April 10, 2011

Anthology Announcement – Mirror Shards: Exploring the Edges of Augmented Reality













I’m excited to announce that I will be producing and editing an anthology about augmented reality this fall through my publisher Black Moon Books.  The anthology will be pay up to professional rates and be released in September of 2011.  The title of the anthology will be Mirror Shards: Exploring the Edges of Augmented Reality.

Augmented reality holds the promise of great social change in both the near and far-flung futures.  It’s also a wonderful medium for storytelling as information and graphics overlain eye-screens challenges the doors of perception and creates mixed-reality worlds to work and play.  Black Moon Books is seeking stories between 3000 and 6000 words (soft edges) that utilize augmented reality as a way to explore the human condition.  The stories can be set in any place, time, or genre, as long as the story cannot exist bereft of augmented reality.  Feel free to explore the edges of the technology.

If you’re interested in submitting a story to the anthology, more details can be found at Black Moon Books in the announcment.

Why am I producing and editing this anthology?

It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I started writing fiction about AR.  While greats such as Bruce Sterling have tackled the subject, I wanted to see how others think AR will influence our future lives and an anthology is a great way to do it.

Why use Black Moon Books as your publisher?

In short–speed and control.  Big publishing is going through huge upheaval and even in the best of times it takes one to two years to get a book out to market.  Using my publisher Black Moon Books and releasing the books in both e-Book and POD, I’ll have the anthology on the market in a fraction of that time.

Will the anthology reach the bookstores?

Eventually.  Though there’s a certain elegance to an anthology about a digital medium using only the new electronic methods.  Using Black Moon Books, I plan on reaching out to independent bookstores in late 2012 after I’ve at least published two volumes along with other offerings.

Two volumes?  Will this anthology be an annual?

This anthology, assuming I even get a modest return on the sales, will be a yearly offering.  If the sales are higher than expected, then I’ll pour those monies into next years author payments.  My goal is not to make money on the anthology but to create great fiction.  If I wanted to make money I would spend my time working on my own novels.

Who will be in the anthology?

My goal is two-fold.  I want to keep the anthology open to up-and-coming authors (or neo-pros as we like to call them) and also bring in bigger names.  I’m a huge fan of the Writers of the Future contest and I’d love to see writers that have reached the honorable mention and above level submitting to the anthology.  Long term, I’d like to be able to pay all slots out at a professional level, but in the meantime I’m going to have to keep it two-tiered, leaving one slot at pro fees open for a up-and-comer.

What kind of stories are you looking for as an editor?

I’ll know it when I see it.  But in general, I’d like to see big and bold ideas.  The genre, in general, should be science-fiction, but that leaves a pretty wide target range.  As a story telling device, augmented reality leaves a lot of room for interesting stories.  I expect I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the different takes on the technology.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality takes digital information and overlays it over the real world through a screen, glasses, contacts or cornea implants.  Right now only the first two are possible, though I expect most people will write about AR using the latter.  Virtual reality was about taking people to a place separate from this world, while augmented reality stays in this one.  And because AR uses the real world as its canvas, any type of story is possible.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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