Over the weekend at the Realm Makers conference, Steve Laube, new owner of Marcher Lord Press1, announced the Christian speculative publisher’s name change. Today the publisher formerly known as Marcher Lord Press made it official and debuted the new logo for Enclave Publishing.
In a statement Laube explains the name’s meaning like this:
Why the name Enclave Publishing? An enclave is essentially defined as a group of like-minded people in a place where they are surrounded by those who are not like-minded. West Berlin was an enclave during the Cold War. In Rome there is an enclave called Vatican City. Enclave Publishing is a place where authors and fans of Christian Fantasy and Science Fiction can come together. A haven. A gathering where we encourage each other, explore new ideas, hone our craft, and then take our stories out to the highways and byways where they will spark the imagination. It is not an insular or secretive society hiding behind walls. Instead it is the opposite.
There is a verse in the Bible that encapsulates what the books published by Enclave Publishing are all about. Acts 17:20 reads “You bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” The highly creative stories in the Speculative Fiction genre can seem strange but underneath they contain powerful expressions of Redemption, Truth, and Hope.
SpecFaith readers in this April 25 news update were overall less-than-impressed with one MLP poll’s optional name Enclave.
I really dislike, may even go so far as to say abhor, renaming MLP to Enclave. Thematically it just seems the opposite of what was intended by using Marcher Lord. Let’s focus out and up, not in.
I agree that Enclave sends the wrong message.
I dislike “Enclave” for the very reasons others have mentioned, as well as the fact that there are a ton of books with that title (including one by faith spec fic writer Karen Hancock), which would muddy the brand and defeat the purpose of a name change.
“Enclave” sounds cool, but seems to endorse (apart from intention) the wrongful perception that fantasy/sci-fi fans are niche and weird. Of course, the term needn’t necessarily be tied with that kind of marketing approach!
I voted for Enclave because whether we like it or not, spec writers ARE different from everyone around them. I thought it fit nicely.
I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts later, but I’ll end with this one: Enclave can work.2 My only hope is that this reboot can help the rebranded publisher reach beyond writers’ circles and finds more readers, many of whom can become forgotten amidst all the discussions and excitement about the craft of speculative storytelling.3
That’s my thought. What do you think?
- See Marcher Lord Press Regenerates, Jan. 1, 2014. ↩
- It’s better than the poll’s alternative, Shadowfax, with its equine, office-supplies, or copyright-infringement connotations. ↩
- Read more at The Forgotten Reader or Reaching Beyond Exclusive Readers, or search SpecFaith for other articles that touch on the term niche. ↩