Apparently there is a website that will allow you to pick a number of short stories that will be bound in a one-of-a-kind anthology. Hence the name of the site, Anthologybuilder.com. This is so beautiful – imagine the gifting potential! Instead of burning a friend a mix tape, you select and buy them a mix tape of fiction. Ever since tapes, music has become such an interactive genre that allows you to mix and match and play DJ, but books are stodgily anti-interactive. You read, you can offer it to someone else, but in lieu of a book club or rabid reader friends, there is little to nothing to do except decide what books sit next to what other books on the bookshelf. This could also be a shot in the arm for the ailing genre of short stories, (ailing at least to Steven King). Just pick your favorite short stories according to theme. Best stories about children. Best stories about sex. Best stories by authors you’ve never heard of. Best stories that involve banana jokes. You get the idea.
Galleycat, which pointed me to the site, talks about the money side of it – how authors will get paid for their work, and mentions that so far, most of the stories available are Sci-Fi and fantasy, but I hope that the door swings wide open to include a ton of other short stories. Also, I wonder if people’s anthologies could be visible to others, and if people could buy those collections, and perhaps the original compiler of the anthology would be reimbursed in some small way? Because really, we’re talking about literary DJs here, and spinning the right mix of tales is no small feat, one deserving of some kind of remuneration. Anyway, I hope the idea takes off and they start to offer a much, much wider selection of stories.