Back in the June progress update, I mentioned the possibility of having an early admit class to the Monsters & Mormons anthology. Theric and I have decided to go ahead and do that for a few reasons:
1. We received a ton of submissions early on and we wanted to acknowledge that support. We’re currently at about 25 submissions.
2. It gave the two of us a chance to see how we work together and what we have in mind and what some of the parameters are for this anthology. I’m pleased to report that the two of us are tracking quite well. There will, for sure, be some disagreements in the future as we fight to get our favorites in, but I think the two of us are realizing more and more that (and this is not just ego) we are uniquely suited for this project in terms of our editing skills, reading background and interests, networks of writer friends, etc.
3. This gives us a chance to put some tent poles in the ground as we conceptualize the scope and tone of the anthology. That doesn’t mean that these four stories represent the extremes we’re looking for — or even the middle. They are, however, stories that both of us felt are very much in the spirit of the anthology. I think the good news here is that there is going to be some range and a variety of registers: the dominant operative words are fun and well-crafted (as opposed to, say, literary or action-packed or grim or whatever — although there’s room for all those descriptors too).
Now before I list the first four admits, I want to be clear that this doesn’t mean that the stories are perfect. Nor does it mean that they are necessarily better than every other story we received. Nor are we holding them up as models. Nor does it mean if you have written something similar that these stories bump yours out. These are just the four stories that Theric and I agreed we should admit early out of what we have received so far.
- The novella Let the Mountains Tremble for Adoniha has Fallen by Steven L. Peck — an ambitious, character-driven (but with plenty of action) story about Mormons on Mars who have set up a feudal-style society and are about to be reconnected with the Earth they left behind several generations ago.
- The short story “Charity Never Faileth” by Jaleta Clegg — in this story, preparation for an enrichment meeting dinner gets out of hand with hilarious (and messy and monstrous) results.
- The short story “Other Duties” by Nathan Shumate — packed with action and humor, this story features an agent bishop with a “special” assignment.
- The short story “First Estate” by Kate Woodbury — one of Kate’s signature lyrical Old Testament story retellings, but this time in a space alien setting.
Congratulations to our four early admits. Thank you to all our submitters so far — many/several of you will still be in the anthology, for sure, but won’t hear definitive answers until after the October 1 submission deadline. And happy writing to all those still working on something. And a kick in the pants for all those who are thinking about it, but who haven’t started yet — you have a little over a month. It’s time to get writing.