I know anthologies aren’t exactly the hottest thing on the market, but the recently re-emerged Scott Lynch brings new of a new anthology from Harper EOS that sounds interesting, especially when one considers the names involved.

From Scott’s Livejournal:

Something else I can reveal, by kind permission of the masterminds involved.

Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan have been working to put together a collection (tentatively) titled Conquering Swords, an anthology of new swords-and-sorcery tales from the various young turks currently working in that vein, along with new tales from some of the Old Masters and Mistresses.

I sold them a short story titled “In the Stacks,” in which an armed expedition attempts to return books to an ancient magical library that has gone feral from all the long centuries of percolating in its own strange energies.

Lou’s take on the project is here, and Jonathan’s is here. They’ve given me a rather mind-blowing list of the writers officially involved, but that hasn’t been formally released yet, so I’ll just name-drop the ones that have spoken or been referenced in public: Glen Cook, James Enge, Steven Erikson, C.J. Cherryh, and yours truly.

Look for it in 2010, and look for various announcements from Lou and Jonathan before then.

It’ll be interesting to see Lynch write short fiction, which, given the nature of his previous novels, The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, seems to be an area he should excel in. I’m also curious to see if his contribution is set in the same world as his novels. As for the other names, more short fiction from them is always worth taking an interest in.

  • Joe Sherry August 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Oh, excellent! I’d been looking forward to that antho already!

  • neth August 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

    It looks like Joe Abercrombie is part of it as well.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Where’d you hear that, Neth?

  • neth August 28, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I asked him in the comments of his announcment yesterday. He indicated that he is a part of it.

    Lou Anders also said over on Jeff’s blog that Michael Moorcock is doing a new Elric story.

    This is sounding like a spectacular anthology for fantasy fans.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Holy cripes. Pyr are certainly hitting for the fences with this one. Fantastic news.

  • Saibot August 28, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Great news! Btw it’s published by Harper Eos, not not Pyr.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Weird, I assumed that Lou Ander’s involvement meant it would be coming from Pyr. I need better fact checkers!


  • Saibot August 28, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I assumed so at first to, but both Anders and Strahan says it’s Harper on their blogs.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Yeah, I went and re-read those posts and you’re right, they sold it to Diana Gill at Harper. The publishing world confuses me sometimes.

  • Lou Anders August 28, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Yup, Harper Eos. I do anthologies through other publishers all the time. I just delivered a superhero anthology called WITH GREAT POWER to Pocket books. That one is special in that about 9 of the 15 contributors are currently writing for DC or Marvel. Before that, I did SIDEWAYS IN CRIME for Solaris. The only anthologies I did at Pyr are FAST FORWARD 1 & 2.

    And you can add Gene Wolfe to the list of contributors too. Plus a whole lot more.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the clarification (and the news!), Lou.

    Can you explain the reasoning behind doing an anthology like this through a publisher other than Pyr? I’m always curious to learn more about how the industry, and the symbiotic relationship between publishers, works.

  • Lou Anders August 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    It’s very simple. When I do an anthology through another publisher, I am paid money for it. When I do an anthology in-house, I do them at cost and do not take an editing fee. Jonathan and I shopped this around, using his agent, and Harper won the bid.

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Fair enough. It isn’t a conflict of interest for you to be publishing a book through (and making money for) a different publisher?

  • Lou Anders August 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Nope. It’s short fiction, as distinct from book-length work. It would be a conflict of interest for me to edit a book-length prose work for another house (and I have an agreement saying I won’t do that), but I was an anthologist before they hired me–being involved in short fiction is very important to me–and part of the terms of my job is that I’m allowed to keep doing that. Also, I have a very cool boss who sees any glory (such as there is) earned in anthologies as reflective of my fiction tastes as a whole and thus, ultimately an endorsement for Pyr. So maybe someone will get their first exposure to Enge or Abercrombie through SWORDS & DARK MAGIC and follow them back to their book length work. Of course, I’d be equally happy for someone to get turned on to Steven Erikson, or Gene Wolfe, or any of the authors in the book whose longer works I don’t publish too. Ultimately, I just hope people respond well to this book and think that Jonathan and I have offered something that is an important part of the dialogue about the new fantasy (and its roots).

  • aidan August 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Very cool. It’s nice to see enthusiasm for the genre and its writers.

    I think the most interesting thing about this anthology isn’t introducing readers to Abercrombie and Lynch, but rather its ability to introduce people who pick the anthology up for the Abercrombies/Lynchs/Eriksons/new writers and discover the Moorcocks/Cherryhs/Wolfes/’old’ writers. There’s been a big shift in the last few years towards the terrific crop of younger authors hitting the scene, and I think it will be good for readers to be reintroduced to the roots of the genre.

  • Lou Anders August 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Amen. And that’s why it’s essential in my mind to have Moorcock in this for it to have any legitimacy. He is such a towering figure in defining S&S to begin with.

  • Larry August 28, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I’m certainly going to be reading this for both personal and maybe other reasons. I love reading quality anthologies and this sounds very promising, even if it means my already-imposing short fiction reading for 2010 will get larger :P