Goodreads Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Short Story Anthology Title Results!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Many thanks to all who voted and/or commented to help me decide on the name for my short story anthology. Three clear favourites emerged from the process :

A Parliament of Owls
Ladders to the Moon
Perfect Circles

Strictly speaking, Ladders won, but there were several votes only cast as comments or by word of mouth, so I decided it came down to these three. My original favourites were A Parliament of Owls (sounds cool, kinda mysterious) and Near Earth Objects (which I liked the double meaning of). But, as the votes came in, I began to warm towards Perfect Circles. Again, it's intriguing and it has the added advantage of being the title of one of the actual stories I'm going to put in the anthology.

So, Perfect Circles it is to be.

But, wait, that's too easy! As I began to collate the anthology, I decided I would divide it into three sections : fantasy, SF and realism. I know I'm all for mixing up the genres, but I decided it would be easier on the reader if I made it clear which sorts of stories they could expect. And naming the whole thing Perfect Circles has allowed me to give each section a circle-related title. So I have :

Spell Circles : the weird and the wonderful
Eccentric Orbits : of space and time
Life Cycles : of lifes and deaths

Do we like?

Something still nagged away at me, though. Wouldn't someone who only liked SF, say, ignore an anthology full of other stuff? Well, quite possibly, as quite a few people said. Which made me think perhaps I should do three separate anthologies after all ...

Then it occurred to me : this is old-fashioned thinking. It's easy to create and publish ebooks. Editing and formatting the text is hard work, but once you have each story/chapter straight, it's very easy to move things around and duplicate them. So, it wouldn't be very much more work to do four anthologies : one for fantasy, one for SF, one for realism and the original one containing all of them. Plus this will make for rather an interesting experiment, to see which one does best.

So that's the plan. Four anthologies, with the last of the four containing everything in the first three.

Spell Circles
Eccentric Orbits
Life Cycles
Perfect Circles

Obviously I'll need more artwork this way, but this allows me to cover all the bases. I can have an SF anthology that clearly looks like it is SF, for example, as well as having my all-encompassing collection there too. There will obviously be links in each book to the others for people to explore if they wish to.

It'll be very interesting indeed to see which anthology is the most popular ...


  1. A Perfect Circle is also a really cool band. Great titles, Simon!

  2. Thanks, Matthew. Must admit the band were at the back of my mind, too.

  3. I hope you'll at least give us a story titled 'A Parliament of Owls' or better yet, a novella.

  4. What about linking the three "circles" together somehow? Like in the artwork or the titles/fonts, etc. and have them come together, like a chain, in the fourth one?

    Good luck with it all, Simon! I'm down for the fourth one. :)

  5. Cate,

    One of the chapters of Hedge Witch is called A Parliament of Owls - will that do?

  6. Thanks, Madeline : that's a truly marvellous idea. I did have the idea of having a large circle of some sort on the cover of each so that it looks like they belong together. A planet, a stone circle that sort of thing. Artwork is perhaps my main problem right now ...

  7. Cate,

    Darn! Have to see what I can do then!

  8. Perfect Circles in print please. Thank you!

    What is it with the Owls?!?!


    Take care

  9. Like the titles! Thanks for sharing the journey on how you came up with them.

  10. As for us, Gizmo and I will be snatching up the all-encompassing Perfect Circles as soon as it's available.

    And I agree with Cate. There's still plenty of time for you to write "A Parliament of Owls", have it published, and then include it as well. OR just include it as a bonus. =]

  11. Old Kitty,

    Print, right yeah - must decide how to do that, definitely!

  12. Nicole,

    Thanks! Glad you like them.

  13. Milo,

    Thanks - very good of you. I'll have to come up with something now!

  14. I love the titles, and think you are so right to go with separate anthologies. The reader will know what they are getting by the title and cover art, and if they like one, they may buy another!

  15. Thanks, Ellie - most encouraging!

  16. Hi, Simon. I'm stopping by from Karen's BBQ, I'm glad to find your blog. I'm a big fan of short stories and love these titles. Looking forward to following your site, it's great to meet you!

  17. Hi,

    Following you from Karen's BBQ :) Great to "meet" you and looking forward to go through your website and blogs :)

  18. Yes, I think this is very smart, Simon. You could maybe do a coupon in the smaller volumes to get a $1 off the multi-volume.

  19. I missed this voting event but I must say that A Parliament of Owls would be the one I'd pick. In fact it such an awesome title, you must use it for something. I would totally buy a book with that title!

  20. Julie,

    Great to meet you too! I'll be on over to your blog.

  21. Ju,

    Thanks for dropping by and for the follow - I'll be on over to your blog ASAP!

  22. Deborah,

    Ooh, now, that's a great idea! Many thanks.

  23. Karen,

    Thanks for that and for organising the BBQ. Yep, A Parliament of Owls has certainly had a lot of followers. I'll definitely be using it at some point ...

  24. Sounds like an excellent plan, Simon. I'll definitely be picking up a copy of Perfect Circles. :) That's a great title and I like the subsection/individual ebook idea as well. A Parliament of Owls is an awesome name though. And congrats on meeting your August goals!

  25. digitalinkwell,

    Fantastic - many thanks. I appreciate it.

  26. Hi, Simon! I've come from KathyG's BBQ and wanted to come and visit your blog and say hello! I have always admired writers. I'll enjoy browsing through your posts, I am sure! :)

  27. I've bought several anthologies with short stories in areas I don't read. Sometimes I don't read every story, but I usually find something new I never would have enjoyed otherwise.

    I'm glad you'll be still publishing the Perfect Circles full anthology. A cool concept. I'll be looking for the release date.

    BTW: I also thought of the band A Perfect Circle. Maybe the book trailer should feature one of their songs :)


  28. Hi Simon,

    Thought I'd stop by from the BBQ. Nice to meet you! And all those are nice titles. I suck at titling. Now I know where to come for help!

  29. Hi, Betsy - many thanks for dropping by!

  30. Hi sex scenes,

    Many thanks for dropping by!

  31. Donna,

    Fantastic - that's all very encouraging.


I'd love to know what you think.