My Favorite Bit: Jennifer Brozek Talks About THE REINVENTED HEART

Jennifer Brozek is joining us today to talk about the anthology she edited with Cat Rambo, The Reinvented Heart. Here’s the publisher’s description:

What happens when emotions like love and friendship span vast distances — in space, in time, and in the heart?

Science fiction often focuses on future technology and science without considering the ways social structures will change as tech changes — or not. What will relationships look like in a complicated future of clones, uploaded intelligences, artificial brains, or body augmentation? What stories emerge when we acknowledge possibilities of new genders and ways of thinking about them?

The Reinvented Heart presents stories that complicate sex and gender by showing how shifting technology may affect social attitudes and practices, stories that include relationships with communities and social groups, stories that reinvent traditional romance tropes and recast them for the 21st century, and above all, stories that experiment, astonish, and entertain.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Cat Rambo

HEARTS

Poem: They: A Grammar Lesson by Jane Yolen

Retrospect by Seanan McGuire

Lockpick, Locked Heart by AnaMaria Curtis

Touch Has a Memory by Lisa Morton

Ping-Pong Dysphoria by Madeline Pine

In Our Masks, the Shadows by Sam Fleming

Ships of Theseus by Felicity Drake

What’s Jennifer’s favorite bit?

JENNIFER BROZEK

The Reinvented Heart anthology is about relationships—all kinds of relationships: familial, platonic, romantic, professional, aromantic, and more. That idea is at the core of my favorite bit about working on this anthology: relationships and how they grow. More to the point, my relationship with my co-editor, Cat Rambo, and how it has grown over the process of anthology creation.

To begin with, this anthology wasn’t my idea. I wasn’t there at its inception. It was Cat’s anthology project and I came in after the fact. When life got overwhelming for her, she remembered our working relationship and asked me to edit it with her. You better bet I said yes.

This is one of those moments in my life where I realized I really had made an impact on someone. This anthology is not the first time I have worked with Cat. She was the SFWA President while I was on the Board of Directors. I’ve always said I never want to be the smartest person in the room. With Cat leading the board, that was never a problem. She gave me someone to aspire to. 

I have always wanted to work with Cat on a writing project. The fact that she remembered me and my editing work with enough respect to want me to work with her was both complimentary and daunting. We had worked together but we had never edited together. This was an opportunity I could not turn down. 

My favorite thing about working with Cat on this anthology was learning from her. Editors who work together on a project must blend their professional skills along with their needs and wants. I learned how she approached a project, how she managed up (interacted with the publisher) and down (communicated with the authors) as well as how she worked alongside a peer (me). We both have different ways of doing things and understanding how each other worked gave me another tool for my publishing industry toolbox. It’s one thing to hear about a skill. It’s another to see it in practice. I learned so much.

Our friendly acquaintance from working together on the SFWA board morphed into something more personal as we edited our first anthology. Our relationship now is one of deep friendship and mutual respect. Relationships grow and change over time. In this case, working together has deepened our relationship. We like each other and we like working together. So much so that we’ve begun our next anthology in the Reinvented series: The Reinvented Detective.

I learn something from every single person I work with. Cat taught me a new way of looking at anthologies and short story editing. Not only that, she’s become a person I can depend on as a friend and a peer. Someone who understands. That makes my relationship with her invaluable. 

LINKS:

The Reinvented Heart Universal Book Link

Jennifer Brozek’s Website

Cat Rambo’s Website

BIO:

Jennifer Brozek is an award winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods, Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy were finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. She was awarded the Scribe Award for best tie-in Young Adult novel for BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident. Grants Pass won an Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication. A Hugo finalist for Short Form Editor and a finalist for the British Fantasy Award, Jennifer is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She keeps a tight writing and editing schedule and credits her husband Jeff with being the best sounding board ever. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

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