Urban Nightmares
Urban Nightmares cover -- painting by David Mattingly

Urban Nightmares

edited by Josepha Sherman & Keith R.A. DeCandido
on sale now from Baen Books

Urban Nightmares was first conceived at Disclave in Washington DC in 1995. Unlike the Philcon '94 birthing of OtherWere, this was more of a group effort. Myself, Josepha, Laura Anne Gilman, Christie Golden (with her husband Michael Georges), and Lawrence Watt-Evans were discussing urban legends -- alligators in the sewers, spider-eggs in Bubble Yum, etc. -- and, inevitably, someone (I think it was Christie) said this should be an anthology. Lawrence promptly announced that he'd do the black-guy-saying-"Sit!"-in-the-elevator story if we did make it an anthology. Because I like doing anthologies, and because she's a folklorist, (and, frankly, because we're stupid that way), Jo and I decided to be the ones to put it together.

Many months later, we had a contract from Baen Books (where Jo used to be an editor, and for whom she has also been a successful author), and many months after that, we had a book. The book went through several permutations, wound up attracting a diverse collection of authors -- from science fiction types like Robert J. Sawyer and S.M. Stirling to fantasy authors like Susan Shwartz and Kristine Kathryn Rusch to horror mainstays like Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Adam-Troy Castro -- and had about four titles (Alligators in the Sewers: Tales of Urban Legends being one; Beneath the Night being another) before the final one was settled upon.

Contributors went from the common (the ever-popular alligators in the sewers, the guy with the hook who attack the couple on the road) to the silly (the Nieman-Marcus cookie recipe, the aforementioned black guy saying "Sit!") to the slightly more obscure (involving vampires, Lilith, fast food, and bike messengers) legends. Us editors even got in on the act, since both Jo and I had stories we wanted to tell.

The book is now on sale. You can find it at your local bookstore, or order it online from Amazon.com.



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