Wow…it is so exciting to see something go from a glimmer of an idea to reality! And then see it fly off the shelves (electronically). Here's how it happened:
About two years ago, a friend of mine wanted to put together a charity anthology for the Charlie Hebdo artists. She said, "Send me the most controversial thing you've ever written!"
Well, I don't normally do controversial per se. But I sat down and prayed a bit to see what would come to me. I had just read Face-to-Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib, one of the best books I've ever read, and my mind was full of thoughts about her experience. So, I sat down and wrote the. most. controversial. story I was capable of conceiving.
The story is called "The Test of the Prophet".
At first, I thought I'd done quite well. My mom immediately worried that it would get my shot, and my atheist Liberal friend called it hateful. But, my Muslim friend loved it and took it home to Pakistan to show her parents. (Life can be strange sometimes!)
By this time, however, I realized that the first anthology wasn't going to fly. But I REALLY wanted to do something with my story. It was the best thing I had ever written.
But what can you do with a super controversial story in this age of safe spaces and trigger warnings?
Then, in the midst of the Sad Puppy fervor, I caught a glimmer of an answer. Jason Rennie, editor of Sci Phi Journal and the brilliant mind behind SuperverisveSF, suggested in the midst of a flurry of Sad Puppy emails, that the authors involved get together and do an anthology of anti-PC stories, kind of a modern Dangerous Visions–putting into story form all those thoughts that the SJWs don't want people to think. Basically, doing what SF is supposed to do, posing difficult questions.
Those of us on the email chain decided on the title: Forbidden Thoughts.
I LOVED this idea. Here was my answer to what to do with my controversial story.
So, I kept on Jason about this, and I kept on the other authors. When a few were too busy to be able to fit writing a new short story into their schedule, I convinced them to submit incendiary blog posts.
So we now had a volume with stories by, among others, John, Nick Cole, Brian Niemeier, Josh Young, Brad Torgersen, Sarah Hoyt, Ben Zwyxky, and, a particularly delightful surprise for me, our young Marine fan friend, Pierce Oka. Plus, non fiction by Tom Kratman and Larry Correia submitted some of his original Sad Puppy posts–the thing that started it all!
But we still needed a Foreword.
Last winter, during one of our SuperversiveSF chats, we had invited the one reporter who reported truthfully on Sad Puppies, an amusing and irreverent fellow named Milo Yiannopoulos. Just as the chat was scheduled to begin, Milo was informed that he had been deverified on Twitter. This made it so that he was never able to attend our chat. He made it clear that he regretted this and kind of owed us.
So, I asked Jason to see if Milo would let us cash in our favor in the form of him writing the Foreword.
Milo wrote an excellent Foreword. We put the stories in order and voila! A delightfully thought-provoking volume that reminds me of the daring stories one found the pages of Science Fiction volumes in my youth.
There is one other delightful story that goes with this volume. Last summer, as we often do, we spent a week in Chincoteague. Our teen writer fan (some of you may have seen the victory dance she did when John won Dragon Award), asked if she and her family could join us, so we and the Freeman family spent a wonderful week together.
As I arrived on Chincoteague, I got an email from Jason informing me that he had read a submission by April, and it was really chilling. He thought it would work for Forbidden Thoughts. So, when April walked into the house we were renting for the week, I got to inform her that her first published piece would be in an anthology with John and I!
She was so stunned that she had to call me the next morning and ask me to explain it all again. Lol It was a delightful moment.
Now Forbidden thoughts is live! There will be an official Launch party with a live chat on Inauguration Day.
So, Politically-Correct friends, you might want to avoid this, but the rest of you, come join in the fun!!!
You are not supposed to read this book.
You are not supposed to think about reading this book.
In fact, just plain thinking at all is unacceptable.
You have been warned….
(Print version coming. Probably by next week.)Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)