The Dresden Files is probably one of my favorite series out there, and was quite conceivably my proper introduction to Urban Fantasy. Thinking back, I know I read fantasy within contemporary and urban settings, but this grumpy, sarcastic, and too stubborn for his own good wizard caught my attention.
And then this collection comes across my radar. With not just a new Dresden Files story, but stories by some of my favorite authors.
Shadowed Souls is an excellent collection of dark and urban fantasy, and a decent introduction to the genre for the curious. If you're already a fan of urban fantasy but don't recognize the authors... pick up this collection, you've been missing out.
And editor Kerrie L. Hughes gave us some of her time to answer questions about working on anthologies! Read on!
Hello! Thank you for your time, both in answering these questions and the time invested in such a great anthology.
How do you get started with an anthology project?
This varies from project to project. In the case of Shadowed Souls, I had assembled a number of paranormal authors with the understanding that the finished project would change as needed in order to sell the project. The title can change, and in this case did once I got Jim on board. We came up with the title together, based on what I liked best about what he writes. On many levels it’s harder to put together an anthology than it is to write a book, so you have to love what you do. In the case of Shadowed Souls, I started the concept in 2012, sold it in 2014, and finished it in 2015 for publishing in 2016.
When putting together an anthology, how do you decide who to invite, what to include, what not to include?
First, I look at title ideas and make lists, lots and lots of lists. I know so many authors who want to be an anthology that I could put together a new one every month. For every idea I have, at least two others have failed for one reason or another. Anthologies are a tricky business. You have to find the right idea and get it to the right publisher with the right authors without missing deadlines or having authors drop out. It’s a lot like herding cats.
How does the process change when working with different co-editors?
It depends on the co-editor. Some want to be more involved than others. Some intend to be more involved, but then their own deadlines on other projects get in the way. The main reason a star author has a co-editor is so the co-editor can manage the project and work around them while making them look good. When I’m doing my job well I’m a combination of accountant, counselor, manager, and muse.
Is there an anthology concept you'd love to do that you haven't yet? What would your ultimate anthology contain?
Good question. I have numerous ideas. I’m always interested in doing anthologies in the paranormal realm. Witches are my favorite. Lately I’ve been obsessed with lost histories that tell the stories of people we aren’t necessarily aware existed unless we go looking for them. I also wouldn’t mind doing a collection of future dystopias based on current historical timelines. I’m basically a history nerd in addition to being a paranormal aficionado and an art geek. Ooh, can you imagine an anthology based on works of art? I’m going to write that down and make a list.
Do you have a favorite anthology that you like to recommend to readers (one of your own or someone else's)?
I love every anthology I’ve ever done, and I recommend all of them. I started out doing anthologies for DAW with Maiden Matron Crone, and caught anthology fever. I ended up doing a total of nine for them. Children of Magic, Fellowship Fantastic, The Dimension Next Door, Gamer Fantastic, Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies, Girls Guide To Guns and Monsters, Love and Rockets, and then finally Westward Weird. All of these were done when working for Martin H. Greenberg, who was the largest producer of anthologies in North America. I also wrote a number of short stories for other anthologists, and did some small press anthologies here and there. Hex In the City and Alchemy and Steam were particularly fun. Until Shadowed Souls came along, Chicks Kick Butt, co-edited with Rachel Caine, was my biggest one, and I still think it’s great.
Edited by: Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes
Roc Trade Paperback Original
$17.00 / 352 pages
November 1, 2016
In this dark and gritty collection—featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman—nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil..
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Cold Case, Molly Carpenter—Harry Dresden’s apprentice-turned-Winter Lady—must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you’re a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad…
New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s Sleepover finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything “weird.” They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie.
In New York Times bestselling Kevin J. Anderson’s Eye of Newt, Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble’s latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner…
And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman’s infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals wih some overdue—and nightmarish—vengeance involving some quite nastyImpossible Monsters.
ALSO INCLUDES STORIES BY
Tanya Huff * Kat Richardson * Jim C. Hines * Anton Strout * Lucy A. Snyder * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Erik Scott de Bie *
A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversation of his imaginary friends, but his head can generally be found in Independence, Missouri.
Kerrie L. Hughes has edited thirteen anthologies in addition to Shadowed Souls, including Maiden Matron Crone, Children of Magic, Fellowship Fantastic, and Dimension Next Door.
Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Roc (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.