Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination is partnering with the Science Fiction Research Association to create a special issue of the open-access journal SFRA Review, featuring short thinkpiece essays that build on the speculative stories and virtual events published by our Us in Flux project.
Us in Flux began in April 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., just weeks before a new wave of protests against anti-Black racism and state brutality emerged worldwide. Us in Flux brought together a diverse range of authors like Kij Johnson, Nisi Shawl, Tochi Onyebuchi, Usman T. Malik, Ernest Hogan, and others to explore themes of community, collaboration, and collective imagination in response to transformative events, through flash-fiction stories and conversations between authors and experts in a broad range of subjects. Stories have tackled pressing issues of agronomy, ecology, virtual reality, educational theory, conflict journalism, the human microbiome, and more.
For this special issue of SFRA Review, we're seeking thinkpiece-style essays of 2000-3000 words that use Us in Flux, its guiding themes, and its stories as jumping-off points to examine speculative fiction and its interactions with a variety of mutable possible futures, and its intersections and collisions with real-world efforts to reimagine and redefine community, collaboration, and collectivity.
We seek pieces that focus on Us in Flux stories and the conversations around them—but also pieces that use Us in Flux to frame or inspire broader analyses of SF, extending to other texts, movements, trends, and patterns. Of particular interest are pieces that trace connections between SF and concrete efforts to forge new communities and systems in the face of calamity, uncertainty, and upheaval. We encourage submissions by folks from historically marginalized and oppressed groups, as well as early-career scholars, fiction writers, and public intellectuals.
Abstracts of c. 250 words and short author bios should be submitted by email to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Us in Flux Submission / Name Surname” by Sunday, October 4, 2020. Abstracts should clarify how the thinkpiece will engage with the Us in Flux themes, but prospective authors are encouraged to be creative in their approach to the questions raised by this special issue of SFRA Review. Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection within two weeks.
Drafts of 2,000-3,000 words will be due at the end of November, and the issue will be published in early 2021.
To learn more and see a detailed timeline for the special issue, visit the SFRA Review website.