A few months ago, my friend and neighbor, Athena Andreadis asked me to contribute a story to an anthology she was putting together. The theme was space opera, a female protagonist who doesn't feel guilty about juggling work vs. family, aimed at adult readers, no "big ideas" or used-up cyber-or-steampunk tropes.
Athena clearly didn't know that I never get asked to contribute to anthologies.
Then I demonstrated why. I was vaguely dissatisfied, pissy, uninspired, and whiny. I couldn't think of anything. I was sick (my eye, for heaven's sake!). I had other important things to do.
Time was getting short. Then, just before the excellent Readercon panel on the anthology, Athena suggested that she would like to see a story about Miriam Kostal, a character in both Carve the Sky (as an older woman) and River of Dust (as a younger woman).
And that did it. I thought about Miriam, and a story occurred to me. Miriam had always been seen by men, particularly men with whom she was sexually involved. This time I showed her from the point of view of a woman, Dunya, a kind of social worker with political refugees, into whose life Miriam erupts.
Athena charitably gave me some extra time, and I just managed to get something in: "Bad Day on Boscobel", set in an asteroid just mentioned as part of the background of Carve. Maybe people should ask me to be in anthologies after all.
The anthology looks fun. Here is the Table of Contents Athena recently posted:
The Other Half of the Sky
Athena Andreadis, Introduction
Melissa Scott, Finders
Alexander Jablokov, Bad Day on Boscobel
Nisi Shawl, In Colors Everywhere
Sue Lange, Mission of Greed
Vandana Singh, Sailing the Antarsa
Joan Slonczewski, Landfall
Terry Boren, This Alakie and the Death of Dima
Aliette de Bodard, The Waiting Stars
Ken Liu, The Shape of Thought
Alex Dally MacFarlane, Under Falna’s Mask
Martha Wells, Mimesis
Kelly Jennings, Velocity’s Ghost
C. W. Johnson, Exit, Interrupted
Cat Rambo, Dagger and Mask
Christine Lucas, Ouroboros
Jack McDevitt, Cathedral
And here is an interesting widget, from Kate Sullivan of Candlemark & Gleam, the publisher of the book, which gives a teaser version of the book: