadening the concept from just science fiction into fantasy as well. Had I not done that then we all would have missed out on some of the truly fantastic and strange tales in the anthology series. On top of that, each planet had a mythic significance associated to it. Thus, Mercury would also be about tricksters and messengers, Venus about love and Mars about war, etc. Then, finally there are all the strange phenomena about each planet to write about, and bizarre little Mercury is as strange a world as any with its unusual composition and odd orbit.

Still, I was worried. What would anyone have to say about little Mercury? Would that tiny cinder near the sun be forgotten and ignored after all? Then, when the tales rolled in I was overjoyed. Planetary Fiction: Mercury contains tales of wonder strangeness of nearly every sort.

Award-winning author John C. Wright gives us an eerie time-traveling epic on Mercury Mercurywith In the Palace of Promised Immortality. Ben Wheeler treats us to a wild motorcycle race across the planet in Schubert to Rachmaninoff. We get a chilling tale of underground Mercury in Joshua Young’s The Haunted Mines of Mercury. J.D. Beckwith gives us the first faster than light ship near Mercury in Quicksilver.

In Last Call Lou Antonelli gives us a view of a Mercury of the far future, near the end of its life as a mining planet, and about to be forgotten. Declan Finn treats us to the schemes of criminal elements under the domes of Mercury in Deceptive Appearances. A.M. Freeman shows us another Mercury of the far future in The Star of Mercury. In Curcurbita Mercurias has a murder mystery on the innermost planet.

Still, only some of the tales took place on the planet itself. Had we not invited tales of the fantastic, then we would not have had tales like L. Jagi Lamplighter’s The Element of Transmutation where we meet the mythical Mercury himself, or Cory McCleery’s mind-bending trip of the fantastic in Tower of the Luminous Sages. Other tales deal with the concept of travel itself, such as Bokerah Brumley’s Ancestor’s Answer where time travel is used to resolve family honor, or Misha Burnett’s mDNA where a genetic messenger travels the wasteland to save the human race.

What about my story? I set out to craft a tale that would fit the concept of messengers and travel, while set on the planet itself. Mercury is a planet with a lot of mysteries: a strange orbit, a strange composition, and odd magnetic field readings. I love mysteries. So, I put together all of the mysteries along with questions on the Fermi Paradox when crafting The Wanderer. Explorers arrive on Mercury and find a strange structure as old as the solar system deep underground that could be the key for understanding what happened back in the beginning of the solar system and answering questions of life between the stars.

I’ve sent in submissions to the other books Planetary Anthology as ideas came to me. In The Morning and Evening Star, a man gifts the planet Venus to his true love, only to have his life fall apart in a disaster that threatens their marriage. In Rusted Fortress, explorers on Mars discover that the solar system was one the site of a terrible battle at its very beginning. Finally, in the upcoming Sundown and Out (Planetary Series: Sol) , a private detective must solve his biggest case yet: who murdered the Sun?

SuperversiveFinally, the whole Planetary Fiction project would never have been possible without the many creative gems from the contributing authors, and the tireless patience of Jason Rennie, our “Interplanetary Editor” (at Superversive Press) keeping the whole thing on the rails. I was overjoyed when I heard that Tuscany Bay Books was going to imprint the whole series. Thanks again to Richard Paolinelli for making this treasure chest of wonders available to everyone.

– DAVID HALLQUIST

 

David Hallquist graduated from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 2004, where he learned much of business but little of smithing. He has had a long history of customer service positions including banking, call center service and sales, all of which have served as a fascinating study of the human species. He lives in Rockville, Maryland, and is still waiting for the flying cars. A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy turned author with several published short stories, has turned his pen and keyboard to tales of the fantastic.

 

Get your copy of Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series: Mercury right here: Mercury and check out the rest of the 11-book series here: Planetary Anthology Series.

Posted in News

Pluto Pre-Orders Go Live

red spiritual smoke on black background with copy spacePluto, Tuscany Bay Books’ first release in the Planetary Anthology Series, is now live on Amazon for pre-ordering. The book will upload into your Kindle devices on Dec. 5th. It will also be available for free to all KU subscribers.

You can pre-order your copy right here: PLUTO

And check out the book trailer right here: PAS: PLUTO

Many thanks to the 21 authors who contributed these amazing stories to the collection:

Like So Many Paper Lanterns – B. Michael Stevens               

Time Out For Pluto – P. A. Piatt                                                

A Brush – J.D. Arguelles                                                           

The Pluto Chronicles – Bokerah Brumley                               

Bat Out Of Hellheim – Corey McCleery                                 

The Rainbow-Colored Rock Hopper – J. Manfred Weichsel          

The Heart Of Pluto – Christine Chase                                     

The Case For Pluto – A.M. Freeman                                       

Marathon To Mordor – Karina L. Fabian                                

Miss Nancy’s Garden – Jim Ryals                                           

On Eternal Patrol – L.A. Behm II                                            

Pluto Invictus – W.J. Hayes                                                     

Worst Contact – Arlan Andrews Sr.                                         

Ambit Of Charon – David Skinner                                          

Sunset Over Gunther – Frank B. Luke                                    

Adaptive Reasoning – John M. Olsen                                     

Judgment Of Anaq – Andy Pluto                                             

Life At The End – Jake Freivald                                              

A Clockwork Dragon – Allen Goodner                                    

The Collector – Declan Finn                                                   

Yes, Neil D. Tyson, Pluto Is A Planet – Richard Paolinelli   

 

Now its on to working on getting Luna ready for her release date. As soon as we have that information, we will post it here. FOr now, check out her amazing cover: