Weird, experimental and literary fiction and art

About Hedera Felix

Hedera Felix is…

…an independent publisher and CIC dedicated to weird, sci-fi, intersectional, experimental fiction and visual art, as well as publishing moving image and sound in digital editions. All permeated through a range of live events.

 

Motivation

Hedera Felix’s motivation is to facilitate a new kind of adventurous literature by bringing three fields of writing together: experimental, weird and literary.

We do this through our print magazine, Mycelia. We also experiment in publishing digital forms of narrative and conceptual art in our online platform, SiSM, which includes moving image, VR literature and sound works. Both avenues of publishing are pulled together in an exciting programme of events.

 

Who we are

The project was initiated by Simone Hutchinson on a voluntary basis in February 2018. As the organisation developed it welcomed two additional directors as well as freelance consultants. In February 2019 Hedera Felix incorporated as a Community Interest Company registered in Scotland.

CIC Directors: Pamela Clarke, Simone Hutchinson, Richard Taylor
Managing Editor: Simone Hutchinson
Assistant Editors: Pamela Clarke and Richard Taylor
Web Support: Oort Systems

Mycelia

The first publication is Mycelia – a small (approx. B5) magazine of weird fiction and art, produced in print and digital formats. The print edition is produced to bespoke specifications each issue to provide a substantial material artefact that readers will want to keep and return to again and again. We like staple-bound (saddle stitched) magazines because the covers and pages can be removed to be kept or framed or sent as gifts to friends.

Mycelia has so far been shaped by the following designers and artists: Art Director: Jack Greenwell [Issue 1], Alex Hetherington [Issue 2], Visual Artist: Katie Shannon [Issue 2].

Find out more

SiSM

The first edition of SiSM was first seen at Cymera Festival in Edinburgh on Saturday 8 June 2019. A further launch took place at Rost in Glasgow, at our Launch Party for SisM (Issue 1) and Mycelia (Issue 2).

Each issue of SiSM will be accessible and feature time-based and code-based work such as expanded literature, moving image and sound pieces.

Read more!

Events

Author readings, live art performance and screenings.

Glad Cafe, Aye Write 2019!, Cymera Festival, R O S T.

More on events!

A book without a name (yet)

The third publication is set to be an anthology of fiction, creative non-fiction and art about chronic illness. We would love to hear from any writers and artists potentially interested in contributing to the anthology.


Collaborations

The spirit of cooperative creativity is special.

Hedera Felix is interested to hear from like-minded enterprises and individuals to discuss proposals for making interesting things happen, such as events and collaborative publications.

Previously…

Enfolding Each Other“, written for Beyond Cataclysm, curated by Marcus Jack of Transit Arts, Glasgow. Screened at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, 20 July 2018.

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.

We travelled down to Tyneside Cinema for the event and were impressed by the gorgeous and unusual vintage cinema complex. In the intermission between the two parts of Beyond Cataclysm, Glasgow-based artist Michelle Hannah performed Render Me and blew the audience away.


Further reading

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.

Mark Fisher

One writer we wish to mention as an influence is the late Mark Fisher, most known for his book, Capitalist Realism (2009). Lesser known is his last book, published shortly after his death, The Weird and The Eerie (2016), in which he discusses the aesthetics of selected liminal fiction, film and music which possess weird or eerie qualities. (My favourite essay in the collection is on simulation via works by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Philip K. Dick.) What follows is a simplification of Mark Fisher’s definition of the weird and the eerie: the weird can be identified as weird because of something odd present that should not be there; whereas the eerie is so because there is something absent that ought to be present. It is a simple distinction to remember and a little provocative.

Jeff VanderMeer

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.

Donna Haraway

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.