In a Facebook discussion about Marcher Lord Press being sold to literary agent Steve Laube1, MLP founder Jeff Gerke has shared more. The first “marcher lord” particularly asked fans to support the second “marcher lord,” calling him a true torchbearer for fantastic Christian fiction.
Guys, I’ve been staying out of these discussions, but I feel I need to intervene here. (I may wish I hadn’t later, lol.)
This sale is a great thing for our genre, for MLP, for the MLP authors, and for everyone who loves this sort of fiction. If I were in a position to purchase a publishing house, and if I had a clear idea for what I wanted to do with it and how I thought I could succeed with it, I would approach the owner with that plan in mind. If I didn’t think certain things would fit my plan, I wouldn’t include them. That doesn’t mean I think they’re bad or whatever; it means only that they don’t fit my strategy. I might leave those things for someone else to take up and explore, and more power to them, but for what I had in mind, I wouldn’t be doing them justice, so I’d want to set them free to do what they want.
That’s what’s happened here. And please don’t refer to Steve as someone who is not a trailblazer. You can make the case that we wouldn’t be having the discussion of what Christian speculative is or isn’t if Steve hadn’t done what he has done to promote it over the years.
If it can be said that I have been bearing the torch for Christian speculative fiction for the last few years, then you have to know that I took the torch from Steve, who bore it a lot longer than I did and who is bearing it again. It’s all good, you guys.
(And if you really want to see more Hinterlands-style fiction, write it. I got astonishingly few proposals for that line. And if you REALLY want to see more of it, become a publisher and publish it yourself!)