Syllble To Launch New Collaborative Worldbuilding Project on The Alternate History Genre 

Los Angeles, CA – February 19, 2024 – Syllble Studios is excited to unveil an innovative collaborative worldbuilding endeavor, embarking on a journey to reimagine the 20th century through the lens of the alternate history genre. This groundbreaking initiative brings together a diverse team of writers and artists to speculate scenarios on conventional historical narratives around the Spanish Civil War.

Alternate history is a genre in speculative fiction. It invites readers to explore worlds where the unfolding of history takes unexpected turns, diverging from the familiar path of our reality. Iconic works like Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle stands as testament to the enduring allure of the alternate history genre, of which this particular novel was adapted as a hit television show. Can an alternate history shared world be produced collaboratively? This is the vision. 

This genre provocatively challenges us to reconsider our own historical timeline with compelling “what if” scenarios for examples: What if the Cold War had unfolded differently? What if the Spanish colonization of the Americas had never transpired? What if the Haitian Revolution had cascaded across western hemisphere and the United States? Would the French Revolution have expanded in a world without Napoleon?

These thought-provoking questions propel us into a realm of imagination, encouraging the exploration of alternate versions of our world and showcasing the transformative power inherent in the study of alternate history. As a genre, Alternate history has very much been obsessed with power, war and nationalism, yet one aspiration for this particular shared-alternate history collective worldbuilding project is the need to move beyond this fetishization of death towards one that celebrates life, hopeful realities and possible futures.

Esteemed writers attached to the project so far —

  • Luis Carlos Barragán is a writer and illustrator focused on science fiction, and a lecturer in Islamic art and Middle Eastern history. He has published three sci-fi novels: Vagabunda Bogotá, winning Best Novel Award at Chamber of Commerce of Medellín and shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos Award; El Gusano, shortlisted for the Isaac Asimov Award at El Ateneo de Puerto Real; and Tierra Contrafuturo. His short story collection Parasitos Perfectos received the Idartes Publishing Grant. He has won the George Scanlon Award, Ucronías Peru’s Alternative History Award and Altered Carbon Short Story Award. He has illustrated numerous book covers, posters and animation backgrounds. He is also an art director and concept artist for sci-fi animation and virtual reality. 
  • Fabrice Guerrier  is a Haitian-American writer, artist and founder of Syllble, a pioneering science fiction and fantasy production and publishing house that creates fictional worlds by connecting diverse creative writers, visual artists and inspired creators from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures through artist collectives. His vision is to bring a new era of storytelling in Hollywood and the publishing world by building vibrant collectives of underrepresented creators producing together within unique fictional universes, publishing the best original work that emerges and growing these worlds through creative collaborations, content creation, and transmedia. He was selected as a 2022 PEN Emerging Voices fellow finalist and a PEN Haiti fellow by PEN America. He was inducted into Forbes 30 Under 30 list and named to Root magazine’s 100 most influential African-Americans.
  • Cristina Jurado is a bilingual author, editor and translator of speculative fiction. In 2019 she became the first female writer to win the Best Novel Ignotus Award (Spain’s Hugo Award) for Bionautas. Her recent fiction includes the novella ChloroPhyllia and her collection of stories Alphaland & Other Tales. She has worked as international editor for Apex magazine, and contributor for the bilingual quarterly Constelación magazine. She ran the Spanish multi-awarded magazine SuperSonic for seven years and currently co-directs the online space Futura House for Hispanic authors in English. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications and in 2020 she was distinguished as Europe’s Best SF Promoter Award. 
  • Arturo Serrano was born in Colombia. In Spanish, his stories have appeared in the science fiction anthology Cronómetros para el Fin de los Tiempos and in Axxón magazine. In English, he has been published in Antimatter Magazine and Black Bough Poetry. He was part of the team of translators at bilingual science fiction magazine Constelación, and is a reviewer at the Hugo-winning, Ignite-winning blog Nerds of a Feather. He self-published the alternate history novel To Climates Unknown.
  • Paz Pardo is the author of alternate history novel The Shamshine Blind, which was selected as one of the best scifi/fantasy novels of 2023 by Library Journal and one of the best debuts by Crimereads. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times Modern Love column, LitHub, Crimereads, The Brooklyn Review, The I Scream Social Anthology: Volume 1, and Howlround Theater Commons, among other venues. She received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers in 2018.
  • Alexander Wallace is a writer and critic. He helps run the Alternate History Online group on Facebook and the Alternate Timelines forum on Proboards. He is a regular contributor to the Sea Lion Press blog, a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association and writes for its Review. He was the editor for Allo Americana Alternate History Anthology.

This forming artist collective will work within a writer’s room to first pinpoint the pivotal point of historical divergence in the Spanish Civil War, shaping the foundation for an “Alternate History” shared world. Subsequent sessions in the coming months will meticulously explore the profound social, political, and structural implications of this intriguing shift in the emerging world. The dialogues arising from these sessions will be artfully crafted into an engaging podcast that Syllble Studios will produce.

Inspired by Eric Flint’s 1632 series shared–alternate history-world project, also known as the 1632-verse, where a small town in West Virginia alters the course of the Thirty Years’ War in 17th century central Europe, a project that has produced over 90+ novels with numerous writers, this Reimagining of the 20th Century project marks Syllble’s first foray into the alternate history genre.  The aspiration is to welcome contributions from writers and artists to play in this shared world in the ensuing years.

Building upon the successes of prior collaborative worldbuilding projects like The Caribbean Sky Islands, Sauutiverse, Novaera-verse and many more, Syllble distinguishes this initiative by focusing on alternate history. This includes the production of a podcast and the publishing of a collection of short stories and artwork within this imaginatively constructed world.