Reckoning Interviews: Phoebe Wagner, Editor of Sunvault

712cf200c8be59aee0a52e518d555c67_originalSunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation 
is an anthology of original fiction forthcoming in Spring 2017 from Upper Rubber Boot after a successful Kickstarter campaign, edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland. I got in touch with Phoebe as part of my continuing efforts to learn how to edit an eco-themed journal.

(Also see their interview with our friends at Solarpunk Press.)

Michael: What kind of submissions were you hoping for?

Phoebe: Well written and imaginative. Since solarpunk is still developing as a genre, we weren’t sure what exactly would show up in our inbox. If the story made us think differently about the world or catch our breath, we were excited.

Michael: Did you solicit specific writers or seek unsolicited submissions or both?

Phoebe: We did both. Diversity is an ongoing issue in the publishing world, so we wanted to solicit women, writers of color, and writers from the LGBTQ+ community.

Michael: Did you seek out writers from marginalized groups, and if so, how?

Phoebe: Partly through soliciting manuscripts, but also by emphasizing our desire for diversity in the submission guidelines. As we were reading submissions while the submission period was still open, we also tweeted about what marginalized groups we hadn’t seen submissions from yet in hopes to encourage more voices.

Michael: Did you get enough submissions/good enough submissions/the kind of submissions you were hoping for?

Phoebe: We did!

Michael: Is the set of stories you’ve chosen different from what you expected?

Phoebe: Yes and no. Some stories are so unique I couldn’t imagine them on the page until I read them. Others deal with solarpunk in a more straight forward manner. Overall, reading how writers and artists interpreted solarpunk was invigorating.

Michael: Are you satisfied?

Phoebe: More than satisfied! Working with the authors and artists was a truly rewarding experience, and we can’t wait to have the finished book out in the world!

Michael: How was your Kickstarter experience? Would you recommend it as a funding source?
Phoebe: We enjoyed the Kickstarter experience, especially since it allowed people who didn’t know what solarpunk was to find us. I’m a believe in Amanda Palmer’s the “art of asking,” and it was really special to see the literary community supporting us.

Michael: How have you found the solarpunk community? Is it vibrant/thriving/growing?

Phoebe: The solarpunk community is growing! Like any independent movement, there are key voices, but new people keep find our Tumblr and making solarpunk blogs on a regular basis. Right now, it seems like the most vibrant element of the community is on Tumblr. Following the tag always brings up interesting and enlightening posts.
Michael: Thank you very much for talking to me!

Author: Michael J. DeLuca

Michael J. DeLuca is the publisher of Reckoning. He's also involved with the indie ebookstore Weightless Books, and his short fiction has been appearing since 2005 in markets such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mythic Delirium and Apex. His novella, Night Roll, was a finalist for the Crawford Award in 2020. He lives in the rapidly suburbifying post-industrial woodlands north of Detroit with wife, kid, cats, plants and microbes. Find him on twitter @michaeljdeluca.

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