My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Alisa Krasnostein to talk about how Talking People Into Things relates to Kaleidoscope…
Kaleidoscope is an anthology of diverse contemporary YA fantasy stories.
I’m not sure I should actually tell you this but my superpower is talking people into getting involved in projects. I guess creative energy at the inception of a project is contagious. It’s definitely one of the best bits about publishing — the rush of coming up with a new project that you think can work, that you want to spend a year or two developing into something great and bouncing ideas off co-collaborators. That’s how we’re here— Julia and I—working on Kaleidoscope, an anthology of diverse contemporary YA fantasy.
You see, I heard Julia Rios on a podcast recording of a panel at WisCon talking about YA dystopian fiction and how so much of it featured white, able bodied characters. And thinking about all the books I’d recently been reading, I realised how true that was and how little that made sense, really, that in post-apocalyptic worlds, only the white, able-bodied amongst us would survive some major world catastrophe. And I realised that I wanted to publish some fiction that was the opposite of that, to at least start to right that balance and provide some choice of something else for young adults to read. So I took this idea to Julia because I really wanted to work with her to make this project happen, since she’d prompted the idea, and, ok, I admit it. I used my superpower on her. And she said yes!
And so here we are – this month we launched a crowdfunding campaign through the Australian platform Pozible to raise the funds to bring this anthology project to reality.
The main characters in Kaleidoscope stories will be part of the QUILTBAG, neuro-diverse, disabled, from non-Western cultures, people of color, or in some other way not the typical straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied characters we see all over the place. Our focus is contemporary fantasy with protagonists from all sorts of backgrounds being the heroes of their own journeys. We’ve already acquired some fantastic stories from Sofia Samatar, Ken Liu, Vylar Kaftan, and Jim Hines and we’ll be opening the anthology to submissions when we raise $7k towards our fundraising goal. I can’t wait to bring this project to fruition. And um, use my superpower for good.
To learn more about the project, check out the Kaleidoscope Pozible page!
Alisa Krasnostein is editor and publisher at independent Twelfth Planet Press, a freshly minted creative publishing PhD student and recently retired environmental engineer. She is also part of the twice Hugo nominated Galactic Suburbia Podcast team. In 2011, she won the World Fantasy Award for her work at Twelfth Planet Press. She was the Executive Editor and founder of the review website Aussie Specfic in Focus! from 2004 to 2012. In her spare time she is a critic, reader, reviewer, podcaster, runner, environmentalist, knitter, quilter and puppy lover.