I am almost done with the final selection process for UFO2. Over the course of this week, all authors should be notified and those whose stories have been accepted will receive their contracts. Once all the contracts have been signed, I will announce the official table of contents.
While that’s happening, I am contemplating my next anthology idea. Namely, this:
COFFEE: The Caffeinated Stories of the Fantastic
This is not a submissions call as of yet — I am still contemplating the viability and interest in such a book. It would be a collection of speculative short stories in which coffee plays a major role. I would want to collect mostly flash fiction and short-short stories — the sort one can read while sipping a cup of coffee. I would want one or two tea stories as well. Because, as much as the Interwebs love coffee, some of us love tea, too.
I would be looking for reprints for this book: stories that have been already been published elsewhere rather than original material.
So, for now, I want to ask for everyone’s help.
Is this the sort of book you would buy?
Do you know of any stories that would be a good fit for such a book? If so, please post the link or any information you have about the story/stories in the comments below.
If you’re an author of a story that might be a good fit, you can send it to me at ufopublishing at gmail dot com. I want to stress again that this is not a submission call yet, I’m just exploring the possibility, and that I’m looking for reprints of speculative (fantasy, SF, mild horror) stories only. Published authors would be paid at the reprint rate of $0.01 per word, plus a copy of the book.
Please share whatever other thoughts/ideas you might have about this. They’re much appreciated.
“Toilet Gnomes at War,” by Beth Cato, Stupefying Stories, November 2012. Great read. Though perhaps putting it in a coffee anthology would be a bit of a spoiler. 🙂
Sounds like a fun idea! The only coffee story I can think of at the moment is Neil Gaiman’s Bitter Grounds, though I’m sure I’ve read others.
This is an awesome idea. I would love to read a caffeinated story or two in the morning. I’ve never read, at least that I remember, a story about coffee. However, the closest I’ve read to a story about tea is Ken Liu’s “The Five Elements of the Heart Mind” in Lightspeed Magazine last year (Jan. 2012). It might not be a story *about* tea, but it does play a major part. Again, awesome idea!
Gregory Feeley’s “Arabian Wine”, Asimov’s April/May 2004: http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0404/Arabian.shtml immediately comes to mind.
Jez Patterson recently had a story called “Coffee Pot” in Daily Science Fiction (February 19, 2013): http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fantasy/jez-patterson/coffee-pot .
And vaguely in my mind there’s this story where a sentient coffee machine tries to compete, quite sneakily, for a protagonist’s (not sure if it was a man or a woman) affection against a real human. Might have heard it on a WFC reading. Trying to remember.
Will try to think of more.
Also, I’d definitely buy that (also a themed antho of specfic & beer, specfic & wine, specfic & whisky. You get the drift…;-).
Thanks, everyone so far!
Jetse, you’re thinking of Cat Rambo’s story from Bull Spec, which was also podcast by Toasted Cake. It’s definitely on my radar 🙂
I’ve seen an anthology with a similar idea, “Beer Saves the World,” from Sky Warrior Books. You might see if the publisher would chat with you about how that’s doing for them.
Here’s an interesting page on Tor.com from November 15, 2009: “What is it with coffee” by Jo Walton: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/11/what-is-it-with-coffee .
The main post is about coffee in SF/F novels. But scanning the comments, I notice two story mentions:
–“nad and Dan adn Quaffy” by Diana Wynne Jones (ISFDB listing: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?531761 );
–Of course there’s also Sturgeon’s brilliant “If all men were brothers would you let one marry your sister”, where the story starts with the perfect planet that grows perfect coffee. (OK: it’s not the main theme, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_All_Men_Were_Brothers,_Would_You_Let_One_Marry_Your_Sister%3F .)
I know: both Diana Wynne Jones and Theodore Sturgeon are not amongst us, anymore. But I can get you in touch with Bud Webster, who keeps an extensive list of literary SF/F estates.
Also, by way of comparison:
–“How Beer Gave Us Civilization” — A (relatively) recent NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/opinion/sunday/how-beer-gave-us-civilization.html?_r=0 (take that, coffee…;-)
–Although, according to others, “Caffeine thus helped to fuel the Enlightenment.” http://theinstantlibrarian.com/2011/03/11/coffee-and-enlightenment/ ;
Thanks! I found and read that TOR thread recently, and read Jones’ story. Haven’t read Sturgeon’s yet.
I liked Jones’ but it’s rather long and this is going to be a fairly slim book, so I have to wait and see (which is my approach to just about everything about this project at the moment, other than gathering information). Likely I will want only stories under 3000 words or so, on the premise that the reader should be able to finish the story while sipping a cup of java. 🙂 This isn’t set in stone, but its what I’m leaning toward so far.
Alex, is it horrible to suggest mine? The Seven Samovars, orig published in Lightspeed is about a fantasy coffee shop. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-seven-samovars/