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In part 2 of the interview with the men behind the War Stories Kickstarter project, Andrew and Jaym discuss notable authors, the submission and publishing process as well as the anticipated delivery date.
Toonari Post (TP): Who are some of the notable authors you’ve lined up and what themes in science fiction do they focus on?
Andrew Liptak (AL): Where to start? We have a reprint from Joe Haldeman, Graves, which is an excellent story. We’re also got some recent notable authors such as Ken Liu, Yoon Ha Lee, Jake Kerr, T.C. McCarthy, James Sutter and quite a bit more.
Jaym Gates (JG): We’ve got some great authors, with well-known names and reputations. But half the fun of an original anthology is finding the new voices, and we’re definitely getting some amazing opportunities to do that here.
TP: What were the criteria for which they were chosen?
AL: Strength of their stories. Each one of these authors has submitted a great story to us.
JG: Strength, definitely. Also their history with military SF, or SF from a non-traditional viewpoint.
TP: How have you included women in the selection of authors, knowing that the first science fiction novel (Frankenstein) was written by a woman?
AL: Well, we’ve invited a number. So far, we have Yoon Ha Lee, Linda Nagata and Janine Spendlove announced, but we have several others whom we’ve accepted stories from that we’re just waiting to make an announcement on. After them, we have others who we’re simply waiting to receive stories from. It’s important to us that we’ve got a pretty close match between genders. Interestingly, in addition to female authors, my wife noted that a lot of the stories that we’ve been getting are featuring female protagonists.
JG: Female authors are some of the strongest voices in short speculative fiction right now. Several of the women we talked to were too busy to contribute, but I am so thrilled with the ones who made time in their busy schedules for us, and the ones who have submitted to the slush pile.
And like Andrew said, we’re getting so many female characters, it’s awesome.
TP: Will War Stories be republished after the Kickstarter at all or will this be a rare limited run collection?
AL: Yep – War Stories will be widely available when it’s published. We do have a limited run of hardcovers for the Kickstarter and that’ll be a one-off thing.
TP: When can fans expect their anthology to arrive?
AL: provided we’re funded, sometime in the first half of 2014.
TP: Can you speak to why shipping outside of the US is so expensive?
AL: We originally based our figures on what the United States Postal Service quoted on their website, but we’ve since gone back to look at some specific countries. We just added special tiers for Canada and Europe, because they’re a bit cheaper. One of the biggest problems that most kickstarters run into is postage: apparently, it’s always a bit more than you thought.
TP: Kickstarters are notorious for providing great products but many of them are delayed from the original projected delivery date, how have you prepared for any unforeseen problems? Do you expect many problems in the publishing process?
AL: First and foremost, we want to ensure that this is a quality publication, and this won’t be published until we’re satisfied that we’ve got an amazing book coming out. We’ve set some strict deadlines. Our unsolicited submissions will close at the end of November, and after that, we’ll have a good idea of how many stories we’ll have in all. We’ll turn in our manuscript in early 2014, and it’ll go through the normal publishing process. If there’s a delay, we’ll be getting the word out and letting people know what we know.
TP: Is there a special tier that fans of science fiction anthologies and military literature will especially enjoy?
AL: We have four $150 tiers for a ‘Tuckerization’, where you can name a character in one of the four stories that we have appearing in the anthology. We’ve also got the limited hardcover, which I think will look really stunning.
TP: Is a Volume 2 of War Stories being planned at all?
AL: We haven’t thought that far ahead yet – we’ve been focusing so much on getting the first anthology funded and on its way towards completion. We certainly have enough excellent stories for an additional volume. We’ll have to see how this one does, and if readers like it, hopefully we’ll be able to come back for something more.
TP: What is next for the editors of War Stories?
AL: I’ve got a couple of writing projects in the works right now that I can’t say anything about, but I can say that I’ve got a short story coming out in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, titled ‘Fragmented’.
JG: I’ve gotten back into writing this year, but most of my time goes to publicity work and event-planning. That being said, there are a couple of other anthologies I hope to announce soon. I’m also working on The Lost Citadel, a Thieves’ World-style shared-world anthology, with C.A. Suleiman and Ari Marmell.