Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to Antholopalooza!

This time of year, the bookstores start to set up displays of holiday anthologies. Usually historical or contemps, they’ll contain the words “Snowy” or “Holiday” or otherwise imply that the time of year plays a role in each of the stories.

Now, I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas. But no matter what you DO celebrate, it seems like December is a fraught time of year. There are increased social activities, gift-giving to be done, magic to be made. If you are out in the workforce, chances are there is Major Stuff going on – either a huge retail and inventory push, or an end-of-year book-closing rush.

On the up side, at their best, the holidays do bring out the best in humanity: a focus on giving, on togetherness, on peace, on faith in the return of light in the darkest time of year.

So it makes sense to me that the holiday atmosphere can play a big part in stories with an emotional core, ie, romance. I think this time of year can really exaggerate the ups and downs of the human experience.

So all of this deep philosophizing brings me to my point: Read an Anthology this month! Why? Because they’re there. They’re all over the place, in fact. For some reason, urban fantasy and paranormal authors (or publishers?) LOOOOVE the anthology format, so there are tons of them around, with or without the holiday theme.

To be honest, the novella and short story are not my favorite formats. I like longer books; I like the character complexity that it enables. BUT, some of my favorite authors INSIST on writing these little tidbits, and for many of them, I can’t NOT read everything they write. So rather than whining about it, I’m EMBRACING the anthology format. I’m dedicating a WHOLE MONTH on Alpha Heroes in celebration of the anthology. I’m inviting the blogosphere to join me, either by guesting here or linking to this post (Mr. Linky below). It’s also apparently going to be the month of CAPITALIZING random WORDS. Do join me, it’s gonna be BIG fun.

Any post relating to any anthology is fair game. Reviews, rants, raves, navel-gazery – it’s all good. Historical, contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, erotica; holiday themed or not: whatever floats your anthological* boat.

If you’d like to guest post, drop me an email at nicola327 AT hotmail DOT com and I’ll enable access for you. If you’d prefer to link, please be sure to use the url for the specific post.

Edit: no more guest posts are being accepted now, but Mr. Linky is still live if you'd like to add your post!

*I made that word up.


Anonymous said...

I really, really do not like anthologies. There is just not enough space to develope a character or to savor an event (I think). But I bought a few anyway. Why? Because some of the stories in it is part of a series that I like. If the author is that good, then I can forgive an anthology and read it. So, to get me to read an anthology, it depends on the author. The author has to be that good.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Funny that you are blogging about antho's, because, i have sugarplum's and scandals that i was going to read, because of Kerrelyn Sparks(there is a little story in there about 2 side characters from her series, which is absolutely love and also tomorrow is DECEMBER 2, those of us that are HUGE fans of the great WARDEN, know her and of course Kenyons anthology comes out, YIPPIE KY(supposed to rhyme with sky) YAY.....I WON'T SAY THE REST... BUT ANYWAY,hats off to the antho's!!!!

Shelley Munro said...

I like novellas and anthologies because of the length. I don't get as much time to read these days and if I can read something in a shorter length, I don't feel as if I'm missing out.

I agree that the length of the story doesn't give room for character development, but I go into a shorter story knowing that. There's a lot of skill involved in writing this length of story. Not all authors get it right.

Nicola O. said...

Not all authors get it right.

Shelley, you're dead right on that!

Carolyn Crane said...

I am busy picking out my antho...what what what? It might be a smutty one!

Nicola O. said...

*gasp* CJ! You wouldn't!!

Lady of the Review said...

I've already volunteered, but I also hit up Mr. Linky.

I believe I'll do the Merry Christmas Cat Anthology and there's another. Both of them have Nalini Singh short stories in them. :)

Nicola O. said...

Perfect, thank you, Lady!

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

Thank you for trying to help with the Html problem I was having...I still have not worked it out and have pretty much left it alone. But I appreciate the information you left on my blog. :)

Shannon said...

I am reading my first novella of the month right now and will let you know when my review is up. I was also gifted an anthology by a co-worker. Bless the woman!

Nola said...

I don't generally read anthologies unless there's nothing else that I'm interested in, but they are a nice way to find new authors. Sadly, a lot of the romance books I've read lately would have been better as novellas - they started out great, but then had ridiculous "complicating factors" occupying the later chapters of the book.

I suspect that if you can't develop a character in 100 pages, you won't develop it all that well in 300 pages, either. Remember, Dickens gave us Ebenezer Scrooge in only 80 pages.

Holly said...

Oy, there a ton of great anthos out there. I've read several this year.

Maybe I'll do a Best Of post for anthos...:)

Nicola O. said...

That would be great, Holly -- thanks for adding your link!

Anonymous said...

Wrote 1/3 of a Horror Anthology once.

Nicola O. said...

Charlotte, neat! Feel free to leave a link to the amazon page, or internet seller of your choice.

Anonymous said...

Nicola! How is it you didn't add your own anthology reviews to Mr. Linky?

Nicola O. said...

Um, it seemed redundant? I mean if someone is already here looking at my blog, I figured they could find the reviews! ;-)


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