The Project

Speculative Realms is a project that primarily started for members of Scribe’s, which was a message board for writers. For three years, members of the board spent the better part of a full year writing, revising, critiquing and doing final edits on stories for an annual anthology. However, finding a publisher to take on and promote the successful stories was nothing short of impossible. Mainstream publishers of anthologies want…

1) stories written by successful authors, and,

2) to set the theme, guidelines and just about everything else themselves.

In other words, without the help of a well-known published author (or two), the stories of these talented writers didn’t stand a chance. As a result, the individual authors took their stories and each tried their luck on their own. I’m pleased to say that several of those stories have now been published.

As the organiser of these projects for two out of three of those years, I realised that the anthology market is the hardest to break into. And it was for this reason that I decided to change the rules and run the 2007 Anthology completely different.

This is how Speculative Realms came about.

I was joined by Sasha Beattie, Editor, and Heather Anderson, Artist. Together the three of us set about finding fifteen stories to tantalise the imagination. The stories had to fit into one of the speculative fiction genres – fantasy, science fiction or horror – as well as the nomintated theme – “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Close to a year later, and after rejecting 95% of the submissions, we only had fouteen stories and finally decided that we could wait no longer to find that one allusive story to make up the numbers so we stopped accepting submissions.

Now the project has been eighteen months in the making. Everyone – authors, editor, artist – has worked incredibly hard to produce a mixture of stories that we can all be proud of. To use Sasha’s own words, this book “is a testament to the myriad of voices the world may not yet have heard” but I know the world hasn’t heard the last of these authors.

It wasn’t easy. In fact, this project was quite stressful at times, but I am pleased to say that we made it to the end and now I present to you a collection of extraordinary stories that I know you will enjoy from the first page to the last.

Karen Lee Field
Founder of Speculative Realms
July 2008

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