A science fiction anthology in partnership with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan
Open for Submissions: January 1 - February 1, 2020
Story Length: 500 to 5,000 words
Payment: $0.03 per word (USD) + contributor copy
In order to attain better futures, we first must imagine them. But at this crucial tipping point for our planet, it’s important to imagine futures that include the many other species we share our world with. Cities tend to be anthropocentric—designed for the comfort and convenience of humans, often with little regard for the plants, animals, and insects local to that area. Science fiction tends toward anthropocentric as well, concerned with either the great achievements or failures of humankind. For this anthology, we want to see more-than-human stories that investigate humanity’s relationship with the rest of the natural world. We’re looking for stories that acknowledge humans as part of a larger ecosystem, for characters who strive for balance with (rather than dominance over) the creatures surrounding them, for settings that depict an optimistic balance of nature and technology.
Preference for Asian-Pacific authors (broadly defined) or authors of Asian-Pacific descent. We encourage authors to set their stories in the Asia-Pacific region, or at least include some thematic tie to that part of the world.
Authors may wish to envision futuristic cities where people and wildlife can thrive together, or urban landscapes re-designed to heal past ecological destruction. Characters might need to make tough decisions to maintain the multispecies ecosystem of a city, struggle to negotiate coexistence between human and non-human residents, or fight back against a project that would threaten the balance of that ecosystem. Stories could focus on conservation efforts for currently living species, or explore de-extinction processes for species lost due to human impact. Or perhaps an encounter with an extraterrestrial species could serve as a metaphor for how humans interact with the non-human species of Earth.
Because this project is inspired by the solarpunk movement, we prefer stories to end on a positive or hopeful note. We want narratives that engage with fundamental political ideas and problems, such as non-human citizenship and ecological justice. Far-fetched situations are acceptable as long as they’re based in some realistic biology and/or climate science.
Submissions must be in English; translations are welcome, provided the original author has given permission. Original stories preferred, but reprints that match the theme will be considered.
Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.
How to submit: Send story as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf to solarpunk[at]worldweaverpress[dot]com.
Please do not summarize your story in your cover letter! No description or introduction is necessary. The cover letter will not be read by the panel evaluating submissions.