Pushpin Books will be home to Last Outpost (a military themed SF anthology withing the Far Orbit anthology series) and future Far Orbit space opera anthologies including Far Orbit Perigee (accepting submissions Jan 1 - March 1, 2017, see pushpinbooks.com for more information).
Back when I was still World Weaver Press Editor-in-Chief and received the first Far Orbit anthology proposal from Bascomb James, I was over the moon for the concept. I was fresh off of reading Elizabeth Bear's open letter to speculative fiction, a piece that Bascomb referenced in his proposal, and it instantly resonated with me. Each of the Far Orbit anthologies to date have attempted to reclaim the fun of speculative fiction, the devil-may-care mechanics, scientists, and pilots of mid-20th-century pulp fiction. An age when science and technology could save the day rather than doom us all to dystopia.
The diversity identifiers of the protagonists were secondary considerations to the adventure content of the stories (and our notions of what were the best-written stories, because sooner or latter editors have to pay attention to linguistics and storytelling; these are truths). There was discussion, in the selection process, of inclusion, but it always came secondary to discussion of the well-told story. I remember, in one of the Far Orbit slush piles there was a story of a farming space station where everyone was Muslim, and as publisher, I wanted that story so badly, but it didn't have a strong enough plot, and ultimately, storytelling comes down to plot, and the story was written a nice rejection letter.
Pushpin Books launches with the mission goal to
publish, promote, and sell short speculative fiction. Here at Pushpin Books, we specialize in 5,000-12,000 word tales--stories that allow the author to create more nuanced characters and more intricate worlds while still embracing the short form. Yes, we like short stories with a little more meat on the bone.
No, diversity is not the primary goal. But don't mistake the simple mission statement for meaning Pushpin does not care about diversity. It is certainly something that can set a submission apart from the pack when an editor is looking at a short-list of well-written stories. But Pushpin's editor has expressed his primary interest is in the well-told story, the kind that snags your attention and doesn't let you go until the final word.