The moment is upon us, folks - tonight, editor Ian Whates will be joined by authors Paul Cornell, James Lovegrove, David Mercurio Rivera, and Martin Sketchley will gather at Waterstones Gower Street in London to officially launch Solaris Rising 2!
Available for preorder on including Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and indiebound, this cosmic collection is jam-packed with SF short stories that explore man's efforts to leave this humble dot of blue in a sea of black, and all this week on the Solaris blog, the collection's authors are talking about the short story form and their favourite examples of it from SF.
Over the past week, we've been talking about our favourite SF short stories and we've had some great contributions from authors featured in Solaris Rising 2, with everything from Asimov to Clarke, Keyes to Ellison cropping up.
As we get ready for the party tonight, we finish this fascinating little series with Solaris editor-in-chief Jonathan Oliver's selection...
"It’s really very difficult to narrow down to a favourite short story.
"After all, I read short fiction all of the time (it is, as many folk say, the lifeblood of genre) and naturally I can’t pick any of those I've commissioned in the past four years, so I’m going to go for the work that effected me most at a formative age. Anybody who has spoken to me for more than 10 minutes at a convention or gathering of literary folk, probably know that my favourite writers are Ramsey Campbell and Fritz Leiber. And though Leiber has written some incredible short fiction (any of the Lankhmar tales are well worth your time), it was Campbell who got me into genre in a big way.
Our local library when I was growing up in Ravenshead, in suburban Nottinghamshire, was a lifeline and it was there that I discovered an collection called Waking Nightmares by Ramsey Campbell. Up to then I was very familiar with the works of King, Koontz and Herbert, but it was this collection of extraordinary stories that really cracked open my perceptions of what genre could be. In particular the story The Trick.
"It’s about a witch and her familiar (nothing genre-busting in that you may think) but it’s set in urban Liverpool and its backdrop of decay ties into an astonishing story of the supernatural. The first time I read it the last line froze me with fear – a sensation I haven’t had from any other writer since – and when I re-read the story a few years later, the effect was exactly the same.
"Campbell continues to be an extraordinary writer of short fiction, and an extraordinary writer full stop. The Trick, for me, opened a gateway to the wider world of genre and led to a lifetime love affair with the weird."
Thanks to everyone who's contributed to the blog this week - and we hope to see many of our readers tonight in London!