One Man's MeatOne Man's Meat

Isaac's Universe Volume Three:  Unnatural Diplomacy

As I explained on the page for "Keep the Faith," in the late 1980s shared-world anthologies were trendy, and Marty Greenberg suggested to his friend Isaac Asimov that he should organize his own shared-world series. Dr. Asimov gave it a shot, creating "Isaac's Universe," a far-future setting where other writers could set stories.

I wasn't part of the initial group, but I was invited in for later volumes. "Keep the Faith" was my story in the second volume, Phases in Chaos.

I was invited back for the third volume, as well, but didn't have any new inspiration deriving from the shared setting. I did, however, have a science fiction story idea I'd been mulling over for awhile. I think it was more inspired by Poul Anderson's work than by Asimov's, but still, it fit neatly and plausibly into Isaac's Universe, and here was a chance to write it.

So I did, and that's "One Man's Meat," which appeared in Unnatural Diplomacy. I honestly don't remember whether the "diplomacy" theme was in the original invitation or not, but it certainly fit -- my story very definitely involves unnatural diplomacy.

It seems to have gone over pretty well, but the series had largely run its course, and there was no fourth anthology (though there were two spin-off novels), so I only had the two stories in this universe, and there's no connection between them beyond the shared-world setting. That, and I included them both in my collection Celestial Debris.


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