Fiction River: Kris and I Are Returning To Editing

That’s right. Hugo Award winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch and I are coming back to editing with a project called Fiction River.

Fiction River will be a bimonthly anthology series starting in April next year. Each anthology will be theme-focused and cross-genre containing all original fiction written by some of the top writers in fiction, including big names and names you might have never heard of.

Each anthology will be published in an electronic edition, a trade paper edition, and a very limited and numbered and signed hardback edition. (Signed by all authors and editors.) Readers will be able to buy each anthology individually or subscribe to the anthology series like a magazine.

As many of you know, Kris and I, in 1987, started Pulphouse Publishing with Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine. We published those anthologies every three months. Fiction River will be like Pulphouse and Orbit and Universe and other major original fiction anthology series of the past. It will focus on top quality short fiction of all types, in a themed-anthology format.

At little more about us:

Besides continuing to write novels, Kris went from Pulphouse to the award-winning editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction where she stayed for six years. After editing Pulphouse Magazine for six years, I became the fiction editor of VBTech Magazine and then started working at Pocket Books where I edited for ten years the anthology series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Kris and I will be the series editors making sure the quality of every story is high. Each anthology will also have a book editor. Sometimes Kris or I will do that as well, other times professional editors will take the anthology lead. Coming up in the first year are professional editors John Helfers and Kerrie Hughes. I will lead off the first anthology as the book editor.

We have put together a Kickstarter project to try to get enough funding to get the first issue comfortably off the ground.  You can help us at the Kickstarter Fiction River project. We are offering books and different subscription levels among many other things as rewards  for the help. And if we get lucky enough to fund the project, we have some even more fantastic rewards in store for the wonderful supporters who will help us get this project going.

So as writers or readers, if you are interested in this new original fiction series edited by two of the top editors in the business, please take a look and help if you can.

And thanks! It’s going to be great fun.

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45 Responses to Fiction River: Kris and I Are Returning To Editing

  1. Wonderful news! And of course you will let us know when you’re open for submissions…?

    • dwsmith says:

      Thanks, Camille, Bridget. It is going to be a fun project, very similar to what we did with Pulphouse, with the same freedoms as well. Only with not only a trade and limited hardback edition, but an electronic edition.

      We are going to pay authors 6 cents per word (more for big names of course) and ask for two months exclusive after publication and a nonexclusive to keep the story in the book. After two months from publication, author’s can do what they want with their short stories. (Basically the same as Asimov’s and Analog and Queen, only with a shorter exclusive time frame.) What is in each issue (anthology) will be up to the editor of that anthology. But right now we are just working on getting a little help making sure we are funded right. Having funding makes things a ton easier to start. (grin)

      • J. R. Tomlin says:

        Exciting news, Dean. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this project. I don’t know of anyone I respect more than Kris (apologies to you but you’re not her *g* )

        • dwsmith says:

          J.R., no apologies needed. Kris is a real talent on both the writing and editing side of things. (Only person in history to win Hugo Awards for both her writing and her editing.) And if we hit our goal on Kickstarter, we’ve got a nifty announcement about her editing a very special major anthology. So stay tuned.

  2. Whoo hoo!

    Excited to hear it! I miss Pulphouse. This sounds like a magazine for the new millenium idea too. (I suspect the lines to blur between anthos and magazines more and more.)

  3. Thom says:

    Dean & Kris:

    First of all, you’ve both been such a darn inspiration in getting me off my a*s and writing and publishing, that how can I not support fellow Oregonians?

    Next, you both are so darn cute in that video :-) It’s also wonderful to put faces and voices to your posts.

    I love the idea of an anthology; it will be nice to read the top stuff out there and have an alternative to the few digests still available. I love them, but they’re getting a bit stale and we all need some new blood.

    Also glad to see you embrace Kickstarter. A grand experiment.

    I hope to finally meet you your next event in PDX.


    • dwsmith says:

      Thom, we’ll be Portland at Willamette Writer’s banquet on Saturday night. They are giving us Lifetime Achievement awards. Great fun! And thanks!! Very much appreciated.

  4. Interesting that you’re only kickstarting the first issue, but offering goodies for six issues. That shows some confidence about sales. ;-) I do hope it succeeds (and yes, I made my pledg).

    • dwsmith says:

      Thanks, Big Ed, for the support. Just sent you a letter through Kickstarter. Very much appreciated and it’s going to be a blast working with you.

      And yup, we are doing this project, without a doubt. We really love the idea of this, since it is similar to what we did in 1987 through 1994 with Pulphouse. And we love the idea of being able to buy quality stories and work with top writers and new writers as well. We’ve both been wondering what kind of project, if any, would bring us back into editing. Both of us have turned down numbers of job offers to edit projects. Nothing felt right before this.

      WMG Publishing Inc, with the fantastic support of Allyson Longuiera, the publisher, is going to make this really cool.

      Kris and I are both excited. Not great with doing video recordings, as you can tell from the video, but still excited. (grin)

  5. Brian says:


    Congrats on the new project. You’ve been so generous with all your advice on this blog and responding to comments, especially from newbies like myself.

    I wish you two the best of luck!


  6. Lovely news!

    And I’m delighted to see John Helfers is involved. I was thinking about him just yesterday–wondering what he’s up to now, whether I’ll see him at WorldCon this year, how he is, etc. Happy to see his name associated with this!

    • dwsmith says:

      Laura, John and Kerrie were just here for the “Think Like a Publisher” workshop as writers attending, and will be back attending the POD workshop in Sept/Oct as writers. Then they will be back in Feb again to teach the Anthology workshop as well as edit two of the first six in Fiction River. They are doing great. Both seem very healthy and enjoying life.

  7. Carradee says:

    That video was hilarious! I don’t know if that’s the effect you were aiming for, but I thought it was great!

    Now, I’ll just have to figure out how much I can contribute. I definitely want an electronic subscription, but if I get paper, I can nag my friends into reading it…

    Oh, and a question… Is that a typo in the $75 level? Because it first says it’s for 6 issues, but then it says that the contributor would get listed in the acknowledgements of “all three books.”

    • dwsmith says:

      Carradee, yes, a typo at the $75 level. It’s locked in since we can’t fix the description. But contributor would be in all six acknowledgements. And we had four people look at those trying to find mistakes just like that and we all missed it. (grin)

  8. Great news, Dean and Kris. And the Lifetime Achievement Awards richly deserved. Hope to have worthy submissions in the future. Ann

  9. Mike Jasper says:

    This is fantastic news. I’ve been focusing on novel-writing lately, but this makes me want to write some new stories. Looking forward to first antho and my subscription (great idea to do it through Kickstarter — I’ll bet you meet the $6k in by August 1.)


    • Nancy Beck says:

      Well, it’s not far off. As I write this, it stands at $5,284 (or something like that). I contributed to some other Kickstarter project, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was (it’s been years).

      This sounds like a fantastic project, and I hope it’s around for a long time! (Must be fun to work with both great, seasoned writers and discovering the new talent out there. :-))

      Now I just have to decide what level I want to contribute so’s I can get some little goodies…

      • dwsmith says:

        Nancy and everyone, it has been stunning to get so close to our goal so fast. Kris and I have been working on putting the details of Fiction River together for almost two years, as this new world started to make it clear that publishing business was again possible for us. And now that WMG Publishing Inc. is a growing business with employees and a wonderful publisher (not me or Kris), we have time to think about returning to editing as well as keeping our writing going. So for us this is a dream and to have such wonderful support just excites us even more.

        So thanks, everyone.

        And thanks to the friends who prepared us, told us to be ready to have some “stretch goals” read and “stretch rewards” ready in case this happened. We didn’t think it would, but we still got ready, so this afternoon I will put up a couple of those fun “stretch rewards” and Kris has a post up now talking about some of the stretch goals, such as Fiction River Special #1, which is outside the six regular Fiction River issues. It will be a major mystery anthology she’s been wanting to do for years.


  10. That’s awesome news! I’ll have to check out the kickstarter page tonight. I look forward to seeing what you guys do.

  11. Mike Moscoe says:

    Oh, dear, Dean, Kris. :-0 And you were doing so good on the 12 step program. Well, even if you fall off the wagon once in a while, you can get back on it. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it.

  12. Oooh! How cross-genre does it need to be? And have you decided on your first theme yet?

    • dwsmith says:

      Not set on the first theme yet, or any of them, for that matter. We have a ton of ideas, and the editors for each volume will suggest the themes and titles. But if we hit our goal on Kickstarter, watch for a fun stretch reward on this very topic. (grin)

  13. Dean, just watched the video and my face hurts from laughing. Probably the best kickstarter video in history. (grin)

    Definitely backing and looking forward to this!

  14. Alexandra Honigsberg says:

    Great news! I’ll be there! :->

    Been writing opera libretti this year on fantastic themes (prose-like poem-like texts of up to about 30-35 pages or mini-opera texts of just a few pages) for composer Demetrius Spaneas to set…premiere of the 1st one’s 10/28. Some shorts and more poems. Reviews. Philosophical commentaries…been a mix-n-match year. :->

    Can’t wait to see this new project!

  15. Steven Mohan says:

    This is really exciting news! Can’t wait to see how this is all going to turn out. I’m so glad you two found a way to do this.

    Have I said lately: “I LOVE this new world!”

  16. Mike Resnick says:

    ‘Bout time you guys got back to editing. We could use some more skilled ones.

  17. Wow. One day and you’re almost fully funded. Methinks there’s some demand…

    • dwsmith says:

      Would seem that way, wouldn’t it? (grin) Actually, the closer we get, the more excited I am getting because we writers really need more places to sell stories that don’t fit but are quality. That’s why I am so excited about writing for every anthology, or at least the first six. (grin) If we get over the top, we’ve got some really fun “stretch goals and rewards” as well. We would really love to have this jump even farther because of the projects we have in mind and to get a more solid funding under the entire first year, which we never had at Pulphouse.

      So this is very exciting. And stunning, to be honest. A couple people had warned us to be ready if this happened and we are, but none of us really expected us to get to $5,000 in one day. Wow.

      • Randy says:

        Might have a little to do with the fact that you’ve helped so many of us over the years. Just a small way to say thank you.

  18. Sounds great! Will submissions be open? Or by invitation only?


    • dwsmith says:


      Actually, that will depend from anthology to anthology. Each anthology editor is free to find the stories he or she needs in any way they want. So honestly not sure at this point, or I suppose a better answer will be “It will depend.”

      Don’t you just love answers like that? (grin)

  19. John Haines says:


    I have been reading your blog and Kris’s for about a year now. I am one of those people who has always dreamed about writing yet always let fear stop me from really starting. Your previous post has really made me re-think my priorities, especially as I have just taken redundancy from a job that was completely unfulfilling.

    I have felt guilty for never putting anything in you tip jars. Hopefully my pledge makes up for that a little :).

    Who knows, maybe in a few years I will be in a position to submit to a project like this as well!

    • dwsmith says:

      John, great job on getting started on the writing and thanks for the support on our fun project.

      The key I think, or at least what happened for me early on, is I became more afraid of never starting than all the fears I could make up about writing. And that fear has stuck with me, honestly. I am deathly afraid now of not writing anymore, suddenly being done. So sometimes we can use our fears for good instead of holding us back. Now, go have fun. And thanks.

  20. Acid Watcher says:

    Ok, I watched the video. (amused smile) That was really funny. I’m also glad to see you and Kris have nearly hit the $6,000 mark. (fist pump) With 28 days left and probably a fair few people not yet pledged up, there’s a good chance that you will hammer past your target and make the 10k or more mark. Congratulations! (clap)

  21. Thom says:

    This has got to be some Kickstarter record: 28 days to go and fully funded. A huge congrats!

  22. Dean, you present me with a conundrum. See, I kinda dislike Kickstarter. I’ve seen too many people with outsized dreams set up Kickstarter projects and annoy their friends for support. Yes, it has also been used successfully for some worthwhile projects; but I got annoyed enough that I decided not to participate in Kickstarter projects as a rule.

    But I have confidence in you and Kris. You DON’T have outsized dreams, you have a business plan. I know you both well enough to know that. And I also have confidence that you’re going to produce some high quality books.

    And I also owe you a lot. Yeah, I have only two pro sales so far, plus a lot of near misses in WotF, so I can’t claim to have a career yet; but what results I have, I have because you convinced me to take chances and be willing to fail.

    So despite my general rule, I’ve signed on. But I really hope at some point you can discuss the decision-making process that led to creating a Kickstarter project, and also maybe the pros and cons of such a project. I think this is an important consideration in the New World of Publishing.

    • dwsmith says:

      Martin, thanks a ton for the support. It means a great deal. And that’s a great idea, a post about why sometimes something like Kickstarter in this new world is perfect and sometimes it’s just a silly idea. Great thought, so I’ll do that in the next week or so. Thanks!! Got two or three people I want to talk about this with first who are very, very familiar with crowd sourcing.


  23. Pati Nagle says:

    Congratulations on the new venture, and may it go well! I look forward to hearing more.

  24. Don Webb says:

    Dear Kris and Dean,

    I think this is excellent news!! I was proud of every Pulphouse sale I made, and loved each issue I read. Let me know if there is anything speailc you would like to see!



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