Over the past three decades, Scott Edelman has published over a dozen short stories that pay homage to his literary heroes, including John Steinbeck, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ray Bradbury. Edelman recently collected these stories in the book Tell me like you did before.
“I’ve had enough stories, I think, that it made a good collection to honor all the people who inspired me,” Edelman says in episode 476 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “I’m just happy to be able to say thank you to the people who came before me and helped shape me.”
The longest story in the book is “A Plague on Both Your Houses”, a zombie story written in iambic pentameter. “I was driving home from World Horror Convention in Nashville, and all of a sudden the first few lines came to me, and I thought, ‘Yeah, Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet, where the child of a zombie and the child of a human end up falling in love, ”says Edelman. “It was a lot of fun to write.”
Sadly, a 50-page piece about zombies proved to be a hard sell for publishers. “Someone was doing a zombie anthology, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s absolutely perfect,’ and I sent it in, and the response was, ‘I don’t like Shakespeare,’ Edelman said. “So it had nothing to do with the story, or if I got away with it, or if there was poetry in the language. It was just, “We don’t like Shakespeare.”
Edelman eventually published the story as his first and only self-published work. “I put it together as a one year Halloween card, and sent it to all my friends, and based on that it ended up being posted in The mammoth book of best new horror, and based on that post he ended up being nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, ”Edelman said. “Stories have weird paths to publication and recognition, so I always tell people, ‘Don’t worry if it takes a while for things to find the right audience. “”
Listen to the full interview with Scott Edelman in episode 476 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
Scott Edelman on his “Fifth Dimension” story:
“He postulates that I wrote to fuzzy area magazine, which at the time published an episode guide The twilight zone– and I was writing saying, “Well, you left out this episode, and this episode, and this wonderful episode,” and the editor says, “These aren’t really episodes. I think you are making things up. There is a back and forth, and finally my TV picks up stories from the fifth dimension, which Serling rod is always doing all kinds of other wonderful episodes somewhere. The great thing about this story is that the editor, Ted Klein, must have directed it by Carol Serling, the widow of Rod Serling, because once you include something like that in a magazine that they do with permission from the Serling Estate, you want to make sure his widow is satisfied and honored – and the fact that Carol Serling said, “Oh no, I love this story.” He treats Rod Serling in such a wonderful way that it made me very happy.
Scott Edelman on Raymond Carver:
“He started out by writing a lot of science fiction stories. When i edited Age of science fiction magazine, I suggested to Barry malzberg that ‘Hey, did you realize that? Why don’t you write a sci-fi story as if it was written by Raymond Carver? ‘, Which he did, and it was published in Age of science fiction a long time ago. But I would kill to read one of the stories written by Raymond Carver that was supposed to be a science fiction story. We don’t know why he didn’t care about science fiction anymore. His first wife said, “Oh, finally, he wasn’t interested in writing about little green monsters anymore. But was it because he couldn’t sell them, and he said, “Oh, that’s stupid”? Or once he entered John gardnerwriting class, did he decide it was unworthy of him? We don’t really know what his relationship was, but it would be great to go back and find a few. “
Scott Edelman on the cut Age of science fiction:
“My wife was looking for a job. She looked in the Washington post, and there was an ad there, under “Editor,” for “Looking for a part-time editor to edit a science fiction magazine.” And I said, ‘Wow, I can do this.’ I had edited other magazines in the past – my career started as an editor at Marvel Comics. I wrote them probably the most heinous letter ever to try to get a job, because I felt I had some status in the field to do quality things – there are a lot of not very good science fiction magazines, or science fiction magazines that abuse the field, abuse the writers and artists they use. Basically I said, “The question is not whether you would hire me, the question is whether I would work for you to edit this magazine.” And that must have impressed them.
Scott Edelman on his podcast Eat the fantastic:
“I was called on Antoine Bourdain science fiction, because when I go to a science fiction convention, I deeply research the city the convention is in, because I don’t want to waste time with a hotel meal, and I would run away with other guests and go to all those great restaurants around town. And when I was a guest on a podcast, and I suddenly realized, ‘Wait, you mean workers can own the means of production? Can I make a podcast and broadcast it and Apple will distribute it to everyone? ‘ And I was like, “What should my niche be? Because I didn’t want to be just another podcast. So I said, ‘I’m going to go out and eat with people. I will record these meals. You come with me and listen to this conversation that I have with various people. And I’ve been doing this for over five years now.