Wake up, Polly Parrot.


Introducing The Antho-matic
by Brian Plante

One of the surest ways to get your name out there and break into the wonderful world of publishing is to establish your own market. Several GSHW members have already put out their own genre magazines, which surely can't hurt when they submit their fiction works to other markets. Being an editor carries with it a sense that you really know what you're doing with your own writing, which is not always the case, but it sure looks good on a cover letter. The other way to establish your editorial credentials is to put together an anthology.

I must confess at this point that I have not yet edited my first anthology, and I am certainly not ready to handle your submissions, so don't even think about sending me anything. Right now, I'm just in the planning stages.

The first order of business for the would-be anthology editor is picking a proper title for the book. A good title sets the theme for the writers, entices a publisher to offer a generous advance, attracts the book distributor into ordering lots of copies, and catches the reader's eye and demands that he buy it. It all starts with the title.

Which brings me to the Antho-Matic (tm). I envision releasing this as a computer program in the near future, but for now it exists only on paper. The Antho-Matic is a foolproof system for creating new genre anthology titles. It's fun! It's easy! All you need to do is pick one word or phrase from column A and match it to one from column B. Ta-da! You have an instant classic that will be welcomed on any genre reader's bookshelf.

Please be warned that this version of the Antho-Matic is only a beta-release. Some of the combinations you come up with may not be all that appropriate at the present time. I'm counting on all my friends at the GSHW to help me debug this thing before I go into full software production with it. Try out as many of the combinations as you can stand, and alert me if you discover any real duds. Let me know of any new phrases you can come up with for the lists, too. Working together, I'm sure we can make this an indispensable tool for any aspiring anthologist.

A Treasury of Aliens
Alternate Blood
The Ascent of Chills
Award Winning Creatures
Best New Destinies
Christmas Dragons
Computer Dreads
Cosmic Dreams
Cyber- Elves
Dangerous Fairies
Dark Fantasies
Dealing in Fears
Erotic Frankenstein
Foundations of Frights
Full Futures
Future Galaxies
Great Tales of Harlan Ellison Stories
Hair-raising Horrors
Hot Kennedys
The Mammoth Book of Killers
Masterpieces of Legends
Masters of Murders
Midnight Nightmares
Northern Realities
The Norton Book of Realms
101 Little Science Fiction Stories
The Oxford Book of Sex
Ripping Shadows
Southern Stars
Spine Tingling Stories
Splatter Tales
Swamp Terrors
Techno- Things
Tomorrow's Tomorrows
Twisted Unicorns
The Ultimate Universes
Unknown Vampires
Urban Wars
Virtual Werewolves
Weird Wonders
Worlds of Zombies
The Year's Best !

Good News: The Antho-matic has been updated with a real, working version. Click this text to try it out!

Copyright © 1995 Brian Plante, first appeared in The New Jersey Graveline , November 1995.


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