Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Scifies the 2019 Anthology

Okay, I want to take a little bit of time to talk about one of my favorite collaborators, Ramon Gil. Ramon is one of those Jack-of-all-Trade Entrepreneurs, he has his fingers in a number of pies. he is a writer, artist, publisher, teacher, and more.

Back in 2015, a short time after I met him, I was invited to write an introduction to his collection of short illustrated stories, Scifies Greatest Hits. the book was a collection of a number of Ramon’s previously-published stories. Given that I was already a fan of Ramon’s work, I was honored to be asked, and so I happily agreed. At the time, I wrote:

“It is an honest pleasure to find not only a science fiction title out there, but one produced by a writer who seems to understand that drama doesn't have to be all dramatic, and humor doesn't have to be all belly-laughs.” 

In 2018 Ramon invited me to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology Diversity Con in NYC (I’ll be attending again this year) which is a comic con that he organized. So yeah, Ramon is a very busy guy, and I wish I had half his energy.

Still, what I want to talk about here is the 2019 Scifies anthology that he put
together. This time, instead of writing the whole book himself, he assembled a very impressive array of talent to contribute stories. This edition features work from several rising stars as well as a number of seasoned veterans of the comicbook industry, including Nicolò Arcuti, Chase Bluestone, Paul Bradford, Allen Byrns, Claire Connelly, Macareña Cortes, Daniel Franco, Rob Jones, Matt Kelly, Dick Malmgren, Micah Myers, Jan Marc Quisumbing, Peder Riis, Derwin Roberson, Tue Sorensen, Marta Tanrikulu and Lynne Yoshii, and yes, even your humble blogger.

The 10 stories include the following eight new stories:

Tomorrow: A nightmarish, militaristic future might be more than it seems. By Claire Connelly.

Ocean of Emptiness: a vampire, the last of his kind, tries to survive in a world that's hunting him. By Paul Bradford, Allen Byrnes and Micah Myers. 

Name Day: a fantastical shopping trip for a young girl with her father. By Marta Tanrikulu, Daniel Franco and Robin Jones.

Spacegirl Speeda in Lazerville: a cosmic superheroine in the future makes an unusual friend. By Tue Sorensen and Peder Riis.

Lt. Yorick: As if the presence of a silent astronaut wasn't strange enough for this suburban family, ten-year-old Jude's nightmares hint at a catastrophic end for them all, in this otherworldly coming of age tale. By Matt Kelly and Nicolo Arcuti.

The Last Survivor: the story a lone soldier trying to make her last stand against an alien creature leads to a shocking twist. By Lynne Yoshii.

The ninth story is something of a unique oddity. When one of the original contributors pulled out of the project due to a conflict, Ramon found an old Sci-fi story that existed in the public domain, then — in the tradition of Woody Allen’s What’s up, Tiger Lily? he re-wrote the dialogue adding, well, a heaping helping of trademark Ramon humor, making it one of my favorite tales in the collection.

Emergency Landing: visitors from a one-gendered planet encounters a human female who will not be denied. By Dick Malmgren and Ramon Gil.

The 10th and final story is one written by, well, me, and then magnificently illustrated by Ramon.

The Long Event Horizon: a dangerous space expedition leads to an unforgettable conclusion! By Robert J. Sodaro and Ramon Gil.

All-in-all, this is a wonderful collection of sci-fi-themed stories rendered by an amazingly-talent crew to which I am grateful and honored to have been associated with for the project.

As I stated at the onset of this post, Ramon has the talent, ability and drive to assemble and produce some truly amazing projects, and I am always thrilled when he chooses to include me in whatever he is doing.

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