Spotlight on: Windumanoth

Tell us about Windumanoth. Where are you based, how often are issues released, and what kind of material do you publish?

Windumanoth is officially based in Barcelona, Spain. But the reality is that most of the staff live in different places in the country, and we’ve worked remotely from the beginning.

The issues are released every four months. This is a somewhat long publication cadence to be able to fully cover the current affairs of the genre. For that reason, Windumanoth also has a website that helps cover what the print publica­tion has to leave out: <>. We publish short fiction, art portfolios, articles, in­terviews, book reviews, and video game reviews.Who founded the magazine, and when? Who is on the editorial staff?

It was founded by Víctor Blanco and Alex Sebastian, who were soon joined by Jaume Vicent and David Tourón. In addition to them, the editorial board has Jorge Férnandez, Alister Mairon, and Daniel Garrido.

There are many more people in the team, though: <>.

Our first conversation about this project was in December 2016, and the first issue was released in July 2017.

Tell us a bit about the sci­ence fiction scene in Spain. Are there many magazines, or does Windumanoth stand alone? If there are others, do you have a mission statement, or is there a particular niche you aim to fill in the field?

Historically, science fiction and fantasy magazines have always been scarce in Spain. In recent years, this has changed, especially when it comes to digital publications, due to the ease with which it is possible to publish today, thanks to the internet. If we talk about print magazines, currently there are a handful of them working.

Windumanoth appeared because there was an absence of a reference print magazine. There were some very good print magazines, but very focused on classical literature and pulp. There were some other relevant digital publications, but they were just a digital text file with a cover. There was not a print reference publication that reflected the current affairs of genre literature, that was prestigious, with big names on the cover. Above all, the existing publications to date were very poor visually. Windumanoth not only wanted to have quality content, but also that the packaging, the physical object itself was beautiful and produced a satisfying experience. That is why visual quality is of paramount im­portance in our magazine, and that is why we have for each issue a top-level international artist for the cover, and we also display their portfolio in full page on the inside.

Another of the gaps that existed before Windumanoth was that, in the absence of a prestigious reference that published short fiction, there was no effective platform that would serve as a springboard for new authors; there was no place, open to anyone, where they could share a poster with great authors and that served as proof of worth to a publisher.

So, our mission is divided into three: For the reader, to bring the most interesting current affairs of the genre along with the best short fiction and the best art. For the novice author, having an effective takeoff platform. For the established author, having a prestigious space to publish short fiction.

To date, we have brought to our pages interviews with lead­ing international authors such as Ken Liu, Joe Abercrombie, Becky Chambers, Andrzej Sapkowski, N.K. Jemisin, Tim Powers, Tad Williams, Kamer­on Hurley, Steven Erikson, Ian Watson, Naomi Novik, Bran­don Sanderson, John Scalzi, Tade Thompson, Anna Staro­binets, Victoria Schwab, Mar­garet Weis, Richard Morgan, Tim Pratt, Lavie Tidhar, and Adrian Tchaikovsky. We have also published short fiction by Ken Liu, Joe Abercrombie, and other international authors – all this without counting the top national names.

In August 2019 Windumanoth was awarded the Hall of Fame award for best magazine by the European Science Fiction Soci­ety, during the Eurocon held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In November 2020 Windu­manoth was awarded the Igno­tus prize for the best magazine by the Spanish Association of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror.

So, we are happy to be on the right path towards fulfilling our missions. But we know you never get to relax; you have to keep working hard.

In addition to publishing Spanish authors, you also translate fiction from inter­national authors. Why is it important to bring foreign stories to your audience?

It’s funny that you ask that question, and I understand why you ask it. In English-speaking countries, the experience regarding this matter is totally different than in the rest of the world. In the United States, only 3% of works of fiction are translated works, and slightly less than 6% in the United Kingdom. In Spain it is more than 20% in general and much more if we talk about genre literature. Translated fiction (mainly from English) is mandatory to reflect the current state of the genre on the national scene.

What’s happening next? Are there any up­coming stories or projects you’re particularly excited about?

We are always thinking about what to do next, and we have a lot of ideas that have to be put on hold due to lack of resources (time and money). We are currently studying the possibility of also jumping to a new media other than written.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or the work you do?

Just to remind them that we’re also eligible for the Hugo Awards! Now, seriously, we want to thank you so much for this opportunity to reach to a broader audience. Also, to encourage your readers to keep supporting any magazines, like Locus or Windumanoth, that are so important for our genre.

–Víctor Blanco, David Tourón, Alex Sebastian & Jaume Vicent

This and more like it in the May 2021 issue of Locus.

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