An anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories by writers from Bristol and the Caribbean. With pirates, obviously. Arrr!
An anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories by writers from Bristol and the Caribbean. With pirates, obviously. Arrr! Read more
About this project
Three hundred years ago, a Bristol man called Edward Teach was the terror of the Caribbean. Better known as Blackbeard, he was the most notorious and successful pirate of his day. Teach’s criminal career came to a sticky end in 1718, but he was by no means the only Bristol sailor involved in piracy. The city also has a strong link to fictional pirates. Long John Silver from Treasure Island owned a pub in Bristol. In addition, literature’s most famous castaway, Robinson Crusoe, was based on Alexander Selkirk who came to Bristol after his rescue and there met Daniel Defoe. Woodes Rogers, the Bristol-based captain who rescued Selkirk, was a privateer who preyed on Spanish shipping. He later became Governor of the Bahamas and a scourge of pirates.
A few years ago Wizard’s Tower produced Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion, an anthology of steampunk stories set in and around Bristol, and written by local authors. It did very well, so I wanted to do something similar for the local writing community. When I began to think of a follow-up, pirates immediately came to mind. Everyone loves them, and there is a strong Bristol connection.
However, in thinking about the book it became obvious to me that it could not just be about Bristol. Our pirates didn’t ply their trade in the city; they did so far away across the sea. Most famously they did so in the Caribbean. Any book about pirates, therefore, should not just be about Bristol, but about the Caribbean too, and should involve people from the Caribbean.
Fortunately I happen to know quite a few excellent Caribbean writers of speculative fiction. Some of them have kindly agreed to write for this book. I’m hoping to work with them, and with my colleagues at Ujima Radio, to reach out to budding writers from the Caribbean, and to writers of Caribbean descent living in Bristol.
Although we do have some writers already signed up, the book will be open to submissions, assuming we achieve our funding goals.
Given the nature of speculative fiction writers, I am sure that people’s imaginations will rove far and wide. The book will contain stories about pirates, but some of them may ply their trade in the South China Sea, or in deep space, or with the help of a friendly dragon. All that we ask is that the stories should be about piracy, and that either the story or the writer should have some connection to Bristol and/or the Caribbean.
As for you readers, splice the mainbrace! Or have something non-alcoholic if you prefer. Then patch your eye, map your treasure and buckle on your parrot (dead or alive). It is time to take the Seven Seas, no matter where in space and time they might be found.
1. Piratical behaviour
2. A city of pirates
Joanne Hall (editor) lives in Bristol, and with Roz Clarke, she has edited and contributed to Colinthology, Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion and Fight Like A Girl. She has had seven fantasy novels published and is the Chair of Bristolcon. She tweets far too often at @hierath77.
Roz Clarke (editor) resides in a hidden corner of North Bristol, deep in the tall grass. She's a freelance writer and editor, and a graduate of the MMU Creative Writing MA and of Clarion West. She is a guest editor at Kristell Ink, has had short stories published in various magazines and anthologies and is co-editor of the anthologies Colinthology, Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion and Fight Like A Girl, alongside Joanne Hall. She's been a member of the BristolCon committee since its inception in 2009, and is delighted to have come to rest in that peculiar, inspiring city. You can twit her at @zora_db.
Cheryl Morgan (managing editor) is the owner of Wizard's Tower Press. This is her project.
Karen Lord (Barbados) Barbadian author, editor and research consultant Karen Lord has been a physics teacher, a diplomat, a part-time soldier, and an academic at various times and in various countries. Her debut novel Redemption in Indigo won the 2008 Frank Collymore Literary Award, the 2010 Carl Brandon Parallax Award, the 2011 William L. Crawford Award, the 2011 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature and the 2012 Kitschies Golden Tentacle (Best Debut)
Stephanie Saulter (London/Jamaica) is best known as the author of Gemsigns, Binary and Regeneration, which use the lens of an altered humanity to take a new look at the old issues of race, class, inequality and social conflict. Her next book, Sacred, will be less science fictional and quite possibly unclassifiable.
R.S.A. Garcia (Trinidad) is the author of Lex Talionis, published by Dragonwell Publishing in 2014. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Silver Medal for Best Scifi/Fantasy/Horror Ebook from the Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY 2015).She lives in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago with an extended family and far too many dogs.
Gareth L. Powell (Bristol) is the author of the award-winning Ack-Ack Macaque series, and other novels. His next trilogy, Embers Of War, will be published by Titan Books in 2018.
Jonathan L. Howard (Keynsham) lives in a small town near Bristol where there is an actual place called The Fear Institute. He is not afraid of it. Contrary to rumors, he is not a necromancer. He just writes about one. That would be Johannes Cabal, of course. Jonathan is also responsible for Carter & Lovecraft.
For more information about Caribbean science fiction writers, see this splendid resource.
We have them. Here's the plan.
At £15,000 we'll add some essays about pirate history.
At £20,000 we'll produce hardcover editions of Piracity (and add extra reward levels so you can order them).
At £25,000 we'll pay our writers, editors and other contributors more.
Risks and challenges
We are an experienced team and are confident that we can produce a book. However, other things may get in the way.
We have a number of writers pre-signed. One or more of them may, through illness or other issues, be unable to complete their story. If that happens we hope to find a suitable replacement in the submissions.
The rapid fall of the British Pound against other currencies, in particular the US Dollar, has been a concern in budgeting this project. There's not much we can do about this except be prepared to take a loss, which we are.
Postage, as ever, will be exciting, but we'll work with you make sure you all get your books.
We expect the book to be ready in time for the World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki in August, 2017. It seemed like a good way to celebrate Nalo Hopkinson being the first Caribbean writer to become a Worldcon Guest of Honour. That should be plenty of time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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