Ancillary turns one! Sometime around now, anyway: after an initial announcement and loads of preparatory work a few months beforehand, ARB posted the first entry in Marisa Mercurio’s Queer Moon Rising series on Halloween, 2020. Appropriately enough! And we’ve had a great first year, with over a hundred reviews and essays from writers all over the globe.
I joined Ancillary because the mission here is one I’m passionate about: the radical possibilities of criticism, especially regarding literature that already thinks deeply and imaginatively about the world and how it might be otherwise. As an independent scholar, I’m often struck by how the critical rigor and reflective practices of academics are often walled off from other disciplines and the “outside world”; as a science fiction fan, I’m often struck by the deep, caring, and often critical or transformative conversations that take place within fandom—that don’t make it to a larger reading audience, or take advantage of the scholarly work that’s been done. Ancillary is a space for those traditions to come together in a way that seems really important to me.
Some of ARB’s founding editors have had to take a step back or a step away, due to time constraints, so this year another focus is building a bigger team so that we can continue to publish great reviews and essays. In addition, I’m hoping that Ancillary can grow to be more of a resource for scholars of all levels and backgrounds who are interested in our topics, and more of an entryway and conversation space for fans who are delving deeply, thinking critically about the books and subjects we cover. It’s going to take some doing, but I also have plans to figure out how to pay our writers, at least a little bit.
If you’re interested in joining the Ancillary team, please let us know: we are always looking for new pitches for reviews, essays, and other articles, and are hoping to find some new editors to join us. Please feel free to share!
Thanks for reading, folks. More to come.
-Jake Casella Brookins