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William Sanders is an American author of short speculative fiction, though he also wrote quite a few novels during his career.
William Sanders Anthologies
Born in 1942, William’s life was quite adventurous. A former student of Arkansas A&M College, William spent some time in the Army, specifically in the security agency. But after three years, he left to pursue other interests.
For a time, he meandered. Circumstances took him into construction where he worked as a laborer. He also worked as a musician, an encyclopedia salesman, and even a preacher. Writing only entered the picture in 1973.
This was the year that the author started writing for publication. At the start, William focused primarily on nonfiction. He had an interest in outdoor activities such as sports and that drove him to produce columns for magazines in those same fields.
He went so far as to write and publish four books on subjects like Kayaking. His transition to speculative fiction did not happen until the late 80s. One assumes that all the nonfiction writing he did beforehand prepared him for his foray into fiction because William Sanders’ first published novel earned him all manner of critical praise, not to mention a John Campbell award nomination.
The author went on to write numerous other novels and short stories in the mystery, suspense, thriller, and science fiction genres.
Readers that have encountered William’s work will tell you that he has a cynical sense of humor. His stories make use of Indian American themes. Because he studied history, the author placed a lot of emphasis on the accuracy of the details he included in his works.
This was especially true for the columns he contributed to publications like Competitive Cycling.
William Sanders passed away in 2017. His death came after a prolonged period of illness. He is remembered for the work he did with the Helix SF magazine as an editor and publisher. The online magazine came out quarterly and it had a decent following until William courted controversy by making some remarks about Muslim terrorists that several authors found so abhorrent that they went on to remove their stories from his magazine’s achieves.
William had a wife.
William Sanders Awards
William Sanders’ first novel was nominated for a John W. Campbell Award. The Undiscovered also received Hugo and Nebula Award Nominations.
Best William Sanders Books
William Sanders is renowned for his humorous, creative, and imaginative alternative histories, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:
Journey to Fusang: Journey to Fusang tells a story set in an alternate historical period, one in which European Civilization did not thrive. The Mongols attacked and caused all manner of destruction. Their conquest was foiled and they were eventually sent packing.
But the damage was done. Coupled with the consequences of the Black Death, the Mongols successfully impeded Europe’s development in the 1300s. As such, by the time the 17th Century came around, Europe had been reduced to some backwater society incapable of opposing China and the nations of the Islamic world.
In this Sanders story, it was China and the Islamic World that ultimately discovered and settled in the New World. So when Finn first enters North America, the people, the cultures, and the traditions are nothing like what the readers in the real world know.
Finn made a mistake. His dalliance with an underage girl drew the ire of the Irish High king. In his attempts to escape, Finn boards a Muslim Slave Ship, unaware of the adventures he is about to encounter in the Aztec Empire that waits at the end of his journey.
The Undiscovered: This is another Sanders story that explores alternate history. In The Undiscovered, a Cherokee band mounts a raid. They return home with a new prisoner. This white man is none other than Shakespeare, and he is about to write Hamlet for his Cherokee Captors.
The Undiscovered is a short story that is less than two dozen pages in length. However, the quality of Sanders’ writing is such that he won the Sidewise Award in the late 1990s for The Undiscovered.
Readers who studied English are especially fascinated by the story because it plays with a subject with which they are deeply familiar. While the concept of Shakespeare writing Hamlet for the Cherokee tribe is fascinating, it is merely the platform from which various other plotlines spring.
When Does The Next William Sanders book come out?
William Sanders doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is East of the Sun and West of Fort Smith and was released on September, 1st 2008. It is the newest book in the William Sanders Collections.