Update from the Editors #4
As Phyllis blogged last week, I was on my way to WorldCon when the first round of material was due, and so she got the initial job of sorting and arranging the material, while I got to p/l/a/y/ work my posterior off in Montreal. It’s good to be the Editor-in-Chief. *smile*
I will admit that, unlike Phyl, while I have enjoyed the occasional steampunk work – and have friends who indulge impressively on the costuming side – I’ve never written or edited this specific sub-genre. So while my co-editor was making sure that everyone got their proposals in on time and doing the first read-over, I was faced with a dilemma: should I go into full research mode, and read everything I could in the genre, to prepare? Or should I step back, and look at it from an outsider’s point of view? [in which the outsider has knowledge of Victorian literature and history, admittedly]
In the end, I decided on the latter approach. Steampunk is a genre of familiarity crashing into wonder, and how better to judge these stories than to see how they messed with my familiarity with the literature and ‘true’ history of that period?
I am pleased to say that – despite my coming down with a horrible post-convention cold – the proposals kept me engrossed for much of the train ride home from Montreal. I found myself alternating between admiration for the way our writers twisted truth and invention into stories that – in at least two cases – made me wince in sympathy, and once laugh out loud (no, I’m not going to tell you which ones. You’ll have to find out for yourself).
The proposals aren’t perfect yet. Even the best writer has rough drafts, and the challenges of combining all these stories into one coherent yet independent whole is going to be a group effort. But our writers have given us an amazing start, and I’m really excited about what’s going to emerge.