How Alt.Cyberpunk.Chatsubo Anthology came into life

Science Fiction
October 16, 2015
About the book
March 14, 2016

Book 1 came about because one woman refused to let a brilliant idea fall flat on its ass. That woman was myself. Who am I, you ask? Nobody really. I am a nag. I am a bully. I am one of those horrible people who bugs you everyday, until I get what I want from you… And that is exactly how this anthology came about.

The idea first came about in the Usenet newsgroup alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo. Many people have tried to claim responsibility for the idea. In the end, after much searching of archives I have had to come to the conclusion that it was a collective effort. The only thing I know for certain, is that I had nothing to do with it. However, we all jumped on board the bandwagon and within a week, a large group of regulars were hovering around one particular thread. Ideas were thrown into the melting pot at a rapid pace, and war broke out.

Writers pulled out, rejoined, gave ultimatums, and generally disagreed with everything and anything proposed. Alas, finally there was a clear need for one person to organise the whole endeavour. It was a bitter argument but eventually I lost. Hence, my name is now on the cover. Surprisingly, despite the bitterness and argument that sprouted, we only lost one author, through my being chosen as editor. However, I have been assured that he is publishing his own book and wish him all the best.

Can I honestly take credit for the anthology? The answer is no. I am only responsible for getting people motivated to do something they might otherwise have let drift into oblivion. Publishing a book is a lot of hard work, but it isn’t difficult to do. There is a lot of research involved, and questions to be asked of potential publishers. Finances to be organised, and payments sorted out. I think the most difficult thing of all, was the book itself. What should it look like? How many stories should we put in? Whose story should go first? Do we dedicate it to anyone? In the end, I made a lot of it up on the spot. Not because it was my job, but simply because we could have been pissing around for another 6mths if I didn’t. Once it was approved by the rest of the group, and with any minor adjustments made, it was sent to IUniverse, our online publishing company.

Now that the book has been on the virtual shelves for a few years, it is surprising and altogether wonderful to see that we still get a steady flow of traffic through this site, and every month another handful of people are duly enlightened as to what a good quality book they have just purchased.

I realise now that the title of the anthology has been our greatest downfall, and were I to start over, I would change it to “ACC Anthology”. It might just be semantics to some, but to others the current title has a fan-fic feel which really isn’t there.

The Alt.Cyberpunk.Chatsubo Anthology is an original collection of fiction, some of which has been posted on newsgroups and websites, but all of which belongs 100% to their respective authors. You are not getting a collection of style imitating, formulaic, fan-fic. If you want that buy a commercial novel. This is the real thing. 100% soul crushing, awe inspiring, untainted by commercialisation, literature. We have made the hard edge that much harder.

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