Weirdness Rodeo Feed

Small Press Shakedown: Francesca Barbini of Luna Press

British_Fantasy_cover_new

The UK has a fantastic small press scene. To celebrate the people behind the imprints, and help out the writers that are looking to them for publication, we've asked a number of editors to share what they're working on - and what they're looking for. This week our featured publisher is Luna Press.

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Could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you're doing?

Luna Press was born out of my love of reading. I grew up surrounded by books, mainly Fantasy and Science Fiction and owed much of my creativity and interests to other people's stories. Luna exists exactly for this purpose, to be a platform, to allow new voices to be heard and in turn inspire others.

We love a diverse approach to Fantasy and Science Fiction, which is why we give a lot of importance to art and non-fiction. We have organised art shows to go with our illustrated stories, and we encourage research on Fantasy and Science Fiction, especially with our annual call for papers.

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Small Press Shakedown: Martin Appleby of Paper and Ink

Paper and InkThe UK has a fantastic small press scene. To celebrate the people behind the imprints, and help out the writers that are looking to them for publication, we've asked& a number of editors to share what they're working on - and what they're looking for. This week, our guest is Martin Appleby from the literary zine PAPER AND INK.

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Could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you're doing?

My name is Martin and I edit, design and distribute PAPER AND INK, which is a submission based literary zine. I also publish various other zine-based literary treats, such as poetry collections and novels.

What are the stories or the novels that you want to publish?

My personal preference is to look for stories that have a basis in reality. A grounding in day to day life. I tend to lean more towards working class stories, as that is my background, but I like anything that has bite. I like stories that will kick you in the teeth and then buy you a beer afterwards. Snappy, concise prose doesn't go amiss either.

What have you recently published, and what's coming soon?

Aside from the regular issues of PAPER AND INK, last year I published a serialised novel (over three parts), that was kind of an experiment to see if the format would work and it turned out to be pretty successful. I am not actively seeking more novels to publish but if the opportunity arose I would consider it. I also published two poetry collections last year and will be publishing another two this year.

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Small Press Shakedown: Dominic Stevenson of Listen Softly London

Gary from LeedsThe UK has a fantastic small press scene. To celebrate the people behind the imprints, and help out the writers that are looking to them for publication, we've asked a number of editors to share what they're working on - and what they're looking for. This week, our guest is Dominic Stevenson from Listen Softly London.

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Could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you're doing?

Listen Softly London started out as a creative arts night. We'd have poets, storytellers, comedians, and so on and we'd all get together and perform and critique and eventually the press seemed like a natural extension of that. 

To me the press is an opportunity to speak to people who may otherwise not access an arts event. It was a way of expanding beyond the echo chamber.

What are the stories or the novels that you want to publish?

I believe in using words powerfully, and that means I want stories and other works that really look beyond the obvious. We all hate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, but how can your writing get that message to an audience who may not agree? How can it be persuasive?

It's easy to sell books to likeminded people, but how can we get them beyond?

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We're looking for... Small Presses and Book Reviewers

Pornokitsch-800wiWe're restarting our series of small press interviews. The last batch was around 18 months ago, and we're keen to support the UK's amazing small press scene.

If you're a small publisher, please get in touch at editor@pornokitsch.com, we'd love to profile you and hear about your books. Our primary purpose is to showcase British presses, but we're happy to hear about publishers from anywhere in the world. Don't be shy!

On a similar note: if you are a blogger or reviewer, please leave your details in the comments here. We direct all review requests to this page.

Publishers and authors - hint, hint. The above is a great list of reviewers, keen to talk about your work. 


Weirdness Rodeo: Genre, Twitter, Pokémon, Dogs

Dawg
Sometimes you just want to see two dogs hanging out (Tumblr).

The Journal of Cultural Analytics is my new jam, combining two things I love, plus the wonderfully Quixotic concept of trying to quantify the abstract and squirmy. Ted Underwood's piece on "The Life Cycles of Genres" is everything good about cultural analytics. It tries to define the undefinable, goes for a wander, and shares some fascinating insights along the way.

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Weirdness Rodeo: Boardgames, Funk, Amazon

Joshua Haunschild
Badlands National Park / Joshua Haunschild

Are board games getting worse? A data analysis of board game ratings shows that the market is absolutely flooded, but 'peak quality' may have passed us by:

The number of extra-special gems released each year is slightly increasing, but it’s plateauing. Truly great games represent a smaller and smaller part of the year’s releases.

Sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are mainly responsible for the surge in (questionable quality) board game releases. Without needing to convince a publisher of a game’s worth, any chump can get his name on a box by convincing a few hundred people to throw $10 their way.

Although the volume of board games (a predicted 6,000 in 2016) pales in comparison to other publishing endeavours (music, books, etc), it does make for a useful microcosm of the changes in the market. There are still diamonds in the rough, but as the rough becomes more accessible and less filtered, the ratio of diamond-to-rough falls. That's understandable - what's more worrisome is that the raw number of diamonds has been falling since 2012... 

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