Ten Stories, One Phone
The seeds of Unlocked Stories started at Silicon Valley Comic Con when Tom Wang came across an author booth where Melinda Snodgrass was selling her latest novels. Tom had never met Melinda before but knew of her work from Star Trek: The Next Generation and her collaborations with George R.R. Martin on the Wild Cards anthology series. In fact, George had dedicated the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire to her: A Game of Thrones. Knowing that George liked to name some of his characters after friends, Tom asked Melinda, if Melisandre the Red Priestess, was named after her. It turned out, she was not.
A few weeks later, Tom had dinner with his friend Anita Dime. Anita, who had published a few books, was thinking about her next story. Tom told Anita about his chat with Melinda and how her and George first started the Wild Cards series with a group of writing friends based on a weekly role-playing game involving superheroes. The two of them thought they could put together a shared-universe anthology with some talented writing friends of their own. They just needed the right idea.
Tom and Anita both grew up in Sunnyvale California, the heart of Silicon Valley. Many of their friends and family work in the tech industry and it only seemed natural for their anthology to revolve around it. Just about everyone has a smartphone these days and thousands of new apps are released every year from major companies all the way to independent developers. Anthologies, like The Twilight Zone, are a great vehicle to tell wonderful stories but the main problem are readers hitting a cold start with each new story. Having a theme, motif, or (ironically) device that can thread through every chapter would help readers begin with familiarity and make the storytelling experience more immersive. Tom is a big fan of Doctor Who and seeing the Tardis arrive on a new planet every week and engage in a different adventure is great fun as well as a brilliant concept.
We hope you enjoy Unlocked Stories and discovering what secrets the mysterious GrayStar phone holds. We enjoyed writing them and thank you for your support!