PERSONAL: Married; children. Education: Studied theatre in college. Hobbies and other interests: Science fiction, fantasy, books, cinema, karate.
ADDRESSES: Home and office— Birmingham, AL. Office— Pyr, 59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197.
CAREER: Editor, author, and journalist. Titan Publishing Group, Los Angeles liaison; Bookface.com, executive editor, 2000; Argosy magazine, senior editor, 2003-04; Prometheus Books, editorial director of Pyr imprint.
The Making of Star Trek: First Contact, Titan Books (London, England), 1996.
(Editor) Live without a Net (stories), ROC (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) Projections: Science Fiction in Literature and Film (essays), ROC (New York, NY), 2006.
(Editor) Futureshocks, ROC (New York, NY), 2006.
(Editor) Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge, Pyr (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to anthologies, including Strange Pleasures, Prime Books, 2003;Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders, Greenwood Press, 2005;So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions on Battlestar Galactica, Benbella Books, 2006;The Man from Krypton: A Closer Look at Super-man, Benbella Books, 2006; and Webslinger: SF and Comic Writers on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Benbella Books, 2007. Contributor to periodicals, including Publishers Weekly, Believer, Dreamwatch, Star Trek Monthly, Star Wars Monthly, Babylon 5, and Manga Max.
Articles and stories have been translated into several languages, including Danish, German, French, Italian, and Greek.
SIDELIGHTS: An editor, writer, and journalist, Lou Anders is also a well-known advocate of intelligent, creative, and literate science fiction. In addition to compiling SF anthologies collecting both short stories and essays, he serves as editorial director of Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books that is devoted to cutting-edge science fiction and fantasy. In addition to his editorial work, Anders has contributed numerous stories and nonfiction articles to both print and online publications, and several of his works have appeared in anthologies. One of his more unusual collections, Projections: Science Fiction in Literature and Film brings together the thoughts of such respected writers as Catherine Asaro, John Clute, Michael Moorcock, and Jonathan Lethem with regard to the history, social and cultural impact, and future of speculative fiction.
One of several fiction anthologies that benefits from Anders’ editorship, Futureshocks showcases contributions from a variety of new writers together with genre veterans such as Mike Resnick, Harry Turtledove, and Caitlin R. Kearnan. It presents readers with a collection of sixteen science fiction stories that contemplate the future and what would happen given certain scientific and technological advances. The collection displays a wide variety of hypothetical situations that are allowed to play out, including a world where thanks to a new drug, people no longer have the need to sleep; in another story an overly enthused professor changes the past in order to try to help the Native American population from being decimated by European explorers, but contrary to his high hopes the change in history yields disastrous results.
In an interview with Rick Kleffel for Agony online, Anders described the overarching theme of Future-shocks as a focus on the “new fears and cultural transitions arising from biological, sociological, technological or environmental change. Science fiction is often called the literature of estrangement and distinguished from the other genres by its refusal to make the reader too comfortable,” he added, “and I wanted to explore that for its own sake.” Reflecting on that focus, Lesley Farmer wrote in a Kliatt review that the stories in Futureshocks“are not really shocking or gruesome. Rather, they are ‘high concept’ ruminations about possible dark futures” that feature “both new and seasoned award-winning SF authors, so the writing is high quality.” In a review for Booklist, Carl Hayes commented that because Anders “wisely limits the selections. . . to extrapolating inventive scenarios from today’s more disquieting trends,” the “entertaining and thought-provoking stories” included in Futureshocks“are just unsettling enough that readers may want to spread out reading them over several sittings.”
In his interview with Kleffel, Anders discussed his experiences in the publishing world, particularly as it related to his role as executive editor of Pyr. Discussing what he looks for in prospective manuscripts, he noted that he makes a special effort to appeal to readers of traditional “hard” science fiction: fiction that focuses on technology. “I think there is at least one faction of the science fiction community that believes and bemoans the idea that science fiction is losing its grounding in science,” Anders noted, adding that this group is one “that I’m very much interested in reaching” through Pyr. “I want my fiction smart whether that’s scientifically smart or literarily smart,” the editor noted of the books he selects for publication. “I want my science fiction and my fantasy to stimulate, to educate, to elucidate, to provoke and instigate.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, January 1, 2006, Carl Hays, review of Futureshocks, p. 73.
California Bookwatch, June, 2006, review of Futureshocks.
Kliatt, May, 2006, Lesley Farmer, review of Future-shocks, p. 22.
Publishers Weekly, June 30, 2003, review of Live without a Net, p. 62; November 21, 2005, review of Futureshocks, p. 32.
Agony Column Online, http://trashotron.com/ (April 18, 2004), Rick Kleffel, interview with Anders.
Eternal Night, http://www.eternalnight.co.uk/ (January 20, 2007), interview with Anders.
Lou Anders Home Page, http://www.louanders.com (January 20, 2007).*