" Purveyors of the Strange and Wonderful "
Antientropic Press is a independent publishing company owned and operated by me, Simon Shadows, a Portland, OR-based indie sci-fi horror author and illustrator. Read on for publishing information, or join my free mailing list on my author website if you'd like to stay in touch with everything I'm up to.
Overwhelm by Simon Shadows
OVERWHELM is the dissolution of self into the awareness that what you are is a fleeting instant in an incomprehensibly vast universe. But will this understanding lead to destruction, or will it grant liberation?
In these five stories that span genres from hard science fiction to alternate-historical fantasy to gruesome body horror, Simon Shadows shows what happens when humans come up against things outside of their ability to understand, and offers a vision of what can happen when we allow ourselves to let go of our certainty, for good or for ill.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does 'antientropic' mean?
It means proceeding against the direction of entropy. Entropy is generally described as the measure of disorder in a system, and while it's not a perfect description, it works well enough in most cases. Entropy is the word for what is changing in real-world interactions that we only ever see run in one direction with respect to time. We never see an egg un-break, or cream un-mix from coffee, for example.
The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy cannot ever be decreased, or more precisely, that lowering entropy in one location requires raising it elsewhere. The statistical entropy formula, which provides a more rigorous defintion of what entropy is actually measuring, on the other hand, states only that entropy is extremely unlikely to decrease, leaving little weird loopholes for science fiction writers like me.
I chose the name 'antientropic' as a personal joke: in the end, nothing can ever really go against entropy, or not if our cosmological predictions of the heat death of the universe are correct. I'm producing very low-entropy books, but I'm eating food and pumping protons across the membranes in my mitochondria, increasing the overall entropy of the universe around me at least as much as I'm reducing it locally by making books. It's a reminder not to take myself, or my work too seriously: if all information eventually decays in deep time, then I might as well enjoy my little moment of antientropy while my own biochemical system still ticks along in this universe.
What's the story with the logo?
It's a stylized version of the Feynman diagram for the decay of a neutron into a proton via the weak nuclear force. I chose it because I think the weak force is the most interesting of the fundamental four forces in physics. It's the only one that can change the identity of fundamental particles. For example, when neutrons decay, a down quark changes its identity entirely into an up quark, a particle with a totally different mass and electric charge! Here's a page with some sciency goodness if you want to learn more!
Technically I've drawn the arrowheads in the direction of the arrow of time (e.g. the direction of entropy), so I've considered flipping the arrows with the whole 'antientropic' thing.
Do you publish other people's books?
As of right now, no, but I do kind of like the idea of designing covers and doing layout work for other authors in the future. I'd especially love to help boost the work of other queer and trans authors, as well as other groups who aren't as represented in traditional publishing. That's a future dream, though, and for now I'm just trying to make my own books profitable!
If you like what I've put out and you'd like to discuss a project of your own, feel free to contact me. Though I can't promise you the services of a proper publishing company yet, I'm open to discussing commissions, especially for cover art.