When I sold "The Final Folly of Captain Dancy" to Tor, as half of a Tor Double (which never appeared, though they eventually ran it as a back-up in the paperback edition of The Rebirth of Wonder), the contract had a curious feature: while I retained most of the rights, I could not publish it as a stand-alone work. I could include it in a collection so long as that collection contained at least four stories.
I have no idea why that was in there, or even whether the contract is still in force at all, but I didn't see any need to argue with it, so when I decided I wanted to make the story available again in these days of ebooks and print-on-demand, it needed to be part of a collection. So I went through my inventory of short fiction and found three other stories that seemed to go with it reasonably well.
At the time I didn't want to bother publishing it myself, though, so I took it to FoxAcre Press, which was happy to publish it.
That was 2011. In 2022, however, FoxAcre decided to drastically reduce their catalog; basically, they stopped publishing anything where they would need to send out royalty statements, limiting their list to either public domain works or books where they owned the copyright. As of January 2023, they returned the rights to the seven Watt-Evans titles they had published.
Most I self-published pretty much unchanged, but I decided this one was too short, and expanded it into The Final Folly of Captain Dancy & Other Tall Tales, adding six more stories. This older version is out of print. Which is something I don't often let happen.
What did I mean by "pseudo-historical fantasies?" I meant the story appears to take place (at least partly) in the past, but not the real past -- a past with magic or super-science. As FoxAcre's Roger Allen puts it, "stories the couldn't possibly have happened, but probably should have."
So here are the four stories I found that fit that description:
- "The Final Folly of Captain Dancy"
- "Windwagon Smith and the Martians"
- "My Mother and I Go Shopping"
- "One Million Lightbulbs"
Bonus features: An introduction by the author, an essay on how I came to write "Captain Dancy," and, at long last, the revelation you'd all been waiting on so long: "What the Parrot Was For."
And that's all there was to it.
That's it; here's your list of handy exits:
The Misenchanted Page
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