And now for something completely different

I’m starting to figure out that things you say will come back to haunt you when it comes to writing.

Someone asked me once – can’t remember who – “Ever think about doing short stories?”

And I distinctly remember kind of shrugging and having a ‘meh’ reaction. I’m not a big fan of anthologies. I don’t generally read them and I very much prefer long-form fiction when I’m writing.

So why the heck did I write a short story?

Well, in point of fact I’ve written a couple, but the second one is a little more in line with my usual genres (and may in fact kick off a new series at some point, but I digress.)

No, today, I want to talk about MAGA 2020.

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Yuge.

Ballpark, 50% of you are probably laughing hysterically, and the other half are screaming in terror.

But here’s the thing. There’s a long tradition in science fiction of telling polarizing subjects – particularly in anthologies such as Harlan Ellison’s “Dangerous Visions” and Piers Anthony’s “Anthonology.”

And love him or hate him, you don’t get more polarizing than President Trump.

When I saw the pitch for the collection, I was immediately inspired. Which . . . is weird, because, again, I don’t like writing short stories. But I sent it in, and it was accepted. W00t!

If you’d told me a year ago I’d be working on a project with guys like Brad Torgerson and Milo Yiannopoulos I’d have laughed in your face. But – here we are.

Don’t mistake this for a hagiography, though – the stories are very much tongue in cheek. The cover should make that obvious. (More on that later.) In fact, you could almost say that we set out to . . . “Make Sci-Fi Fun Again.”

As one of the contributors, Declan Finn, noted:

“Personally, I think this works on multiple levels of strange. All of the stories in here reflect a positive future brought about merely by Trump being elected. Though from what I can see, they range from semi-serious breakdowns of Trump’s stated policies leading to a utopia, to stories where one of Trump’s cabinet is a werewolf. So, yeah, I would say there’s a bit of satire in there …  if you’re interested in an over-the-top comedy about how utterly brilliant and golden the future will be because of the Great Pumpkin President, then yeah, I think this will work for you either way.”

It’s been a weird road for this collection. We’re on our second publisher, Superversive, which has been a great experience. The first publisher was more of a horror house, and I don’t know that they necessarily ‘got’ the theme, even though they were the ones that pitched it. The proposed cover featured Trump standing in front of a trophy case of dismembered heads a la the Governor on The Walking Dead. It was very off-putting. The majority of the authors at that point pushed back, to see if we could something a little more uplifting, and rather than deal with it, the publisher canceled the project.

No big deal. It was mostly done, and Superversive (and the awesome Jason Rennie) swooped in and saved the day. And, right in time for the one year anniversary of election day, MAGA 2020 will be available for sale in Kindle and paperback. Give it a try.

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