Lanternfish Press

Independent publishing in Philadelphia. Artisanal books for omnivorous readers.

A New Year: Looking Ahead, Looking Back

Christine Neulieb

2016 was a, hm, special sort of year. Deadly to celebrities, it left the rest of us unsure whether American politics's hard right into absurdity and post-factual vitriol was in fact real or whether the wrong person rolled the dice and now we're all trapped in the Darkest Timeline. 

But before we breathe a sigh of relief, let's remember: 2017 hasn't had time to show its true colors yet. Out of the frying pan . . .

Still, here at Lanternfish Press we didn't have such a terrible year.

Some highlights:

In September, we released Salamanders of the Silk Road, which is one of those books you'll read, then put down and say "I'm not sure what that was . . . but I think I liked it." A surrealist take on the legend of Prester John, Salamanders asks what happens to mythic figures when their time is past. (Hint: depression and run-down beach houses in Florida, apparently.)

Oh, and did we mention it has monsters?

We held the launch party for Salamanders at the legendary Parnassus Books in Nashville, where eager readers left the store sold out of copies and landed the book on Nashville's bestsellers list!

We confess, we patted ourselves heartily on the back after that.

Author Christopher Smith reads from Salamanders

Author Christopher Smith reads from Salamanders

In October we released our first-ever coloring book: Other Worlds, a space odyssey created by Philadelphia artist Saul Rosenbaum. Then, just for fun, we threw a whole bunch of parties where Philadelphians gathered to ink the pages. 

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Here's my masterpiece (as you can see, there's a reason why I stick to words most of the time):

In space the sky is pink?

In space the sky is pink?

For Halloween, we threw a party celebrating two years of The Afflictions, inviting people to dress up as diseases from the book. There was much to celebrate: the book was published in Spanish this year by La Bestia Equilátera, a publisher in Argentina, and is now forthcoming in Italian!

In November we opened for submissions. This was our first year using the Submittable platform, and tbh we're pretty in love with it. We were terrifically impressed with the quality of manuscripts we received (well done, you). We also welcomed on board a new team of manuscript readers, who even now are doing valiant battle with what remains of the slush pile. A million thanks to them for their keen wits and hard work.

There's someone else we should introduce to you: our tireless intern, Advait Ubhayakar. Advait, would you like to say a few words?

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"Hi, I'm Advait. Since the early 2000s, I have earned my bread and butter writing for businesses around the world. For spices, salt, and the meatier things of life, I write & read stories and poetry in English, and speak & sing four Indian languages. I am in the midst of revising a novel set during the 2014 Indian election: a time that seems so innocent compared to, umm, more recent world events."

As for 2017, well: who knows about the future. You really can't trust it. But we're pretty excited about our prospective new titles, which include reprints of hard-to-find Victorian novels as well as fresh original fiction. 

So stay tuned, friends. We can't wait to share more. 

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