I am proud to announce that I will be co-editing an upcoming anthology for 18thWall Productions with the peerless Mary-Helen Norris. The anthology, titled “Overdue,” revolves around the quest for lost books and takes place in a shared universe joining together my Bel Nemeton with Mary Helen’s All the Petty Myths.
I admit to being a little nervous. Moving from writing to editing an anthology is a big step, especially as I’ve always viewed editing as one of my weaknesses, so I’m really going to have to up my game.
With that caveat, I’m very excited about Overdue. I’m a huge fan of Mary-Helen’s work and collaborating with her is an incredible opportunity. There is a lot of potential in a shared universe joining the forensic mythology, urban folklore, and procedure mystery of All the Petty Myths with Bel Nemeton’s blend of historical fantasy and modern pulp.
The “lost book” angle also really appeals to me. I’ve always enjoyed seeding my work with references to fictional lost books. Some of my favorites include:
- The Awkar Plates (from Bel Nemeton): “Books” of beaten copper sheets bound together and inscribed in an unknown alphabet. Acquired by an explorer in West Africa during the 19th century, he claimed them to be 7th century texts from the Empire of Awkar (Empire of Ghana) recording myths and folklore. At one point housed at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, they have since disappeared.
- Al-Kitaba Manat (from Bel Nemeton): Compendium of long vanished Arabian history and geography compiled by an unknown author in the late Sixth century, widely regarded as myth. Sir Richard Burton claimed to have accessed a copy in the 19th century and then written down as much of it as he could remember (then again, Burton claimed a lot of things).
- Donaukelten und Roms Grenzen (from Caledfwlch, the upcoming sequel to Bel Nemeton): Published in the late 18th century, one of the earliest works about Noricum, a Celtic kingdom occupying much of Austria and Slovenia before Rome absorbed them in the First century. The text uses a variety of classical and archaeological sources not available to later writers as well as preserving a number of inscriptions in the untranslated Noric language for which the originals have been lost. A copy was rumored to be kept in the Hapsburgs’ imperial library.
- The Life of St. Radegund (from Bel Nemeton): A biography and hagiography of a pious 6th century Merovingian princess later elevated to sainthood. No confirmed copies survive. Tales place a single copy in a remote abbey established by the princess, its monks reluctant to let outsiders see a document that may paint their patroness as more Cathar than Catholic.
Then, of course, there are plenty of real life lost books from the missing volumes of the Annals of Tacitus to the Inventio Fortuna chronicling an unnamed monk’s travels around the North Atlantic to Jane Austen’s Sandition.
And, yes, I’ll contributing a story to the anthology as well. I won’t say much, but I will say the idea comes not from the Bel Nemeton series by from my short story (and upcoming novel) “Gabriel’s Trumpet.” Yes, I am effectively declaring that those two stories take place in the same universe.
For all the writers out there, you can find the full submission call for Overdue here.