This began humbly enough: a quest to find a publication matching our ethos that we could feature the work we were doing, on a largely unrelated matter, that is itself a work of speculative fiction that spans different media. With fandom increasingly annexing “pop culture” over the last 20 years, this didn’t seem like it would be a tall order. There had to be a “Rolling Stone” for fandom, right? These various geeky hobbies previously considered “underground”, marking those who love them as ‘other’: that’s our culture. With the explosion of the video game and TCG industries, along with revived tabletop RPG and miniature war gaming pastimes, our passions became increasingly visible. Conventions and live-events going mainstream as well was the last trumpet; fandom had become big business.
But was that a good thing? We’ll spare you the lengthy exposition for now. Suffice to say, the answer was, and is, a resounding “no”. With Sci-Fi and other worthy content shelved in the same media palette as reality TV, the state of discourse has gotten measurably less sophisticated, even uneducated. Attention spans shrunk, and given basic history and science comprehension barriers to some content often being misinterpreted as “gatekeeping”, something has gone seriously awry.
Like motivation for so many other endeavors we have begun, we got mad. A true, fire-in-the-belly anger. We had with two choices: kvetch, or “Build the Damn Thing” ourselves. Thus began an 8-year odyssey spanning the nation, and in some cases, the globe. Not unlike fandom’s annexation of pop-culture itself, this was a gradual endeavor. What’s more, we did this on minimal budget, as a labor of love. The content, while our intellectual property, is shared for free, in the interests of elevating overall discourse. We’ve spent the better part of a decade courting talent and rigorously fact-checking and editing content, rather than the drunken chase of ‘first to break’ unicorns of contemporary journalism. In interests of being the change we wish to see, we decided to really lift, with production standards that will put most to shame, as we promote our own contributors, icons, and brands in their own right.
When birthing a new world, sometimes one sets fire to the decrepit standards of yesteryear. This has been our labor, passion, and pleasure, for years. Let’s light the match together.
This is The Unconventional. We will not go quietly.