From the back cover
(written before I moved to New Zealand)
Like many such anthologies, Journeys came about through a confluence of unusual events.
Well, sort of.
In fact it started out with several friends and a glass (or three) of wine from a wonderful little boutique vineyard named Two Paddocks.
Acquiring this wine is not easy. I’m periodically obliged to fly to New Zealand, drive through Lord of the Rings country and whine pitifully outside the doors of the Central Otago Wine Company until they reluctantly divest themselves of a few bottles. The proprietor, it seems, prefers to keep most of the Pinot Noir to himself.
What does this have to do with an anthology of speculative fiction—aside from the obscure coincidence that the owner of the vineyard, Sam Neill, has played the lead role in many a spec fic movie? Well, purchasing this fine drop of red velvet requires that I undertake a journey through the most stunning—and oft-times haunting—landscapes on the planet. Now you, the reader, are about to embark on a journey of the mind through landscapes, both stunning and haunting, crafted by some of today’s leading speculative fiction writers.
Between them, this exceptional collection of authors have published over a hundred hardcover and paperback titles in twenty-six languages* including Russian, Polish, Icelandic, Hungarian and Japanese, and enjoy a readership in excess of 25 million worldwide. Many are the recipients of prestigious SF and Fantasy awards, and their works have appeared on bestseller lists including the New York Times. While I’ve included a brief bio on each writer at the end of this collection, I recommend you explore their web sites, for therein await many more great travels for those who love superb fiction. This anthology is just the doorway.
As the convenor of this little get together, I slipped in one of my non-fiction titles, The Spiffy Cult, at the end because sometimes fact is indeed stranger than fiction**, especially when the two worlds overlap. I hope you enjoy these Journeys of the Mind.
*Twenty-seven, since I recently received a royalty cheque from Korea for my short story, More Than One Life in How Do I Love Thee? (Allen & Unwin, 2009)
** As a direct result of this story, an Australian film producer ended up flying to Tanna and filming the village, and of course paying them a considerable amount of money, which naturally reinforced the entire problem. Something about art influencing life influencing art comes to mind.