Speculative Fiction: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is an anthology that celebrates online science fiction and fantasy non-fiction and its influence on the community. Each year, a collection of the anthology will be curated by rotating editors. Last year, Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers created Speculative Fiction 2013, which is out now!
This year, we’re pleased to say that we — Shaun Duke from The World in a Satin Bag and Renay from Lady Business — will be editors of Speculative Fiction 2014.
The first volume of Speculative Fiction, released in 2012, collected 52 pieces from authors, bloggers, and critics, and is nominated for the 2014 Hugo Awards in Best Related Work. The second volume, Speculative Fiction 2013, collects 53 pieces. All profits from the sales of Speculative Fiction will be donated to Room to Read. Each edition is published by Jurassic London.
The 2013 edition contains an afterword written by us, which explains what we’ll be looking for as the conversation surrounding SF continues throughout 2014. As we edit, we will follow those stated guidelines:
- We will continue the work of previous editors in finding symmetry between long term, ongoing debates and original discussions spurred by new developments in genre culture, both in creative content and fan response.
- We will embrace the rich diversity of voices both from within SF fandom and beyond, with the recognition that important genre conversations are happening outside standard literary SF community culture and its platforms.
- We will do our best to strive for parity in gender, sexuality, race, and nationality in recognition that as a fandom, SF is stronger when it includes the perspectives that may lie outside U.S. and U.K. cultural narratives.
What we’re looking for in 2014:
- We’re looking for non-fiction reviews, essays, and criticism (“works”) with speculative fiction at their core. This can include science fiction, fantasy, horror, and topics that fall under or align with those topics.
- We welcome works about all forms of media, including but not limited to: books; film; television; all forms of games from tabletop to games next-gen consoles; and comics and manga.
- The work must have a publication date between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
- Anyone is eligible for inclusion: authors, fans, bloggers, critics who blog, bloggers who are authors, etc.), and all identifications are welcome, from full legal names to fannish pseudonyms.
- Everyone is welcome to submit any link they find interesting even if they are not the author (we’ll ask permission of the authors before including anything).
- There is no limit on nominations. If you see five relevant posts, we’ll take them! If you see 50, we’ll take those, too.
- We’re aiming for pieces between 800 - 1500 words, but longer pieces are absolutely welcome.
- Submitted works can be from anywhere in the world, although we do need an English translation for consideration.
- SPECIAL NOTE: we are very interested in receiving commentary on speculative fiction from the young adult community, media fandom (mainstream film/television), academia, and less represented fandoms, such as anime/manga, as well as content on a wide array of platforms, including tumblr and other nontraditional writing spaces.
With our goals in mind, we’re happy to announce that we’re open for submissions! Send us the best reviews, commentaries, and other non-fiction works using this form. Thanks! :D
Monthly signal boost! Looking for awesome SF-related reviews, meta, and commentary from January 1, 2014 up until now. If you’ve read (or written!) something about a science fiction/fantasy canon or fandom, feel free to submit it. :D
A happy piece of news: Speculative Fiction 2012, the first iteration of this anthology, just won a British Fantasy Award for Best Nonfiction, which is super cool!
Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far spreading the message and signal boosting. <3
Pro: WoC protagonist! Space! Androids!
Con: pregnancy as horror. Again. :(
don’t u love how movies about the future changed it used to be like
woa flying cars
woa time travel
and now its just like
to die in some horrible apocalypse
says a lot about out…
We have so few interesting and challenging SF movies atm that it’s easy to cherry-pick some positive-themed ones from the past because there were just so MANY. There used to be a lot more challenging and interesting and provocative idea films. We HAVE had The Hunger Games, and Dredd (which I’m sorry to not see above), but apart from that there’s been a lot of money thrown at fun effects movies - superhero movies - which I enjoy, and some of which are good, but many of which are not.
I found it really interesting presenting Terminator 2 (as a masterpiece of both existensial horror and existential positivity) to an audience of people who had grown up in the boom years of the 90s (mostly in the UK). They didn’t fear nuclear war, or technology, or big business. They just didn’t GET the visceral terror, or the corresponding sense of hope and struggle, and that was very strange. But I realised it was because they didn’t really feel that much threatened them. There wasn’t much they were looking for films to warn them against.
I hope that’s changing. Not that I’m overjoyed about the financial crisis (really not), but I think our art is starting to get more critical again (see The Hunger Games), and I think that’s important. But the idea that SF futurescapes were all about flying cars and time-joy-rides is laughable, and kind of insulting to the intensely critical and provocative art that has been made in the past.
Them: It’s a thrilling political drama!
Them: —IN SPACE!
Them: It’s a tense military story.
Me: Well, I don’t—
Them: —IN SPACE!
Me: HELL YEAH!
Them: It’s a lecture on the history of milk pasteurization.
Me: Now you’re not even try—
Them: —IN SPACE!
Me: HELL FUCKIN’ YEAH!
This also works on me with the fowing add-ons:
(But not the modern kind that might actually be involved in milk pasteurization, idk; I mean, like, SENTIENT ROBOTS.)
Books That Predicted The Future: http://shortlist.com/entertainment/books/books-that-predicted-the-future
THAT’S RIGHT SCI-FI AND FANTASY IS WHERE THE KNOWLEDGE IS AT! *maniacal laughter*
STAND ON ZANZIBAR FTW!
[cut for length]
Maybe the writers get their jobs because the head writer finds their work good?
Probably. And we all know women don’t write good sci-fi/fantasy TV.
Nothing to see here.
I got nothing.
I can’t think of a single one, ever.
NOPE. NEVER BEFORE. NO GOOD FEMALE WRITERS EVER IN THE SCIENCE FICTION GENRE.
Although I have to point out that there was a piece of speculative science fiction called The Blazing World published by one Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1666, slightly predating Mary Shelley.
Whilst we’re here. I’m currently in the process of recording The Blazing World as a podcast, because I think one of the problems is that a lot of people have read Frankenstein, but getting people to read an older work of long-form prose it harder work, because of perceived language barriers. I reckon if people could download bitesized chunks to listen to on their commute we might make more progress.
This is part of a wider project I’m planning to podcast the works of forgotten women writers. I am also planning to do the works of Aemilia Lanyer, first female poet to be published (in the English language, at least). You can listen to me read the most famous section of her best known work, ‘Eve’s Apology’ from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, here. It’s powerful, gutsy stuff, and it makes me angry that these women get forgotten.
Happy Birthday, Robin Hobb, born 5 March 1952
'You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That’s okay. I think we’ve all ‘been there, done that.’ It all starts with the writing.'
Thank you for the birthday wishes! :)
You are cordially invited to my birthday party :)
Have a lovely day! :)
My favourite author, Robin Hobb, is now on Tumblr. Also? It’s her birthday! And she put together an awesome game with prizes in the Hobbitonian spirit.
You should all follow her. And read her books. Especially the Farseer Trilogy.
Also her works under Megan Lindholm. Alien Earth is still my favourite science fiction novel. Also, if you really want to get your feminist rage on, you can’t go wrong with Cloven Hooves.
Do it. It is the right choice.
Last year I had three novels published in quick succession. The Split Worlds series found fans. This made me happy. I did all I could to promote them without turning into some sort of horrific promo-beast. I did the usual; interviews, competitions, book launch events, readings, went to ten conventions in the UK and US, the kind of thing most SFF authors do these days.
Everyone stop what you’re doing and read Emma Newman’s post on the need for Top-Down change, ESPECIALLY if you’re a person with any power in the publishing and book-selling industry, o know someone who with power.