Yep, "Venus - Povestiri erotice science fiction" is finally available as an ebook. The date says November 2012 so it's quite recent.
To celebrate this, I'm going to write a few words about my story "Adevarul din privire" (The Truth in their Sights) that is included in Venus.
When the call for submissions was made on the SRSFF website, the theme of the new SF and F anthology was supposed to be 'love'. I wrinkled my nose a little at the sight of the announcement, because as my readers know it already I am not really a romance writer. Still, it sounded better than the zombie themed anthology Millennium Books was planning (more on this later, when the zombie anthology gets published, hehe! :)) so I thought I might give it a try.
I don't remember what I was writing at the time, something in English, but I know I stopped to create a new document and write the first paragraph of the story. Now I had a premise, I knew what the story was going to be about, and for a long time, a month or two, that's all I had. I finished whatever I was writing, probably started something new, and later on, when I reckoned it was time to focus on the story before I would be really running out of time, I went back to it.
Other stories I plotted in advance, but with this one I didn't have a particular plan in mind. I just wrote and let the story lead me where it wanted to. It's the way I actually prefer to do things, but not the best approach if you write with a certain goal in mind, like being published in Venus, which required a certain theme to be respected. I did my best to get into a more romantic mood, I listened to French musicals ("Notre Dame de Paris", "Romeo et Juliette" both versions, "Autent en emporte le vent" etc.) on repeat, driving the ones around me crazy with my singing along (I wasn't gifted with such a great voice, I'm afraid), but nothing worked. The story refused to get any mushier and stayed true to its core.
The result was that I ended up with a policier on my hands and not for lack of trying. Sure, there is love in it, the characters' actions are driven by it, but love doesn't take center stage. It's always in the background, simmering, boiling, and unwilling to let go. But don't expect any X-rated scenes like the title of the book might lead you to believe, because they're not in there. It wasn't the right place for them.
In the end, I was happy with my story, in fact it's one of my favorite, but it wasn't what I had set myself to write in the first place. The last day before the deadline, I took a chance and submitted it. Until I received a word from the editor, I was convinced it was going to be rejected because it didn't fit the theme. Luckily, the editor disagreed and she was right. "Adevarul din privire" received high praises in all the reviews done so far.
A funny thing about this story: one of the characters is modeled after a former colleague of mine. We lost touch over the years, and when he contacted me shortly after Venus was published, my first thought was "Oh, shit, I hope he didn't read it!" :))
Ebook copies of Venus are now available on Elefant.ro. Enjoy!