Q&A with dave ring (#GlitterandAshes)

If you’re in a permanent state of wanting more stories that take place “after the apocalypse,” look no further than Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn’t Die. dave ring, publisher and manager of Neon Hemlock Press, currently has the project up via Kickstarter until October 1st. Read on below to learn more about the origin of the project and what he’s looking for in terms of submissions.

Glitter + Ashes Kickstarter (Back the Project Here)

Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn’t Die will be an anthology about queer joy and queer community in the face of disaster. What brought about this idea?

Mad Max: Fury Road is certainly an influence, but also apocalypses from the indie tabletop RPGs Apocalypse World and Dream Askew (which is why I’m so delighted that Avery Alder has graciously allowed me to include Dream Askew in the book so that more folks can get this beautiful game into their hands).  Beyond that, the anthology’s concept was born from a love of the post-apocalyptic genre and a general disappointment that so many post-apocalyptic stories avoided or omitted queer narratives.  I love reading about imagined communities that explore new ways of navigating “broken” environments.  Because what is “broken” really?  Hopefully Glitter + Ashes will show us how broken things are beautiful in  at least a dozen ways.

As this is your second anthology and it’s a companion to your first anthology, what do you imagine will be some thematic differences between the two?

I’m playing into your hands here talking about how “brokenness” appeals to me.  My first anthology was called Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of a City That Never Was.  I feel like Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany continues to be an inspiration for both anthologies.  Where Broken Metropolis peered into windows and peeled back yellow wallpaper, Glitter + Ashes will also look at the ways that broader landscapes inform the world and forefront the role of joy against the backdrop of pain.  Resiliency in times of trouble.

While people are preparing their stories or editing things for submissions, what are some things you’d like to see before submissions close on November 30th?

In addition to the general thoughts I have in the guidelines, I’d love to emphasize that I’m very interested in futures that are nearly unrecognizable, following communities of folks who don’t remember today’s world.  For me, the post-apocalyptic landscape is more than welcome to include a sordid assortment of fantasy, science fiction and horror tropes.  I’d love stories that borrow from mystery or erotica as well.  I’m really open to being surprised by folks’ visions!

While we wait for the release, what are some pieces of media you’d recommend?

If you haven’t read Dhalgren, now is the time.  It’s a challenging and messy narrative that I feel differently about every time I read it.  Read “Signal” by L. D. Lewis in Fireside.  Read The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards if you like urban fantasy.  This fall, read Shine of the Ever by Claire Rudy Foster and the anthology A Punk Rock Future.


As novella submissions open on October 1st, what are some things you’re dying to see in your inbox?

I’m going to steal these from a twitter thread I did recently. I’d love to see:

  • disaster queers
  • smart space opera
  • near future thrillers
  • non-western alt history (maybe with eldritch horror but hey up to you)
  • #ownvoices riffs on big tropey stories (…we want your disabled indigenous Beauty & the Beast retelling)
  • clones/dopplegangers/amnesia (think The Likeness or The Rook or BSG)
  • hybrid memoir (a la Black Wave)
  • rad platonic friendships
  • ace jane bond spy pulp
  • houses that would scare Victor Lavelle
  • sex that would make Kellan Szpara blush
  • genders that would make JY Yang marvel in awe

davering.jpegdave ring is the chair of the OutWrite LGBTQ Book Festival in Washington, DC. He has stories featured or forthcoming in a number of publications, including Speculative City, GlitterShip, and A Punk Rock Future. He is the publisher and managing editor of Neon Hemlock Press, as well as the editor of Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of a City That Never Was from Mason Jar Press. More info at www.dave-ring.com. Follow him on Twitter at @slickhop.

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