An epic story, paraphrasing the definition from Dictionary.com, is a story that surpasses the usual or ordinary in scope or size. Yet the editors of the anthology Twenty Epics, David Moles and Susan Marie Groppi, told the contributors that they would be paid less the more words they wrote. Therein lies the conundrum. How to tell a grand story in as little words as possible? There are no 1200 page peregrinations in the spirit of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. Instead, in mostly less than 10,000 words, (or approximately 30 pages) each author weaves a tale both grand and pointed, spanning from the farthest depths of time and space to the inward depths of the heart.
Personally, I have heard six of the authors read from this anthology, but via the channel Alan DeNiro we were able to experience the presence and words of fourteen others. Anthologies come and go, but I have a feeling this one will stay. It will stay in your mind long after you have read it because a book like this, with so many talented authors and superb stories, doesn’t come around very often.