Kevin J. Anderson & A Lifetime of Short Stories

Horror Tree
5 min readMay 7, 2024

Kevin J. Anderson & A Lifetime of Short Stories

Kickstarting Fifty Years of Fiction

By Angelique Fawns

Kevin J. Anderson is a juggernaut in our industry. He’s published almost 200 books, and has over 50 best sellers! He was recently a co-producer on the mind-blowing Dune: Part Two movie, and has written various novels in the Dune universe. You can also find his name on books in the Star Wars and X-Files worlds.

I met Anderson when I attended his Superstars Writing Conference this February, and it was the one of the greatest experiences of my writing life.

He’s just launched a Kickstarter featuring more than 130 of his short stories spanning his entire career.

Though he may be one of the busiest humans I’ve ever met, he agreed to answer a few questions for us!

AF: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. Tell us what inspired your lifetime short fiction library?

KJA: Obviously, a lifetime of writing short fiction! A few years ago, I put together four volumes of my selected stories, gathering up the pieces readily at hand, and since that time I kept writing new stories. At the end of last year, I realized I probably had enough new stories to fill another volume each in science fiction, fantasy, and horror/dark fantasy. I went digging to find a few more pieces to fill them out … and it was going down memory lane (or maybe a rabbit hole). I started finding more and more published works from small press magazines, early works I had almost forgotten about, and then I found more, and even discovered the very first story I had written when I was eight years old. This stuff was gold! I realized that this project was much more than just adding a couple more volumes to my previous set. I had to go back to the drawing board, reorganize ALL of those stories and put them into the right mix as a seven-volume collection.

Of course, many of them did not exist in any electronic format at all, so they had to be scanned, then proofed, and I wrote a special introduction for every single piece, more than 130 stories. It was a huge effort — but I think it really paid off.

AF: What kind of stories can readers expect to find in these pages? What are your personal favorites?

KJA: I like to write in a wide range of genres, and I divided the stories into separate volumes: three books of science fiction, two books of fantasy, and two books of horror and dark fantasy. Some stories are action packed, some really creepy, some very funny, some with cool high-concept ideas, others edgy and thought-provoking. You’ll get the whole gamut. I’ve got a few that are really close to my heart, but you’ll have to read and pick your own favorites.

AF: What is your writing process? Take us through a day in the life of Kevin J. Anderson.

KJA: I always have a lot of irons in the fire, and my day is busy with many different things. On a good, typical day, I will be working on a new novel or story in the morning — I always write by dictating, so I’ll go out for a walk or a hike, dictate a couple of chapters, and come back into the office. While my transcription app is converting my new chapters into text, I’ll be doing email business, social media, working on my publishing business (WordFire Press). In the afternoons I’ll edit a work in process, work on my online classes (I run a graduate program in Publishing for Western Colorado University). I’ll do some zoom calls, and wish I had more time just to write!

AF: Tell us about the role of media tie-in fiction in your career?

KJA: I was offered my first Star Wars novel (completely unexpected) after I’d published four original novels. I had never considered it before, but I loved it because I was a fanboy at heart and this way I got to participate from the inside on one of my favorite universes. My Star Wars success certainly changed my career, and the Star Wars work led to many other opportunities, from X-Files, to Star Trek, to Batman and Superman, and eventually to working with Brian Herbert on Dune.

AF: What book or project are you currently working on?

KJA: There’s still a lot of work to finish the seven volumes of my Short Fiction Library, but that’s just production work. I am plotting a new Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. novel for this fall, editing a new Saga of Seven Suns novella, writing a dystopian graphic novel script for a movie I’m involved with, and developing a big sequel to my Lovecraftian cosmic horror novel NETHER STATION, which comes out this October.

AF: If you could give young Kevin J. Anderson some advice at the beginning of this career, what would it be?

KJA: “You’re not going to believe this, but…”

AF: What do you do to relax/have fun when you aren’t working?

KJA: I love hiking in the mountains, and I love cooking, or spending time with the cats and just watching movies with my wife.

AF: If you could give one piece of salient advice to writers struggling for success, what would it be?

KJA: Nobody ever said it would be easy, but if you love what you’re doing, you won’t mind the unending uphill marathon.



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