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David G. Hartwell

The Anderson Project

The Anderson Project

David G. Hartwell

Introducing The Anderson Project

This group of stories is the second in a series of story groupings based upon a pre-existing work of art, in this case a Richard Anderson painting. The first such group, The Palencar Project, was published by a year ago, and I refer you to my short essay, Introducing the Palencar Project, for an explanation of the rationale for doing stories based on paintings, a long tradition in popular fiction that has apparently fallen out of fashion in recent decades.

I find it intriguing that in two of the stories, the painting itself is part of the setting and plays a role. The relation of illustration to the written word is complex and deep, and is centuries old. Perhaps a lot older. In my imagination there were words in some oral tradition associated with the astonishing cave paintings of the Neanderthals in Europe.

There are a number of ways one can interpret a painting, and I asked the writers in this case to interpret this in the direction of science fiction. As you can tell in particular from the Judith Moffett story, a consideration of the image can evoke a variety of responses. But whatever the image, it becomes a repository of things the writer wishes to express, and becomes embedded in the prose fiction, uniquely in each story.

There were other writers invited to submit work and I anticipate at least a couple of stories appearing in a year or two in other venues that began as drafts for this project, but could not be completed now. The three stories here, though, are finished and accomplished and make a set. They are in my opinion of high quality and it is my hope that you enjoy them.

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