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Foreword to "Introducing Penny Dreadnought..." by Alan Ryker
I’m a romantic. There’s no hiding it. I’m too sincere. I’m too enthusiastic. I can’t play it cool, so I’m just going to come out and tell you what publishing this first issue of Penny Dreadnought means to me.
I believe that fiction can matter. I believe it can even be dangerous, but only if the writer is fearless. That’s not an easy thing. We tend to be an anxious lot.
A dreadnought is a battleship, but a literal paraphrase for “dreadnought” is “fear nothing.” Penny Dreadnought began as a wish to get my work alongside the most talented and fearless writers I know. Somehow, I was lucky enough that my first choices all agreed. And thus began the accursed fraternity of the Abominable Gentlemen.
These men do not care about false genre boundaries, only making the best stories they can. They don’t care about the next hot subject, only their next impossible-to-ignore idea. They’ve put in their dues and know the rules, so they know exactly when and how to break them.
And they’ve agreed to let me place my stories beside theirs on a regular basis.
So, I’m very proud to introduce Penny Dreadnought, the insidious indoctrination engine of the Abominable Gentlemen.
Writers are still adjusting to the idea that when we sit down at the keyboard, we need only worry about creating the best work possible. We need not dread pouring our time and hearts into something we can’t get past gatekeepers with more conservative (or fiscally-focused) aesthetics. In this climate, I expect our work to only get better. More dangerous.