Tall, lean and dedicated, Adrian Collins is about as far as it gets from your typical bad guy. It seems almost paradoxical that such a good bloke would wave the black flag for the anti-hero, but for the past couple of years he’s been mining away in the Grimdark underworld of fiction, forging alliances with the best and brightest to bring gritty short stories to a ravenous readership.
What I like about Adrian, beyond his willingness to shout the next round, is that he’s proactive. No one said following your passion would be easy, but he’s not only repping the genre, he’s developing it to include a diverse range of voices.
Evil Is A Matter Of Perspective: An Anthology Of Antagonists, is his first big edition, bringing together genre heavyweights and bright stars into a beautiful, art filled hardcover edition. It’s been a while since we featured the former NiTH writer at Needle In The Hay, so we thought now would be a good time to catch up.
Thanks for joining us Adrian, and congratulations on your Kickstarter. My first question is a personal one. As an editor, what do you look for in a great short story?
Aside from all the usual–tight, clean, exciting writing that I can’t tear my eyes from–I look for stories that fit our subgenre, grimdark: a dark story, told in a grim world by a morally grey protagonist. Give me the story from the villain’s point of view. I want to hear from the flunky, the henchperson, the fuck up, the killer and the unstable. I want to see what makes them tick, or what made them like this, and I want the writer, through all of it, to make me actually give a shit about that character.
Who is Evil is a Matter of Perspective for? What sort of stories will we find in it?
This anthology is for fans of epic, dark, and grimdark fantasy. It’s for readers who looked at the antagonists these authors created and said, “Man, why are they like that?” or “I want more of that character!” It’s also for people looking for a starting step into what grimdark fantasy is about–those people willing to look past an online reputation perpetuated by those who generally haven’t even read grimdark and see why gritty fantasy is so quickly becoming the norm.
We’ve got a fantastic list of authors. A few examples: R. Scott Bakker, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Teresa Frohock, Courtney Schafer, Jeff Salyards and Brian Staveley. Head on over to the Kickstarter page for the full list!
What are some of the challenges you face getting it to print?
Firstly, hitting the goal. Once we get past there, we have the team, the resources, and the plan to get this done. Really, the only risk is if we go too well and end up having to manage the logistics of printing a few thousand books. But it’s a challenge I’d be happy to have to stare down.
Why should someone back Evil Is A Matter Of Perspective?
Back it because you’re interested in reading stories from (a) brilliant fantasy authors, (b) the villain’s perspective, (c) new authors you’ve yet to discover, or / and (d) because you want to see more short fiction in the world. Short fiction is awesome, especially in this time-starved age. You can get through a short story on the way to work–you’ll get hooked, twisted and have a resolution before you’ve hopped off at the station and opened your iPhone to start checking emails.
What lies on the horizon for you?
I’d really like to run at least one or two of these themed in the SFF genres per year. I get a huge kick out of organising them. Hell, I get to work with the people I respect and look up to! What more could you ask for?
Evil Is A Matter Of Perspective: An Anthology Of Antagonists is on Kickstarter right now. Head over and pledge your support for a former NiTH squaddie.