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  1. #1
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    2015 Forum Anthology Idea Thread

    Hello Gals and Guys (and everything in between and beyond)!

    I'd like to start a discussion on what you all would like to see happen for our 2015 anthology.

    I don't have a featured author in mind (yet), but the idea of a shared world project has been bounced around. Would anyone be interested in something like that?

    The other idea that has been batted around is an issue centered around the theme IDENTITY or DIVERSITY (or both).

    I like the idea of the latter because it would be way easier for me to manage/edit.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    We parley for nobody norm's Avatar
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    Pick the theme that works for you. Challenge writers to write within that theme.

    Last time we had a dozen people trying to each push themes that they wanted to write about. It was idiotic.

  3. #3
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    That's true. Last year, it all did get to be a bit much.

    With a theme like 'identity' or 'diversity', it is broad enough that just about anything could fit. However, I would like the stories to specifically address that theme if we end up going with that one.

    So, I guess, would everyone be okay if I just picked that theme and you all go with it or not? Should I just trust that whatever theme I ultimately choose will pique enough interest among the forum members?

  4. #4
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Would this anthology be open for anyone to submit?

  5. #5
    I believe the theme of "identity" is broad enough. Diversity (or the lack of it) informs identity, so if people wanted to write about that they could, but other people who might not be into the topic of diversity can still contribute a story that deals with identity in some way (amnesia, an alias, etc.).

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    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Ashura View Post
    Would this anthology be open for anyone to submit?
    Absolutely. The only requisite is that you have to be a SFFWorld.com forum member in good standing (which you are, of course).

  7. #7
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolvery View Post
    ...but other people who might not be into the topic of diversity can still contribute a story that deals with identity in some way (amnesia, an alias, etc.).
    Ooooh, good idea. I like it. Keeps it open to a lot of different ideas, while still allow those of us who want to go the diversity route (which I enthusiastically encourage!).

  8. #8
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norm View Post
    Pick the theme that works for you. Challenge writers to write within that theme.

    Last time we had a dozen people trying to each push themes that they wanted to write about. It was idiotic.
    Not only that, but half of them (or most) didn't contribute.

    I will agree, though, that diversity should not be forced. I'd be much more apt to jump into a shared world anthology. Not so sold on a broad identity theme.

  9. #9
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Geiger View Post
    Not only that, but half of them (or most) didn't contribute.
    *hides*

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Geiger View Post
    I will agree, though, that diversity should not be forced. I'd be much more apt to jump into a shared world anthology. Not so sold on a broad identity theme.
    Identity is almost too broad a theme for me, even though it's a theme I like to write into my work ANYWAY. It's also hard to sell around - it isn't very sparkly.

    A shared world would need one hell of a hook in order to work. It can't just be something something generic fantasy place. That kind of world-building (especially collaborative) might get hard to wrangle. But, if a glowing and original world somehow materializes, I'd be happy to write in it!

  10. #10
    I'll admit I'm not enthusiastic about a shared world idea. First off, because of what Charlotte said about it being "hard to wrangle." There are likely to be many moving parts involved. For instance, before writing we would each have to agree on certain aspects of the world building to maintain continuity. Based on what was said here about last year's anthology, that there was an overflow of ideas and many people didn't even contribute, I worry about that even more. If people go off in different directions then the suspension of disbelief for a shared world could be easily ruined.

    It's not like shared worlds are impossible, but when I think of the most famous TSR/Wizards shared worlds - e.g. Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms - there is an individual author or authors like Ed Greenwood or Weiss & Hickmann who laid down the foundation, and other authors built upon that in subsequent novels. Anthologies from multiple authors usually came after the world had been firmly established, often over a period of years. It's an ambitious undertaking to begin a shared world as an anthology consisting of mostly amateur authors (including myself).

    In the end, you probably should pick the topic after considering everyone's feedback. People will either participate or not based upon whether or not it interests them. The discussion on diversity and identity in the other threads has inspired a short story I plan to work on regardless. If it can be part of an SFFWorld anthology that would be wonderful. If we go with a different theme in which it doesn't fit, then if it's something I also find interesting maybe I'll write something new.

  11. #11
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Yeah, the shared world idea could be a lot of fun, but then I'd have to:

    1) come up with that shared world or feature a popular author who already allows folks to write in one of their story worlds
    2) wrangle you all to actually write in that world
    3) keep track of everything everyone writes to make sure there aren't any glaring inconsistencies

    It just seemed too hard.

    If we want, we can pick a different theme (sparkly vampires?), and identity/diversity could be the underlying subtext? Or, rather, the judges could just favor stories that feature those topics?

  12. #12
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. E. White View Post
    If we want, we can pick a different theme (sparkly vampires?), and identity/diversity could be the underlying subtext? Or, rather, the judges could just favor stories that feature those topics?
    Maybe a theme where identity is a key underpinning anyway? Like First Contact (meeting of different people - it's bound to come up) or Body Snatching (who am I now?) or Mutation (OR NOW?!) or something?

  13. #13
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    What about Hugh? I believe he's allowing authors to use his Wool setting, isn't he? Just an idea. I can vouch for the difficulty in a shared world, as our local group is currently working on one. But I don't think that's a reason to immediately discount it.

    Nila, I think it's great to gather ideas here, but I really think most of us here trust your judgement. I don't see a need for us to vote or anything this year. Go with what you think will work best.

  14. #14
    I like Charlotte's ideas. Identity and exploration also go hand-in-hand. Often when we travel places we learn something about ourselves. This could allow for fantasy stories (a human travels into an elven kingdom) or science-fiction stories (a human travels onto an alien world). The exploration could also be mental - think of something like the Matrix or Inception and how that affected how the characters viewed themselves and the reality around them.

  15. #15
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Geiger View Post
    What about Hugh? I believe he's allowing authors to use his Wool setting, isn't he? Just an idea. I can vouch for the difficulty in a shared world, as our local group is currently working on one. But I don't think that's a reason to immediately discount it.
    I'm happy to jump into any shared world - but isn't the Wool setting one of the ones Kindle Worlds snapped up? We'd have to publish under that imprint with whatever limitations that entails (might be good! There are other worlds in Kindle Worlds to pick from too - like the Mongoliad world - Foreworld? - and ... uh, GIJoe?)

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