Happy Wednesday! We had to push the podcast back due to me not getting it edited in time, so I instead bring you the glad tidings of Akashic Books, by way of Karen Lord’s collection New Worlds Old Ways.
Have you heard about Akashic Books? They are great. They are an independent publishing company that seeks out and publishes work by “authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers.” As you might suspect based on that description, they are based in Brooklyn.
Anyway, one of the many ways in which Akashic Books is great is that it has an imprint called Peekash Press that’s dedicated to the literature of the Caribbean. And one of Peekash Press’s books is New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, edited by Karen Lord. This is great because SFF was my first love and remains my true love, and I am always thrilled to expand my knowledge of SFF authors who aren’t white or American. You can zip through New Worlds Old Ways in a few hours (it’s short!), but you’ll come away with many new authors whose work you can investigate thereafter.
A few highlights:
“A New Life in a New Time,” by Portia Subran, is about a slightly hapless office worker called Bernard who works in cryonics; the story speaks to both office politics and the human desire for immortality, so naturally I was all about it.
“Daddy,” by Damion Wilson, starts like this: “It was the day I buried my sister that I discovered my father could teleport.” So. I mean.”
“Cascadura,” by H. K. Williams, is about the longest-lived woman in the entire world. She has seen the end of the world as we now know it and survived into a new world. I find immortality exhausting to contemplate, and “Cascadura” really did it for me. (Cf “A New Life in a New Time.)
Check out this collection and then dive into Akashic’s whole catalog. They’re great; you won’t be sorry.