This October seems to be an especially busy time for me as a number of short stories I submitted to various anthologies over the last couple years are all coming out at the same time! In keeping with that, today brings the release of Avenir Eclectia, Volume One!
I've talked about Avenir a number of times on this blog, but for those who are unaware of it, I'll give you the rundown: It's a shared universe microfiction project where many authors come together to tell separate stories that all fit into the futuristic world of Avenir Eclectia. The world was designed by Grace Bridges and is meant to be a playground for authors of all speculative fiction genres--science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Avenir has it all.
My particular contribution features Dressler, a hard-edged hunter who kills giant bugs on the wild, sand-blown deserts of the alien planet Eclectia. Dressler's only tender spot is his young daughter, who is dying of a mysterious illness known as ash lung--a byproduct of Eclectia's harsh environment. Dressler is overcome with grief, but when a mysterious underwater creature, that many believe to be an angel, speaks to him and offers him the chance to save his daughter, Dressler must travel into the dark, treacherous oceans for a cure. But is the angel everything he claims to be?
Ironically enough, last Halloween I posted the story behind my inspiration for Dressler and the bugs he hunts over at the Inside Avenir Eclectia page. Check it out!
The book is formatted quite cleverly by Travis Perry. While it includes entire arcs, each installment of any given arc is broken up and sprinkled throughout the project. It gives you the opportunity to experience a number of storylines at once as it cuts back and forth in between scenes to other arcs. Everything has been sequenced to occur in chronological order, so you'll see events in one author's story mentioned or paid off in another author's, making for a very collaborative experience.
I hope that everyone goes out and buys the book. It will soon be available in e-formats as well. And, of course, you can subscribe directly to the Avenir website to get new weekly installments of the many storylines. If there are any writers out there, Avenir is also looking for more contributors. What's neat is that, included in the anthology, is an encyclopedia section at the end that will give you a crash course on the mythology of the world--a perfect training for those future writers who wish to play in this marvelous sandbox of imagination!