Thoughts on Metastasis

Metastasis CoverWe’re at a bit of a lull in the production cycle of Metastasis, which makes it the perfect time for me to gather some of my thoughts on it to share.

The creation of this anthology, much like Niteblade, has sort of a sine wave of activity, one week I’m rushed off my feet and feel like my brain is going to explode and the next I’m coasting along with plenty of time on my hands and space in my mind.

With Metastasis things were really busy right at the beginning when we made the announcement and the first big wave of submissions came in, then the activity slowed to a trickle for the bulk of the time we were open for submissions, only to peak again right before the deadline.

After the deadline things got really hectic around here while I read subs and trimmed my selections down to a short list and then to the final bunch I accepted. It didn’t slow down then, though. Once I had the stories and poems chosen we jumped into editing mode, then came paperwork time and now there’s a slight lull, as I said, before we move into final pre-publication stuff and then, finally, onto promoting and selling the book.

This anthology is fantastic. It shines. It really does. And frankly, it had to. I am dedicating my efforts in this anthology to the memory of my mother, so while this is a professional effort on my part it is also very, very personal. And it’s not just personal for me, it’s personal for a great many of the contributors as well. So while I tend to try to rein in my perfectionist streak most of the time, I mostly let it run free while I was working on this book.

And editing it? It was in-freaking-tense. I read each story, each poem, over and over and over again. Through the editing process and again while I figured out the order to put the pieces in, and then again and again to make sure that it all flowed how I wanted it to. Over and over. And these are not light-hearted fun stories. Not even the lightest of them. They aren’t all grim but, I mean, we were dealing with cancer as a theme, it’s pretty tough to make that all rainbows and cotton candy. I didn’t realize just how deeply it was affecting me until I was sitting in a movie theatre watching Pacific Rim and while giant robots and humongous monsters were destroying cities and using ocean liners as maces to smack each other around, I had a constant stream of tears flowing out from below my 3-d glasses. #truestory

Which is not to say the process between accepting stories and now was without its light moments. One of my favourites came as I was playing World of Warcraft and one of my best friends, BD Wilson, sent me an in-game message which said, “For the sake of my ego I submitted to Metastasis using a fake name. Now that my story has been accepted can we publish it under my real one?” Good times.

So I think what I’m trying to say is working on Metastasis has been an emotional roller coaster ride and, well, it’s not over yet 😉

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Metastasis”

  1. Hello Ronda,

    Am intrigued by this anthology because I lost my fiance to metastasis this past January. After the initial scare of cancer and going through a process of successfully taking care of it, cancer showed up elsewhere. This time nothing could be done. It has extracted more from me than I can ever say, but anyway Since I enjoy reading the fantastic, a writer, reviewer, and lost my soul-mate to this evil thing, I’m interested in learning more about your anthology. How will the two be connected, metastasis and the fantastic? Will each story be a combination? Not only am I interested in your book as a reader, but as a writer and widow.



    1. I am so very sorry for your loss. Truly.

      As for Metastasis (which I was originally tempted to title ‘Fuck Cancer’ until I decided that would be a marketing nightmare), I was looking for speculative stories with a cancerous theme. The results have been pretty varied and fantastic. Literally as well as figuratively. We’ve got sci-fi cancer stories, fantasy cancer pieces, poems that fall into both genres. It’s a pretty big spectrum, but yes, each story has a mix of speculation and cancer.

      We’re aiming for an October release, but may do some giveaways and such between now and then. I’ll keep this blog updated in regard to that, for sure.

  2. What a huge emotional undertaking, Rhonda, immersing yourself both in those powerful stories and in the logistical efforts of bringing this anthology to publication. I’m so impressed with you for sticking with it and making this special tribute to your mother happen.

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