New Planetary Anthology: Venus

Planetary: Venus by [Freeman, A. M. , Hallquist, David, Brumley, Bokerah , Antonelli,  Lou , Foster, Monalisa , Willett, Edward , Burnett, Misha , Finn, Declan , St Aubin, Margot, Witzke, Dawn ]

So, here we are again, yet another volume from Superversive’s Planetary Anthology series is out: Venus.

To start with, yes, I’m in this one…


What am I doing in this one? Venus is about romance and lovey dovey stuff. When I announced that I was editing the volume on the Moon, I had several people joke that my editorial notes will focus on “Where are the explosions!?”

…. Which hasn’t happened…. Yet. I’m not Michael Bay, after all. I have plots.

But for those who have read my novels, there will be a constant trend: there’s almost always a romance.

Part of my trend around writing romantic subplots (if not straight up romances) is that I have long come to the conclusion that if I’m going to read romance done right, I will almost universally have to do it myself. So, of course I had to add my own two cents to Venus.

The flap copy reads:

Venus, the second planet from the sun, a world of sulfurous gas and tremendous temperatures where the landscape features—mountains and valleys—are all named for love goddesses. Venus herself is the goddess most known for allure and romance.

Here are twenty stories featuring Venus, the planet, the goddess, or just plain love—both romantic and otherwise.

Planetary Fiction explores the themes associated with these heavenly bodies as well as their astronomical, mythological, and in some cases even alchemical significance.

[Head tilt]. I’m going to have to ask who writes the flap copies. I know the editors, April Freeman and Jagi, and this doesn’t sound like her.

Anyway, the authors include

A. M. Freeman (Editor, Venus, Author, Forbidden Thoughts)
David Hallquist (editor, Mercury)

Julie Frost (Contributor: Monster Hunter Files)
Bokerah Brumley (who has been on my show),
Lou Antonelli (Dragon Award nominated author, Another Girl, Another Planet)
Edward Willett (Author)
Misha Burnett (Author, and he’s good people),‎
Margot St Aubin (Author and friend)
Dawn Witzke (Author, friend, and artist for most of my good covers)

L. Jagi Lamplighter (Author, Rachel Griffin)

Jane Lebek

Amy Sterling Casil

Danielle Ackley-McPhail (Author of … a lot)

WJ Hayes

Dana Bell

Joshua Young

Frederic Himebaugh (who has been on my show)

JD Beckwith 

And me.

So if you want a new anthology collection, here we go: Venus.

As far as anthologies go, Venus was easy to write for. If I couldn’t write some sort of a love story, I obviously wasn’t doing my job. Let’s face it, when the original calls for the Planetary series came out, I had only just finished a quartet of urban fantasy / romance novels. If I couldn’t handle a lousy short story, I should hang up my pen, pack up my word processor, and take up a job in plumbing.

I had put together three short stories for the Venus anthology.

The first story was Cupid’s Sniper Rifle, a short set in the Codename: Winterborn universe, years before the bombs fell. It was a love story about the parents of Nevaeh Kraft, Lance and Jennifer. The Assassins Guild was based round Venus Victorious. Love of people mean that they kill the pathological before they can do more damage. Their motto is “No greater love than this, than a man would lay down cover fire for his friend.”

… That one didn’t make it.

A second one was called “Crazy Love,” a Galadren short story — a story around Middle Earth’s Most Wanted Elvin Assassin, set in the Pius universe. You’ll actually be seeing that one. Honest. One way or another.

The third one, and the one that was accepted, was another Sean Patrick Ryan, space ranger short. Unlike his first appearance in Astounding Frontiers #1, and even in Mercuryit’s later in his career, where he has a team, he’s married, and he’s doling out relationship advice.

Yes, relationship advice. On a solar system cruise doing the Mercury to Pluto run, hence the title: “Love Boat to Venus.”

Then someone tries to hijack the cruise, and we turn into Die Hard on the Love Boat. Which, if that doesn’t catch your interest, I have nothing for you.

This one was probably helped by the fact that it was the one of the three stories that actually had the planet involved… sorry, but if you look up Venus, you’ll note that not only is it the hottest planet in the solar system, but the atmosphere is dotted with clouds of sulfuric acid. Yikes. Even terraforming the dang thing seems like a wasted effort.

“Love Boat to Venus” is the only way I can see doing a story on Venus…  short of having a battle in EVA suits where the solution is to crack open the antagonist’s suit and kick him into the sulfuric acid clouds to be eaten alive…

[Pauses to make a note to write that fight scene]

But yeah, but that isn’t exactly a story to run past an anthology studying themes of love and romance. And let’s face it, I put a lot of details into fights that probably last less than twenty seconds or so. They’re 3D chess games that go out of control. Therefore, if I made that EVA fight into a short, it would be the entire short.

But “Love Boat to Venus” was relatively peaceful. At least for one of my stories. Get it in Venus now.


About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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