Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Jonathan Oliver.
Jonathan Oliver is the much-lauded editor of four anthologies for Solaris as well as being the editor-in-chief of Solaris, Abaddon and Ravenstone. He is also the author of two novels set in the Twilight of Kerberos series, The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos, and a whole host of short stories that have appeared in venues such as A Town Called Pandemonium, Terror Tales of London and The British Fantasy Society Journal.
The Beginning of The End by Jonathan Oliver
My fourth anthology for Solaris, End of the Road, evolved directly from my first, The End of the Line. I’d been casting about for themes for a new collection and it was suggested by my colleague, Ben Smith, that an anthology of weird travel tales would be worth looking into. I liked the idea and the name that was suggested and the process of gathering the stories together began. With my first three anthologies I was very aware that the stories were pretty much split between the two territories: the UK and the US. For End of the Road I wanted to cast the net a little wider. For a while I’d been chatting about World SF and F with the author Lavie Tidhar. Lavie had been recommending new non-Western genre writers to me and I wanted to include several of them in my next anthology. As the theme of the collection is travel stories it felt appropriate that our authors should be from all around the globe. I’m also keen to champion how wide and deep genre is, keen to show how progressive and illuminating the writing here can be, and by bringing these voices to the fore it feels to me that we’re expanding further on what genre is.
Part of the delight of editing an anthology is that you never know quite what you are going to get. You start off with a pretty good idea concerning the strengths of your authors, but as for the stories themselves you hope for a wide variety of tales on the theme that was given. I’m pleased to say that I’ve never had one story like another. Our authors always take the brief and then shake it up a little, see how they can subvert it while staying true to the spirit of the anthology.
Really, what I do is easy. The only real trick with producing a good anthology is to find good writers. The anthologies we do, I believe, showcase some of the best writing available. It’s a real privilege to work with writers this good and every time I put together a new anthology I’m reminded just why I fell in love with genre fiction in the first place.