I was pleased to receive in Tuesday's mail my contributor copies of The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy, edited by Mike Ashley, a trade paperback published in the U.S. by Running Press and in the U.K. by Robinson. The first story in the book is my 2001 Starlight 3 story "Senator Bilbo."
In his introduction, Ashley defines "extreme fantasy" as "those stories that took a basic idea, whether simple or complicated, and developed it to some extreme, beyond what the reader might normally expect. ... In all of the stories, the authors have taken a fantastic idea -- and I mean fantastic in both its senses -- and then seen how far they can push it."
Ashley also writes in the introduction, "I have presented the stories in sequence from the least to the most extreme, so your imagination can expand as you work through the book." And the first words of his headnotes to my story are: "We begin our journey in what ought to be the relative safety of the Shire."
I'm delighted to be in the book, which includes some of my favorite stories -- Ted Chiang's "Tower of Babylon," Jeffrey Ford's "Boatman's Holiday," Michael Swanwick's "Radio Waves" -- as well as a number I look forward to reading. Authors include Orson Scott Card, R.A. Lafferty, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Moorcock, Howard Waldrop, Liz Williams, etc. ... and William Hope Hodgson, with a story written 96 years ago.