Publishers of dangerous fiction & culture

Dragonpunk

Dragonpunk is high fantasy set on its head. Dragonpunk isn’t the princess who slays the dragon without waiting for her prince–it’s the washerwoman who drips poison into the cruel queen’s chalice to end her rule. Dragonpunk is found in the band of orphans playing Robin Hood, in the villagers and the druids in the woods reclaiming their sacred groves from the woodsman sent by the crown.

Dragonpunk can be chivalrous, though always without lords. When dragonpunk is chivalrous it is a shield for the weak regardless of their sex or gender, and it is loyal to its peers instead of the king. When dragonpunk isn’t chivalrous, it fights dirty, and it never backs down. And sometimes, dragonpunk has no use for fighting at all, because there are as many things in this world worth building as there are worth fighting.

Dragonpunk aims to do to the Middle Ages–to renn faire, to the SCA, to all the medievalism in pop culture–what steampunk did to neo-Victorianism. With dragonpunk, we challenge medievalist fantasy to liberate itself from the bounds of history and trope and from the rigid assumptions of what a modern subculture can and cannot do. But this is only the most humble of our goals.

Dragonpunk takes its inspiration from a past that never was to wage war on the banality of the present. With dragonpunk, we demand the right to be whom we want to be at any time of day or night, to dress as we’d like and live how we’d like. To free ourselves from a modernity that bores us. We want permaculture gardens to creep up the stone walls of our modern keeps. We will rewild empty stripmalls and turn the vacant lots of our post-industrial world into the new commons.

We are the new adventurers. We’re punks who were inspired when the Riders of Rohan chanted “death, death, death,” and charged into the forces of fascism, when Frodo set off to destroy the very idea of power over one another. We’re organizers who murmur the St. Crispin’s Day speech as we prepare to stand against authority. We’re hedge knights and armorers and tailors, brewers and bards and witches.

Or maybe we’re just nerds who like chainmail and books about dragons. That’s okay with us too.

The book

We’re looking to put out an anthology of dragonpunk fiction, essays, how-tos, interviews, art, and more, edited by Caelyn Rosch and Margaret Killjoy. Examples of what we’d be looking for would include, but are absolutely not limited to:

  • how to sword fight
  • medieval combat strategy
  • an overview of historical non-western fantasy
  • gender and sexuality in the Middle Ages
  • introduction to types of armor
  • how to craft chainmail armor
  • how to work leather
  • a guide to working with modern scavenged materials
  • the art of modern stonecrafting and castle construction
  • short fiction
  • a dragonpunk’s introduction to modern reenactment culture and LARPing
  • an overview of existing fantasy and historical fiction of interest to dragonpunks
  • fashion ideas (with illustrations/how-tos)
  • dragonpunk comics
  • dragonpunk art and photography
  • really neat stuff most people don’t know about the Middle Ages
  • manifestos of stateless societies inspired by medieval community structures

The tentative deadline for submissions is May 15th, 2013. Reasonable article/fiction lengths are approximately 400-6,000 words. The pay is very likely to be nothing but contributor’s copies. (We editors won’t pay ourselves either, unless we are paying all the contributors.)

Submissions and further inquiries can be directed to Margaret Killjoy at margaret@combustionbooks.org.