Interview with Robert MacAnthony, Founder of Long Count Press

Shadows of a Fading WorldIn my last post, I reviewed the anthology Shadows of a Fading World, the inaugural anthology from Long Count Press. The founder and publisher, Robert MacAnthony was kind enough to answer a few questions about Long Count Press.

Keith West for Amazing Stories Magazine: Tell us a little about Long Count Press, please. What types of fiction do publish and/or intend to publish?

Robert MacAnthony: Long Count Press publishes speculative fiction of any sort, which includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, and in some cases may also include Horror, though when it comes to the latter we will probably stick with Dark Fantasy or Science Fiction – stories with Horror elements – rather than outright Horror. So far, we have published one Sword and Sorcery-themed anthology. Our second anthology will also be fantasy, and the theme will be centered around Mesoamerican culture, mythology, and so on.

ASM: What made you decide to start a small press?

RM: It is something I’ve always wanted to try. I enjoy reading, editing, and writing, and I enjoy working with other authors. With the rise of e-publishing, doing something like starting a small press has become much easier. My goal with Long Count Press is to work with authors whose stories I enjoy and help them get those stories out there, and also to publish stories of the sort that I like to read.

ASM: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in running a small press that you weren’t expecting?

RM: Time is probably the biggest challenge. I’m an Intellectual Property Attorney by day, and that’s a busy profession to be in. When I decided to start Long Count Press, I wanted to do it right, and that takes time. An equal challenge has simply been getting the world out, so that I receive enough submissions for the anthologies that I can fill them with stories I like. I won’t include stories that don’t appeal to me just to fill space.

ASM: How did you decide on the name Long Count Press?

RM: I’m a big fan of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican history, and I like the symbolism of the Long Count calendar. The cyclical nature of it seems appropriate to a publisher, and I hope to be in this for the long run (though I doubt the press will survive through a full long count cycle).

ASM: What four authors (living or dead) would you like to publish?

RM: This is a great question, and as soon as I list four here I’ll think of another dozen. I’ll go with two dead and two living. For the dead authors, I’d pick Clark Ashton Smith (particularly his Zothique work), and C.L. Moore. Both are early figures in the genre, and both deserve to be better known today than they are. Of the authors currently writing, I’d love to publish dark fantasy along the lines of Caitlin R. Kiernan, or works by Tanith Lee.

ASM: What was the first fantasy author or book/story that made an impact on you?

RM: I’ll give what has to be a common ancestor – the first fantasy I ever read was The Hobbit, which I followed quickly with Lord of the Rings. Thus, Tolkien was the first author to make an impact on me. No sooner had I discovered those works than I branched out into H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber, all of whom were to be found in my father’s book collection, and ultimately those four authors had a bigger impact on me than Tolkien. But Tolkien was first.Long Count Press

ASM: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask that I haven’t?

RM: I might ask what’s next for Long Count Press. The answer to that is the aforementioned Mesoamerican-themed anthology, to be followed by a third anthology (I’m still kicking around the theme for that one), and also complete novels or novellas by a single author. I’m hoping to get something in the latter category published this year, but the anthologies are my focus at the moment.
Thanks for taking the time to conduct the interview.

ASM: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.

As Mr. MacAnthony stated, the second anthology will focus on MesoAmerica.  The Long Count Press homepage says that they are still open to submissions.

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