A phenom is someone who is sometimes unusual, occasionally unconventional, often notable, and always extraordinary. The genre of fantasy is often phenomenal in its stories, world-building, and characters, but the remarkable can extend far beyond dwarven ruins and magic.
The purpose of Phenom: An Exploration of Fantasy Literature is to specifically address diversity in the fantasy genre. It is undeniable that stories like Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Harry Potter have proved highly influential texts in American culture. However, much of the time, these popular fantasy texts fall into the traps of normativity: mostly straight, cisgender, white, neurotypical, able-bodied male protagonists and characters.
Here at Phenom, we would like to, instead, celebrate diverse characters. We want to reach towards the phenomenal, the “notable” or “extraordinary” when it comes to representation. We see diverse characters asphenoms and focus our attention on their stories, to celebrate that which makes them different.
Through book reviews, commentaries, event reviews, and interviews, we hope to critique the limitations of normative fantasy, as well as give critical voice to the stories that choose to redefine the fantasy narrative. Through publishing submitted fiction pieces, we hope to uplift the voices of creators who maintain an interest in diversity as we do.
Join us in turning a page and examining the exceptional.