A year behind schedule, the first volume of The Mesozoic Reader will soon be released into the world. About nine months behind schedule, the dark fantasy issue of From the Farther Trees will follow soon after. As my country careens toward fascism and the world sinks deeper into uncontrolled climate disaster, it's hard to find the motivation to be an editor, be a writer, to share art and bring color to our spiraling-out-of-control existence. I'm burnt out. I don't know when that might change.
All the same, I want to crawl out of this funk if I can. I have plans to write again. I also want to edit again.
I have tentative plans to curate a handful of anthologies, most likely sourced with the help of my writer friends. I want to do a volume of LGBTQIA+ weird westerns as well as a book of LGBTQIA+ space opera. I'm thinking of asking writers I know if they have any stories, flash, or poetry that fits with these themes, reprint or unpublished, and doing some sort of fair split of the proceeds, if any. (Queer Blades has sold maybe half a dozen copies in the last six months, so I'm not holding my breath for much of anything there.)
I also want to do a second volume of Queer Blades sourced in part from excellent stories I had to leave out of the first book when I ran out of space.
If all that works well, I might open up small submissions windows for other projects: a second volume of Mesozoic Reader, possibly a new issue or two of Farther Trees.
Beyond that, who knows? Part of me wants to put Farther Trees on a well-earned hiatus and found an all-new magazine. If profit-sharing (or crowd-sourcing) proves viable, I might opt for brand new themed anthologies a couple times a year. Or maybe I'll do what I planned to do late last year and found a new LGBTQIA+ SF/F/H magazine. Who knows.
I'm still here, whatever the world (or its fascist undercurrent) might do next. And I won't quit on Farther Trees Press, at least until I've done what I want to do. <3
The future of Farther Trees Press.
I've been editing From the Farther Trees and running Farther Trees Press for well over a year now. I wouldn't say I've been doing an especially good job of it. Running the press singlehandedly, and almost entirely out of my own pocket, I've fallen months behind schedule on my first two anthologies. Thanks to a broken printer, I still owe the authors of the August issue their contributors' copies of Farther Trees.
Truth be told, I'm a bit burnt out.
After the publication of Farther Trees' Halloween issue, I'll be taking something of a break. The inaugural Queer Blades and Mesozoic Reader anthologies will be published before the end of the year. Aside from that, I want to take a few months to have a breather, focusing on my own writing and reassessing what's feasible within my current financial limitations. My previous optimistic goal of opening up inboxes for the next volumes of each anthology in October and December, respectively, is getting pushed back to a far more realistic "sometime next year."
However, I've been putting together a plan for an exciting new publication, which will open around March 2022.
Prismatica Magazine was one of the all-time greats of small-press publishing. Sadly, it had to shut down earlier this year. Its loss has left something of a void in the small-press sci-fi and fantasy world. It also left many outstanding stories and poems in limbo, once published but no longer available. (My own novelette "Her Wine Red Star" is one such piece.)
I plan to start my own modest successor to Prismatica's greatness. It will be a digital sci-fi, fantasy, and horror magazine for LGBTQIAA2+ authors and stories. Perhaps with crowdfunding, it may even be possible to offer more than token payment to the authors (although that depends on the success of the crowdfunding, which is never assured).
My plan, as it exists right now:
Figure out a title for the mag, and buy hosting.
Put together an inaugural issue with a mix of Prismatica reprints and invited authors. Launch this issue around March.
Recruit volunteer readers and assistant editors. (These positions could become paid, depending on the success of crowdfunding.)
Crowdfund future issues. (Payments will depend on the success of funding.)
Open up a general submission period around March, aiming for a June publication. Issues will likely be quarterly, with two-month-long submission windows leading into each issue.
Maintain a mirror host on a backup site that won't go down and disappear should the main site become too expensive to keep.
Keep producing volumes of Queer Blades, Mesozoic Reader, and other forthcoming anthologies under the Farther Trees Press banner.
Switch From the Farther Trees to a themed-issue model, along the lines of the September Trees Pop-Up Issue and the forthcoming Halloween issue.
Possibly found a new poetry journal while I'm at it.
The main limitations will be money, of course, and my own ADHD and level of motivation. Those will always be factors. However, I'm excited for this new project and the overall roadmap I'm sketching out for my press. I can't wait to see how well the new magazine will flourish.
Rick Hollon (they/fey). Writer, editor, nature photographer, parent. Nonbinary, intersex, queer.