At CopperCon in 2007, David Boop approached me about editing an anthology of space pirate stories for Flying Pen Press. We called Flying Pen’s owner David Rozansky and I promised to talk to some people and see what kind of interest I could drum up. I found several enthusiastic authors and started collecting stories. David, David and I met over dinner at MileHiCon in Denver about six weeks later. We were joined by Carol Hightshoe and a few other people, and the idea came up that we could turn this space pirate anthology idea into a whole series of anthologies that explored different themes. It was decided Carol would do the second anthology about women exploring space.
2008 saw the publication of Space Pirates, the first anthology in the Full-Throttle Space Tales series. Space Sirens, edited by Carol Hightshoe, came out in early 2009. Dayton Ward edited the third entry in the series called Space Grunts which presented stories of the military in space. He tells the story of his involvement at The Fog of Ward.
At this point, I returned to edit a second volume in the series. Back at the dinner at MileHiCon, we’d discussed calling it Space Vampires, but we decided to open it to a variety of horror tropes. I received stories about zombies, ghosts, monstrous aliens, and yes, even vampires. That book became Space Horrors. Jennifer Brozek edited Space Tramps about vagabonds making their way through the spaceways. Last but not least, Bryan Thomas Schmidt proposed an exciting anthology of space battles in all their forms. I was honored to have stories in every anthology of the series but one. I don’t know whether I would have been selected for Space Grunts because time commitments prevented me from submitting a story. Let that be a lesson for all those who decide not to submit their work. The best way to guarantee not having your story in a book or magazine, is never to submit it!
Unfortunately, in 2013, Flying Pen Press made the decision to stop publishing fiction and the books went out of print and the publication rights to the stories reverted to the individual authors.
It’s a shame to keep good stories from readers who want them, so the five editors started thinking about ways we could bring the books back in some form. In 2015, Jennifer Brozek, Dayton Ward, and I were all in Phoenix for LepreCon and we hatched the idea of assembling a “best of” anthology. Each editor would read the anthology before the one they edited and select their five favorite stories for potential inclusion.
In a moment of wonderful synchronicity, David Boop who helped to launch the series originally, had started working with WordFire Press, owned by bestselling author/editor Kevin J. Anderson. David and Kevin discussed the idea of doing a “best of” anthology from the Full-Throttle Space Tales independently of our plans. David came to me with the idea just as I was working with the editors to select their stories. David encouraged me to make a pitch to Kevin, which I did, and the upshot is that this summer, WordFire Press will be publishing the “best of” collection entitled Maximum Velocity. Credit for the cool title goes to Dayton Ward, by the way. Here’s a first look at the cover:
And here are the stories you’ll find inside:
From Space Pirates:
- “On the Eve of the Last Great Ratings War” by David Boop
- “Space Pirate Cookies” by C.J. Henderson
- Earth-Saturn Transit” by W.A. Hoffman
From Space Sirens:
- “Outpost 6” by Julia Phillips
- “Hijacking the Legacy” by David Lee Summers
- “Rebel Moon” by Carol Hightshoe
From Space Grunts:
- “Price of Command” by Irene Radford and Bob Brown
- “Finders Keepers” by Scott Pearson
- “Granny’s Grunts” by Alan L. Lickiss
From Space Horrors:
- “Last Man Standing” by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- “Into the Abyss” by Dayton Ward
- “Listening” by Anna Paradox
From Space Tramps:
- “Backup” by Ivan Ewert
- “The Frigate Lieutenant’s Woman” by Erik Scott de Bie
- “Oh Give Me Land, Lots of Land, Under Starry Skies Above” by Shannon Page and Mark J. Ferrari
From Space Battles:
- “The Thirteens” by Gene Mederos
- “The Joystick War” by Jean Johnson
- “Guard Dog” by Mike Resnick and Brad R. Torgersen
It’s been tremendous fun to revisit these stories of swashbuckling pirates, talented women, soldiers, and vagabonds facing situations both terrifying and thrilling. WordFire currently expects the anthology will be available in June and I hope to have copies at Westercon in July. So, buckle up, because this summer we’ll be going to Maximum Velocity!