Egypt is a fascinating place. Home of the world’s longest river, and abutting on the Mediterranean Sea, it was an important early empire that produced many engineering marvels, a unique religion (more than 100,000 cats were mummified), and an interesting form of writing. Deeply involved with Rome, it also helped launch Christianity, one of today’s great religions, and was even invaded by Napoleon later on.
After falling under British control, “archeologists” began investigating (ransacking?), Egypt’s past in the late 19th and early 20th century. Then when a few of these characters met “mysterious” fates, literary imaginations ran wild.
As a result, Egyptian fantasies abound. For example, The Internet Speculative Fiction Database, reports 13 Egyptian fantasy anthologies have been published over the last 50 years. (They are The Mummy Walks Among Us (1971), Mummy (1980), The Mummy: Stories of the Living Corpse (1988), Mummy Stories (1990), Into the Mummy’s Tomb (2001), Out of the Sand (2008), The Mummy Megapack: 20 Classic and Modern Tales (2011), Unearthed (2013), Ancient Egyptian Supernatural Tales (2115), Lost in a Pyramid & Other Classic Mummy Stories (2016), The Mammoth Book of the Mummy (2017), Mummy Knows Best (2017), and Restless: An Anthology of Mummy Horror (2017), A Mummy Omnibus: 1820s-1920s (2018).
So why, then, did we produce Egyptian Bizarre? First, there are still many good, and relatively unknown Egyptian stories out there. Second, our focus is a little broader than most of the anthologies above. 10 of our selections, for example, feature bizarre events having nothing at all to do with mummies. Third, much in our anthology is fresh. More than 50% of our 21 selections do not appear in any of the other Egyptian anthologies above (11). And it’s over 70% when you add in stories appearing in 1 other anthology only (4). Finally, we wanted to assemble an Egyptian anthology that would satisfy our tastes. If you’ve read any of our other work, you know, much time and effort goes into our books. They aren’t just thrown together. Besides calling upon our memories, we do much book and serial research on the web looking for well written, easy to read stories, offering novel ideas and, collectively, a good amount of thematic variation.