This weekend I send you away to Diamonds in the Sky, an online anthology of astronomy-based science fiction stories. The entire anthology is available for free, and features the work of Alma Alexander, Mike Brotherton, Jeffrey A. Carver, Kevin Grazier, Dan Hoyt, Valentin Ivanov, Mary Robinette Kowal, Geoffrey A. Landis, Alexis Glynn Latner, David Levine, Wil McCarthy, G. David Nordley, Jerry Oltion, Ges Segar, and Jerry Weinberg. The anthology contains both original work and reprints.
The purpose of the anthology is to provide stories with ample and accurate astronomy spanning a range of topics covered in introductory courses. Instructors in high school and college may these stories useful, as some students may learn concepts more easily through story than from lecture. Fans of science fiction with good science should also enjoy these stories.
The concept came to Brotherton in 2004, and it’s taken until now to get the project organized and online. I think this is really exciting. I’ve always thought that there should be a way to get funding for short fiction projects via grants, and I have proof right here. There’s no reason to think that more projects couldn’t achieve funding through these means, too.
I don’t think this is the type of thing that could save/bolster existing genre short fiction markets, but it could be a way to create new markets. And I find new markets exciting, but that could be just me.