I forgot I had a story in The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons. When the author copies appeared in my PO Box last week, I opened up the package and blinked at the two books inside for a while wondering why the hell I’d ordered a duplicate.
This shouldn’t be taken as a reflection on the book – I mean, shit, I looked at the names on the front cover and there was no doubt in my mind that I might have pre-ordered a copy. Instead, it’s a reflection of the long lead-times in publishing and my own scattershot state of focus over the last twelve months.
The timeline goes something like this: Paula Guran commissioned the reprint rights for One Saturday Night, With Angel, back in August of last year. The payment for the story came through in November. I put the details into my rights tracking sheet and promptly focused on other things.
The books showed up. I paged through them. I found my story and had one of those, oh, right, moments.
Then I went back and checked the table of contents and, oh man, did my natural tendency towards suffering from impostor syndrome kick into overdrive. If you made a list of short story writers who made me want to be a short story writer, this book would include all of them except William Gibson. I mean, Caitlin Kiernan is fucking phenomenal. Neil Gaiman is Neil Gaiman. Gene Wolf. Lucius Shepard. Charles De Lint. Peter Beagle.
It’s rare that I forget I’ve got a story coming out in an anthology, reprint or otherwise. I’m kinda glad I forgot about this one, ’cause I’ve been grinning every time I catch a glimpse of the cover on the shelf.