Today I am interviewing David Thomas Moore, editor of the new fantasy anthology, Not So Stories.
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DJ: Hi David! Thanks for stopping by to do an interview!
David Thomas Moore: Hi DJ! Thanks for having me.
DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
David: Hello readers! I’m the recently-promoted fiction commissioning editor at Rebellion Publishing (that’s Solaris and Abaddon Books, chiefly). As well as being one of those shadowy, behind-the-scenes editors who decide what gets published, I’m also one of the other type, whose names appear on the front of anthologies (specifically, Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, Monstrous Little Creatures and Dracula: Rise of the Beast, inspired by the Sherlock Holmes books, the works of Shakespeare and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, respectively).
DJ: What is Not So Stories about?
David: It’s an anthology of short stories inspired by and responding to Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 children’s classic Just So Stories, written entirely by authors of colour from around the world.
DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Not So Stories?
David: As you can probably tell from the list above, my anthologies are generally about dusting off and playing with the classics. Just So Stories came up in conversation in the office, and I thought about how important the collection had been to me as a kid, inspiring a fascination with etiological stories that played a large part in my engagement with mythology later in life.
But it’s also, frankly, pretty problematic stuff! Even leaving aside the outright racism found in, say, “How the Leopard Got His Spots” or “The Crab Who Played With the Sea” (and by all means let’s not leave that aside), Kipling’s complacency and imperialism are on show on every page. Inviting writers of colour to interrogate that seemed like the right step.
It also meant keeping myself out of it as much as practical: I’m white, I’m Australian/British, I’m not the person this anthology’s about. I invited Nikesh Shukla – whose The Good Immigrant was one of the standout releases of 2016 – to write a foreword. I provided the platform, but I left it to others to use it. Continue reading