I was recently asked to contribute to, and act as compiling editor of, an anthology of new Speculative Fiction being published by Elsewhen Press. The book, [Re]Awakenings, contains a collection of short stories from a number of authors, with examples of science fiction, fantasy and paranormal stories, some quite serious, some satirical, and some downright funny. In the process of selecting the stories, choosing the running order and eventually trying to write the foreword, I thought long and hard about the distinctions between the different stories and whether they should be labelled in some way. I decided to avoid giving each story some sort of restrictive tag, on the grounds that a reader should have the opportunity to enjoy the story without preconceived notions of what to expect. As it is, the readership will already have self-selected as fans of one or more of the flavours of Speculative Fiction. Continue reading “Speculative Fiction – isn’t all fiction speculative?”
Elsewhen Press is an independent publisher of Speculative Fiction based in the South East of England. An imprint of Alnpete Limited, a small privately owned company, we are a sibling to Alnpete Press, a publisher of general fiction. We were established in 2011 to concentrate on the themes and genres that most interested our editorial team. We have adopted a digital-first publishing policy. We are open to both UK and non-UK authors of science fiction and fantasy fiction, writing in English (whether or not they have been previously published); but we are especially keen to discover and promote new authors. Our plans include novels, anthologies of short stories from invited contributors, as well as anthologies of short stories from open invitation, and we will consider other interesting new projects.
Traditionally publishers have produced books in print editions. A reasonable number of copies of the book are printed. Some are initially bound in a hardback cover with a glossy jacket. Then, when hardback sales are flagging, the remainder are bound in a paperback cover. Some time later a mass market paperback edition may be produced which has been printed on smaller and much lower quality paper using cheaper ink.
With the advent of eBooks, traditional publishers have gradually been starting to produce digital editions of many of their new titles soon after the publication of the print edition. Many of them have also been producing digital editions of some of their backlist. There is, of course, much discussion in the world of publishing about all aspects of digital editions, just as there is in the world of readers (although much of the discussion there centres around two topics; namely, the relative prices of digital and print editions and the quality of digital editions, especially when produced by self-publishing authors). Continue reading “What is digital-first?”
Speculative Fiction is a term that has become increasingly popular in recent years to collectively describe a wide range of genres of fiction. It covers science fiction and fantasy fiction, usually including horror too. As such it also encompasses related genres such as alternate history, magical reality, cyberpunk, steampunk, paranormal and supernatural. Of course exactly what it is that distinguishes science fiction from fantasy is an argument that could run and run, so we will completely ignore it here!
Such a wide-ranging definition is useful to a publisher like us as it enables us to define our market while retaining a reasonable degree of freedom in the titles we choose to publish. But while we embrace the term, as it covers the themes and genres that most excite us, it seems a little inappropriate to imply that any other type of fiction is not, in and of itself, in some way speculative.
So please don’t interpret our use of the phrase to be a comment on other genres that we are not particularly interested in publishing. Also, note that it is sufficiently vague that we can in the future always add another genre into the mix with the justification that it too is speculative 😉
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