Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Looking Forward: Beyond the Bookshelf

Brian Niemeier's post at Kairos regarding Superversive v. PulpRev got me thinking that we should take some time to look ahead and start talking about where we want to go- what we want to build towards, in concrete terms.

It's good that we have a small (and growing) cadre of authors publishing independently and via friendly small publishers such as Silver Empire, Castalia House, and Superversive Press. It's also good that we have friendly magazines that welcome our short stories and slightly longer works. I would like to see a few more of each, and if I had the capital I would do it and not merely talk. The same is true for audiobook production; we have some, and I welcome more.

But we should not limit our sights to the bookshelf and the magazine stand, real and virtual alike. The embrace of audiobooks is a good decision on multiple levels, and from that it's a short step to producing original radio plays like the Golden Age of Radio. Razorfist's recreation of a lost Shadow radio episode is Proof of Concept that it can be done.

We got where we are by embracing a vision and making it happen. We can inspire others to follow our example by encouraging those who, while sympathetic to us and our allies, don't have the talents to contribute as we do or prefer another form of entertainment to reading books and magazines. There are actors, technicians, programmers, designers, developers, directors, producers, investors, and more out there wanting to find a way to do as we are but in their own areas of interest or expertise. Encourage them.

And, whenever possible, find a way to create mutually-beneficial situations. This is where the business-savvy among us have their chance to shine, creating connections (and taking a cut for their effort, of course), as the people putting parties together to make yet more incredible entertainment for people to enjoy. Our forefathers before us built up entire business sectors on by looking forward and making allies in the audience into partners. We would be wise to not only repeat that example, but build upon it in ways they only imagined- much like we already are.

The Shadow needed his army of agents. Doc Savage had his crew of comrades. The Phantom had the Jungle Patrol. We've got examples in our own backyard of looking forward being the wise move. Let's not be fools, and think only of our specific interests; we won't win back what was lost by doing so.


  1. I'd love to see some real brainstorming on how to branch out and pull in new blood with all their talents in tow.

    1. If I don't see it happening by next Monday, I'll start that very thing with my next post.