Ladies, gents, and honoured readers of non-pedestrian gender, I am delighted to announce that an anthology featuring my short story “Ithaka” is now available in print! It’s available in full colour or black and white with beautiful illustrations by A. Cradduck.
This intriguing anthology is set in a post-apocalyptic world created by A C Macklin – the original short that inspired it all can be read online, along with many thought-provoking posts on the craft of writing. I first had the privilege of meeting Ms Macklin at a LARP event several years ago, where as a wide-eyed new character I was somewhat overwhelmed to find myself in the company of a coolly self-possessed, aristocratic fae who had among other achievements created a landmass. She’s one of those people I felt flattered to achieve as a Facebook friend, since she clearly has a sound idea of what she’s doing with her life and seemed unlikely to be keen on gathering moss; she regularly asks her friend list for prompts which she uses to produce evocative and quirky twitterature and is pleasingly nerdy about watching Supernatural.
Many of the other contributors – not all of whose stories I’ve read at the time of writing – are also LARPers, most of whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a field with. Possibly even all of them, although my memory for names is bad enough even when I don’t have to deal with a character name as well as a real one. The LARP experience – diving into someone else’s imaginative creation and fleshing it out to create a richer tapestry – is peculiarly well-suited to shared-world writing, and I’ve enjoyed both the process of creating this anthology and the community of people involved in it immensely.
Ithaka itself was inspired by the poem Ithaka by C. P. Cavafy, which I’ve loved for some time as a memorable distillation of one of life’s little nuggets of wisdom. It also feels very fitting somehow to create my own little tapestry of interconnections in honour of the larger one represented by Read This First itself – and indeed of the larger tapestry all fiction must be part of in the end.
I am, needless to say, overjoyed to be in print again (and for the first time in my current incarnation), and I sincerely hope you enjoy the book.