Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Future is Now

At least in D.C., anyway.

Future Washington is a new anthology edited by Ernest Lilley, editor for the SFRevu. The volume collects 16 SF tales all based in Washington, D.C.

It's a great idea, one I've actually had myself. I've dreamed of putting together a Fantasy/SF/Horror mag in which all the stories have to take place in the D.C. area. Ideally showing areas, people, and events not normally portrayed in fiction and movies. There's a lot of weirdness in this area, and few writers really play with it beyond the typical stories involving lawyers, politicians or ex-millitary guys with walls full of machine guns. Perhaps if I ever get more publishing clout, it's something I can pursue.

It's a little bit of a letdown that they didn't pull more from local talent. As far as I know, Brenda Clough is the only local writer (she lives down in Prince William County, and teaches at the Writers Center of Bethesda, Md.) represented. Allen Steele has a sister in D.C. (no, I'm not some crazy Allen Steele stalker....I used to work with her in a local art museum), but I don't think that counts. And it's certainly not because there's no SF talent in the area. There's quite a bit, although primarily in the short form. But with such a good idea at play, and notable writers behind them, Future Washington is bound to have some real gems in it. I'm sure I'll do a review when it comes out, so keep looking.



Ernest Lilley said...

Your comment that you'd like to have seen more local talent is quite reasonable. I've always felt the same way about ball clubs. Does anyone on the Nationals actually come from the area?

But that being said, there are a number of local folks in there besides Brenda Clough, including Nancy Jane Moore and Ed Lerner. Kim Stanley Robinson isn't a Washingtonian at the moment, but I'm pretty sure he's lived the life (nearly) he writes about in his story. And so son. One thing about DC from the non-local perspective which I find interesting is it's role as a national property. Folks all over have a feeling that they paid for the place through their taxes, and have a claim to some piece of it, if only because it's America's capitol, and they're Americans.

Future Washington is selling quite briskly on Amazon, and we moved quite a few at Capclave 2005, which we just held last weekend (10/1405).

At next year's con I proposed that we have a panel that looks specifically at what writing talent the area has to offer.

Ernest Lilley
Editor - Future Washington

Hebdomeros said...

Thank you for your comments. Always nice to hear direct from the source. I'm not familiar with Lerner or Moore, but good to know. I'll have to look them up.

Although I understand your comment, the link to ball clubs is a bit different...ball players aren't writing or speaking on an aspect of the city.

Yes, DC is a national city, but it's also a local city. People actually live here, despite what many people I meet in other areas think. And much more goes on here aside from politics and lawyers. Those aspects are already largely represented in fiction, and my comments are more fears that these other aspects won't be reprented at all. I hope to be surprised, but fear that I won't. I think this is probably a reaction you would get with an anthology focusing on a city, no matter what city.

I'm sure it's a great book, though. As I said, you've pulled together a lot of talent, so it's bound to have some good work. Nice to hear it's doing well. I've ordered mine, and am looking forward to it.