Some things you read, write or listen to and they leave their place in you, not always because you loved or related to them, but precisely because you understood nothing from it.
Brave New Lit. is a literary playground built on the premise that science fiction, poetry and other speculative works are most readily explored through the lens of its paratextual elements. Our unique proposition can be found in the nexus of literary rituals, habits and cultures with the integration of graphic design, film and other forms of media that might help deepen the understanding of a text. We publish content within science fiction, horror, speculative fiction and dys/utopian literature in a variety of disciplines such as poetry, essays and film.
Brave New Lit. believes that the material and labour that goes into a publication, be it print or digital, should be interrogated from all angles, and that all paratextual elements should be significantly considered.
Brave New Lit. believes in the imagination and possibilities of all science fiction, horror, dys/utopia, speculative fictions and aims to place these literary forms and its makers at the centre.
Brave New Lit. encourages and promotes Black and People of Colour as designers, editors, translaters, illustrators.
It's 17:42 [October 2021], and I'm currently sitting in The Hoxton in Amsterdam (on my fourth red of the day–send help) thinking back to the genesis of Brave New Lit. I'd initially written a very dense academic sort of Editor's note that detailed where the name Brave New Lit. came from and why I chose to produce this digitally, as I've often been asked given my love for physical publications.
I will explore these questions in the future, and perhaps I will publish this original letter here at some point as archival material. But for now, the purpose of this letter is to tell you how glad I am that you're here and to humanise this almost anonymous platform. You'll see a lot of "we" around the website, but it's just me, Sherida, pulling a lot of the content and design together in the only way I know how—worryingly overly organised and anal in design methodology. Save for this linguistic facade all new businesses adopt to mask the insecurity of being one person; I also say "we" in anticipation of the collaborations that will happen and the contributions by wonderful people who have made this current issue possible.
Brave New Lit. is a digital library of literary experiences, and it's a work in progress, so I beg you to bear with me, bare with "us", as we figure out the cogs in the wheel of what it means to be multi-disciplinary and multi-sensorial within poetic and fictional genres. Ultimately, it is my goal for you to feel the texts, empathise with the writers and designers and most importantly, return here again and again when you don't understand something. It's why I designed the footnotes to be to read alongside the primary texts and the colourful sticky notes to continually be present even after you "close" them. I don't ever want you to get lost in what you're reading (except for when you choose to do so with the Read-Only function); you are invited to the conversation, with whatever foreword, abstract or other paratextual elements you need to comprehend sometimes heavy topics.
When designing this platform, I kept thinking about how I wanted to impart the analogue tenderness that many people associate with physical books into a digital medium. Why? Well, many people (at least in West, where I'm based) encounter conversations on literature on the internet these days—and it's essential that the digital counterparts to our very beautifully designed, painfully kerned and illustrated books are not left disregarded. It is with this knowledge that I set out to create Brave New Lit as a digital iteration of what will hopefully also be a printed journal someday.
My hope for this platform both as a graphic designer and reader is threefold; the first is that you read everything on here holistically, taking into account the contexts of a text—which means incorporating the designers, artists and authors in cross-disciplinary conversations. The second hope is that more Black, queer and people of colour engage in science fictional, dys/utopian literature, whether that be designing covers, typesetting publications or writing books themselves. I need us to be the creators and drivers of paratexts, not just the books themselves. Finally, I hope this platform to be a springboard for other literary endeavours where poetry, fictional and speculative literature are the necessary centres and backdrops to our imaginations.
Founder, Brave New Lit.
Brave New Lit. is proudly supported by Stimuleringsfonds/ Dutch Creative Industries NL. If you'd like to feature BNL for press purposes, please send an email to info [at] bravenewlit.xyz for press packages.
Brave New Lit. is devoted to remaining free and inclusive for as long as possible whilst maintaining a high quality reading experience, meaning no ads, no paywalls or affiliate marketing. Our non-negotiable value is that all contributors are paid as fair as possible for their labour. For this reason we are extremely grateful for any donations that help in paying for the fees of upcoming contributors as well as continuous improvements in content and design.
Additionally, we are always looking for partners to join us in achieving our goals, if you'd like to discuss other means of contributing then please send as an email to info [at] bravenewlit.xyz