Friday, May 19, 2006

Nemonymous Again

Since announcing the prospect of NEMONYMOUS SEVEN, a few people have written to me expressing varying degrees of concern that I’m selling out on the ethos of Nemonymity.

The five individual editions (anthologies) that represent NEMONYMOUS to date have received some very good reviews and also seem to have been thought-provoking in some circles. Despite this, many ‘professionals’ in the world of fiction treat NEMONYMOUS as if it doesn’t exist and has no bearing on any discussions on the state of the short story market etc. Indeed, I consider NEMONYMOUS to have been a failed experiment. This is what I said when it mock-folded to leave room for the blank edition (Nemo 6). A blank edition seemed a natural progression, following the blank story in itself, the stories about blankness and the blank cover. It simply had to be. In fact, someone has just written to me saying he would like a copy as he is obessed with completism!

So, in view of the failed experiment, what do I do? ‘Unmock’ the folding? Carry on as before? Or modify?

I feel I am coming up with a ‘package’ of changes that retain the Nemonymity but redirects its trajectory.

Based on experience, there will be hundreds and hundreds of anonymous submissions for Nemo 7. So if, say, Stephen King sends in a story and it doesn’t fit, I shall never know I rejected him! This is unique to Nemonymous.

From those initial anonymous submissions, I shall choose 50 stories that will then denemonise before I choose the final 12 or so. But coupled with this there will later be some method of dividing the final stories into two halves, whereby one half will be directly by-lined in print and the other half anonymous (late-labelled). The anonymous stories will be paid far more than the by-lined ones (but both will nevertheless be generously paid).

So NEMONYMOUS will still provide the *unique* opportunity for a writer to have his story published anonymously. Two strands of anonymity coupled with two strands of marketable non-anonymity. Seems an interesting experiment to conduct. An experiment that would seem radical, if it had not been proceeded by the initial radicality of my original concept of Nemonymity. Nobody else has yet followed in the footsteps of Nemonymity. So I thought I would follow tentatively in its footsteps myself!

1 comment:

Weirdmonger said...

Someone has just written to me with these thoughts on nemo 6 (the blank edition)

In re: Nemonymous 6 and the plight of the completist, this is easy. Just tell everyone to go to their local stationary shop and, working with great care, to select and purchase the notebook that most appeals to them. This should not be undertaken lightly - it may involve trawling round several emporia to find just the right combination of cover colour, dimensions, page texture, design, logo etc. Then they take this home and, in a small ceremony of their own devising, declare it to be their copy of Nemonymous 6.
They then add it to the previous 5 in their collection while awaiting issue 7 next year.
There is, however, a major point of decision still to be approached. The proud owner may opt to:
1) Leave the issue entirely blank as it came from the shop or
2) Actually create their own Nemonymous by filling its pages with suitable tales of their own devising.
I must point out, however, that if option 2 is selected, it is vital that the collector, at some level, does not know who the tales are by. Thus this option will give the chooser the rare and valuable chance to actually write while in a state of autoanonymity. What an exquisite opportunity!