Past Crime

I’m proud of everything I edit, but I’m particularly proud of this anthology. Fiction River: Past Crime comes out of our anthology workshop, which we held last year (and will hold again in 2015). Honestly, when I assigned this topic the assembled professional writers, most of whom focus on sf and fantasy, I figured they’d miss. I had a list of other writers to invite into this anthology to fill out the extra room.

Instead, I ended up with a major choice. I dithered in front of everyone, trying to winnow the great fiction these professionals had written down to 70-some thousand words. I had strict instructions not to let the anthology go long. I was having trouble keeping it at the proper length. Mark Lefebvre of Kobo was in the audience, and, after watching me dither, could stand it no longer. He asked if I would be willing to add the stories I had to cut for length to a Kobo Special Edition. I agreed if WMG Publishing did–and Allyson Longueira, WMG’s publisher, agreed almost faster than I did.

Here’s the thing: Most editors, when they have “bonus” content, just add the stories at the back of the volume. But those of you who come to my blog and read my recommended reading lists know I complain when editors do that. Editing is an art, and story order inside an anthology is just as important as the stories purchased. Bad story order can make an anthology unpleasant. Good story order leads a reader through the various moods of the anthology. Good story order mandates that the anthology begin on a high note which sets the anthology’s tone, and end on a note that encourages the reader to buy other anthologies from the same editor/publisher.

I spent a lot of time moving stories around. Both editions are different–not just because there are four extra stories in the Kobo Special Edition, but also because the story order has changed (except for the opening story and the ending story). You can see the differences in the table of contents for each below.

If you want the Kobo edition, it is only available as an ebook. You can get it from Kobo only…unless you’re a subscriber to the Fiction River electronic edition. Then you’ll get that version as well. Honestly–and this is me talking as an editor–the Kobo edition is stronger. That extra length let me put some stories into the anthology that provide an easier transition between the moods of the anthology.

However, you can’t go wrong with either edition. I have a passion for crime fiction, and it shows in my Fiction River volumes (this one and March’s Crime).  Anyone who reads my Kris Nelscott books knows I love historical crime fiction. There is a Kris Nelscott story in this volume. The story is not a Smokey Dalton story. Instead, it’s set in 1919–another important time in the civil rights history of the United States.

You can order directly Past Crime from your favorite bookseller. You can find the regular edition on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. The Kobo Special Edition is only available through Kobo. Or you can subscribe here.

I’m going to list the two tables of contents below. A lot of wonderful authors have contributed to these volumes, including some Fiction River regulars. This volume contains a number of award-winning writers, some international bestselling writers, and a few newcomers. Mystery short fiction readers will recognize several names here. So will science fiction and readers even though there is no sf/f content in Past Crime.

Frankly, I envy you all. You get to read Past Crime for the first time. Enjoy!

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Table of Contents For The Regular Edition of Past Crime

“Stolen in Passing” by Dory Crowe

“New World Gambles” by Leah Cutter

“The Bank Teller” by Jamie McNabb

“An Education for Thursday” by Dean Wesley Smith

“The Curious Case of the Ha’Penny Detective” by Lee Allred

“The Horns of Hathor” by Richard Quarry

“Impressions” by Lisa Silverthorne

“The Raiders” by Cat Rambo

“The Monster in Our Midst” by Kris Nelscott

“Blood and Lightning on the Newport Highway” by M. Elizabeth Castle

“Deathmobile” by Michele Lang

“The Stonewall Rat” by JC Andrijeski

 Fiction+River-+Past+Crime

 

Table of Contents For Kobo Special Edition of Past Crime

“Stolen in Passing” by Dory Crowe

“Choices” by Laura Ware

“The Monster in Our Midst” by Kris Nelscott

“The Raiders” by Cat Rambo

“The Piper’s Plot” by Anthea Lawson

“She Walks In Beauty” by Brenda Carre

“The Priest Hunter” by Patrick O’Sullivan

“The Horns of Hathor” by Richard Quarry

“Impressions” by Lisa Silverthorne

“An Education for Thursday” by Dean Wesley Smith

“New World Gambles” by Leah Cutter

“The Bank Teller” by Jamie McNabb

“The Curious Case of the Ha’Penny Detective” by Lee Allred

“Blood and Lightning on the Newport Highway” by M. Elizabeth Castle

“Deathmobile” by Michele Lang

“The Stonewall Rat” by JC Andrijeski

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