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Thread: [ePub] Castalia House

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Taran's Avatar
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    [ePub] Castalia House

    http://www.castaliahouse.com/

    Castalia House is a Finland-based publisher that has a great appreciation for the golden age of science fiction and fantasy literature. The books that we publish honor the traditions and intellectual authenticity exemplified by writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard, G.K. Chesterton, and Hermann Hesse. We are consciously providing an alternative to readers who increasingly feel alienated from the nihilistic, dogmatic science fiction and fantasy being published today. We seek nothing less than a revolution in genre literature.
    No information on the site of who's running this e-publisher besides a list of first readers (all pseudonyms), but it's pretty easy to guess.
    Last edited by Taran; 08-04-2014 at 06:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taran View Post
    http://www.castaliahouse.com/



    No information on the site of who's running this e-publisher besides a list of first readers (all pseudonyms), but it's pretty easy to guess...
    You mean since they seem to have published all of Vox Day's backlist in a single weeks span?

    I was wondering if they might be connected to Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press) but I'm not seeing anything immediate. (I vaguely remember there being a connection between Day and Kerry Nietz, but maybe it wasn't through MLP.)
    _________
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    Touch: A Trilogy - AVAILABLE NOW!
    "The 'Touch' trilogy is a masterclass in world-building, tells a fascinating story with economy and intelligence, and does so with fine, pared-down prose." - Eric Brown, author of The Fall of Tartarus

    "I loved this novella series. Brooding, earthy, whispering to us with a delicious mood of creeping dread while filling the heart with a pure sense of wonder." - Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

    A.G. Carpenter
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  3. #3
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    There's a very coy description here:

    Our Päätoimittaja (Editor-in-Chief) was the first nationally syndicated game reviewer and known throughout the game media for his integrity and impartiality. He served on three Nebula Award juries, and even the people who led the charge to purge him from the SFWA organization didn’t have a single word of criticism for his literary judgment. If a book is deemed worthy of publication by Castalia House, tens of thousands of people will know that it must have at least some redeeming characteristics that make it worth considering.


  4. #4
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    The Castalia blog is a very interesting look at a certain 'old guard' mindset.

    This M/M space opera
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  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Here's the thing: a whopping lot of those 'old' novels are interesting and kinda fun to read, as long as one views them through 1) strong internal filters and 2) an anthropologist's awareness of the times and places in which these things were written. And remember that C.L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, and Andre Norton were writing similar stuff, albeit often with more overt sympathy for marginalized characters. It's worth noting that, in contrast to Castalia's philosophy, these female writers *also* had kickass battle and fight scenes, and fairly tight plots.

    It's the people writing this stuff *now* who give me a little pause. (Pat Rothfuss, I like you but I cannot finish reading your series. Sorry, dude.) But I try to keep track of them, from the angle of knowing what my adversaries are up to. I'm fairly certain that John Ringo, Vox Dei, and their crowd don't especially admire Nicole Perlman right now, because she proved with Guardians of the Galaxy that women can write gutsy, funny, strong space operas. The advent of social science fiction was, to the former group, an overly-emotional and emasculating strike at old-school epic fantasy and science fiction.

    There's a quote I'm going to paraphrase from the Castalia blog - or I'll list it if I can find it again (hang on).

    Ah, here we go, from the July 15, 2014 blog post (referencing changes in Finnish science fiction, but evocative of the whole blog/publisher's main theme):

    '...it is fairly clear that feminine fantasy and masculine vision-casting may never discover a way to be equal bedfellows. Eventually, the masculine voice falls silent.'

    Of course, I don't agree with this at all.
    Last edited by Filigree; 08-04-2014 at 11:38 PM.

    This M/M space opera
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Taran's Avatar
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    Beale is much more up-front about his involvement on his own blog.

    That advantages listed over self publishing are pretty standard for any new small press--Five Rivers Publishing comes to mind as using the same rhetoric (without the political aspects, of course). The main unique aspects on order are the aggressive Christian conservative stance and constant ragging on Tor as the Great Liberal Satan.

    Beale listing his reputation for impeccable literary taste as a plus is strange to me--back when he wrote as "Theo" on Black Gate, the BG readers I interacted with thought his book reviews were eccentric at best, often baffling and shallow, and sometimes mean-spirited. Most of us ended up ignoring his posts before knowing who he was.

    I was wondering if they might be connected to Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press) but I'm not seeing anything immediate. (I vaguely remember there being a connection between Day and Kerry Nietz, but maybe it wasn't through MLP.)
    I believe Marcher lord Press was sold and Beale recovered the rights to his books, so Enclave Publishing isn't connected to CH.
    Last edited by Taran; 08-09-2014 at 05:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    Vox Day/Theodore Beale hasn't been coy at all - Castalia House is their project to separate "Blue SF" from "Pink SF."

    Basically, yes, they're promoting an "old guard" mindset which they think is underserved in the current market - they may be right. It seems no more objectionable than any other small press focusing on a niche audience, Beale's politics notwithstanding.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Taran's Avatar
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    It would be nice if there was a staff listing on the main site somewhere (if there is, I can't find it), rather than having to find out from outside sources or by inference.
    Last edited by Taran; 09-03-2014 at 09:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taran View Post
    It would be nice if there was a staff listing on the main site somewhere (if there is, I can't find it), rather than having to find out from outside sources or by inference.

    True - from what he's posted on his blog, I think Beale does most of the editing himself, which doesn't inspire confidence.

  10. #10
    Burrowing Mammal Par-Excellence StarWombat's Avatar
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    Has anyone found out anything more about Castalia Press over the past couple of months? There are a few authors on their list I'm surprised to see there.
    Still around, I suppose.

  11. #11
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    As I understand it, they're still very much a DIY operation. They have signed up a few fairly well-known authors who are ideologically aligned with them, like John C. Wright, and they seem to have acquired the reprint rights to some older SF as well. They're also branching out into military non-fiction and a few other areas.

    They claim their terms are very favorable compared to the industry standard - I haven't looked at their contracts. I have no idea what their sales are like. I've read a couple of their books and have a few more on my TBR list. They're putting out a solid product for a very specific niche.

    A while ago they were calling for volunteers to be slush-pile readers, so they're relying a lot on support from people who have signed on to their war against "Pink SF." They make it pretty clear that this influences what they will publish.

    Basically, they seem to want to be the next Baen.

    Their blog is great if you were an old-school RPG and wargamer and read a lot of old Doubleday SF paperbacks.

  12. #12
    Burrowing Mammal Par-Excellence StarWombat's Avatar
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    Hum. Okay, thanks, Amadan.
    Still around, I suppose.

  13. #13
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    Basically, they seem to want to be the next Baen.
    Isn't Baen getting too pink for them? So, maybe Baen a decade or so ago.

    I crossed Castilia off the list as soon as I realized the affiliation. There's just no way for us to be a good fit, even if I were writing more in their subgenres.

    Aggy, ideological differences
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    Touch: A Trilogy - AVAILABLE NOW!
    "The 'Touch' trilogy is a masterclass in world-building, tells a fascinating story with economy and intelligence, and does so with fine, pared-down prose." - Eric Brown, author of The Fall of Tartarus

    "I loved this novella series. Brooding, earthy, whispering to us with a delicious mood of creeping dread while filling the heart with a pure sense of wonder." - Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

    A.G. Carpenter
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  14. #14
    Burrowing Mammal Par-Excellence StarWombat's Avatar
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    I've just never crossed someone off the list before, is all. And I wasn't 100% sure about doing it until I found this thread, and I wanted to find out more before I did.
    Still around, I suppose.

  15. #15
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    Thread bump. Possibly info dumpster (sorry!).

    Quote Originally Posted by StarWombat View Post
    I've just never crossed someone off the list before, is all. And I wasn't 100% sure about doing it until I found this thread, and I wanted to find out more before I did.
    For anyone wanting to know more about this press, here's this new post by Charlie Stross yesterday: The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of pulls on the jackboots. Charlie has lots of links in case you need additional info.

    Tangent/adding link not in Charlie's post above; I found out about the SP and the Hugos via Making Light last week, on 30-March.

    I began that thread when there were only 715 (??) comments, but after several hours of reading, I gave up on comment 405. They've closed the thread after 1015 comments and started a new one.
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  16. #16
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    ...Why are they based out of Finland? Isn't their EIC American?

  17. #17
    Tending bar by the litterbox. Thomas Vail's Avatar
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    I would suspect that given Beale's proclivities, Charles Stross' suppostion about why he chose Finland is not far off the mark.

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