I’m Lazy!

Actually that’s not quite true. I’m actually really busy because I am still getting the fairy tales ready to go, proofing DST, finishing Bowl of Red and I HAVE to unpack, because living in the middle of boxes is becoming untenable. (Or antennaeble. There’s so much dust, I’m going to mutate and grow antennae.)

So, I have a weird challenge for you: Come up with weird anthology theme/title.

Now, I’ll give some examples below, and some of them are obviously for the lulz, but we do have the VERY tiny publisher which will be firing up any week now. (More or less at same time as Boxes from Sarah’s garage, since it’s mine and younger son’s labor on this.) And it will MOSTLY do anthologies.

So if something fires up my neurons, I’ll add it to anthologies to get together. And if it’s yours, I’ll try to invite you if write.

So….

The Penguin Conspiracy

When Time Ran Backward

The Funniest Apocalypses

The Invasion from Weird

…….

Tag, you’re it. (And I know I’m not super creative right now. Deal while I dust.)

271 thoughts on “I’m Lazy!

      1. The Far Side cows are perfect. They are Mooving in on the human’s turf.. the most insidious foes, barn none.

  1. I’ve wanted for a long while to get together an anthology “And Then They Killed Hitler, Again.” Stories of the 45th precinct Time Police. (their job is to keep Hitler alive from all the people that want to kill him, replace him, etc… because EVERY timeline where Hitler doesn’t come into power is even worse.

    1. Absolutely, yes. The assassination attempt with the bomb in a briefcase under the table comes to mind. He survived because someone shoved the briefcase away with his leg, to a place where the heavy table leg absorbed some of the blast. Totally unlikely… unless time travel was involved. 🙂

    2. As for the “every timeline where he doesn’t come into power is worse” idea… I picture it hinging on the Dunkirk evacuation. The historical forces set in motion by the Treaty of Versailles left German popular opinion such that Hitler was able to take advantage of it to fuel his rise to power, and if a time traveler took him out, his replacement in the alternate timeline would have been another similar demagogue. But imagine if his replacement in the alternate timeline was actually a competent military thinker. Hitler approved the halt order requested by the German officer in the field, which gave the “little flotilla” time to evacuate. His replacement in the alternate timeline, who we’ve postulated to actually be militarily competent, would have refused the halt order. This would result in the German army taking almost the whole Bitish army prisoner. From that point on, the alternate history would probably go something like this:

      With most of its army captured, Britain surrenders. The German chancellor, who’s not a power-mad idiot and is actually competent as a military leader, decides to call for a truce, and allow Germany to rebuild and absorb its new conquests into its economy. With the war in Europe over before December 1941, Japan decides not to go ahead with its plans to attack Pearl Harbor, because getting America’s whole attention focused on them would be suicide. Therefore, the Manhattan Project never gets the massive push it got in real history, and atomic weapons aren’t developed until the 1950’s. And so, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Khrushchev has no knowledge of what an atomic strike on a city really looks like, and so he orders the missiles fired at America. The resulting nuclear war leaves both countries devastated, and allows China to take over the world (never mind, I just remembered that China was under Mao at the time, and wouldn’t have been capable of that). Anyway, the nuclear war of 1962 is what the time travelers are trying to prevent by saving Hitler’s life.

      1. I suspect 1962 looks VERY different if WWII essentially ends at Dunkirk or shortly thereafter. Does the rest of the British Empire Surrender? Likely India goes rogue (Likely helped by German or Soviet agents). Canada is across oceans from the two opponents, and although it has lots of natural resources its population in the early 40’s is tiny. Australia similarly has a small population and is already in threat from the Japanese Empire. What does America do? With no assault from Japan Would we enter the war? On top of that Dunkirk is late May 1940, before Roosevelt gets elected for the third time. Do we get a stronger perhaps more Isolationist Republican than Wilkie that beats Roosevelt? After Britain falls does Germany turn east to the USSR? Certainly the breadbasket in the Ukraine is tempting, does Germany coax Imperial Japan to help crush the USSR? Definitely USSR gets FAR less lend lease if any, but thats a large portion of their food and mobility (Studebaker Trucks), so is likely a far less sturdy opponent, and with less insane military policies by Germany the USSR may be doomed. Germany and Japan both had Nuclear investigations. The Germans were off in a dead end, but would have come back, The Japanese seem to have had some interesting and skilled scientists, but seem to have been on the right tracks limited by materials availability. Aircraft is an interesting issue. The USSR’s first long range Bomber is the TU-4 in about 1947 (presuming the USSR survives). But it’s a literal copy of the US B-29 copied from 3 B-29’s damaged in raids on Japan in 1944 and landed in the USSR. That never happens in this timeline as those B-29s flew out of Burma/Western China to attack Japan. It’s not even clear the B-29 gets built. Germany had LOTS of cool ideas for long range aircraft but they were WELL beyond 1940 technology. Over time they’d get there probably mid to late 50’s? And of Course Missiles. US and USSR were VERY dependent on their captured German Scientists, and as stated USSR’s survival is dubious at best. US Rocket technology probably goes far slower. Similarly Jet engine is later, as we never capture Me-262’s nor do we have Whittle’s engines from the UK and all the data on swept wings we have to figure out ourselves.
        So wild Guess:
        1) UK Looses army at Dunkirk. (c. June 1940)
        2) Battle of Britain Starts C. Aug 1940. Focus on Chain Home and Fighter production by Luftwaffe Ends C. Oct 1940 with Luftwaffe Air superiority
        3) UK Royalty evacuated to Canada Via 2/3 of British Fleet Early November 1940
        4) Seelowe initiated (Do they need to wait until spring or do they go in November?)
        5) Seelowe+ 3 month Home guard give up . UK Government partially evacuated via remaining fleet and Air. Losses heavy
        6) Barbarossa (attack into USSR) initiated C. May 1941 Ukraine captured quickly. Stalingrad surrounded and bypassed. Soviet resistance weak due to logistics issues (limited trucks to move fuel/ ammo for troops)
        7) C. August 1941 Japan attacks from Manchuko and Korea towards Vladivostok Soviet resistance moderate as Japanese armor starts at awful and heads downhill from there
        8) C. November 1941 Wermacht settles in In Ukraine and Belarus has Liberated Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Generally greeted as saviors in starving Ukraine. Japan launches attacks into French Indo China (Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia) and starts isolating Indonesia & New Guinea. Admiral Yamamoto convinces Imperial Japan to leave US alone until they have better production and availability of raw materials.

        So basically Phase 1 of WWII is over. US is totally non engaged, UK is out, Europe is Out, Northern Africa is in the hands of Fascist Italy, Most of Europe is in the hands of Germany or assorted fascists, Most of Asia is part of the Japanese Co Prosperity Sphere. Sub Saharan Africa is its usual disorganized mess. The Middle east is mostly in the 7th century with little clue to the resources it’s sitting on. South America leans towards Germany in some parts otherwise neutral?

        Whats next? I think the USSR is toast in 1-2 years split between Greater Germany and the ACPS ( Asian Co Prosperity Sphere, AKA Imperial Japan). Within 5 years Japan will either go at Greater Germany or the US. Germany will have a hard time absorbing its conquests, probably will have various issues with resistance in UK, France, and various other countries especially the lowlands. ACPS has far less issue absorbing its conquests as it’s level of brutality is higher. Lots depends on who is running Germany. If it is the Prussians its bad, but at least they have some limits. If its some other part of the Nazi party then Hitler its really bad. Goering is kind of hopeless, but others (e.g. Himmler) it’s probably worse than Hitler although unclear if any of the Nazis have any more rationality with respect to military issues than Hitler. Like Modern SJW/Tranzis they have a tendency to believe their own propoganda.

        1. If you want a real horror story of what Nazi Germany would have been like if led by someone other than Hitler, imagine if it were Heydrich in charge instead.

          1. Thank you Txred. I have read the first of that series. Admittedly Imperial Japan is peeved at the US for the “insults” from the Naval Treaty and other issues. However, I think they are more pragmatic than many think and would rather get their assorted raw materials needs (esp Oil, Rubber and metals) met than take a whack at the US for the fun of it. I think the Tripartite treaty is Not going to hold. German and Japanese Racism (as well as adjacency in asia/europe) will have them at each others throats within a few years.

        2. “After Britain falls does Germany turn east to the USSR?”

          In all the histories I’ve read, the General Staff’s “Plan Z” didn’t envision a start date before 1943; they might have waited that long.

          Also, supposedly another factor in the Dunkirk delay was Goering wanting to prove the Luftwaffe could do the job. If he’s gone as a result, his old war buddy Ernest Udet would probably have been gone too, especially if the Luftwaffe CoS, Erhard Milch, took over. The Luftwaffe would have been very different, because Udet was basically in charge of aircraft procurement and design, but had no interest in the job.

          1. I’m not so sure that Germany would have won in 1940. The Panzer divisions had few ‘heavy’ Pz IIIs and IVs, and had to stop their advance afrer a whipping by British tanks which found its Is and IIs to be easy meat – ‘the Luftwaffe can do it’ made a handy excuse. Most German units were horse-drawn, just as they still were in 1942 but without the Panzers to lead the way as they did later. France was betrayed by her politicians, but could the massive French Arny have continued if the nen had retreated south instead of being trapped in the Dunkirk bubble? Plenty of them were still willing to fight and would have do so under De Gaulle just as they did as the Free French. My father was one of them and died with the Resistance after the French surrender..

      2. You forget who Hitler was fighting. It was either the Nazis or the Commies, no one else stood a chance. Poland stopped Russia getting to Germanies Border and ensuring that the Commies won. Germany and the USSR friends and allies NOT just until Russia was attacked but all the time. International Commies united, what could be worse. The French Commies helping take France as they did and then running it under German and Russian control. Italy the great enemy of Germany. The Commies in the highest levels of the US Government keeping us out of the war.
        No that DOES NOT end well.

        1. Also remember that the eugenics movement was going full steam without the slightest hinderance until Nazism came into play.

    3. >> “their job is to keep Hitler alive from all the people that want to kill him, replace him, etc…”

      Now I’m imagining something like this:

      Then again, some versions of Hitler can take care of themselves:

  2. The Lusatian Archive

    A Luso-Yank’s Backward Glance

    Sarah’s Summing Up

    Putting It All Together

    The Almeida Chronicles

    Almeida-Hoyt: All Here

    Works, Reunited

      1. Sarah Almeida, Sarah Hoyt …

        6 X H, The Menace From Earth, Time Enough For Love … a collection of tales by a single author is nonetheless an anthology, even if they are connected by a common character..
        ~

  3. “Monster Maintenance, Inc.” Where all the monsters that need feeding between adventurers are taken care of, like the people who do dentist’s fishtanks. It’s a service!
    Oh, and I’m quite serious about wanting an anthology for “Ruritania Rises Again!” 😀

    1. I actually have a prompt response called “Arcane Veterinarian” and I was thinking that short stories from the vet’s point of view taking care of the unusual would be fun!

      1. I have a friend and colleague who’s coming out with “Books and Beasts: A Cryptozoologist’s Library” in December. Actually a Colorado Springs guy, oddly enough.

  4. Alternate Karens: Mrs. Grundy Across Time and Space

    The Joys of Marxism (one of those gag books where all the pages are blank)

        1. I’ve been told that there is a Texas expression that “it is raining like a cow on a flat rock.” Cows revolting indeed.

  5. Well, this is an anthology, of sorts. Maybe it will brighten somebody’s day.

    You’re not all that lazy, anyway. You don’t work at it. As shown in the video:

    Three signs of laziness:
    #1:

    1. There’s an Outer Limits episode, ‘It Came Out Of The Woodwork’ about a killer dustball that broke out of a vacuum cleaner.

            1. I could remember the name Papa Schimmelhorn but couldn’t recall the author, and was cudgeling my brain rather than resorting to DuckDuckGo.

    1. Larry Niven’s Known Space had at least two “goofs” on the part of robot probes looking for habitable places for humans.

      One planet had only one place on the planet for humans to survive. A mountain that poked above an extremely high pressure atmosphere.

      Another place was a high gravity moon where only the polar regions were habitable (ie extremely high-pressure atmosphere elsewhere).

      Of course, I suspect for this book we’d want survivable goofs. 😉

      1. First is Plateau, second is Jinx. Near the poles on Jinx there are Frumious Bandersnatches. You can get a hunting permit, but so far the Bandersnatches do better than 50/50 vs Humans.

      1. Now I’m expecting you to write a short story about this someday. I know how you are about intelligent cephalopods…

  6. Getting Started with your Gizmos

    A Grimioure of Things to Summon that Aren’t Evil

    A Summoner/Summonee’s Guide to Call-Blocking

    1. *BING*BING*BING*CROSBY*

      “A Grimioure of Things to Summon that Aren’t Evil”

      I want that. In hardcover. For any visitors to wonder at.
      Oh, I’d like to read it, to.
      See if I’m in there.
      Summonings happen at… unfortunate times.
      “Can’t I take a bath in peace?!”

      1. >> “Can’t I take a bath in peace?!”

        I can see how you’d object to a “Summon Orvan” spell.

        I also wonder who would make one, and why.

  7. Tiny Titans: tales of diminutive heroes.

    You Found What in Your Fur?

    They Came in the Fall: Unexpected Halloween Tales

    How My Redneck Family Saved the World. (Or Florida Man Saves the Universe!)

    By the Power of Noodling! (Noodling is a form of fishing for catfish using only the hands and fingers as bait, hook and rod.)

  8. Hi Sarah,
    I’ve enjoyed your musings and shocked face for a long time. I live and practiced pathology in Glenn Reynolds neck of the woods. East Tennessee is a wonderful place to live. Hopefully all the license plates I’m seeing here from New Yawkers, and those fleeing the blue state blues will receive a visit from Glenn’s welcome wagon.
    Yesterday, the one with the name I dare not mention, was temporarily sworn in as proxy acting president while FJB was getting probed for a better fitting cork.
    The name for a novella crossed my mind as I was reminded of the Hudsucker Proxy. Except, I was thinking of a more appropriate word to replace Hud.

    1. “East Tennessee is a wonderful place to live.” Seconded! Maryville here. Didja see where Gov. Lee took a page from DeSantis’s book and invited any LEOs being forced to take the jab or be fired to move to TN and join the State Police?

      1. LEOs are more than welcome. I wish hospital employees had the same choice, but medical facilities accepting medicare are firing the unvaxxed. Many who have natural immunity from previous covid infections while heroically taking care of our neighbors.
        I’m the lake just next door in Louisville. Getting ready for all the traffic with the 3 new Amazon distribution centers, Smith and Wesson headquarters and blue state refugees. I’m not sure where Sarah and her family relocated, but she’d fit in very well here.

  9. When Wallabies Wuled The World
    Wallabies Wun Wild
    What The Wallaby Saw
    Once Upon A Wallaby
    Wallaby’s Way
    Free Dirt: Tales of the Earth Liberation Front
    Still Waters Run Deep: Plumbing the Depths
    What Mr. Griffin Saw (As Told To H. G. Wells)
    Backwards Ran Time
    A Bunching of Shorts
    ~

  10. Milton, International Wombat of Mystery

    The Day the Earth Woke Up

    Kyle Rittenhouse is Free, Hallelujah (oops, sorry, that just slipped out)

    Tales From a Space Bureaucrat

    Beyond the Event Horizon

    When All Else Fails, Call a Dragon

        1. Wouldn’t get a permit as it contributes to Climate Change. Either that or the insurance against the dumbass who’d climb it would bankrupt the owner.

        2. Because modernist artists pushed their stuff as anti-totalitarian. After all, both Commies and Nazis liked art that looked like real things!

          1. Did they? Well, I know the Nazis did… Abstract-and-ugly has always been synonymous with communist for me, but that may be more a personal association than fact.

            1. It was near the Russian Revolution, but when Lenin consolidated, the arts were put to the USE. And art that people didn’t understand wasn’t useful. Socialist realism rejected abstract art.

        1. Also known as Lone Star Planet.

          Judge: “Why did you shoot the Councilman?”
          Defendant: “Caught ‘im practicin’ politics.”
          Judge: “Case dismissed.”

          1. These are sort of a cross between a nod to Piper, and the Retief stories, with the usual dash of “Alma’s mind went in strange directions again.” And a lot of skewering of bureaucrats and bureaucracies.

            1. Your mind’s angles seem fairly normal to me.

              (Yeah, I mostly said it for the pun. I’m not sure if there is a third meaning or not.)

  11. “Hero Monsters From the Closet” Misunderstood closet monsters unite with children to fight crime, evil, and snatch cookies from Mom’s cookie jar.

    It was that or Squirrelpacolypse where the world is taken over by giant mutated squirrels. Can you imagine the horror of a world dominated by squirrels the size of minivans?

    1. And the Under-Bed Brigade that can come to rescue as well.

      [I’ve read one story where the under-bed monster (or was it closet?) realized his ‘to be mildly scared’ charge was being Genuinely Abused… and allied with his ‘victim’ to protect kid the from the REAL monster.]

        1. Oddly, I don’t see the link here (desktop) but did (mobile). The beginning is familiar, but that must’ve quite a re-write as after the deciding to visit himself, almost everything until the very end is MUCH grimmer than what I recall. And the end changed as well.

  12. I am running steampunk

    Pride and Prejudice and Clanks

    The Steampunk Revolution (Tales from alternate American and French Revolutions with steampunk)

    Steampunk Gothic and Steampunk Noir

    The Day the Clanks Stood Still (Steampunk barodo nicto)

    1. Clanks For The Memories: All The Good Bits
      Tales of Steampunk Boobs: Clanks for the Mammaries
      Byte Me

      What Autocorrect Wrought: Misadventures of a Programming Wizard
      ~

  13. Return To Omelas

    The Handmaiden’s Tail [Werewolf Edition]

    Get Off My Lawn, the Space Opera.

    [apropos to Get Off My Lawn, from current WIP, a snippet:]

    Outside the café, George and Nammu met Brunhilde’s giant drone chassis, the 20 foot tall version of her social chassis. She carried a 20mm tri-barrel belt-fed machine gun in one hand, the barrels pointing up at the sky for the moment. With her were the giant versions of Nike with another tri-barrel, Sigrun with her 30mm sniper rifle, Persephone with a monumental railgun, Gudrun with her axe and Athena armed with a leaf-bladed spear. Clad in Viking or Greek armor with the short skirts favored by the Valkyries, they looked dangerous. Around their feet, combat spiders were in motion stopping traffic and shooing pedestrians out of harm’s way.

    “Alice’s premonition says no witty banter,” George told them as they walked toward the place their instrumentation told them the gate was going to appear. “I don’t know what that means, but if our visitors get out of line try to shoot them politely. I’m going to let Nammu do the talking.”

    “Probably wise,” snorted Brunhilde, reaching down to ruffle his hair. “You should mind your manners, George.”

    “These beings are coming to my monkey planet uninvited and taking up my day with their intrusion,” said Nammu darkly. “They will behave themselves, or they will wish they had.”

    “Yep,” said George tightly, unconsciously shaking his hands a bit to get the blood moving. “But let’s not be hasty.”

    “I won’t,” Nammu assured him, squeezing his arm with hers. “We will face them together, noble husband. And now my dear, diplomacy. First thing, stand behind me and look slightly bored.”

    “Boredom is diplomatic?” wondered George doing as she asked.

    “A bit of ennui can be useful at a first meeting with important people,” she said assuming a polite expression, as if she were attending a tedious gathering out of duty. “We do not want to appear eager or frightened.

    George assumed the look he had at car shows on seeing the twentieth over-painted, over-restored Camaro with a 350 in it. Polite interest.

    A Cherenkov-blue spark lit in the middle of the street and grew to a sphere of ten feet diameter. The growth was steady but not lightning fast, more like a lake freighter full of iron ore passing the locks. The impression was of vast engines compelling the universe to do something it was disinclined to do. The whole growth cycle took about one minute.

    “This gate thing seems pretty difficult,” commented George thoughtfully. “The Powers make it look like nothing.”

    “Opening a wormhole through higher dimensions seems expensive,” mused Nammu. “I estimate it uses stellar-level energy inputs. The Powers probably do it a different way, involving higher dimensional geometry. Someone is burning fuel profligately to come here for a visit. They are wealthy.”

    “They’re showing off,” concluded George. “This is the ‘dazzle the monkeys’ ploy. Rich assholes piss me off, Nammu.”

    “Yes, and that is another ploy,” she noted. “These ones are brash and pushy, but also subtle. A third ploy, noble husband. Layer upon layer they have put down. I will speak to them. You keep looking bored.”

    “Roger-dodger,” joked George. “Valkyries report that the gate is pinging all the cellphone towers for miles, pulling down data from the internet as fast as they can go.”

    “No doubt,” said Nammu with a malicious smile. “They are learning our ways. I am doing that as well. I cracked their broadcast network as soon as the gate opened. My makers, the Bad Ones of the Dyson Sphere, are adept in intrusion techniques.”

    “Surely they’ll have an entanglement network as well,” said George. “That one might take some cracking, even for sneaky Nammu.”

    “If they have a broadcast gateway, I will find it soon enough,” said Nammu placidly. “And now, they come. Let us see who was sent to make first contact with the obstreperous humans.”

    The scaled forefoot that pressed through the blue gate sphere was large and the claws seemed very well tended, as if their owner had gone for a pedicure before leaving on this mission to Earth. More leg followed, the scales likewise well-polished and uniform in shape. George kept his jocular beauty parlor comments to himself, affecting the politely interested look that Nammu had assumed. The head followed the pampered forefoot, wide nostrils on a long muzzle, large and very white teeth behind long-whiskered upper lip, scales dark green on the back shading to cream underneath, fur a tasteful red and orange blending to yellow around the lower jaw.

    A dragon if George had ever seen one. Its movements were reserved and almost studied, as if it performed a stately dance. The whole dragon emerged from the gate, revealing a rich scarlet blanket or cape down its back embroidered with scenes of dragons doing things that no doubt meant something to its owner. Its antlers bore tasteful decorations and bandings of precious metals, little pendants of jewelry that tinkled melodiously as its head moved. The effect was of a very formal and courtly costume. George felt seriously under-dressed in his black body armor. He resisted the urge to tidy his hair and stood still.

    Nammu stood proudly in her armor, her back straight and arms folded as if she wore the richest robes of the ancient Imperial court. She did nothing as the dragon looked around at the armed giants and combat spiders, the humans leaving the area expeditiously, the power lines, the signs on the storefronts, the cars and so forth. Eventually its eyes came to rest on her, and after a moment she gave the shallow bow appropriate to greeting a stranger of unknown rank. “Greetings, visitor,” she said courteously. Then straightened and said no more, waiting for the dragon to respond.

    The dragon inclined its head acknowledging her bow. “I thank you for your greeting, Von Neuman being,” it said in a smooth and melodious voice, making George think of radio announcers. “Are these beings my honor guard? If so, their raiment is quite plain.”

    “No, visitor,” answered Nammu. “They are not.”

        1. A cautionary word: do NOT try to supplement brain remnant with Brains In A Bottle. In spite of what they salespeople claim it does not work well.
          ~

          1. “Base to Alpha Team, do you have the package?”

            “Affirmative on that, Base. Kid’s fine.”

            “Move to exfil point. Airstrike inbound, T minus ten minutes.”

        1. Confessions of Gods of the Copybook Headings….

          How they do NOT like to teach the lessons so harshly, but must…
          …and why, oh, WHY, do the lessons not take?!

          Followup title: Nightmares of the Gods (of the Copybook Headings)

          1. See Germany today, Merkel is talking about -mandatory- vaccination. Meanwhile cops in Rotterdam fired live-ammo on the crowd of anti-lockdown “demonstrators”. Proving, once again, that some animals are more equal than others.

  14. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Apocalypse
    The Revolution Revenant. (what happened after the apocalypse)
    Spring, Cog, Purr: Perceptions of Power (apocalyptic steam-punk stories from the non-human people, I guess we need to add clank)

  15. Ok. A few more science – engineering themed.

    Disinformation Theory

    The Bleary-eyed Relativity

    Astronomy for People who think the stars are in Hollywood

    Balls of hot gas
    (Which may lead to Star Farts, a title you likely can’t use)

    The Lights in the Sky are Big Candles

    Terminal Ballistics, the anthology of thrown computer monitors

    1. Star Farts probably cannot be used, no … but she might be able to get away with Star Eructations.

      from The Century Dictionary.
      noun A belching of wind from the stomach; a belch.
      noun A violent bursting forth or ejection of matter from the earth.

      ~

      1. When we were mooting planetary protection, I put half my students on the ship Destiny’s Manifest headed for Mars and made the other half environmental lobbyists. It was a policy debate.

  16. And on a more serious note than some, how about ‘When Worlds Collide’ for an anthology? Yes, I’ve stolen the title from a 1951 film (even when I was that young I could pick holes in the story) and 1930s book, but there’s scope in it for almost limitless riffs on the theme. Modern urban fantasy, frantic efforts to divert the collision or escape from the target planet on ramshackle people carriers, etc, etc. etc. Anyway, why should Terra be the target – how about effects here from an impact on ars or enus, or the rresulting breakup of Jupiter? And for a follow-up, ‘When Worlds (don’t) Collide’ could deal with the recovery after the impactor misses.

  17. Murder on the Andromeda Express (each author does the background for one character)

    Death on Denial

    The Tell-Tale Engine

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – the organizational complexities of professional baseball in Atlantis

    The Invisible Fan (Kate Paulk will have to play)

    Who’s on (planet) Frist?

    The Call of the Mild (doesn’t sound very exciting…)

    Half Bast (tales of the incomplete acts of Egyptian deities)

    Balder (a mixture of the story of Samson and Norse mythology)

    Pride and Prejudice and Zeus

    The Twelve Trials of Hercules (played straight – each author retells a full length story of one of the canonical trials. Has this been done?)

  18. “Q Factor”: each story’s title begins (excluding articles) with a different word starting with Q. No titles in foreign languages or beginning with invented words.

    “Jump over the Moon”: science fiction inspired by classic nursery rhymes.

    “Whispering Pines, Screaming Cactuses”: stories involving talking plants.

    “Moral Lipograms”: 26 stories, of roughly 1,000 words apiece, each taking as an epigraph one of the morals in Hilaire Belloc’s “A Moral Alphabet” while omitting the appropriate letter. (Or, to make it a little more challenging for those who draw J, X, or Z, let the *first* letter of each story be the letter associated with the epigraph, which then appears nowhere else in the story’s text.)

  19. Libertarian Robots Process in Parallel
    Guess Who’s Coming to the Dog’s Breakfast?
    Hockey Moms from Mars
    Wild Turkey Surprise and Other Delights

  20. I have nothing new to add. That strange little bunch of neurons in the back of my brain just latched right onto “The Penguin Conspiracy” and won’t let me think on very much else right now.

    I am so afraid…

  21. I have always wanted to see stories about the world under the heels of the evil fuzzy tailed rats. So maybe an anthology titled:
    From the Nut Mines of the Squirrel Hegemony

    1. What size would the dogs that chase the mutant squirrels be? Or “Woof!” said the semi! I wouldn’t want to clean up after a puppy the size of a delivery truck.

  22. I had an idea but Murder on the Andromeda needs to happen. So I’ll just cast a vote for that. OK Dachshunds of Destiny.

    1. There’s a James Blish story that kind of has screaming paramecia in the collection “The Seedling Stars”.

      1. Awesome! I had no idea. A family member threw out that phrase many years ago for some forgotten reason, and it comes back to mind every now and then and makes me laugh.

        1. It’s the third story in the collection “Surface Tension”. Is that the source of screaming paramecia? Maybe, but in any case its a fun story.

  23. The Blackest Day of White Supremacy
    Dust Bunnies: All Swept Up
    Saturn Rings, Nobody Answers
    Jupiter’s Spot, and Other Dog Stories

  24. Blasto Backs: The Complete Blasto the Hannar Specter Anthology

    Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: Recollections of a Hit Panda

    1. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
      (I hated that song with white-hot passion and wouldst deprive it of its title. Speaking of which …)

      In The Year 2525
      ~

  25. 100 Worst First Dates: The Twilight Zone Edition

    Join Larry I. S. Right and friends around the campfire as they sip hooch and swap tales of looking for tail and love in all the very wrong and weird places.

    Includes such hit short stories as: “The Girl with the Cthulhu Tattoo”, “Little Bo-Peep”, “A Present for My Husband”, “The Craziest Cat Lady”, “Cusband”, “Sleeping with the Russian Mafia”, and the debut of “Y’all Aren’t From Around Here”.

    1. Wait! There’s more! Classic tales of weird romance and courtship:

      “It’s Just Lunch”, “Essential Earls”, “Must like Reptiles”, “LBQTA”, “A Long, Long, Long, Long, Distance Relationship”, “Buffy Overflow”, “When Alejandro Comes to Town”, “Eat, Sleep, Prey” and “Ms. Karen’s Soy Boy Toy Ploy”.

  26. Bureau Cat Vs. The Marxist Mouse Inquisition Where in the Cat of the Bureau must defend life, liberty, and naps in sunny spots atop the bureau from the dastardly depredations of verminous cretins. A veritable army of begger rats, rioting mice, psychotic squirrels, and villainous voles threaten the nice little house on Sunny Top Hill. There will be blood. There will be sacrifice. Who will reign supreme, in the end? (with apologies to Kia Heavey)

    Malefic Malefictions: The Evil Hearts of Men The woke world is in chaos. Promised paradise never came. Their enemies vanquished, fled, or in hiding. Why isn’t the world perfect yet? It must be because of… HIM. Reviled. Hated. The malicious villain- straight, white, male, and completely unapologetic. Stories told from the villain’s PoV. Who is actually the hero, but nobody believes he is. He isn’t the hero they deserve. He’s the only one left.

    …Or is he? (Not necessarily superhero fiction, but every lead is male and they all think they’re the only one left, at least at first. Stories mostly inspired by the common comments here that we all thought we were the only sane ones, before finding the internet and all.)

    Plastic Hairballs and Fuzzy Neural Nets The first steps in AI were wrong. We tried to recreate human- analogues. It didn’t work. That is, until one young researcher, strung out from stress, lack of sleep, poor eating habits and worse hygiene stumbled upon something that worked: Tiny, artificial organisms that worked almost like life. His excitement and exuberance led him to try an even more ambitious project.

    It’s not quite a cat. Not *quite.* Nor a squid. Or a duck. But it’s definitely artificial. And “intelligent”- maybe. What could go wrong?

    Run For Your Lives! The Humans Are Coming! Sol system has been under maximum quarantine for as long as the elder races could remember. No contact, no interaction- period. Numerous myths and legends have sprung up, circulated, and died in the generations since.

    Then one day, the humans discover Gate technology. Chaos ensues. Things can’t possibly get any worse. Or can they?

  27. Off the top of my head without much thought:

    – Alabaster Symphonies
    – The Frog Suffixes
    – Delicate Defunkifacation
    – Portable Passions and Puddings
    – Study in Salmon
    – The Loyal Order of Belgium Waffles
    – Last Update of the Merovingians
    – Colluding with Parmesan
    – Dungeons and Darlings
    – Soup Bowl of Mystical Visions

  28. It came from Dallas! Stories of the Weird side of Dallas. Just not enough stories set in Dallas. We aren’t all Ewings.

  29. Just Shrink the Unicorns

    Tails Tales

    When Ideas Sleep Furiously

    1400 Amps and Rising

    The Terran Chronicles

    The Lazy Adventurer’s Guide to Mythical Creatures

    So You’re a Genius, Now What?

  30. And Then There Was Bun

    From the Mouth of St. Bernard

    The Purple Polka-Dotted Princess

    Running in Circles: a Hamster’s Tale

    A Snitch in Time Saves Nine

  31. “The Penguin Conspiracy”

    I mean, they’re supposedly birds, but they swim like fish. That’s inherently shady. Not to mention these “Emperor Penguins”.

    1. Alternate Austins? Lessee, there’s the Six Million Dollar Man, and that pro wrestler…

      I think you meant ‘Alternate Austens’.

  32. SubText (an anthology of retellings of famous stories, where some small detail from the original changes the entire meaning)
    Malevolent Stench Goblins and Other Pets We Love
    The Van Winkle Effect
    I’m Just Here For the Food (Epic Space Tales and Misadventures)

  33. Batman Triumphant – stories of military officer’s personal assistants saving the day
    The Star-Mangled Spanner – stories of disaster along the spaceways. (Apologies to Arthur C. Clarke)
    The Moon is a Harsh Mattress – stories from the first space brothel
    The Hat in the Kat and Other Stories – space veterinarian tales

  34. This is exactly the sort of thing I’m bad at, but I so, so want to contribute to a space-marine-themed anthology. >.>

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