Wellmaster’s Daughter Steps Out, Accepted for Everywhere Stories, Vol. II
The pay wasn’t much, but it could be prestigious, possibly extending circulation outside of genre boundaries. In any event, the call was inciting:
EVERYWHERE STORIES: SHORT FICTION FROM A SMALL PLANET (Edited by Clifford Garstang, published by Press 53 in Fall 2014) is an anthology of short fiction (short stories of any length, short shorts, and flash) set around the globe, including the United States. Volume I consisted of 20 stories by 20 authors set in 20 countries.
Volume II will consist of around 20 fictions, with no more than one story set in any one country. Included stories will be a mix of previously published and new work. . . .
Other terms followed, including a loose theme-by-default, “it’s a dangerous world,” and a list of nations already taken. The mundane, the exotic, the ends of the Earth, the just around the corner. And therewith a challenge that could be kind of fun. What setting could I find so out of the way that no other author might claim it before me?
How about the middle of the Sahara Desert?
So out stepped a story set in Mali a century or so back, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” of shifting sands and caravan routes and illicit slaving, originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in November 1991.* Late yesterday the word came back for a pleasant cap to a slightly longer-than-usual February. “Thank you for sending us ‘The Wellmaster’s Daughter.’ We love it and would like to include it in the anthology. We’ll be in touch soon with more details.”
*For those who might wish for a sneak peek,”The Wellmaster’s Daughter” is included in my 2001 collection STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE. It also appears in Smart Rhino Publications’ 2012 anthology UNCOMMON ASSASSINS (cf. February 7 2014, September 27 2012, et al.).