It was a couple of years ago at Readercon when I first pitched the idea of a weird fungus anthology. Not to a publisher or anything, just to the writers around one of the tables in the bar. But even before that, I’d been thinking about it for a long time.
There’s a rich vein of fungal stories that runs through weird fiction, from Hodgson’s “Voice in the Night” through Lovecraft’s “Fungi from Yuggoth” all the way up to Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris books and others, but, to the best of my knowledge, it’s never been mined into an anthology gathered around that theme. Until now.
When I first started writing columns for Innsmouth Free Press, one of the first movies I mentioned to Silvia was the Japanese mushroom-person classic Matango, which she said traumatized her for life. The rest, as they say, is history.
Which is all an incredibly long-winded way of saying that, after talking about it and thinking about it for years, I’m finally going to be co-editing an anthology of weird fungus stories, alongside Silvia, for Innsmouth Free Press. To say that I’m excited about this project would be the worst kind of understatement. We’ve solicited some exciting authors, the official guidelines have gone up as of yesterday, and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing lots and lots of awesome fungus stories come pouring in once the reading period begins. Between now and then–and throughout as well, I’m sure–I’ll be posting more about the anthology, about what I’m looking for as an editor, about some of my favorite fungus monsters, and so on, so stay tuned!