There are editors, and there are editors. I’m not too picky about who I write for. (I do have limits, though.) But there are editors who have earned my trust and respect and more, and Tehani of Fablecroft is high on that list.
A while back, she tagged me and asked for a story which would go into an anthology that she described as provocative and dangerous and… well, other things. She figured I might have something up my sleeve.
I didn’t. Not at that time. But it didn’t matter.
I’m an angry man. And why not? Near five decades I’ve been alive. If you’ve come this far without a deep core of redhot rage, then you’re a saint or an idiot… maybe both. Me? I’ve seen too much, and I remember far too damned much. Without getting too blunt about it, I’m pretty much convinced that the human race is the biggest mistake this planet ever made, by and large.
So I wrote a story, yes. It could have been about many things, but I chose a couple of things which anger me most: privilege and profit.
A hundred years ago (give or take), the score was iceberg one, Titanic nil. And amidst the confusion, there’s evidence that somehow, some way, a lot of rich, privileged white men did the right thing and held back from the (insufficient in number!) lifeboats to give women and children a shot at survival.
I can’t see that happening today. In fact, I’m not sure I believe the historic account. I suspect history remembers only the rich bastards who did the right thing, and overlooks a (probably greater) number of rich bastards who shoved their way onto the boats and threw small children to the sharks to make room. Truth is, I believe that if there was a modern Titanic incident, you’d find some rich asshole standing right there by the lifeboats, selling tickets for six figures a seat…
This is going to be a hell of anthology, dear readers. Of the names so far on the Table of Contents, I know and admire them all. Many’s the time I’ve sat up late with one, or two, or three or more of them drinking and arguing and raising hell. A book with all these folk in it, all these dangerous, savage, scalpel-sharp and angry minds…
Yeah. You want this book.