The title of this post, by the way, is not something I said, but a reviewer. 🙂
When I first started inhaling fiction in every second of my spare time, the only books being released were from traditional publishers.
Anthologies back then often had a long, in-depth foreword by the editor, and an additional note in front of each story, giving some details about the author and why the editor picked the story that followed.
If it was a collection of stories by the same author (which are not called anthologies, but collections or volumes), often the author themselves wrote a foreword, and a little note that preceded each story, with some details about how the story came to be and why it was included in the collection.
In science fiction anthologies and story volumes, it was even more common.
Those notes that precede and follow the stories have a multi-syllabic name: interstitial material.
It’s a mouthful.
But I used to love that stuff! I found the interstitial material sometimes more interesting than the stories themselves. They often let me glimpse something about the author and their life and work habits.
In particular, Isaac Asimov used to write the best interstitial essays!
I always felt like I knew the author a bit better, after reading such a volume. Anthologies, too, would give me a look at the inner workings of stories.
So, now, when I build a boxed set of any of my series, I try to include interstitial material, just like Asimov et al.
The Beloved Bloody Time Series Boxed Set was released last Thursday and yes, I have interstitial material before and after each book in the series. All the books are there, including the novellas and novelettes.
An early review said about the interstitial essays:
I really like the author’s notes in between the books as they support comprehension of continuity and time lines as well as giving us behind-the-scenes info. It nicely rounds up this exceptional box set.
And a review I received upon the release:
The journeys you take in the entire saga are incredible and well worth the time!! Absolutely Stunning Epic Read – Prepare to be Awed!!
So I guess I’m not the only one who likes interstitial material!
Get the news that no one else does. Sign up for my newsletter.
For a short while, you get a bundle of ebooks, free, when you sign up, as a Starter Library. Details here.