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Geek Pride Day

I’ve loved fantasy and science fiction since my dad read me Tolkien’s The Hobbit when I was about eight. Or maybe it was even before that, when he read me Narnia. This quickly developed into a Star Trek habit fed by early morning reruns of the original series while in the evenings I read Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea or Diane Duane’s Young Wizards (a far more interesting and complex series than Harry Potter, I said what I said). As I got older, I headed into the Discworld which is still one of my favourite series, marvelled at the twists in Asimov’s Foundation and revelled in the absurdity of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Today is apparently ‘towel day’ which will no doubt mystify the uninitiated. Don’t panic! It coincides with the more general Geek Pride Day – an event which might seem unnecessary in a world packed with Marvel movies, Harry Potter themed shops and Star Wars figurines. But I remember when an interest in SFF was far more fringe and a little looked down upon. It’s been wonderful to see so many people embrace stories of far-flung worlds, magic and other races and it’s my deep love of exactly these things that has made editing Sandstone’s speculative titles such a joy.

Speculative fiction combines the exploration of serious contemporary topics through futuristic metaphor with brilliant writing. Paul Braddon’s The Actuality considers gender and AI deeply while also being a really exciting chase story. Jamie Mollart’s Kings of a Dead World is a stark look at the impact of climate change and the role wealth will play in determining who is most affected. And Angie’s Spoto’s The Grief Nurse reinvents the classic ‘country manor murder mystery’ trope with a fresh take on social class and sexuality.

Editing is always a joy but when an unfamiliar world is being created in the pages it takes on a wonderful new dimension, one I can’t wait for readers to experience. So why not join me in exploring the future? I’ll see you and our fellow geeks there!

-Kay Farrell
Publication Manager