Four different publishing houses have combined their efforts to produce a speculative fiction anthology of stories for the benefit of COVID-19 relief. The stories and cover art were donated by their creators to the cause, and 95% of all profits from Surviving Tomorrow will go directly toward medical relief. The anthology features 29 stories, including stories from New York Times Bestsellers Neil Gaiman, Seanan McGuire and Cory Doctorow.
Aeristic Press, 25 & Y, Valeron and Boralis Books have coordinated on production of this charity anthology to assist struggling communities; through front line test kits or donations to DirectRelief, GlobalGiving or ModestNeeds.org.
“The idea was to create a collection of stories about survivors that would help them escape from the fear and stress of the present crisis and think about the possibilities for tomorrow,” said Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Co-Managing Editor for Aerisitic Press and Hugo-nominated editor for 15 different anthologies. “When the pandemic happened, my mind immediately started thinking about what I might do to help.”
This is an excellent way for avid or casual readers to contribute to COVID-19 relief. For those who want to contribute more to the effort, a gold-embossed, faux leather special edition is available, with eBooks already available in a pre-release edition and print copies shipping in August and September. As all print copies are bundled with a free eBook, all readers will have access to the stories at the same time.
MORE ABOUT HOW THE BOOK CAME ABOUT
Surviving Tomorrow contains twenty-nine stories about survivors, over half of them original and being published here for the first time. Struck by a desire to help people as the pandemic unfolded, editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt decided to try and use his skills as an anthologist to raise funding for COVID-19 support by creating an anthology with two purposes—fundraising and provide readers with stories that would speak to them as they manage the stress of our changing social landscape.
Bryan took the idea to a friend he knew was at that time suffering from the novel coronavirus who also happened to be a medical publisher—Peter J. Wacks—and asked if he'd be willing to build the project. Peter spoke to Isabel Penraeth—who was in the process of launching a new specialty edition publishing house—about the project… and the anthology was in incubation.
People from four different publishing enterprises joined forces to bring this book to life. After conversations with the authors you see below, all of whom are allowing their work to be published without remuneration, the anthology became a living, breathing reality.
The stories in Surviving Tomorrow focus on the impacts of extraordinary circumstances on the people they depict and how they respond, and though a few are longer, most of the stories are short enough to be read in a few minutes’ time—designed to provide a brief escape from the worries of the moment into another world and renew your spirit and mind.
All profits from Surviving Tomorrow go to providing COVID-19 tests directly to the front lines of this crisis, or your portion can be earmarked for one of the charities you can select on the checkout page. As we start to achieve distributing to the front lines, we will post a thermometer here to show how many (and where) the tests are landing. Available in a limited, numbered, gold-leaf embossed collector’s edition as well as hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook, Surviving Tomorrow will provide hours of enjoyment even as it saves lives.
The Editor of this book is Bryan Thomas Schmidt and he is the Hugo-nominated and national bestselling editor of 15 anthologies and numerous novels including the worldwide bestseller The Martian by Andy Weir and books by Frank Herbert, Alan Dean Foster, and Angie Fox, among others. His books have been published by St. Martin’s Press, Baen Books, Titan Books, IDW, and many more. A national bestselling author of novels and short fiction, his novel series include The Saga of Davi Rhii and The John Simon Thrillers. His debut novel, The Worker Prince, received Honorable Mention on Barnes and Noble’s Year’s Best Science Fiction of 2011. He lives in Ottawa, KS where he has been social distancing with his two dogs and two mischievous felines. He can be found online at www.bryanthomasschmidt.net and as BryanThomasS on Twitter and Facebook.
There are some really well-known names that have contributed to this anthology, some, as an avid reader I had heard of and others I have discovered through this anthology. Those listed as well known names or as they are referred to as “headliners” are, Neil Gaiman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Robert Silverberg, Seanan McGuire, and Jonathan Maberry, Scott Sigler, Alan Dean Foster, A.C. Crispin, Cory Doctorow, Jody Lynn Nye, Orson Scott Card, Andrew Mayne, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and John Skipp.
There are many other, perhaps not as well known authors short stories who are listed as Contributors and they are, Claire Ashgrove, Roshni "Rush" Bhatia, Livia Blackburn, Beth Cato and Brenda Cooper, Raymund Eich, Tori Eldridge, Julie Frost, C. Stuart Hardwick, J. Kent Holloway, K.D. McEntire, Kathleen O’Malley, Bryan Thomas Schmidt Ken Scholes, Martin L. Shoemaker, Peter J. Wacks, Jay Werkheiser, and Mercedes M. Yardley
Then the following names are mentioned giving special thanks to, Svitlana Stefaniuk, Bond Halbert, Sebastian Penraeth, Isabel Penraeth, and Kevin Kauffmann.
I was contacted via email and asked if I could/would publicise this book on my blog and maybe read and review it. After having just read and thoroughly enjoyed another collection of post-apocalyptic type short stories, I did feel like reading more. I also think as this is actually a charity anthology gave me an extra incentive to feature it on my blog and to review it. My review as always, will be completely honest and unbiased as all my reviews are, despite this being a charity anthology.
This Anthology is for a great cause, and I encourage everyone to buy a copy, be it a beautiful hardback, the trade paperback or the ebook version. Every little bit will help. Not only are you helping fund three different charities that have a necessary need for help right now but from a purely “selfish” reader point of view you will be discovering some great authors, possibly some that you won’t have read before or maybe haven’t even heard of prior to this anthology.
I do want to tell you about the stories but I don’t want to give much away as with it being a collection of short stories it would be so easy to reveal too much and spoil the reading experience for other potential readers.
Having said all that, I feel the need to mention some of the short stories.
My favourite short story was Face Your Fears by Seanan McGuire, who is listed as one of the Headliners. Face Your Furs was quite quirky, futuristic/dystopian and I really felt rapidly pulled deeply into it. I quickly became attached to the characters, wanting to know what was going to happen next. This short story was “un-putdownable” and I looked up other books by this Author straight away. It was an easy 5/5 for this story.
Once On The Blue Moon by Kristine Kathryn Rusch was also a favourite, which really surprised me as I would have described this one as being about a space ship which would have immediately put me off it. However, as it was in an anthology, I read it and really enjoyed. I adored the feisty, kick butt character of Collette and how the bad guys underestimate her, thinking she is someone to be ignored and not a person that could spoil their carefully laid plans. This time the author is listed as a contributor, and again I intend to take a look at other titles by her. Another easy 5/5
Another really short story was by a Headliner, Dale & Mabel by Scott Sigler. I will be totally truthful this one had my eyes filling up. How Dale & Mabel lie to their son to relieve his guilt at not attempting to come rescue them. Dale & Mabel are two characters I truly adored who put others first before themselves in a dangerously bad situation. It was both short & sweet and another easy 5/5
Another short & sweet story was Empty Nest by Tori Eldridge also listed as a contributor. This one is another story set around a family whose children have grown up and moved out, but the mother/future grandmother, Shannon insists of staying in their current home and keeping all her boys’s toys to show her grandchildren when they visit, despite her husband Joel encouraging her to discard these items. Joel also continually suggests they downsize to a better area, into a home that’s easier to live in and keep in condition. Shannon however disagrees wanting to stay put and for her grandchildren to be able to sleep in her son’s beds and rooms and see and play with their toys. I think Shannon enjoys reminiscing and reliving memories of things she has done with her sons all over again with her grandchildren. I gave this story a 4.5/5.
The Sweetness Of Bitter by Beth Cato, is as the title suggests an emotive bitter-sweet short story. It deals with a current disease and the possibilities of future treatments. I gave this story 4/5.
As I said some of the short stories were a bit out of my usual genre zone and were too “Star Trek/Star Wars” for me, yet other short stories that had a hint of those genres I really enjoyed. Some of the stories have very poetic detailed descriptions, some were more simplistic other would perhaps have been better as either part of a book series prequel, or as a much longer novel.
To sum up, I enjoyed the anthology and would recommend purchasing and reading, and it is for charity too!