Today I am interviewing Bryan Thomas Schmidt, editor of the new science-fiction anthology, Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, second book in the Infinite Stars series.
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DJ: Hi Bryan! Thanks for stopping by to do an interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Bryan: I am primarily known as the first editor of Andy Weir’s The Martian and numerous anthologies. I have also edited books by Alan Dean Foster, Tracy Hickman, Mike Resnick, Frank Herbert, Angie Fox–all bestsellers–and numerous others. I am also a national bestselling author and was a Hugo-nominee for short form editing. I have written official tie-ins in The X-Files and Predator for Fox, as well as bestselling literary series Monster Hunter International and Joe Ledger, and my first novel, The Worker Prince, made Barnes and Noble’s Year’s Best Science Fiction in 2011. My latest novel is Simon Says, my first thriller
DJ: What is Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers about?
Bryan: The Infinite Stars concept is to collect the best of space opera and military science fiction past and present. I collect stories going back to the 1930s through present day. About half are reprints and half are brand new stories in popular existing universes. With a few new things mixed in here or there.
DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers?
Bryan: Space Opera and Military Science Fiction are mainstays of speculative fiction. Star Wars, Star Trek, The Orville, The Expanse, Killjoys, Firefly–these are all examples of popular culture written in this subgenre. It may well be the most familiar of all subgenres of science fiction to audiences, the face of science fiction even, if you will.
DJ: What kinds of stories can readers expect in the anthology?
Bryan: Action and adventure taking place in the stars involving spaceships, lasers, aliens, and intergalactic conflict. Some have military structures to their characters and some not. This volume includes a story by the man considered the founder of space opera, EE “Doc” Smith, which has been out of print for many years. It also includes a new Ender story by Orson Scott Card and new stories in the popular Liaden, Wayfarers, and Lost Fleet series, amongst others.
DJ: This may… this will be a difficult question to answer, but what are some of your favorite stories in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers? I don’t mean what you believe is the best, but perhaps some stories has a particular setting, theme, message, or character that you stood out to you?
Bryan: It would be unfair of me to single particular stories out. I don’t include stories I don’t like. Of the reprints, I can say I am particularly proud we found the Smith Lensmen story and brought that back into print. I am also pleased to include Seanan McGuire’s Frontier ABCs, my personal favorite of hers which was published in a kickstarter anthology years ago and never got the attention or audience it deserves. I would also say including a story from Alan Dean Foster’s underrated Pip and Flinx series is also a highlight. People who love these subgenres should be aware of these stories and many others. In the course of the volumes, my goal is to create a library of classic reads that survey the field for people who love these subgenres—a historical record as well as possible educational tool as well.
DJ: What was your favorite part about editing Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers?
Bryan: Getting to work with Orson Scott Card on an ending for an Ender story was an honor. He told me he didn’t really have an ending when he sent it and I had an idea he liked to give it a firmer conclusion. It’s not often a person gets to contribute to a series he grew up a fan of like that. But I also enjoy combing through the past looking for dynamite reads that readers today should be reminded of or made familiar with.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it this one?
Bryan: I am always surprised what stands out to various people. I hope they will feel I delivered another valuable collection of entertaining stories. That’s always my goal.
DJ: When it comes to getting stories for these anthologies, how does that process work? Do you send requests to certain authors, asking them to write a story? Or do you get stories from authors asking for consideration to be included?
Bryan: I invite the authors who write new stories, hand picking them in association with my publisher. I always try and get a few up and comers included. This round both Susan R. Matthews and Curtis Chen are people whose work deserves familarity to a broader readership, for example. The reprints I search historical records, talk to readers and other editors, and then approach authors or their estates for permission. I’m not always able to get stories for various reasons. The Expanse stories, for example, are very tied up with the TV series right now and too expensive for my budget, and I was unable to get stories by Ann Leckie and John Scalzi I’d hoped to include. But in the end, I always fill a very thick book, and it’s impossible to get everything no matter what you do.
DJ: Now that Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers is released, what is next for you?
Bryan: I am currently working on my John Simon Thrillers series with 3 more books due out in the next year from that. I also have screenplays being looked at by some studios and stars and may have developments there as well as another series which I sold film rights for that I will be putting out soon as well. Mostly focused on authoring at the moment, though when I have good ideas, I do pitch anthologies. I’ve already done most of the anthology ideas that really excite me at the moment but I am getting the chance to write stories for a few others.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Bryan-Thomas-Schmidt/e/B004FRQ7XS/
Author Newsletter: http://madmimi.com/signups/189047/join
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers that we haven’t talked about yet?
Bryan: It’s a door stop. It’s 600 plus pages thick, but it’s designed to be read in whatever order appeals to you and it is not dependent upon owning the first volume. They compliment each other but are not interdependent. You can read one without the other. I hope you’ll check them out.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Bryan: Readers interested in my novels should check out my latest at https://boralisbooks.com/our-books/simon-says/ which includes a 3 chapter preview and links to all the sites for purchasing. It’s a near future police procedural a la Bosch with the humor of Lethal Weapon and a robot subject to Asimov’s laws.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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***Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers is published by Titan Books and is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
Continuing the definitive space opera anthology series. Today’s most popular writers produce new stories in their most famous universes, alongside essential and seminal short fiction from past masters.
The definitive collection of explorers and soldiers, charting the dark frontiers of our expanding universe. Amongst the infinite stars we find epic sagas of wars, tales of innermost humanity, and the most powerful of desires – our need to create a better world.
The second volume of seminal short science fiction, featuring twenty-six new stories from series such as Wayfarers, Confederation, The Lost Fleet, Waypoint Kangaroo, Ender, Dream Park, the Polity and more.
Alongside work from tomorrow’s legends, revisit works by masters who helped define the genre: Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Campbell, Becky Chambers, Robert Heinlein, George R.R. Martin, Susan R. Matthews, Orson Scott Card, James Blish, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Tanya Huff, Curtis C. Chen, Seanan McGuire, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, Gardner Dozois, David Farland, Mike Shepherd, C.L. Moore, Neal Asher, Weston Ochse, Brenda Cooper, Alan Dean Foster, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kevin J. Anderson, David Weber and C.J. Cherryh.
Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers brings you the essential work from past, present, and future bestsellers as well as Grand Masters of science fiction.
About the Author:
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and Hugo-nominated editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases and his latest novel, Shortcut (forthcoming), is being developed as a motion picture by Roserock Films. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online and include entries in The X-Files, Predator, and Decipher’s WARS, amongst others. As book editor for Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta’s WordFire Press he has edited books by such luminaries as Alan Dean Foster, Angie Fox, Tracy Hickman, Frank Herbert, Mike Resnick, Jean Rabe and more. He was also the first editor on Andy Weir’s bestsellerThe Martian. His anthologies as editor include Infinite Stars, Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers (forthcoming), Predator: If It Bleeds, Monster Hunter Files co-edited by Larry Correia based upon his New York Times bestselling Monster Hunter International novel series, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable co-edited by Jonathan Maberry, based upon his New York Times bestselling novels, Decision Points, Shattered Shields with co-editor Jennifer Brozek, Mission: Tomorrow, and Galactic Games. He also has several original screenplays making the rounds in Hollywood.