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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Shared world anthologies.

   
Author Topic: Shared world anthologies.
History
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There seems to be two types of writers when it comes to intellectual creative property: those who hoard and those who share.

Most are the former--and understandably so. One's stories are one's intellectual children. Children one has trained just so, and (in a bizarre twist) provide you, their parent, income.

Some have taken the opposite extreme and create a kibbutz (a collective community) where all respectfully care for each other's children and find even a greater joy in the gestalt (i.e. the sum being greater than the parts). For example Lovecraft's CTHULHU mythos.

A few took a middle road, purposefully creating a sandbox to their specific design in which others could play but only at their invitation and by their guests ceding creative control to various degrees (e.g. greater with franchise owners of Star Trek and Star Wars novels and lesser with other smaller properties). Of the latter, I fondly recall (and collected) four that extended to over a dozen volumes:

Robert Asprin and Lyn Abbey's THIEVE'S WORLD,
C.J. Cherryh's MEROVIGEN NIGHTS
Janet and Chris Morris HEROES IN HELL
Marion Zimmer Bradley's DARKOVER.

Ms Bradley wrote "I have always encouraged young writers to write in my world; I think it's fun. Besides, how else can I get to read Darkover stories without going to the trouble of writing them?" This was invitation only and ultimately, due to a costly coincidence where a fan independently wrote a story similar to her newest in-progress Darkover novel resulting in its rejection by her publisher (over legal concerns), she reversed herself and kicked everyone out of her yard under the bloody sun in 1992 (with the exception of collaborator Deborah J. Ross). When I recently read this, I could only better appreciate the irony in the title of the newest shared world anthology (after a 25 year hiatus) by Janet and Chris Morris: LAWYERS IN HELL http://www.amazon.com/Lawyers-Hell-Chris-Morris/dp/1937035026

Anyway:
Have you read a shared world anthology?
If so, did you like or dislike it?
As a writer, would you consider inviting others to play in your sandbox?
Would you like to play in another's--even if they retain creative control (i.e. you'd need discard or rewrite a rejected story so as not to infringe on their creative property) ?

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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LDWriter2
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Let's see if I can get this one posted. We had a power failure when I was three fourths of the way through my note.


In a word Yes. (Been wanting to say that) [Smile]

A few that is.

First is Star Trek, especially their Strange New Worlds anthologies. Some great stories and many are not written with the usual Star Trek type of story. That goes for number Ten, The last story is a tear jerker with an unexpected end. And there's one other that is pretty good too-- well, all are good but that has something going for it.

Second is David Weber's Honor Harrington universe. He has three to five anthologies set in that universe with stories written by most probably invited guests. The ST Strange New Worlds are by invitation but theirs was an open invitation.

I have seen "Heroes In Hell" and may have read "Darkover".

Oh, there is also The Shadowrun series. Most were written by different writers including a couple of anthologies.

Seems like there was another one or two but I can't think of them right now.

You didn't ask for it but I would love it if Jim Butcher would "Share" his Dresden Files ... Of course I most probably wouldn't get in invite even if it was open but still I would love reading the new stories.

One more thing if I recall correctly McCaffrey said something pretty much the same as Bradley

[ March 31, 2012, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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Meredith
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I read most of the Thieves' World books long ago and really enjoyed them. Some really interesting characters in that one.

Darkover, too, but I don't think I read any of the anthologies. Just MZB's stuff.

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