A new captain, a new course, a new future: Acquisition of Candlemark & Gleam

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When I first laid plans to open a small fantastika press in 2010, it seemed like a bold experiment, but one without much hope—I was, after all, sailing into uncharted waters, with every expectation that I’d have to turn around and head for port quite quickly.

I was immediately proven wrong.

Instead of faltering, Candlemark & Gleam sped forward. Perhaps we weren’t striking fear into the hearts of Ace, Tor, Roc, or the Random Penguins of the world, but we were certainly making an impression. The very first book we released, AM Tuomala’s Erekos, promptly won Publishers Weekly’s Best SF/F Book of 2011, and the book that followed it, Susan Jane Bigelow’s Broken, took an honorary mention in the same awards. Since those early triumphs, we’ve released many more books, a number of which have gone on to critical success and all of which have delighted audiences the world over.

I couldn’t be more delighted, more proud, or more honoured to work with the authors who have signed on to Candlemark & Gleam over the past few years, trusting their talent, their creativity, and their lovingly written manuscripts to a small, scrappy outfit of slightly insane swashbucklers with red pens and dreams.

In time, though, Candlemark grew to be more than one woman and a few dedicated volunteers could handle. Its surge forward slowed, then almost stopped. I started looking for solutions, and was nearly ready to finally turn and head for port.

And then, Athena Andreadis stepped in.

Athena first came into my life, and that of Candlemark & Gleam, as the editor of the anthology The Other Half of the Sky, which has set records for number of contributions selected for “Best of” collections and counts a Nebula-winner among the short stories and novelettes it featured. From the start, Athena and I had a wonderful professional rapport, working together smoothly to produce a marvellous book.

An esteemed writer, editor, and scientist, Athena has an aesthetic sensibility, a passion for innovation and craft, and a wide-ranging intellect I’ve never seen the match of. She’s dedicated, fierce, insightful—and above all, she is devoted to bringing new stories and new ideas into the world, to inspiring others to free themselves from the bounds of mundane life and to envision what could be, what should be.

I knew I had found a fellow-traveller on this adventure.

That conviction was reaffirmed when I mentioned that I might be closing the press. Athena immediately suggested an alternative: that she become the new captain. After much careful consideration and planning, we’ve done it. As of November 16, 2015, Athena Andreadis has acquired Candlemark & Gleam.

I will be remaining with the press for at least a year to help with the transition, handing things over to the new captain of this ship as smoothly as possible. I’m looking forward to seeing where Athena takes it.

The press has always been devoted to nurturing new authors and works that might not fit into neat categories. While these missions will remain, Athena is also eager to make science fiction the main tributary stream of Candlemark & Gleam, particularly that which makes you think, makes you dream, inspires you to change your world and the world around you.

To that end, the first book released by the “new” Candlemark & Gleam will be Athena’s next anthology, To Shape the Dark.

I’m so excited to be able to make this announcement, and to be able to see my vision not only become a reality, but to take on a life of its own apart from my own efforts and dreams, becoming something bigger, bolder, and more vibrant than I ever imagined.

I can’t wait for the next part of this journey.

I hope you’ll join us.

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