It’s been far too long since a real effort like Thieves World or Wild Cards has really had a shared world that has taken genre by storm.
I had thoughts recently on my “Dream” anthology. If I had a few million dollars and could arrange the world to my desire, I’d produce THIS.
A Secondary fantasy world, built from the ground up. Shared World.
How would I do it? Grab the best and turn them loose…
John Joseph Adams, Editor
What, you think I could edit this better than he could? I think not! I normally would pick, say, the team of Gardner Dozois and George R R Martin, but I don’t need AISOF fans wanting my blood. Jonathan Strahan would also be a good choice, and if this things gets too big, John might want Jonathan’s help.
Lou Anders, Publisher.
Because Pyr will do it right.
Kate Elliott, Mistress of Worldbuilding.
Based on her love of worldbuilding, I want Kate as lead designer on building this fantasy world.
Jon Roberts, Cartographer
Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about maps. We need maps of continents, polities and cities from the get go. We put Jon in charge of that. Kate (see above) is a cartographile, I think they will work well together
Karen Lord and Aliette de Bodard, cultures and societies.
One writes fairy tales based on Non-western Myths in beautiful prose. One had the audacity to tackle Aztec culture in a series of novels. Together they fight crime! If I want people who can describe unusual cultures (I think Jack Vance is probably too old for this role), this pair will do the job. Get Catherynne Valente to consult on myths.
Laura Anne Gilman, Food and Drink
If you have read the Vineart War, you will know why. She’s a foodie, and knows how to write food. L.E. Modesitt also likes to write food. Team them up, maybe.
Steven Erikson, History
The guy writes books that run into the hundreds of thousands of years in scope. Yeah, I think he should do the back history on this world.
Tim Akers. Religion
We don’t want a Crystal Dragon Jesus, so I trust we’ll get authentic feeling religion.
Brandon Sanderson, Master of Magic
Yeah, you saw this one coming a mile away, didn’t you? And can you blame me. This is his ballpark.
Judith Tarr, Horsemistress
If there are horses or ‘smeeps’, Judith Tarr is the person I want to be thinking about how they work.
Lois Bujold, Ruling Families
A mistress of character, if there are royal families or the like to draw up, I want her to do it.
John Picacio, Art
I want John to do the cover art for the book, full stop.
John Anealio, Music
The official soundtrack to this anthology should come from him.
Patrick Hester and Mur Lafferty, Podcasting
Audio interviews with the authors, audio versions of the stories! These are the pair I want doing that.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Promotion
He works hard with #sffwrtcht. He’ll promote this anthology well.
Rob Donoghue and Fred Hicks, Roleplaying
The guys at Evil Hat are my first choice to design the RPG for this world. It could be FATE, it could be Cortex, it could be something completely different. Maybe get Robin Laws in as a consultant.
Erin Hoffman, Videogames
If there is going to be a computer game or three set here, get her to design it. Everything from Japanese style social games to something like Skyrim.
Paul Cornell and Chris Roberson, Graphic Novel adaptation
These are the guys I want to do the comic/graphic novel adaptation or tie-in. They know the artists better than I.
All of the above would have a chance to write stories as well. But there are plenty of writers I’d want to invite. A very very partial list of invitees would include:
Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell
This pair got together and wrote a pair of linked novellas (The Executioness and The Alchemist). I want to turn them loose in a corner of this world and go to town.
Elizabeth Bear (maybe teaming up with her ally Sarah Monette, they write well together!)
Mary Robinette Kowal
Guy Gavriel Kay
Kevin J Anderson
Lavie Tidhar (for that gonzo skewed look at things)
Jeff Vandermeer–the anthology needs at least one weird story.
I’d also want a good portion of the anthology to give some of the newest writers a chance. Like Jon Sprunk, Courtney Schafer (mountains, Gandalf, mountains!), Teresa Frohock, Moses Siregar, Bradley Beaulieu, Kameron Hurley (one kick-ass heroine, served dirty),
And there you have it. It would never happen, of course.