Monday, January 30, 2012
PULPTACULAR | Meteor House
The company has only been around for a year-and-a-half and doesn’t have a lot of product yet. According to their website, they came into being specifically to publish an annual Worlds of Philip José Farmer anthology featuring “a tour through SF Grand Master Philip José Farmer’s many creations” with essays, interviews, “stories set in Farmer’s expanded worlds,” and “previously unpublished fiction and more by Farmer himself.” I'm not that familiar with Farmer's work, but I'm curious and eager to know more about Meteor House’s plans, so I talked to editor Michael Croteau.
Michael May: Hi, Michael. What’s the short history of Meteor House?
Michael Croteau: Meteor House was founded in 2010 with the primary goal of bringing fans of science fiction Grand Master Philip José Farmer "new" material to read. The Worlds of Philip José Farmer anthologies contain both new and older, hard-to-find material. They contain fiction and non-fiction, but everything in each book is written by, or about, Phil Farmer, or are new stories using his characters or set in his worlds.
We also have plans for non-Farmer books as well. We have some interesting projects lined up for 2012.
Croteau: [The first one is] the strange story of an apeman test pilot who accidentally travels into the future where he encounters as many science fiction tropes from 1930s pulp fiction as the author could remember; all mixed together and served with a generous helping of satire, parody, ironic whimsy, and deadpan humor and allowed to develop oddly to the strains of an inaudible prog-rock soundtrack...
May: Ha! Sounds awesome. What differentiates Meteor House’s books from those published by other science fiction and fantasy publishers?
Croteau: We believe the Worlds of Philip José Farmer series is unique – first because we have access to Phil's files. It is here we've discovered all sorts of material that would have never seen the light of day: speeches, interviews, articles about him written for local magazines, unfinished works; even previously unpublished stories. Second, we also have a network of very knowledgeable and passionate fans who know just about everything about Phil's career and even who he's influenced. The latter is important as we reach out to established writers such as Paul Malmont, James Gunn, David Bischoff, Chris Roberson, Greg Bear, Charles Platt, James Sallis, Spider Robinson, and many others for stories and essays for the books.
May: Where did the name Meteor House come from?
Croteau: Everyone involved in Meteor House is a fan of Farmer's Wold Newton Family theory that states that radiation from the Wold Newton Meteorite (which landed in England in 1795) caused beneficial mutations in those nearby when it fell. These mutations were passed down to their children and subsequent generations who went on to become some of the most accomplished and famous people in history: Solomon Kane, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Professor Moriarty, Phileas Fogg, Allan Quatermain, A.J. Raffles, Professor Challenger, Bulldog Drummond, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Sam Spade, Nero Wolfe, Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer, Travis McGee, and even Doc Savage, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond, among many others.
Croteau: To date we have only published two books, The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions, and The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust and Soul. You could start with either book, or, because they are numbered limited editions you could get a matched set of them. Being bibliophiles ourselves, if you start with one volume, we will of course send you the matching number of the next volume—as long as it is still available.
May: Let’s say someone discovers Farmer’s work through your anthologies. Where would you suggest he or she go to read more?
Croteau: They should go to Phil Farmer's official website and click Ten Things You Should Know About Philip José Farmer. This is a great place to start, or if they have read his more famous works: The Riverworld, Dayworld and World of Tiers series, it will give suggestions as to what to read next.
May: Thanks so much for talking with me!
Croteau: It has been a pleasure!