The Red-Headed Step-Children of Literature
Since the dawn of time, the illustrious high-nosed literary snobs have looked down upon us lowly genre scum from their gleaming mighty towering pedestals:
“Oh dear me oh my. BAH!
“These are not literature! They hold nothing of substance! Nothing of value! No understanding of the real world! And say… pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”
Let’s face it. Horror, SF, fantasy… are all considered the red-headed step children of modern literature. And to the literary snob, anyone who reads these ill-fated genres should be shamed, pitied, ridiculed. Intellectually eviscerated.
And yet… genre fiction makes up the largest-profiting market of all fiction sales. Genre fiction arguably converts a far wider number of non-readers into book worms (just look at the Harry Potter series for instance!). Genre fiction leaves all boundaries at the door, and lets the writer and the reader consider the most fantastical, horrific, and/or amazing possibilities of the mind.
Genre fiction digs headlong into the deepest possible definition of unreal and relates to us—in shades and details and angles we could never otherwise have known—the very real.
And, in recent times, genre has gone on to do so much more in the very real. Through the magic of modern small press publishing and charitable organizations, genre fiction has gone on to help fight, treat, and perhaps maybe even some day it will heal, sickness and disease. Poverty. Famine.
In September of 2011, Mark C. Scioneaux and I began taking submissions for a small horror anthology with a very big idea behind it. Charity. More specifically, a charity that was deeply meaningful to one of the anthology’s creators. And in March of 2012, HORROR FOR GOOD: A CHARITABLE ANTHOLOGY was born. HORROR FOR GOOD includes stories by Jack Ketchum, Joe Lansdale, F. Paul Wilson, Laird Barron, Ray Garton, Lisa Morton, Joe McKinney, Nate Southard, and many more and continues to this day to give 100% of its net royalties to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
On the heels of HFG’s success, Mark and I and my wife Jennifer went on to form Nightscape Press. Nightscape was simply a small press publisher, nothing more. We went on to produce award winning novels and novellas and two more charitable anthologies: BLOOD TYPE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF VAMPIRE SF ON THE CUTTING EDGE (includes stories by William F. Nolan, Peter Watts, Mike Resnick, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, Tim Waggoner, and more. 100% of its net royalties go to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust) and FANTASY FOR GOOD: A CHARITABLE ANTHOLOGY (includes stories by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, Roger Zelazny, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Moorcock, Katherine Kerr, Jay Lake, and more. 100% of its net royalties go to the Colon Cancer Alliance).
But now we want to create something altogether new. We at Nightscape Press feel that the literary snobs are wrong. We know that genre fiction has so very much to offer. And we know it has even more still to offer for the future. So, in 2017 we will officially be relaunching Nightscape (and our young adult imprint Past Curfew Press) under a new business model. One that focuses on giving to as many charities as possible. From 2017 on, all of our novels and novellas and collections will here on split the largest share of royalties to both their authors and the charity of their choice.
And we’d like to offer for you to be a part of the fun! Not only have we started a Patreon for both the launch of this new model and the launch of a new magazine as well…
(Introducing: DreamSpan Magazine, a future pro-paying premiere magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror!)
We will also be looking to more fully staff our operation with volunteers like you! That’s right. We need people who care about genre fiction as much as we do. People who know what these red-headed step children are capable of! We need editors, artists, proofreaders, promoters, designers, and really anyone else who would like to help out in any way they can.
Because Nightscape Press believes in genre fiction and genre fiction writers and readers and, together, we want to use the fantastic, the dark, the creepy, and the awe-inspiring and amazing to make this world a better place!
Robert S. Wilson is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor, and the author of the Empire of Blood dystopian vampire series comprised of the novels SHINING IN CRIMSON, FADING IN DARKNESS, and RISING FROM ASHES. His short fiction has appeared or will yet appear in DarkFuse Magazine, Nameless Digest, the Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing newsletter, PMMP’s One Night Stands series, as well as a number of anthologies including The Best of the Horror Society 2013 (ed. Carson Buckingham), Fear the Reaper (ed. Joe Mynhardt), Bleed (ed. Lori Michelle), and Gothic Lovecraft (ed. Lynne Jamneck and S.T. Joshi). He is also Editor in Chief of Nightscape Press.
Nightscape Press/Dreamspan Magazine Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nightscapepress
Past Curfew Press on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pastcurfewpress
Blood Type: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GB30DKW