I think I may be ready to do it again.
I have this strange condition–call it “Dr. Jeckyl & The Pied Piper Syndrome” where I am suddenly struck with a completely off the wall idea combined with a compulsion to lure otherwise perfectly sane writers to follow me into the maw of madness.
The first time this happened to me the result was Fauxpocalypse. And I managed to convince Cirsova Magazine to devote most of an issue to what I called the “Eldritch Earth”, a mashup of Lovecraftian Horror and Sword & Sorcery set on Earth 65 million years ago. Most recently, I gathered a gang of new, talented authors to write 21st Century Thrilling Adventure Stories–short fiction in the style of the Pulps, but set in the modern day.
Not all of my projects pan out, of course. In fact most of them don’t, which is probably a good thing for everyone involved. Sometimes a crazy idea is a mark of genius, and sometimes a crazy idea is just really dumb. It can be difficult to tell which is which.
Anyway, my next crazy idea is what I am tentatively calling A Treasury Of Non-Lethal Mysteries. If I can get authors interested, I want to put together a collection of mystery stories that are not about murder.
In fact, these would be mystery stories in which no one is killed at all, either before, after, or during the crime. Stories of crime and detection, in true whodunit fashion, but the crime would be something other than killing someone. It could be theft, fraud, kidnapping, bootlegging, smuggling, conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act–whatever you can come up with.
Stories can be set in any time or place, fantastic or realistic, science fiction or medieval. I think I would write a story about a character that I recently invented, Dr. Linus Fell, who is a criminologist who uses an experimental serum to be transform himself into an amoral supergenius and who lives in an Urban Fantasy world based on 1970s crime thrillers.
This is still in the concept phase, and a lot will depend on the kind of response I get–like I say, a big part of wanting to do these things is seeing how other writers work within the ground rules I lay down.
If you’re interested, drop me a line via my contact page, and I’ll put you on the e-mail list for brainstorming this project. I usually end up putting together a Google+ plus group for discussions, if it gets that far I’ll post the link.