This week on the blog, Daniel Patrick Corcoran discusses his delightfully clever contribution to our upcoming speculative fiction anthology, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Daniel is one of our core storytellers who has been with us since book one.
When I was invited to include a story in the third Middle of Eternity anthology, I reflected on the stories that I had included in the first two. My story in Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity was about a vampire, placing it solidly in the category of fantasy. When a reader pointed out that the stories in that anthology were almost all fantasy, I made sure my story in Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity was as deep into science fiction as I could get. So for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, I wondered if there was a way I could combine the two genres. And I realized, yes, yes I could.
The idea of a robot finding a genie’s lamp is not particularly unique, and when I came up with the story hook it was mostly to prop up a punchline. As I was writing the first draft I was thinking that while the joke would be funny, it would also be easy, and if it wasn’t a challenge for me it might not be enjoyable for the reader. That’s when I started asking myself questions about the story and that’s where the fun really starts for me. I really like the craftwork, taking an idea and building onto it to make it a good story. In this instance, I revisited the story elements. Is the genie malicious or subservient? Is the robot going to get its wish? Will the wish produce ironic results? Is there something else going on that is not immediately apparent? It was that last question that led me to write a story I feel worthy of inclusion in an anthology of the fantastic, and I hope the readers agree.
We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!
Known as Renfield to his friends and family—yes, really—Daniel Patrick Corcoran lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and house rabbits. Renfield is a familiar face at the Maryland convention scene and can usually be found taking to the stage in one form or another. When not busy turning beloved genres on their ears, he is sometimes seen wandering the streets dressed as Krampus or Schnabelperchten as a celebrant of all holiday traditions. Daniel’s vampire comedy tale, “Apartment Hunting,” and science fiction adventure, “The Hard Place,” were published in Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, respectively.
We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first two volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.