Marcher Lord Press To Become Enclave Publishing

The rebranded publisher will offer “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.”
on Jun 2, 2014 · 6 comments

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.

Leanna wrote:

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.

SpecFaith staff writer Rebecca LuElla Miller offered:

I agree that Enclave sends the wrong message.

Michelle R. Wood also agreed:

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.

I was a bit more open to the name possibility and ranked it my second choice:

“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!

Pam Halter said she believes “Enclave” is apt, given the uniqueness of speculative writers:

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?

  1. See Marcher Lord Press Regenerates, Jan. 1, 2014.
  2. It’s better than the poll’s alternative, Shadowfax, with its equine, office-supplies, or copyright-infringement connotations.
  3. Read more at The Forgotten Reader or Reaching Beyond Exclusive Readers, or search SpecFaith for other articles that touch on the term niche.
E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.
  1. Johne Cook says:

    I’m a bit of a cover art snob, and that includes logos. This logo is of the highest quality but it doesn’t reflect the spec-fic direction I would have preferred. I attribute that more to vision than execution. I also freely admit my personal bias toward more overt genre influences.

    • Steve Laube says:

      Take a look at the banner which was also in the blog but not copied above. It appears on the Facebook page:

      Eventually, when Facebook allows, that Facebook page will be rebranded too.

      Enclave Publishing

  2. Of note: the now-closed April name survey included these five alternatives.

    • Aeon
    • Enclave
    • Marcher Lord Press (keep existing name)
    • ShadowFax [sic]
    • Triton

    The previous SpecFaith discussion about the options is here.

  3. I think it’s a strong word, and if the marketing/branding is done well, it will develop a meaning apart from the Webster’s Dictionary version.

    I honestly can’t remember how I voted, but I do recall that I was not a huge fan of anything. I think I voted to stick with MLP.

    • Lacee says:

      I agree. I think an aggressive marketing campaign will make people look past the name as just a word and see it as a brand instead.

      I’m not going to lie, even though I’m a words person sometimes I still see company names as just company names. Their reputation stands more in my mind. 😉

  4. I had the opportunity to hear Steve Laube make this announcement “live” at Realm Makers. While I was not a fan of the name when it was originally proposed, his presentation and clear vision for the brand won me over. I’m excited by what the energy and experience he’s bringing to the table and look forward to good things coming down the pipeline.


    To those still upset about this transition (and, let us all remember, only a wet baby likes change), I’d offer these words by Professor Diggory Kirke at the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: “You won’t get into Narnia again by the wardrobe. Don’t try to get there at all. It’ll happen when you’re not looking for it.” Marcher Lord Press was a great first step: I look forward to what the sequel will bring.


What say you?