Something weird this way comes
Begun in February 2018, Hedera Felix is an independent publisher dedicated to weird, sci-fi, intersectional and experimental fiction and visual art, with a desire to publish moving image and sound works in digital editions.
The motivation for setting up Hedera Felix was to facilitate a new kind of adventurous literature by bringing three fields of writing under one roof: experimental, weird and literary, and, at the same time, to experiment in publishing digital forms of narrative and conceptual art, including moving image, VR literature and sound works.
Hedera Felix is contributed to by the following freelance team:
Directors: Pamela Clarke, Simone Hutchinson and Richard Taylor
Managing Editor: Simone Hutchinson
Assistant Editors: Pamela Clarke and Richard Taylor
Art Director: Jack Greenwell
Web Support: Oort Systems
Publications and events
The first publication is Mycelia – a small (B5) magazine of weird fiction and art, produced in print and digital formats. The print edition is produced on heavy stock in full colour to provide a substantial material artefact that readers will want to keep and return to again and again. The digital supplement is to be called SisM – more of which below.
Although we have been more or less quiet on the subject of what the digital supplement to Mycelia might look like, the first issue is under development and will feature a new piece of VR work by an award-winning artist, as well as footage of spoken word performances (so we will publish both the sound file and video file). This digital sister is called SisM, as in Sister of Mycelia and in acknowledgment of the –isms that intrigue us at Hedera Felix. SisM is in
A book without a name (yet)
The third publication is set to be an anthology of fiction, creative non-fiction
Hedera Felix would be interested to hear from like-minded enterprises and individuals to discuss proposals for making interesting things happen, such as events and collaborative publications. The spirit of cooperative creativity is special.
Hedera Felix was invited to write a text for a cinema programme being presented at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle by Glasgow-based moving image curator, Marcus Jack of Transit Arts earlier this summer. The programme was called Beyond Cataclysm and presented a selection of artists’ films that engaged with ideas of the post-human landscape. This theme was inspired by the eco-feminist subtext in John Wyndham’s novel, Day of the Triffids. To accompany the two-parter screening, We provided a short essay on two major speculative fiction trilogies that explore concerns with the post-human landscape, and especially capitalism’s relation to the ecosystem, and the human position within that relation.
An influence on all Hedera Felix publications is the novel Orlando (1928) by Virginia Woolf. Introducing the Orlando section of his Woolf Works piece at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in January 2018, Max Richter described the novel as proto-sci-fi. Although familiar with the novel, it had been a while since I had read it and I could not say I’d thought of it as sci-fi at the time. Max Richter’s Orlando music had all the hallmarks of science fiction soundscapes: watery and metallic synthesiser notes and wave-like structures that suggested vast gravitational folds in space. I thought of the book’s time-travel narrative, Orlando’s changing gender identity, the work’s literariness, and its satire. Orlando was the ideal muse for a publishing press that wanted to encourage adventurous writing that wasn’t afraid to bend the rules.
Another strong influence has been the fiction of Jeff VanderMeer, whose Southern Reach trilogy built a new kind of speculative world rooted in environmental and ecological horror, but in a genre familiar to readers of science fiction and psychological thrillers. The role played by the landscape, its flora and fauna, is spectacular; VanderMeer’s creativity with the new ecosystem in the Southern Reach world has stayed with me ever since I read Annihilation (2014) when it was first published.
And for the sake of brevity, I’ll give just one more influence, and that is Donna Haraway. For her recent book, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016) (which despite the name has nothing to do with Lovecraft) and for her unique style of writing that practices what it proposes (in the very sense of Adorno’s praxis). Donna Haraway is a weird writer whose theoretical books play at the boundary between academic theory and fiction. As a feminist and scientist of biology, whose earliest writings are now canonical feminist texts, Donna Haraway stands for creativity, ethics, and courage.