Tag Archives: short


If you asked me for three words to describe this month’s Futurismic fiction offering, I’d give you “short, sharp and timely”. Genevieve Valentine wastes no words in revitalising (and spoofing) the classic sf dystopias in this brisk story of an all-too-plausible tomorrow. “Is This Your Day To Join The Revolution?” Read on and find out…

Is This Your Day To Join the Revolution?

by Genevieve Valentine

When Liz left her building, Disease Control workers were standing on the corners, handing out pills and little paper cups of Coke.

“Do you need one?” the old lady asked, holding up a handful of paper masks stamped with ads for Lavender Fields Sterile-Milled Soap. Liz pulled out the one she kept in her bag, and the lady smiled.

The TV in her subway car showed “What You Can Do on a Date.” The young man and woman went to the fair twice – once where he screwed everything up, and again where he helped her into the Ferris Wheel and handed her a paper mask before he put on his own.

The movie closed with swelling music and a reminder in cursive: ARE YOU DUE FOR A DATE? CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. Continue reading NEW FICTION: IS THIS YOUR DAY TO JOIN THE REVOLUTION? by Genevieve Valentine


This month’s fresh fiction at Futurismic is another examination of the ways small and alarmingly plausible advances in science and medicine might affect people’s lives in the near future. This time out, Philip Brewer delivers a dark and touching take on the classic love triangle in “An Education of Scars”. Let us know what you thought in the comments – and enjoy!

An Education of Scars

by Philip Brewer

I was just two steps from escaping the party by slipping out onto the terrace when I spotted Hostess and Investment Banker Pickering watching me. She didn’t say anything, but her expression of reproach stopped me. I ducked my head.

“Oh, stop it, Peter,” she said. “I invited you to the party to cheer you up, not make you miserable.”

I did my best to look happy.

Hostess Pickering sighed. “Is there anybody here you actually want to talk to? I’ll introduce you.”

I looked around.

The floor was a shimmering sea green. Forty or fifty people drifted back and forth in couples and small groups. Outside it was night, but the terrace was lit just enough to keep the windows from turning into mirrors.

“Peter? I’m not going to introduce you to the terrace.”

I snapped my head back and looked again at the people.

Then I saw a woman. Continue reading NEW FICTION: AN EDUCATION OF SCARS by Philip Brewer


We’ve published a lot of wild and gonzo stuff at Futurismic in recent months, but we wouldn’t want you to make the mistake that’s all we like. And here’s an example: “Erasing the Map” by Marissa Lingen, which is subtle, quietly assertive, and handled perfectly.

Its thesis: If you could have traumatic memories surgically removed, would you take the risk of losing some of the memories you treasure? Read first, then make your mind up and tell us in the comments!

“Erasing the Map”

by Marissa Lingen

There was this one time, in college. I was arguing politics with this girl. Young Republican type. She had the blonde bob and the baby blue sweater, the whole works. I’d even seen her wear penny loafers. I liked her anyway. We were arguing about gun control, and I said there was absolutely no feeling in the world worse than killing another person.

I think if it had been another circumstance, another time, she would have responded by reaming me out about all the things she could think of that were worse. But it was a party. Maybe she thought I was cute. So instead, she batted those contact-lens-blue eyes at me and said, “And how many people have you killed?”

I said, “Just the one.”

It was the wrong answer, I knew, and the flirting look went off like a switch. But it was the only answer I could give. After she stared at me for a minute, I said, “It was an accident. I was ten years old.” She still didn’t say anything, so I said, “His name was Anthony, and he was my best friend.” Continue reading NEW FICTION: ERASING THE MAP by Marissa Lingen


This month’s Futurismic story is a sober yet striking piece of work; Douglas Lain has constructed a moody and multilayered metaphor that compares our approach to waste management with our approach to our own minds… and the minds of our children.

Charged with subtle emotion, “Resurfacing Billy” will provide you with plenty of food for thought, and greatly rewards a close re-reading. Enjoy!

Resurfacing Billy

by Douglas Lain

About half way through my thirty-fifth year, some problems came up. My young son was unbalanced and maladjusted to school, my wife’s bohemian tendencies made her myopic and unable to respond to the situation, and the garbage buried under the wicker weave surface of our neighborhood leaked through. Toxic sludge oozed up in the parking lot of our local Food Co-Op, on the bike trail, and in our own backyard.

I didn’t know what to do about my wife and son, but my solution for the leakages in the Hawthorne neighborhood was the gumball. The design was colorful, nostalgic, and tactile. I felt confident that resurfacing the district with red, green, and yellow globes designed both to stick into a coherent and easily traversable surface and to separate into individual objects that pedestrians could manipulate, would work. I would win another ASLA prize. Organic and absorbent, they were designed to neutralize and sanitize leakages that occurred where the tarp lost integrity; the gumballs would change colors when exposed to toxins, serve as a warning system as well as a surface. Continue reading NEW FICTION: RESURFACING BILLY by Douglas Lain

Futurismic re-opens to fiction submissions!

Yes indeed – you enquired, cajoled and begged, and the day has finally arrived – Futurismic is open to fiction submissions once again!

Chris East, our hard-working Fiction Editor, is a busy man – and with the submissions coming in he’s going to be even more busy than usual. So please be considerate: read the entirety of the Guidelines page thoroughly – twice – and check your story is a good fit before clicking through to the submissions webform (linked from the Guidelines page).

That way you save Chris time and save yourself from a rejection you didn’t need to get, right? Right!

Also, a few words on file formatting. Three words, actually, or rather two words and an acronym:

RTF files only!

The webform shouldn’t let you upload anything else; if you manage to subvert the process, your submission will just be deleted anyway, so just convert in your favourite word processor package first.

And finally – we will ONLY accept fiction submissions through the webform. All attempted submissions by regular email, comment fields, Twitter, psychic projection, good old-fashioned snail-mail or any other channels WILL BE IGNORED AND DELETED/DESTROYED UNREAD AND UNREPLIED TO.

OK, with all that out of the way, get to work! Do you think you can beat Leonard Richardson‘s 37-deep comments thread? Because that’s the caliber of work we’re looking for – and we’re looking forward to your submissions!