The image on the left is not the official cover of the publication (though it might be nice if it were in that style). Instead, it was produced courtesy of the Pulo-o-Mizer!
It has been close to twenty years since I've collaborated with others to put together a science fiction publication (The Trenchcoat Farewell Project in 2004 and, before that, Myth Makers 11 in 2001). My work on fanzines through the 1990s was formative in my early adulthood. So, it gives me great pleasure to announce I will be publishing a companion book to The Sun Runners when it comes out, and I'll be bringing a bunch of friends with me.
Tales from the Silence is a shared universe anthology of stories set in the world of The Sun Runners and The Cloud Riders, making it part of the Silent Earth Sequence. As I've mentioned before, the premise of this univerrse is that the Earth fails to fully address climate change, pushing it back instead. This allows the Earth time enough to establish colonies throughout the inner solar system, before environmental disaster catches up, collapsing human society, effectively ending space travel between the colonies, and leaving them on their own in various states of self-sufficiency (or, not, as the case may be).
How do these societies handle this sudden disruption, the sudden loss of resources, or just the grief over people lost, and a whole planet suddenly not being there anymore. How do they feed themselves, or keep order? How do they carry on? And what do they do, fifty years later, when the Earth comes clawing its way back.
The stores of Tales from the Silence cover the period of the Earth's silence. We hope to have stories set on Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and the Moon, and we have stories set on Earth, as the planet falls apart, and then pulls itself back together. Over the summer, I asked a couple dozen YA, SF and fantasy authors to consider submitting a story, and over a dozen have responded. Right now, I pleased to announce that the line-up will include YA SF/F novelist Kate Blair, Australian novelist Kate Orman, science and science fiction fan Mark Richard Francis, and longtime Canadian SF author and editor Ira Nayman. I will have more names to announce publicly soon.
I'm editing this anthology, and contributing four stories to it, and it's shaping up to be an interesting volume building on themes of survival, hope within desperate circumstanes, trauma and determination, of how we keep repeating history's mistakes, and the evils of keeping one's head down. I've been having a great time, meeting with the authors, discussing story ideas, seeing takes take form with their unique take on our shared universe.
I am editing this publication, and am looking forward to sorting stories, laying them out on the page, making things the best they can be. However, this won't be some fanzine production (though it will be just as fun). Thanks to Edward Willett, Tales from the Silence will be produced by Endless Sky, the self-publishing arm of Shadowpawa Press, the publishers of The Sun Runners. Not only will this help this anthology be as professionally published as it can be, it gives us access to distribution by the Literary Press Group of Canada, making it available at better bookstores everywhere.
As for the publication date, I'm hopeful that it will be published simultaneously with The Sun Runners, either in late 2024 or early 2025.
I've forgotten how gratifying it is to work with other authors on a shared experience like an anthology. I'm looking forward to our work on this, helping to create something really special.
Look for more announcements on these projects in the coming months, and our release in late 2024/early 2025.