And so, having received the first GREAT TOME volume (see just below), what should come in Tuesday’s email but an acceptance and contract for my story “Ice Vermin” for Volume 3, THE GREAT TOME OF FANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES.  Theme:  Plots revolving around the exploration of fantasy or alien locales in which the acts of exploration and adventure are central to the plot.  It is a reprint (the GREAT TOME series does not pay much, but it is a kind of neat venue to be in nonetheless), initially published in CD ROM form in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) as well as in GreatTomeV3.125102232_stdprint in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).

The acceptance was not entirely unexpected, however, as I had been asked about making a possible change to the MS which I then sent back, having eliminated interspersed “editor’s notes” ( the story is actually two separate narratives, the first excerpts from the journal of an early 20th century Russian explorer, the second comments the greater part of a century later explaining, with hindsight, portions of the original text) and replaced them with numbered end notes.  Thus, as emailed to me, “I like this much better.  Particularly because I can play with the actual formatting to give it the ‘look’ of an academic publication a little.”  This fits in with the idea of the GREAT TOMES in general, not an annotated excerpt in the “Notes” section of a relatively ephemeral geological journal, but a more full-blown scholarly treatise preserved many hundreds of years in the future, collected thus with other material into a  “Great Tome.”  And, also to the point, it’s a change in form only, not in content, thus telling the same story and in the same way, but just in a slightly different package.

The first GREAT TOME was published in March, as we might remember, even if actually just now received; the second, THE GREAT TOME OF DARKEST HORRORS AND UNSPEAKABLE EVIL with my story “Pavlov’s Dogs” (see April 27, March 4) due, if all goes on schedule, in June.  And so this third volume is tentatively set to be out in September.


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