I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Anthology Builder

I'm a featured author this month at Anthology Builder. Anthology Builder is a neat little concept that is a bit like a paper iPod--you go to the site, browse through the hundreds of authors and stories available, and select the stories you want to put into your custom anthology. You can then pick your cover and give your anthology a title. The anthology is printed out and shipped to you. Neat, yes? There's a $1 discount on the anthologies if you select a story by a featured author.

I've only got two stories available there at the moment, my two Asimov sales. "To the East, a Bright Star" is my first sale to Asimov's and is the story of a former circus acrobat as he navigates a flooded city on his way to watch a comet strike the earth. It's quite possibly the most thought-provoking story I've ever written. My second tale, "Final Flight of the Blue Bee," is about a former superhero sidekick named Stinger who's spent forty years in prison for murdering a supervillian. Stinger's finally been released and is seeking revenge on the Blue Bee, the superhero who abandoned him at his time of greatest need and allowed him to rot in prison. If you're a fan of Nobody Gets the Girl, my superhero novel, then Final Flight of the Blue Bee will be right up your alley.

Anthology Builder does let you see PDF previews of the stories. (It must allow a certain number of characters for the preview... I notice that some of the previews don't just end in mid-sentence, they end in mid-word!) It also has search functions that let you look for keywords, though I'm a bit confused as to how they work. "Superhero" doesn't turn up the Blue Bee story, nor does the word "bee." In fact, "flight" seems to be the only keyword that brings up the tale. Strange. Hopefully as the site grows, the search features will improve. One nice feature is you can sort stories by publication--so, if you like stories that appeared in Asimov's, you can see their whole stock of these stories quickly and easily. (All stories, it should be noted, are reprints from professional publications.)

I plan to add to my stock of stories on the site eventually. Unfortunately, my early Phobos tales are tied up by a bad contract I should never have signed. My stories at Intergalactic Medicine Show aren't available since they may be reprinted in an IGMS anthology--in fact, definitely will be, in the case of To Know All Things That Are In The Earth. A few of my other tales appear in small press POD anthologies, like Modern Magic or the Urban Bizarre, and I don't want to undercut potential sales of these books if a person wants to read my stories in them. Still, if I see that people are actually buying my stories on Anthology Builder, I may change my mind about what I make available there.

Check out the site. Looking it over, it makes me wish I was romantically involved with someone right now: a custom anthology of love stories seems like it would be perfect gift for a significant occasion. I probably wouldn't use the cover with the spaceship for this, though.

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