I get angry when I hear the word ‘empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised.

-- Benjamin Zephaniah (on being offered the OBE)

 [ Issue 2012.22; Cover art © 2012 Robin E. Kaplan ]

Issue 2012.22

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The Future Fire is returning from a one-year hiatus, having ceased publishing in mid-2010 and reopened to submissions in mid-2011 (because of the length of reading periods it's actually been 18 months since the last published issue). In the meantime we've kept up the reviews site, and have undergone a bit of turn-over in terms of editorial staff. As a reminder of the kind of fiction we're looking for in the magazine (in addition to five wonderful stories published here) go look at series of 26 blog posts, many of them by guests and people we admire in the speculative fiction world, showcasing our speculative fiction alphabet. We're also launching two mini-anthologies this year: guest co-edited, themed issues, on the subject of Outlaw Bodies (subversive, queer, cyberpunk, etc.) and We See a Different Frontier (colonialism as seen from outside the white anglo scifi world) respectively.

So we've been keeping busy, making sure TFF isn't forgotten about, getting involved in social media (Twitter; Facebook) and online communities (The Outer Alliance; Feminist SF). All in all it was a blast, although we learnt that being a fiction magazine on hiatus was no less busy than being a fiction magazine in full swing. We've now rediscovered the joy that is reading dozens of new stories every week, discussing in detail among the editors and readers those pieces we're impressed by (whether we end up publishing them or not), interacting with authors and artists and seeing an issue come together. It's a delight, and I hope you'll derive as much pleasure from these wonderful stories as we have.

Djibril al-Ayad, February 2012

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