Happy Thursday! Today, we are delighted to host the cover reveal and book announcement for a delightful anthology edited by Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent! THE UNDERWATER BALLROOM SOCIETY includes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories that feature an underwater ballroom of some sort – doesn’t that sound awesome? Below you will find not only the cover reveal but also a bit about how the book came to be…
Without further ado, here is the Smugglerific Cover!
Cover design by Patrick Samphire.
This is a story about the dangers and joys of hanging out on Twitter as a writer.
On July 13, 2017, I read about a fabulous, long-abandoned underwater ballroom with a fascinating history. I was browsing through Twitter at the same time, relaxing after a stressful day. Very casually, I tweeted, “Ooh, this (now abandoned) underwater ballroom would be such a great setting for a fantasy story.”
My friend Tiffany Trent tweeted back: “Have been saving files and photos on this to write something about it for years…”
I wrote (still not taking any of this too seriously): “I would love to read that! (Actually, you know what would be fun? An anthology of novelettes by different authors all using that concept!)”
Tiffany said: “Yes!”
More writer-friends joined in with enthusiasm…
And before I knew it, that first casual tweet had turned into one of the most fun creative projects I’ve ever participated in! Tiffany and I agreed to co-edit. My husband Patrick Samphire, who is a professional cover designer as well as a fabulous author, offered to design the cover for the anthology. Our group of gathered writer-friends all agreed together on the ground rules: every story would be a fantasy or science fiction story for adults or upper YA readers that somehow included an underwater ballroom of some sort.
And we were off!
Like many writers and artists, I am a perpetual hoarder of weird (possibly useless) information. You never know what you’ll need for a story! I’m especially intrigued by weird science and history, so when I first heard about the underwater ballroom at Whitley Park (Lea Park), I stowed it away against a time I might use it. I knew I wanted desperately to use such a setting — who wouldn’t? — but how and when, I was uncertain. When Steph mentioned it on Twitter, I too was just lightheartedly talking about it, until suddenly we were on to the possibility of a real project. This is what I both love and am slightly terrified of regarding the Internet — things can happen in seconds.
And so, we will be offering our readers an incredible glimpse into each author’s interpretation of this setting, from a ’30s ballroom to a Martian hotel to a grand rock n’ ball held in the heart of Faery to the historical setting itself. Seeing many of my favorite author friends riff on this setting has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on; I hope our readers will feel the same!
Keep in Touch (and win an ARC!):
The Underwater Ballroom Society will be published on April 30th and available for pre-order shortly beforehand. There will also be a limited number of advance copies available by the end of March. If you’d like to be notified when the pre-order link goes up – and be entered into a giveaway to win one of 50 e-ARCs! – just sign up to the Underwater Ballroom Society newsletter here.
We can’t wait for you to join us under the waves!
Laura Anne Gilman
Iona Datt Sharma
Ysabeau S. Wilce