I like to do what I can to support the writers we’ve published here at Futurismic, so when Nancy Jane Moore asked me if I’d post a super-short story of hers to promote her ebook anthology of flash fiction, Flashes Of Illumination, how could I refuse? Continue reading Flash fiction: The Dog at the End of the World by Nancy Jane Moore
Heads up, writers – I bring news from ian Sales. The Rocket Science anthology reading period is now open, so get yer subs in! Take it away, Ian:
Rocket Science, the anthology of authentic and realistic hard science fiction, opens its doors today to submissions. I’m looking for stories which realistically depict space travel and its hazards. But not exclusively: stories covering other areas of science and technology are welcome. Just as long as they are authentic and realistic.
Both fiction and non-fiction are wanted – between 1,000 and 6,000 words. Payment is GBP 10.00 per 1,000 words. See the guidelines page at Mutation Press and the antho’s own news blog for further information.
Well, you heard the man – get to it! I’ve got a couple of pieces in mind of my own, but – as usual – they have yet to be written. Better get a move on, hadn’t I?
Just in case I haven’t offended enough bigots already today, I’m going to direct you all to read Lavie Tidhar’s short story “The School”. Not only does the story itself critique the racism, misogyny and homophobia that regrettably still lurks in the heart of genre fiction’s body politic, but the fact that some big-name fiction venues shied away from publishing it – on the basis of being afraid to offend the sensibilities of said body politic – exposes an unwillingness to upset the applecart that contributes to the persistence of that bigotry.
Yet again, I find myself frustrated by my inability to fund story purchases here at Futurismic at the moment; I’d have paid for and published this story with pride, knowing that any readers I lost weren’t readers I wanted to keep in the first place.
It’s been half a year since I had to stop buying fiction to publish here, and it still nags at me every time I come to check the site for comments or write a new post. I’m very conscious that Futurismic filled a rather unique niche in the sf ecosystem; strictly near-future, almost Mundane science fiction stories still seem pretty rare elsewhere, and I was proud to be giving a place to interesting writers, new or old.
Still, I have hope that a change in my employment patterns over the next six months will allow me enough spare cash to start publishing new stories once again… though I have no idea how I’ll find the time to manage the slush pile alongside everything else I’ll be doing. In the meantime, though, I can at least link out to the sort of thing I migth have published, had I been in a position to do so… things like “My Grandfather’s Skeleton” by Kiyash Monsef, which he emailed me a link to not long ago. It’s simple, poignant and not too long, and I think you should go and read it. Here’s the animated ‘cover art’ for it, and the first few passages:
Grandpa was missing.
Sometime in the night, he’d gotten up, unhooked himself from a variety of instruments and medicated drips, and walked out of the hospital, and no one knew why, and no one knew where he was.
Dad and Mom, after getting the phone call at three in the morning, told me I should just go to school as usual and let them handle it. That morning, while my parents gave a description to a pair of police officers, I rode my bike to school, half expecting to see Grandpa sitting by the side of the road somewhere in a hospital gown.
I kept my phone on all morning, but there was no news. Grandpa Lucas had disappeared, and with his heart already feeble, each passing moment made it more and more likely that we would not see him alive again. It was impossible to pay any attention in class, and at noon I gave up and rode home.
Go finish it. Go on.
Hat-tip to George Mokray for emailing me about this one; Global Voices Online is carrying a translation of a short story by the once-imprisoned Chinese dissident netizen known as Stainless Steel Mouse… who, as her nickname might suggest, is well into her science fiction. “The Interrogation” is pretty short, highly allegorical (or so I’m assuming), and probably loses a great deal in translation, but personally I’m pleased to see sf ideas being used as metaphors for social change, and Stainless Steel Mouse’s courage and persistence – and that of others like her – should be an example for those of us in the West complaining about our governments running amok over our freedoms. In the grand scheme of things, we’ve still got it pretty easy, and the best most of us can manage is ranting about it in the comment threads of internet news stories.