February 18th, 2011

thinky tim

Announcement: Royal Archivist

In the midst of all the various aggravating or horrific things going on, I'd like to talk about something that makes me happy: Royal Archivist.

Royal Archivist publishes speculative fiction in various mediums set in a shared universe that explicitly invites and is impacted by fan contributions. We see ourselves not so much as a publishing company, but as a storytelling company, producing fiction, setting-expanding guidebooks, sequential art, roleplaying scenarios, regular columns, audio works and more, all tied together by our setting and the contributions of our fans.

We believe that by creating in a wide variety of media, we open the door to both a greater number and greater diversity of contributors. From the beginning, it has been our goal to see our shared universe populated by characters traditionally underrepresented in fiction, speculative or otherwise. Expect to see protagonists who are also people of color. Expect non-traditional gender roles, and non-traditional genders. Expect us to be a place that your story can be told. Join us, and expect more from our world.

In other words, to pull out two examples from their FAQ that appeal the most to me: it's like the Forgotten Realms D&D setting, or DC and Marvel's comic book universes, with the one major difference being that the founding philosophy incorporates anti-oppression as a welcome and necessary component.

Excited? 'Cause I am.

The launch date is March 14, but in the meantime you can sign up for the weekly newsletter and look into submitting your work.

At the moment, what RA needs most help with is their Kickstarter project, seeking money with which to hire artists. They have $1700 of the $2500 goal needed by March 1. If you have any interest in what they're doing (speculative fiction informed by anti-oppression! who doesn't?) and a little cash to spare, please take a look and see what level of pledge - taking note of the rewards offered - you can afford.

Full disclosure: the people behind this company are close personal friends of mine. To me, the only difference that makes is that I've already had the opportunity to see their work in these arenas (fiction, game design, GMing) and know them as trustworthy in regards to issues of privilege and oppression.

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