In this festive update, we look back on the year, talk with one of our Signals contributors, and offer an update on our second short story anthology.
2022: The Year in Review
As we all celebrate the completion of another trip around our home star, Lower Decks Press looks back on the year with pride and a sense of accomplishment.
2022 was the year LDP was born, and we couldn't be more pleased with what we've accomplished and how we've been received. The imprint was initially created for the purpose of publishing Into the Unknown, an anthology of short science fiction written by authors from around the world. From story pitches to drafts to revisions, the creation of the book was a collaborative effort.
Thanks to marketing efforts from contributors and friends on social media, and judging by paperback and eBook sales as well as the many thousands of pages read through Kindle Unlimited, we consider our first book's September release an indie publisher success story. Funds raised from those sales went to The World Literacy Foundation, and eleven authors gained exposure and recognition for their efforts.
September also saw the premiere of our own digital magazine, Signals. In this bi-monthly publication, we are proud to feature new short fiction from a diverse group of authors. The readership for Signals has grown with each new issue, and we look forward to watching it continue to find new readers and attract new talent in the months to come.
Lower Decks Press is thankful for all the success we've experienced in 2022, and we look forward to reaching new milestones in the year to come. We wish everyone a happy and healthy winter holiday season and thank you for your support!
Q&A: T. E. LaMonte
T. E. LaMonte's short story "Avalanche" was featured in Signals #2.
1. “Avalanche” is a vivid story of a machine’s awakening to new purpose. Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea.
I was inspired by the idea of nature vs. nurture. Machines are driven by purpose, and Ava was built with an inclination toward violence and destruction. Her counterpart, Aurora, was designed as a caregiver, and raised a child. They are both shaped by those experiences, and have essentially melded the two opposing personalities.
2. In the story, you explore the relationship between humans and technology from the point of view of the technology. In your opinion, how has this relationship changed in the last ten years, and how do you believe it will evolve over the next ten years?
Technology is always evolving. I still remember playing [and] listening to music on cassette tapes, and having to flip it over because it only held a few songs. My phone has hundreds of songs, music, movies, and television shows on it in the palm of my hand, and there's still room for more. As technology evolves, so does our relationship with it.
3. Another important aspect of “Avalanche” is the idea that an android can experience emotions. Do you think “feeling” machines will simplify or complicate our lives?
I think it would complicate our lives. Considering how much we rely on machines, what happens when one decides it doesn't want to do what it was designed for anymore? It would be chaos. Emotions complicate everything.
4. Tell us a little about yourself: what is your personal relationship with technology, and how does it inform your creative work?
I use technology for everything. I use it for art, writing, research, stress relief, work... everything. I'd be lost without it, because it guides all of my creative work and more.
5. Finally, what are you currently working on? Where can readers can find more of your work?
As of now, I'm in the middle of a second draft for my first novel, outlining another novel, and completing a short story. I'll be sharing those in the near future, but for now, you can find more of my work in Into the Unknown: A Science Fiction Anthology.
Anthology #2 update
Finally, some exciting news about our upcoming second anthology of short stories.
As of the date of this post, we've chosen a theme and solicited story pitches from interested contributors, resulting in nearly twice as many potential entries as Into the Unknown. Judging by the pitches, this second volume will be a fascinating mix of characters, settings, narratives and tones.
Despite the potential for twice as much content, LDP is aiming for a Spring release. We hope to begin the process of soliciting cover designs and reading first drafts of stories very soon. Stay tuned for more details!