I have to admit a certain unease when it comes to writing stories for anthologies I edit. I don’t edit anthologies as a way to create a writing outlet for myself. I edit anthologies because the topic seems like an interesting one and I enjoy seeing how a variety of authors explore that topic. Admittedly, the writer in me does want to play and explore the topic, too! Still, the dilemma that often arises has to do with being objective about the story I write.
The way we have addressed that with books I’ve edited in the Full-Throttle Space Tales series is that I submit my story to the publisher. If David Rozansky says the story is terrible, out it goes and no questions asked.
My story in Space Horrors actually had its genesis way back in the summer of 2002. At the time, I was serving on the board of the New Mexico Center for the Book. One afternoon, I drove to Santa Fe for a board meeting. Because it’s a long way from Las Cruces to Santa Fe, one of my fellow board members allowed me to spend the night at her house. That board member was Dolly Bussard, wife of physicist Robert Bussard. Robert Bussard is probably most famous for conceiving a space ship that can travel near the speed of light, using interstellar hydrogen as fuel. While staying at the Bussards’ home, I had an idea about a vampire who travels on a Bussard Ramjet to get away from sunlight. That idea became a 150-word short story called “On the Ramjet” which was first published in Blood Samples Magazine in 2002 and was recently reprinted in the collection Blood Sampler that I co-authored with Lee Clark Zumpe. You can read the original story at my MySpace blog. If you like that story, there’s lots more where it came from and you can pick up a copy of Blood Sampler at The Genre Mall or Hadrosaur Productions.
In fact, this little 150-word story has been so popular, it’s one of my most reprinted stories. Not only has it appeared in the places mentioned above, but it was also printed in a local newspaper called The Ink and I read it on Maggie Bonham’s Podcast, “The SciFi Traveling Roadshow”. Popular as this little piece of flash fiction has seemed to be, I thought it would be fun to expand the idea and actually explore the characters and their motivations more.
So, I changed my point-of-view character from the vampire to an engineer who encounters the vampire and my 150-word flash fiction grew into a 6700-word short story called “Anemia.” David Rozansky read the story and liked it, so it went into the anthology. Now, here’s hoping you enjoy it too!