Posts Tagged: Anthology

Unfettered, edited by Shawn SpeakmanAt long last, Unfettered, a fantasy anthology edited by Shawn Speakman, is available for purchase. So, please excuse me while I have a little fangasm.

If you’re unaware of the anthology, Unfettered has a history that stretches back to Speakman, owner of The Signed Page, being diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011. Uninsured (due to a past cancer diagnosis), Speakman did the only thing he could think of to deal with the monumental medical bills accrued during his cancer treatment: he called his friends, he made a book.

Oh, yeah… his friends include Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Naomi Novik and Lev Grossman. Each author contributed an original short story to the anthology and, as the title suggests, were not restrained by an overall thematic structure as is often the case with anthologies.

Authors and stories included in the anthology:

Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
The Coach with Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
Dogs by Daniel Abraham
The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick
Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
The Duel by Lev Grossman
Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

The slam dunk here looks like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s “River of Souls,” which is a deleted sequence from A Memory of Light, which explores the off-screen actions of Bao, the Wyld, who Wheel of Time fans might recognize by a different name. With Jordan’s Wheel of Time series concluding earlier this year, this on-the-cutting-room-floor excerpt from the series is one last chance to dip a toe into Jordan’s world.

I’ve not had a chance to read through the entire anthology, but a meander through its pages, along with the handful of stories I have read, Unfettered seems to live up to its promise of being one of the most comprehensive and exciting anthologies of mainstream fantasy released in years. The Table of Contents won’t set anything afire for pushing boundaries, but the (admittedly male-heavy) list of authors includes Sanderson, Carey, Abraham, and Rothfuss, and looks to provide a variety of short stories that is sure to please readers.

Unfettered can be purchased now from Grim Oak Press, Kobo, Nook and Kindle.

Disclaimer: I provided editorial feedback to Todd Lockwood on his story, Keeper of Memory, which appears in Unfettered.

Sword & Laser

Sword & Laser, a popular video show, podcast, and online book club community, hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, have announced that they will begin accepting submissions for a new Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology beginning Spring 2013, titled, fittingly, The Sword & Laser Anthology. The anthology, which does not have a release date, is looking for “new, previously unpublished stories, which can fall under the headings of science fiction, fantasy, or a combination of the two.”

After years of discussion, Tom and I are finally going ahead with the Sword & Laser Anthology!

Sword & Laser is the largest group on Goodreads, with over 13,000 members, and works with many of the genre’s biggest names, like Patrick Rothfuss (who also has a video show, called The Story Board, on Geek & Sundry, the production company that hosts Sword & Laser), John Scalzi, Daniel Abraham and N.K. Jemisin. It’s unclear whether this anthology is aimed at “new” writers, or just “new” works from established writers, but, given Sword & Laser‘s industry connections, I doubt they would need to open submissions for the anthology if they weren’t hoping to also discover new writers from among their fans. Either way, it’s a terrific opportunity for writers to have their stories featured in an anthology that will, no doubt, have a huge audience.

The question remains whether the anthology is being entirely gathered and edited by Belmont and Merritt (who, while undeniable enthusiasts, are not professional editors themselves), or if an established editor/dedicated editorial staff will also be connected with the project.

On a personal note, Belmont and Merritt better be ready to be inundated by short stories penned by one “Aidan Moher.”

More information on the anthology, including early submission guidelines, can be found in the official release.


Terrifying barbarians, cunning mages, and daring heroes run rampant through these exceptional examples of the exciting sword and sorcery genre. In “Tower of the Elephant,” Conan takes up jewel thievery but proves to be far better with his sword. “The Flamer Bringers” finds antihero Elric infiltrating a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries and outwitting a powerful sorcerer. “Become a Warrior” is the unexpected tale of a child who loses all she holds dear, only to gain unforeseen power and unlikely revenge. Further entries come from early legends such as Jack Vance and Catherine Louise Moore, the next wave of talents including Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock, and modern trendsetters like George R.R. Martin, Karl Edward Wagner, and David Drake. This essential, fast-paced anthology is a chronological gathering of influential, inventive, and entertaining fantasy—sure to appeal to action-oriented fans.

A perfectly schlocky cover.

And look at that lineup. Mighty, mighty fine. The anthology seems to be a re-print anthology hoping to chronicle the progression of the Sword & Sorcery sub-genre, something that fans introduced to Fantasy by the likes of Game of Thrones might be particularly interested in if they’re curious about the roots of the genre. Which stories by the listed authors would you like to see included in the anthology?

The Sword & Sorcery Anthology will find store shelve in June, 2012, published by Tachyon Publications.