"MANY TORTURES" TOC Announcement

Hello, friends and readers.

You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet here on www.anthonycardno.com for a while now.  I’ve been taking some time away from interviewing and signal-boosting for actors, singers and writers in order to concentrate on my own writing. I’ve been working on some new short stories (and submitting them to markets), I’ve co-written a song (with at least one, and possibly two or three more on the way), I’ve been attending to personal and family life matters, and I’ve of course still be on the road for my day job.

I’ve also been editing the charity anthology I’ve mentioned here before.  The project has finally come together and is in the final stages before release, so it’s time to start making some announcements.

THE MANY TORTURES OF ANTHONY CARDNO is a gathering of 20 short stories and two sets of song lyrics, in which the main character is, well … me. Or some variation of me. The stories range from science fiction to literary and hit pretty much all points in between. In them, I’m an egotistical actor, a beleaguered husband, a scared young boy, an orphan, a randy college student, an alcoholic, a serial killer, a nice guy in the wrong place. In every single story, the authors find a way to tweak one of my real personality or physical traits to give us these alternate …. Multiversal, if you will … versions of me.

This isn’t just a vanity project.  All of the authors donated their words to this project, to help raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, which focuses on providing support to cancer patients and their loved ones. I’m a cancer survivor, as are several of the other authors in the book; most of the rest have first-hand experience with a loved one’s battle with the disease.  And of course, just this past month we lost Jay Lake to colon cancer.

It’s my pleasure today to reveal the complete Table of Contents for the book, which will be available in print and e-formats within the next few weeks. About a week from now, we’ll also have the reveal of the cover, being crafted by the fantastic Bear Weiter.

So, without further ado: The Table of Contents for THE MANY TORTURES OF ANTHONY CARDNO:

Foreword: I’m NOT A Nice Guy! by Anthony R. Cardno
Introduction: Who IS Anthony Cardno? by Brian White
Temperance by Christie Yant
Anthony Takes The Stairs by Eric S. Bauman
The Antics of Anton Ardno (A Todd Gleason Crime Story) by Joseph Pittman
I Have A Question by Neal Bailey
The Bar at The End of the World by Sabrina Vourvoulias
With A Flick of the Wrist by Michelle Moklebust
Scarred by Damien Angelica Walters
The Hand of God (A Davi Rhii story) by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
The Old Suit by Bear Weiter
The Optimist by Kaaron Warren
The Story Teller by Dennis R. Miller
The White Phoenix Feather: a tale of cuisine and ninjas by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Ballad of Anthony Cardno by Barry Mangione and the Musical Geniuses
Why, Anthony, Why by Frank Dixon
When The Waters Recede… by Day Al-Mohamed
The Chase by Jen Ryan
Three on a Match by Steve Berman
Brutal and Simple by Adam P. Knave
The Zombie Shortage by David Lee Summers
With Dust Their Glittering Towers: A Fly-Leaves Story by Christopher Paul Carey
Canopus by Anthony R. Cardno
Cold Statues by Jay Lake

I’m flattered by how many authors were willing to donate their work to help raise money for ACS, and I thank all of them once again. I’m particularly humbled to be presenting what I think is one of the last stories Jay Lake wrote before his untimely passing; he created this story for me in the midst of heavy chemotherapy over a year ago.

Check back next week for the cover reveal, and after that for news of the actual publication date!


Lifted from RoofBeamReader‘s Friday blog:

Q. Inspired by the inane Twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED facts about you.

1. As I’ve said before, I cannot read too many books in the same series or the same genre or even by the same author in a row. I start to burn out on the subject or style. I need to alternate things, to keep my reading fresh.

2. My Book Review Pet Peeve: I get intensely agitated reading reviews that are 90% plot synopsis. I do NOT need you to tell me every plot twist in your review — if you give me every detail of the book, why should I bother reading it? Quote the back cover or inside front flap synopsis, and then tell me what you thought of the book.

3. Like many of my reader friends, I’m a bookaholic. I have purchased far more books than I will ever get around to reading. I’m also a completionist. Once  I start collecting a series, I have a compulsion to continue purchasing the series. I haven’t read anywhere near all of the Hamish Macbeth or Sister Fidelma mysteries but I own almost all of them because of this compulsion. Likewise George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice.

4.  My latest obsession? Rebuilding my collection of Perry Rhodan paperbacks from the 1970s. I had a good three-quarters of the run when I was in high school, but they were sold off at some point. Thanks to finding three books late in the series at a Half-Price Books in Fort Worth two years ago, my interest was rekindled and I’ve been picking them up as I find them. When I fill in the early installments, I plan to start rereading them in order.

5. I used to be able to read anywhere, anytime. As a kid I could read in the back of our Vega Hatchback, facing backwards; I could read on buses. Now, I get motion sick reading in any vehicle except trains (as long as I’m facing the direction the train is moving) and planes.

There we go, 5 fun bookish facts about me for this Monday blog.


I have an obsession with the short story form. I might even have an addiction. Or a mania. Whatever you want to call it — I can’t get enough short stories in my life.

It doesn’t matter whether the work is flash fiction of less than a thousand words, average length short stories in the several thousand range, or what Stephen King famously called “the banana republic of the novella.”  If it’s a shorter-than-standard-novel-length piece of fiction, chances are good it will interest me. Genre doesn’t matter, either. I’m as apt to read the latest “literary” short story in The New Yorker or Tin House or Glimmer Train Stories or Zoetrope All-Story as I am to read the latest sf/horror in the great online Apex Magazine and Subterranean Magazine, the latest fantasy in Realms of Fantasy, the latest mystery in The Strand.

And of course, outside of the magazines, there are the anthologies. Anthologies seem to be taking up more and more of my shelf-space. Single author anthologies by writers ranging from Joyce Carol Oates to William Trevor, Michael Chabon to Karen Russell, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Jhumpa Lahiri. “Best of” Anthologies from The Best American series and the O. Henry Awards. Themed genre anthologies edited by the great Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, John Joseph Adams, P.N. Elrod, Jennifer Brozek, Maurice Broaddus.

I could go on for pages. My obsession/mania/addiction is such that three years ago I created a community on livejournal called “365shortstories,” where I review stories as I read them (or reread them) and invite others to do so as well. I can’t say there’s a huge amount of participation, but people do seem to enjoy “watching” the community and occasionally authors and editors will chime in to comment on my comments.

What is it about the form that sparks my interest so?  I’ve tried to describe it, and anything I say comes out trite and cliched. Yes I do love the fact that most short stories are “done in one,”  but I also love the interconnected short stories that form a larger picture (think Robert Silverberg’s TO OPEN THE SKY, Ray Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, Daniyal Mueenuddin’s IN OTHER ROOMS, OTHER WONDERS).  I like the economy of words that allows a story to be  easily consumed during a meal or even a bathroom break, but I also love those wordy novellas that require longer to digest.  There is no single aspect of the short story form that I can point to and say “that’s why I love them,” just as I can’t point at one aspect of my nieces and nephews personalities and say that’s why I love them.  The plain fact is, I just do.

As for my own writing, there was a period where short stories were all I was writing. That was shortly after moving to New Jersey in 1996. I suddenly had a spate of small inspirations, none of which felt like they should be stage plays or novels. All of them are more than 1,000 words (some barely so) and I would say none more than about 5,000. One of them, a tale called “Invisible Me,” has been published in print form in a literary magazine called Willard & Maple. I have one copy; my other comp copy disappeared a while ago in the hands of some friend or another who borrowed it to read the story and has probably forgotten it (as I have forgotten who has it).  I have been, in the past two years, pretty remiss about sending those stories back out into the world. I’ve taken to editing them (in at least one case almost completely recasting the nature of the story), and recently other short form ideas have been popping into my head.

It might be time, in addition to reading and reviewing short stories, to really start writing them again.

(In conjunction with this post, you can find my thoughts on the latest P.N. Elrod-edited urban fantasy anthology, Dark And Stormy Knights, in the next post.)