I am stumped about what to say in the introduction to Eclipse Two, and it’s all Jeff VanderMeer’s fault. See? That sounds like I must be bugged by, or annoyed with, Jeff.Â Nothing could be further from the truth.Â Some people you talk to confirm your thoughts, beliefs and actions. Other people challenge them. Both are valuable, in different ways. They help you learn about yourself.
Jeff has challenged what I think about anthology editing over the past eight months or so, in a good way.Â I’ve found myself asking why do I do that, or do I want to do it that way?Â One thing I’ve been going round and round on is interstitial material, introductions, etc.Â Truth in advertising is important. The cover, the blurb, the introduction and so on should all give you a good idea of what the book is like and what the collective group who’ve worked on that book are attempting to achieve.Â Otherwise people get confused, annoyed, upset.
The thing with Eclipse is that those things are purposefully in flux.Â Eclipse One was it’s own book.Â I’m happy with it, and proud of it.Â Eclipse Two is a quite different book. It’s had a different genesis, and I’ve been learning about anthology editing while working on it.Â I need to work out how to encompass that, in less than a thousand words.
There are two things I’d add. First,Â I’m grateful to Jeff for the interactions we’ve had on the subject of anthologies.Â We don’t always agree, but I learn more about why I think what I do when we are in touch.Â It’s a dialog I’m Iooking forward to continuing.Â Second, while I’ve been tempted to skimp on intros, they’re important.Â Readers learn more about the book they’re about to read from them, and scholars looking back at the field tend to use them as primary source material (which is way disturbing).
So, on to the intro. Eclipse Two gets finished this weekend.Â I’ll report back whenÂ I send it in.