It’s an amazing feeling to find new books or magazines I would normally miss.
A whole new world opened up to me when I switched to only buying DRM-free titles in 2013. It forced me to search feverishly for the kinds of books I wanted to read instead of depending on algorithms to make those decisions for me. And what a wonderful process it's been! Without it I would never have come across my new favourite authors and books!
I've written about narrowing your view to expand your horizons before, but starting with this post, I'll be sharing my new Featured Books on a regular basis, titles that I have really enjoyed and believe others will too. They’re highlighted and promoted on Libreture, so that you know where you can get hold of them too.
For our first Featured Book, we're taking a look at FIYAH Literary Magazine.
A new literary magazine
FIYAH is a quarterly magazine of black speculative fiction, inspired by the earlier FIRE!!, founded by Wallace Thurman in 1926.
Thurman began an experimental periodical in 1926 called FIRE!! The idea for a magazine was conceived one night at the apartment of painter Aaron Douglass. Its purpose was to allow black writers “to express ourselves freely and independently—without interference from old heads, white or Negro.”
I bought the first issue of the new FIYAH magazine in January 2017, but didn't get around to reading it until June 2018. I was stunned by the quality. For a first issue, I expected to see a publication finding its feet and taking tentative steps. But no! After all, where does anyone really get with tentative steps?
FIYAH's mission is just as powerful as its inspiration: to completely change the approach and the result.
"FIYAH rises from the ashes of the Black literary tradition started by Fire!! in 1926. We aren’t here for respectability. We’re here to ask what it means to be Black and extraordinary. We are a place to showcase your stories and grow your career. Part literary incubator, part middle-finger to the establishment, we know you have stories to tell, and we are here for it."
My single most powerful takeaway from the first issue of FIYAH was the inspiration that built with each story I read. The power imbued in FIYAH seeds an awakening, an understanding that all voices must be heard. It’s a clarion call, so much more than ‘just’ a magazine. It doesn’t ask for someone else to listen, but demands it.
A pure, powerful, inspiration of a magazine that is a must read for fans of speculative fiction.