The New England Speculative Writers is putting together its first anthology. The theme, “The Final Summons.” Submissions by members are due January 31st. More details about the submission can be found here. Three curators will be reading through the slush and putting together the best stories. We thought it’d be good to interview each of the curators and give a little background about who they are and what they’re looking for in this anthology. Chris Duryea is a member of the Metrowest Writers and has a background in English and education.

What is your background in literature?

I’ve been a lifelong fan for fantasy and science fiction, from the original Star Trek on television, to appropriating by dad’s copies of Frank Herbert and Tolkien. These original influences guided me into the world of ideas, and ideas of other worlds. Since then I had always been spinning ideas for stories and spent years developing my voice as a writer. I taught high school English for 14 years and during that time I did not write a single creative word. Recently, I left the classroom and have been channeling my creative energy back into my imaginative works. I have sold three short stories since I began writing again and currently have two novels in progress.

What are some of your favorite Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels?

My favorites include the Lensman series, the Stainless Steel Rat series, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and the Amber series. I also enjoy almost anything by Greg Bear, John Varley, Robert Heinlein, David Brin and Spider Robinson.

What excites you about the upcoming anthology?

I’m thrilled to be asked to participate in editing this anthology. I’m really looking forward to seeing the different approaches to the “final summons” idea. It’s a wide open, yet perennial storytelling trope, and I’m sure I’m going to read interpretations that I would never have thought of myself.

Is there anything you’re specifically looking for?

I addition to interesting and unexpected approaches to the theme, I’m also interested in seeing how writers from a variety of backgrounds approach short-form storytelling. I don’t have a checklist for what I’m looking for other than creativity and authenticity. If it transports me, moves me, surprises or challenges me–that’s what I want to see.