Saturday, April 14, 2012

We See a Different Frontier Fundraiser

I came across this particular project on one of the many blogs I follow. Unfortunately, it drowned in the dozens of entries from this week I hadn't read yet and I can't seem to find it any more. Whoever you are, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

As you may have noticed I am trying to diversify my reading a bit in recent years. It used to be predominantly epic fantasy but in the last few years it I have developed a taste for other genres as well. One of the developments I have been keeping an eye on is genre fiction from a non-anglophone or non-western perspective. There is preciously little published in that area and it certainly isn't always easy to find. I'm a great fan of projects such as Lavie Tidhar's Apex Book of World SF (the second volume of which will be released later this year) and I would love to see more of such material being published.

We See a Different Frontier takes a slightly different tack. I'll quote from the appeal, since they can explain it much better than I ever could.
We are raising funds to publish a special issue/anthology of colonialism-themed speculative fiction from outside the first-world viewpoint, co-edited by Fabio Fernandes and published by The Future Fire.

Colonialism is still a thorn on the side of humankind. Many of the problems of the Third World, for instance, are due to the social-political-economic matrix imposed on its countries by the First World countries since the 17th century (e.g. the manufacture by European powers of arbitrary borders and tribal conflicts in Africa, and then the creation of Arab countries to defeat the Ottoman Empire in WWI). The balance of power is changing in the 21st Century, but it's still essential to look back if we want to truly understand the forces at play in the political and cultural panoramas of Third World countries—and even in countries that hardly can be labeled as Third World, like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

Much widely distributed science fiction and fantasy is written by American and other Anglophone authors, and treats subjects close to the hearts of straight, white, English-speaking men. There's nothing wrong with this sci-fi itself—we love lots of it—but there's clearly something missing. Having white Anglo cis/hetero/males as (the only) role models is not an option any more. We aim to redress this balance, not only by publishing speculative stories by people with different viewpoints and addressing concerns from outside of the usual area (see World SF), but also by explicitly including fiction that addresses the profound socio-political issues around colonisation and colonialism (see Race in SF). We want to see political stories: not partisan-political, but writing that recognizes the implications for real people and cultures of the events and actions that make up science fictional or fantastic histories, as well as our own history.

For this anthology we will be looking for stories from the perspective of people and places that are colonized under regimes not of their choosing (in the past, present or even future). We are not primarily interested in war stories, although don’t completely rule them out. We are not interested in stories about a White Man learning the error of his ways; nor parables about alien contact in which the Humans are white anglos, and the Aliens are an analogue for other races. We want stories told from the viewpoint of colonized peoples, with characters who do not necessarily speak English, from authors who have experience of the world outside the First World.

We want to raise at least $3000 dollars so that we can make this a professional rate-paying anthology for authors and artists from outside of the mainstream. All editorial and technical work will be carried out for no pay, but we feel strongly we should pay authors fairly for their work. This money will cover the cost of paying around $250 for each of 7-8 stories, plus a cover artist, publicity and advertising, review copies, rewards for donors, etc. All profit from sales of the anthology will be paid to the contributors as royalties. If we raise more than this, we can buy even more stories and/or pay even more professional rates to the authors. If we don’t quite make it, we’ll still publish this great anthology, but it may not be as large, as great, or as professional.
 I think raising $3,000 should be possible and I've made a modest contribution myself. If you would like to see more diversified science fiction being published, consider supporting them. The peerbacker page for this project can be found here.


  1. Hi Val! I just found your blog! Thank you for your contribution and for the signal boost!

    1. Welcome! Can't wait to see the final product ;)